The East Coast of the U.S. is full of breathtaking destinations and a wealth of national history. In addition to hosting the nation’s capital, this area of the country is also home to major cities like New York and Miami. Interstate 95 can take you from the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys to the northern Maine town of Caribou in just over 30 hours. However, you can take many shorter routes to explore this side of the U.S. in more depth. Here are 5 of the best East Coast Road Trips you can take if you are in the early stages of your exploration of this area of the United States.
5 Quintessential East Coast Road Trips
Here are five quintessential East Coast road trips for nature lovers, history buffs and city hoppers to take this year. These 5 trips distills down the absolute best of the 14 states that make up the East Coast states adjoining the Atlantic Ocean.
Miami to Key West
Spring is the most popular time to visit Miami, as temperatures are warm and hurricanes aren’t a threat during this time of year. This road trip will take you on a scenic drive from Miami to Key West, on a road that crosses the ocean to connect the Florida Keys.
One way, the trip takes about four hours with no stops. However, there are many fun locations to stop and visit along this route – including the beautiful beach at Bahia Honda State Park. If you have the time, you can also visit the Everglades.
Gettysburg to Jamestown
These two cities hold a lot of charm for those interested in American history. Travelers can visit the Gettysburg battlefield, where the tide of the Civil War turned. Road trippers can then head down I-95 and spend time in Washington, D.C., visiting history museums and national monuments.
This route passes through Fredericksburg and Richmond, two other notable Civil War sites, before reaching Williamsburg and then Jamestown on the coast of Virginia. Although the trip takes only four hours, there are so many historical sites to visit along the way that travelers could easily spread the journey over weeks.
New England Coast
The northern states of New England offer beautiful coastlines, national parks and delicious dining. This road trip starts in Boston, which you can enjoy for a few days before driving north to Acadia National Park in Maine. Along the way, visitors can stop in Harpswell to hike and look for a ghost ship last seen in the 1880s.
Next, road trippers can drive west through White Mountain National Forest to the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York. Travelers can also go south and swing through Connecticut and Rhode Island before returning to Boston. This trip takes about 20 hours of driving, plus stops, so it’s best for a longer voyage.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This road trip is best taken in the fall when the trees turn gorgeous shades of orange, gold and scarlet. It spans a five-hour drive from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Travelers can incorporate city time into this gorgeous drive by visiting Asheville, North Carolina, at the beginning of the trip and breaking part-way in Roanoke, Virginia. There are numerous beautiful stops for hikers along the route, including Mount Pisgah, Linville Falls and Rough Ridge.
New York to Washington, D.C.
Travelers who want to visit two of the most important cities on the East Coast will be pleased to know that New York is only a three- to four-hour drive away from the nation’s capital. Another major city, Philadelphia, lies right between them.
Road trippers can spend several days in New York City, exploring all the city has to offer. They can catch a Broadway show, visit Madison Square Gardens and take a ferry to see Lady Liberty.
In Philadelphia, visitors can view Independence Hall and experience early American history at the Franklin Institute. The national monuments and museums in the capital provide the perfect finish for this road trip.
Why Take an East Coast Road Trip?
The East Coast has much to offer eager road trippers. Whether you want to climb mountains, explore American history, spend time in big cities or do all three, these states have got you covered.
Use this guide to plan your next road trip, and be sure to build in extra time for added stops along the way. You never know what roadside gem you might find as you travel along a new route.
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