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Learn more about the best east coast cities to visit this year!
The East Coast of the United States is full of exciting cities worth exploring.
With their rich history and distinct food and sub-cultures, East Coast cities are some of the best to visit in the US! From the Nation’s Capital to coastal cities to cities with an industrial past, there is no shortage of variety when selecting an East Coast city to visit.
Having lived on the East Coast for our entire lives, we’ve spent many weekends and summer vacations exploring the best of what the East Coast has to offer!
Keep reading to learn more about the best cities to visit on the East Coast!
Best East Coast Cities to Visit
If you are looking for the best cities to visit on the East Coast, you need to add Woodstock to your bucket list. It is not only considered one of the best Getaways in Vermont, but Woodstock is also considered one of the most beautiful towns in the country. And for a reason! Besides being a small town, Woodstock is underrated, with a lot of history and outdoor activities.
One of the highlights of a trip is to visit the iconic covered bridges, as some of the best ones are in Woodstock. Also, you will love to walk around downtown, admire the classic New England Architecture of Woodstock, and admire the array of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries styles.
Any time of the year is an excellent time to visit Woodstock, but it is during the winter when the magic happens; even with the temperatures below zero, the snow makes Woodstock even more spectacular!
The closest airport is Burlington International (BTV), and it approximately only takes a 90-minute drive to Woodstock. You will find great options for accommodations, from cozy cabins to the most beautiful address in town, the elegant Woodstock Inn & Resort.
There are many great things to do in Woodstock all year-round, and it is an excellent destination for a relaxing vacation or anyone looking for activities; you will find plenty. In the summer, you can hike, golf, bike outside or enjoy one of the farms and natural areas. Or, in the winter, you can shop, relax at the spa and enjoy the amazing restaurants with local fresh ingredients. And don’t worry if you are traveling on a budget, as Woodstock is a laid-back town, and it is a great fit for any budget.
Contributed by Paula of Paula Pins the Planet
One of the best U.S. cities to visit, Baltimore, is often underappreciated by travelers. Located in the heart of the East Coast, Baltimore is a bustling metropolis full of charming neighborhoods, friendly locals, and delicious seafood.
If you spend at least two days in Baltimore, you’ll be able to embrace the city’s charm. (There’s a reason why it’s nicknamed ‘Charm City’ after all.) A walk through the Inner Harbor is an essential part of any trip to Baltimore. Visitors to the breathtaking waterfront will find plenty of things to do, from the Maryland Science Center to the National Aquarium. The Visionary Museum features art from artists who don’t fit into the mainstream art world. It showcases art all over Baltimore, including street art, graffiti alley, and the city’s history and personalities.
Vintage shoppers will find plenty of shops to visit. Fells Point and the Hampden neighborhood are filled with unique, funky items, from shoes and jewelry to housewares. Creative people enjoy showing off their art at various cultural festivals throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals include an arts festival named Artscape and a music festival called Honfest.
Baltimore is a seafood lover’s paradise. Crabs in Maryland are some of the best in the country, and they’re easy to find. Get yourself some crab soup, crab cakes, or whatever the seafood special they’re serving at the restaurant.
Suppose you need a break from the city, head to Druid Hill Park. This park is home to the Druid Hill Reservoir, Maryland Zoo, and the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. It’s a great way to take a nature break from the city’s hustle.
A great place to stay when visiting is Hotel Indigo Baltimore. It features local artists on the wall and local food in the snack bar. You can tell this hotel takes pride in being in Baltimore!
Regardless of what you decide to do when you’re in Baltimore, you’ll see why Baltimore is one of the best cities on the east coast after a couple of days.
Contributed by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler
Miami is America’s famous beachy metropolis. Home to over 6 million people, Miami is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Long only known for its popularity as a spring break destination, Miami has recently become world-famous for its culture and arts scene. Miami airport is one of the largest international hubs in America. Because of Miami’s well-earned reputation as a vacation spot, budget airlines like Frontier, Spirit, and Jet Blue frequently run cheap flights to Miami from all over the country. If you’re down for a Party, Miami is the place to go! Famous clubs like LIV, which is in the historic Fountainbleu hotel, Basement, and E11EVEN can be found lining Miami Beach. If you want something more cultural, you can visit the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art or Perez Art Museum, Miami. Miami is also home to the famous “Wynwood Walls” – an urban area covered in murals that started a nationwide street art trend in the 2010s. Anytime is a good time to visit Miami, but it’s advised that you don’t go from June to November to miss hurricane season. If you’re not there to party, it’s also recommended not to visit during March and April to miss the Spring Break crowd. Miami has so much to offer. It’s truly a destination for every type of traveler.
Contributed by Katie Caf of Katie Caf Travel
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of THE best cities on the East Coast to visit, as it’s a gorgeous, colorful city that is chock full of exciting places to visit, is incredibly walkable, has beautiful beaches very close to downtown, and lots of delicious southern fare to sample.
Some best things to do in Charleston include visiting Rainbow Row, a particularly vibrant and colorful block of buildings, or taking the ferry to visit Fort Sumter, an island fort where the Civil War started. Doing a house tour or plantation tour is also a popular activity to do in Charleston. There are a large number of historic homes you can visit and several different plantations – many of which focus on the lives of the enslaved as well as the lives of the homeowners.
You’ll definitely want to walk around the South of Broad neighborhood, where many large and stately homes are located. And you can’t miss visiting some of the churches in Charleston – Charleston is known as “the Holy City,” thanks to its reputation for religious tolerance from its inception. There are many churches in Charleston, but we particularly loved St. Michael’s church and the French Huguenot church.
And of course, you must try some of Charleston’s excellent southern cuisine – favorites include fried chicken, barbecue, biscuits, okra stew, pimento cheese, and chicken and waffles.
Let’s talk logistics! If you’re flying, the Charleston International Airport is the closest to the city, only 20 minutes from downtown. It’s also very accessible by car from many areas on the East Coast or in the South.
The best times to visit Charleston are the fall and spring when the weather is milder but still pleasant. Summertime gets extremely hot and humid. While there are many things to see and do, spending three days in Charleston – a long weekend – is an excellent amount of time for a visit.
There are a lot of beautiful hotels to stay in during your stay in Charleston, including the Restoration Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in a historic building.
Charleston will particularly appeal to history lovers, foodies, and those looking for fun in the sun. Do note, though, that this is definitely an expensive city to visit – particularly lodging!
Contributed by Stephanie of the Unknown Enthusiast
Locals have referred to Savannah, Georgia as the love child of New Orleans and Charleston, and that is so telling. Savannah is somewhat like New Orleans and Charleston but different, and nearly everyone who visits Savannah loves it so much.
Savannah is only a few miles east of I-95 but not on the highway, so a little effort is necessary to drive to it. Savannah is almost 500 miles from Miami, Florida, and Richmond, Virginia, and is a magnificent weekend getaway or more extended vacation destination for visitors from all over the US and the world. Downtown Savannah is only 10 miles from Savannah airport.
Some favorite things to do in Savannah include visiting historic cemeteries and Forsyth Park, exploring the 22 historic town squares, learning from amazing museums, savoring some of the best food and drinks in the US, and taking selfies at many movie locations (including from Forrest Gump, Glory, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). A magnificent beach (Tybee Island) is only a few miles away.
Savannah is the home of the founder of the Girl Scouts (Juliette Gordon Low) and a 100-year-old ice cream shop, the burial location of the writer of Jingle Bells (James Pierpont), and houses so many romantic inns, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars, and settings that it would take years to experience them all. Besides walking around Savannah (Savannah is indeed one of the most walkable US cities), a trolley tour is fun and convenient. Choose one that visits the iconic Bonaventure Cemetery (famous from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book and movie) or has a haunted theme (there are many night trolleys and walking ghost tours in Savannah).
Savannah is popular all year round, although summer is the hottest and most humid time of the year. St Patrick’s Day is particularly popular here, and spring, in general, is very lovely.
Couples, in particular, will love Savannah because it has a lot of romantic settings and fantastic restaurants and bars. But Savannah is also popular for families, especially as a pilgrimage for girls to visit where the Girl Scouts founder lived.
One hotel to consider is Holiday Inn Express Savannah Historic District because it is close to everything.
Contributed by Charles McCool of McCool Travel
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a fantastic city to visit. It is chock-full of incredible art and architecture as well as fascinating museums. It’s built on the shores of Lake Michigan, and you will enjoy the natural beauty of the lake and Milwaukee’s rivers.
It’s easiest to get to Milwaukee via the General Mitchell International Airport, just a few miles south of the city. It’s also within an hour and a half’s drive from Chicago, Illinois, and Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison.
There are many terrific things to do in Milwaukee – you’ll find something here for everyone to enjoy. Most of the top attractions are within a compact area, and Milwaukee is easy to explore on foot.
The downtown skyline is an array of skyscrapers of all shapes, sizes, and architectural styles. Take an evening stroll along the downtown Riverwalk, filled with unique public art and sculptures, including the Bronz Fonz.
Old World 3rd Street is a nod to Milwaukee’s German heritage. Be sure to dine here and sample beers from one of Milwaukee’s many local breweries and local specialties like fried cheese curds and bratwurst.
Sports fans will enjoy watching the major league ball teams that call Milwaukee home. The Milwaukee Bucks entertain on the basketball court, with the Brewers playing America’s favorite pastime.
Museum-lovers will adore the Milwaukee Art Museum, filled with fine art treasures. The museum itself is an architectural work of art, with its iconic Burke Brise Soleil ‘wings’, which open and close. Motorcycle enthusiasts will want to visit the world’s only Harley Davidson Museum.
Summer is the best time to visit Milwaukee. You’ll enjoy gorgeous weather, and the longer days will give you plenty of time to partake in all the city has to offer. Plus, this is ‘festival season’ – you won’t want to miss out on Summerfest, an enormous music festival held in June.
You’ll want to stay in downtown Milwaukee to access the city’s main attractions easily. The Plaza Hotel is an excellent choice, as it is in a quiet neighborhood located midway between Lake Michigan and the famous Milwaukee Riverwalk.
Milwaukee is an affordable place to visit, and everyone from museum lovers to sports fans will enjoy a trip to this lovely city!
Contributed by Lisa Garrett of Waves and Cobblestones
Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the best vacation destinations on the east coast. While most people associate Nashville with Music City and the Country Hall of Fame, it is so much more than that. There are many activities throughout the city, both day and night, to make every type of traveler happy to include it on their east coast itinerary.
For the budget-conscious traveler, there are many free things to do in Nashville, including museums, parks, music venues, street murals, and much more. Nashville can be an affordable destination with all the free and cheap travel site options available.
Make sure to schedule a stop at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, even if you are not staying overnight; the garden area is beautiful and free to walk through. It is incredible that they can fit such a huge and lush conservatory indoors!
Nashville is definitely the city for those who love the nightlife. There are honk-tonk bars and rooftop patios up and down Broadway Avenue with flashing neon lights and music acts until all hours of the night. Broadway Avenue is the Honky Tonk highway and the center of the action in the city. There is no cover charge to hear the tunes, but tips are always encouraged.
The best times to visit Nashville are in the shoulder months of spring and fall when the weather is mild. If you love street fairs, music festivals, or auto shows, then the fall should be your choice since there are some big ones in September and October.
It might also be a good idea to visit Nashville when the crowds are low, and prices drop in the winter, but the darker and colder days make for less pleasant sightseeing since many of the city parks are outside. The summer season is hot and busy, but the biggest month for country music is June during the big Country Music Festival, so that should be your choice if country music is your genre.
Contributed by Michelle Moyer of Moyer Memoirs
Atlanta is one of the best cities on the East Coast because there is so much to do for people of all ages and personality types. Midtown is known for its museums, theatres, parks, and art galleries. Downtown is known for its sports stadiums, concert venues, history, and culture. Whatever type of interest you seek, you’re sure to find it in Atlanta for the weekend or an extended vacation.
To reach the city, you’ll want to fly to the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. From there, downtown Atlanta lies just ten miles north and can easily be reached by the city’s train system, known as MARTA.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the city’s most popular places to visit. Known for its 20-foot-tall botanical topiaries in the shape of fantastical creatures such as dragons and mermaids, the 30-acre garden will make you feel like you’ve stepped into someplace magical.
Piedmont Park lies next door to the botanical gardens and offers an additional 200 acres of forested trails and lakefront gazebos to explore for free. You can see Atlanta’s skyscrapers rising from behind the grassy meadow, making it a popular place to spread out a blanket and watch the sunset over the city.
Atlanta also houses the largest aquarium in the United States and the headquarters for Coca-Cola. At the World of Coke, you can taste over 60 different Coca-Cola products worldwide and even visit the vault where the original secret formula has been stored for over 135 years.
Atlanta is a great city to visit anytime, but summers can quickly become uncomfortably hot and humid. To fully enjoy all the outdoor activities the city has to offer, aim to visit during the spring or fall for the most comfortable weather.
Staying in a downtown hotel will keep you close to many of Atlanta’s top attractions. The Hyatt Regency Atlanta is a top-rated hotel within walking distance of the subway, restaurants, and entertainment options.
The city is relatively affordable. Popular attractions are reasonably priced, but if you’re on a budget, there are many free things to do in the city. Atlanta is one of the best cities to visit on the East Coast, and you should consider it for your next trip!
Contributed by Jillian Michelle of Adventure Dragon
One of the most beautiful and historic cities in the Eastern U.S. sits just across the Potomac River from Washington DC. Unique things to do in Alexandria, Virginia, combine fascinating history and modern pursuits in a scenic waterfront setting. DC’s closest airport is located in Alexandria, and the city is easy to reach by metro, Amtrak train, or water taxi. Alexandria makes a nice day trip from the nation’s capital and is a popular destination for a romantic weekend or adult getaway.
Once a bustling Colonial port, the streets of Old Town Alexandria retain their early charm but with a modern flair. Today unique boutiques and excellent restaurants line the downtown blocks, mixing with cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks.
History-lovers should be sure to visit quirky spots like the colorful Spite House, one of the skinniest homes you’ll ever see. Built to keep noisy loiterers out of an alley, this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in the DC area. Another one-of-a-kind stop is the Stabler Leadbetter Apothecary, a drug store that looks right out of a Harry Potter movie.
Alexandria hotels and restaurants are not cheap but comparable to DC prices, and there are free activities and events to enjoy. For example, a paved pathway connects a string of pretty parks and sites along the riverfront. Stop into the free Torpedo Factory to see artists at work in a transformed munitions facility. Visit in late March to enjoy cherry blossom season at free events throughout the DC area. December is another magical time to visit when Old Town sparkles with holiday decor and hosts parades like the Scottish Christmas Walk. Stay on King Street in the Kimpton Lorien or The Alexandrian, and you’ll be within walking distance to all the action.
When you’re ready to explore beyond Old Town, take a tour at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the beloved home of America’s first president. Or sample the unique shops and casual restaurants in the hip Del Ray neighborhood.
Contributed by Julie McCool of Fun in Fairfax VA
Long Island, New York
Long Island, New York, is an area often forgotten when people think about New York, but this Suburb is easily one of the best places to visit on the East Coast. From beautiful beaches and cute towns to Gold Coast mansions and vineyards, there is something for everyone!
Long Island, NY, is straightforward to get to from Manhattan. Just take the Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station to your desired city on Long Island. However, getting around Long Island is most accessible by car. This is because there are no subways on Long Island, and buses can take forever. Uber/Lyft would be your best bet if you didn’t rent a car.
One of the best things to do on Long Island is to enjoy Montauk, also known as the end of the world. Montauk sits at the very end of Long Island’s South Fork. Some top things you can experience include pristine beaches, climbing up the famous Montauk Lighthouse, visiting the Montauk Brewing company, and taking a sports fishing trip. While you are there, don’t forget to check out the Lobster Roll!
Another fun experience on Long Island is visiting the Vineyards. Long Island’s wine country is mainly located on the North Fork and has over 60 different vineyards to enjoy. Walk through the grape rows and enjoy local and award-winning wines! You can experience vineyards all year round, but the best time is early Summer through Fall.
The best time to visit Long Island is spring, Summer, and Fall. Winter can be brutally cold, and Long Island is best enjoyed for outside activities. As a suburb of New York, Long Island is on the more expensive side. You can expect slightly less than you would in Manhattan. Two lovely places to stay on Long Island are the Garden City Hotel and the Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa.
Contributed by Sam Opp of Find Love and Travel
Naples, Florida should be at the top of your bucket list when deciding what are the best cities on the east coast of the US to visit. Located on the southwest coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is part of Florida’s Paradise Coast, with good reason.
Getting to Naples is pretty straightforward. If you’re driving, several exits off I-75 will contact you to different parts of Naples. Most visitors to Naples fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which is served by several major airlines. You can rent a car from the airport or take advantage of a shuttle to your accommodations, should they have one. Either way, it’s less than half an hour to Naples.
Many visitors come in the Spring and Fall when the heat and humidity are moderate. The summer is hot, wet, and humid, but the good news is that there are no crowds.
Naples has plenty of things to do for just about any traveler. Sun and beach worshippers will find some of the best beaches in Florida and the country here. The sand is soft and white, and the ocean is clear, warm, and gentle.
Nature enthusiasts can find adventures every day of the week. Parts of the Everglades are just a short drive from Naples, along with airboat operators and hiking trails. Rookery Bay Research Reserve is great for on the water tours to see dolphins, manatees, and an incredible number of birds.
For those less inclined to have sandy feet, Naples has excellent shopping, from a range of boutique shops to high-end stores. Artis Naples features a wonderful museum and lives entertainment during the season.
Naples has nearly 700 restaurants featuring diverse cuisines. You’ll find everything from pizza joints and small Latino bistros to elegant Italian and French restaurants. If you enjoy dining, you’ll have plenty of choices.
There are accommodations at all price points. The Naples Grande is right on the beach and very popular with families.
Contributed by Lori Sorrentino of Naples Florida Travel Guide
New York City, New York
New York City is The City The Never Sleeps, and there is nowhere else in the world like it. You will fall in love when you see its towering skyscrapers and walk past rows of Brownstone rowhouses. An energy to the city fills you with excitement that never leaves.
There are iconic places to see, including the Empire State Building (go to the roof in the late afternoon so you can see the city at twilight and after dark); the Statue of Liberty (go first thing in the morning to avoid the worst of the crowds); Times Square (go anytime but expect to share the experience with other people!); and Central Park.
There are also incredible things to do. See a Broadway show (you can get cheap tickets at the TKTS booth if you’re willing to line up and wait). Shop till you drop in Soho (sometimes called the Disneyland of shopping). And get your fill of art at The Met, Moma, and the Guggenheim.
New York is also the most multi-cultural city in the world, and it’s worth venturing into various neighborhoods to travel around the world without leaving the city. Go to India, the Middle East, and Latin America Queens; Korea and China in Manhattan; and Russia in Brooklyn.
A truly wonderful time to visit New York is December when the entire city turns into a Hallmark Christmas movie set. Spring and fall are also wonderful times to be there. Summers can be hot, and winters can be cold.
Three airports are servicing NYC – JFK, La Guardia, and Newark Liberty.
There are hundreds of hotels to choose from, but a personal favorite is the Bryant Park Hotel. It’s an art deco masterpiece next to Bryant Park and the beautiful New York Public Library.
There is something for everyone in New York, so no matter what your interests are, you will find something to love there. It is not cheap, however. Save up and splurge on the trip of a lifetime.
Contributed by James Ian of Travel Collecting
As the nation’s capital, Washington DC attracts visitors year-round. This means it is an expensive city for hotel accommodations during the high season, especially when the cherry blossoms bloom on the Tidal Basin (late March). But prices dip slightly during the summer and winter months. DC is a walkable city. The 20,000-minimum steps will add up quickly as DC offers miles of open green space to walk on The National Mall. Considered “America’s living room,” the Mall is a great place to watch Washingtonians play bocce ball, take a picnic, walk a dog, or jog. The National Mall also connects the major memorials (Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and U.S. Capitol) in one straight line to walk. Visitors need a minimum of two days if they want to visit all the Smithsonian museums. Celebrating its 176th anniversary, the Smithsonian includes the Smithsonian Institution Museum (The Castle), National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of African Art, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, Arts and Industries Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Freer Gallery of Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Museum on the National Mall.
If you prefer to stay outside, don’t miss walking through the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Smithsonian Gardens. Year-round, these venues are a wonderful respite from the hectic sightseeing. Find a bench and meditate. Art lovers will also want to visit the National Gallery of Art (NGA) and the attached Sculpture Garden. Admission is free to all the Smithsonian museums as well as the NGA. Finish your National Mall walk at the U.S. Capitol grounds, where you can enjoy green vistas, century-old trees, curving sidewalks, and antique benches designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Nature lovers should not miss hiking or walking, biking, or horseback riding at Rock Creek Park, a 1,754-acre park located in the middle of DC.
Spend at least one day. Georgetown offers 17th-century rowhouses and boutique shops, and cafés. U Street is famous for its street art and Howard University. H Street offers a free trolley to get to all its restaurants. Dupont Circle and Embassy Row are the homes of embassies and elite 19th-century homes. If cost is no issue, stay at the Willard Hotel and book the afternoon weekend high tea. OR, you can also save money by staying at the Hotel Hive or an Airbnb.
Contributed by Terri Markle of FemaleSoloTrek
As one of the oldest cities in the Union, Philadelphia has an incredible array of activities to explore. There are so many good reasons to visit Philadelphia, starting with its storied history.
Philadelphia has protected many of its old and historic colonial and early American buildings. From visiting, places such as independence hall, the liberty bell, the first bank of the united states, and Betsy ross’s house are among well-known historical sites. You can also wander down Elfreth’s Alley, the nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street. The street was home to 18th-century tradespeople and artisans, and many characteristics of the buildings are protected to this day.
Among the best things for visitors include visiting (and running up the stairs) the Philadelphia Art museum, one of the country’s premier art institutions. Visiting Fairmount park, the largest Urban park in the united states. Philadelphia has many firsts, including the oldest public library, oldest zoo in the nation, and first planned city in the US. You can also see the world’s oldest “modern” computer, the ENIAC, at the University of Pennsylvania.
The city is wonderful to visit all year round, but summer has some of the best activities of the year. The city comes alive with activities during the summer, including the Oval (with fun games and live entertainment), Philadelphia Chinese lantern Festival (August), Spruce Street Harbor Park & Summerfest (food, games, carnival rides), and lots of other great summer festivals.
And of course, since Philadelphia is the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Nation’s first capital. Independence day turns into Independence week with an incredible array of activities, shows, concerts, fireworks, and celebrity readings of the constitution.
The city is great for many types of travelers with a beautiful sports scene (Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Union). However, the stadiums are located outside the central area and require driving or a subway to reach. The food scene in Philadelphia is top notch with incredible options from Steven Starr, Morimoto, and Marc Vetri, among others. And of course, for food, one needs to both try and wander through the famous Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and try the namesake Philadelphia cheese steak. Be warned; cheese steak favorites are a sensitive topic!
Philadelphia, while a great city, is surprisingly affordable compared to its neighbors. You’ll find that your dollar will go farther here and have a top-class experience in restaurants, museums, theaters, and more. For those looking to stay the night, you can’t go wrong finding a hotel in Center City. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is in a perfect location near City Hall and close to Chinatown, Rittenhouse Square, and the Old City. It makes a perfect jumping-off place for much that Philadelphia has to offer.
Contributed by Anwar of Beyond my Door
Boston is a unique East Coast City. It has a lot to offer any visitor, whether you are a foodie, a sports lover, or passionate about American history. It has a laid-back feel and a welcoming culture that invites you to explore the city confidently. And there is so much to do that you can easily fill up a Boston itinerary!
Boston is fundamentally a walking city, so the best time to visit would be the spring and the fall before it becomes too hot or too cold. Most historical sites, restaurants, and shopping spots are just a few minutes away along flat paths that take you through serene parks, wide esplanades, or bustling sidewalks. However, if you prefer not to walk, Boston has an excellent transit system.
Some include a food tour or a walk to the Freedom Trail. The Boston Secret Food Tour takes you into Little Italy and other parts of Boston while you sample delicious food.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walk that connects 16 nationally significant historic sites. You can do this without a guide or choose one free walking tour.
It is straightforward to reach Boston Logan International Airport, as it is located right next to downtown. The Hyatt Regency is an excellent hotel in downtown next to fantastic shopping.
Boston can be an expensive place to visit if you stay in a downtown hotel, eat at high-end restaurants, or choose expensive attractions to enjoy. However, you can also visit on a budget if you stay in the suburbs and do all the offered free activities.
Contributed by Nicole Hunter Go Far Grow Close
Portland, Maine, is one of the best cities to visit on the East Coast. Portland is a charming coastal city with a small-town atmosphere. There’s always something exciting going on, and it’s the perfect destination for foodies, nature lovers, and museum buffs alike.
Portland is filled with history, and several noteworthy historical sites are scattered around the city. Fort Preble, Fort Scammel, and Fort Gorges are just a few of the many historic forts you can explore. You can also visit the Portland Observatory Museum, which is the USA’s only remaining signal tower.
In addition to its historical sites, Portland is also a very culturally rich city. Several museums and art galleries in Portland, Maine, are worth checking out. Some of the best museums in the city include the Portland Museum of Art, the Museum of African Culture, Victoria Mansion, the Maine State Museum, and the Maine Maritime Museum.
Next, Portland is a foodie’s heaven. There’s no shortage of options for finding a good meal. You can find all kinds of cuisines, but Portland is known for its fresh seafood. The city also has a great coffee scene, with many local cafes and roasters. You can’t go wrong with a lobster roll from Luke’s and an iced latte from Coffee By Design.
Finally, Portland is simply a beautiful city. It’s located on the coast of Maine, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. There are also several parks and green spaces in Portland, Maine, perfect for a picnic or leisurely stroll. The most beautiful spot for scenery is the Portland Head Light, one of the world’s most photographed lighthouses.
The only downfall to visiting Portland is that it can be expensive. However, if you get out of the downtown and Old Port area, you can still enjoy a good meal without spending much money. The bottom line is that visiting Portland without breaking the bank is possible.
You can get to Portland by flying into Portland International Jetport or Boston Logan International Airport, which is about a two-hour drive away. One of the best hotels in Portland is the AC Hotel by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront. The location is unbeatable, and the rooms are gorgeous.
The best time to visit is from May to September when the weather is warm and beautiful.
Contributed by Disha Smith of Disha Discovers
Tampa, FL, has everything you could look for in a vacation destination, from the bustling city life to the serene beaches and everything in between. Any time of the year is nice, but you’ll probably want to visit in April or May before the heat hits in full swing. This trip won’t break the bank, as Tampa is inexpensive for a large city.
Fly into Tampa International Airport, rent a car, and you’ll be downtown in less than ten minutes. You’ll want to have a car because there are so many incredible day trips from Tampa that you won’t want to miss.
With three major sports teams in the bay area, you can likely catch a game no matter the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning play downtown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are just a few minutes outside the city, and the Tampa Bay Rays play close by in St. Petersburg.
For art lovers, there’s the Straz center, where you can catch an off-broadway musical or ballet or go to the Tampa Theater for an independent film or documentary. You can also visit the Tampa Museum of Art or one of downtown St. Pete’s galleries and museums.
For a relaxing day in the city, rent bikes and ride along the Tampa Riverwalk, where you’ll likely pass by the Lost Pearl, Tampa’s famous pirate ship. Buy a ticket and ride down the river while you’re there! End the afternoon at the end of the riverwalk at Armature Works, an old factory-turned gourmet dining hall, event space, and general gathering spot for markets, live music, and drive-in movies! This is the place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Speaking of places to eat, try Oxford Exchange for brunch, Datz for lunch, and the famous Columbia Restaurant for a nice dinner. The area is known for its Cuban sandwiches, and the sandwich shop, Bodega, is definitely worth the drive.
Now that you’ve gotten to know Tampa, it’s time to take a day trip outside the city within an hour and a half drive. Visit St. Petersburg for an artsy and trendy food-focused city or St. Pete Beach for a relaxing day at the ocean. Visit Crystal River, where you can kayak and swim with the hundreds of manatees who live here. Orlando and Disney World are just an hour and fifteen minutes away, and so is the wealthy beach town of Sarasota to the south.
Contributed by Tori Mitchell of Tori Pines Travels
Destin is a beautiful coastal town in the Panhandle region of Florida. This area of Florida is referred to as the Emerald Coast, known for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear emerald waters, and fun activities.
Destin is a popular vacation destination for families and couples alike. There are plenty of things to do in Destin, from enjoying the beach to fishing, golfing, shopping and dining. The town also has several annual festivals and events, such as The Destin Fishing Rodeo, that attract visitors from all over the country. Destin is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” so fishing is big here all year-round! Destin is the perfect spot if you’re a beach lover looking for a place to enjoy some sun, sand, and surf. Beaches include Henderson Beach State Park, James Lee Beach, and Norriego Point. Miramar Beach and Okaloosa Island have awesome beaches and are just a short drive from Destin. Destin is an affordable place to visit, especially in the late fall and winter months, when the peak season is over. The cost of rentals goes down dramatically during this time and is therefore considered the best time to visit since it’s less expensive and the temperatures are mild. There are free things to do in the area, such as HarborWalk Village and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, but there are lots of shops and activities where visitors can spend money. Boat rentals and water activities around Crab Island can make for an expensive day. The best ways to get to Destin are from the Pensacola or Panama City Beach Airports, which is just an hour’s drive from either one of the cities. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay in Destin, The Palms of Destin is a great choice. It’s located in the heart of the city, close to attractions such as The Track (go-karts and mini-golf) and Henderson Beach State Park. The Palms has great views of the city from their apartment rentals, and it’s also just a few miles from HarborWalk Village and Destin Commons.
Contributed by Wayne Kask of Always on the Shore
If you’re looking for a city that includes something for everyone, consider visiting Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh is full of exciting things to do, from sporting events to museums to outdoor activities to a great local food scene! Pittsburgh is also great to visit any time of the year because there is a range of inside things to do and outdoor activities! And you can always attend a professional sporting event, whether it be hockey, football, soccer, or baseball!
For a first-time visit to Pittsburgh, take some time to explore the beauty of the city. Ride the historic Duquesne or Monogahela Incline to Mount Washington and get a beautiful panoramic view of the city! Or take a ride on the Gateway Clipper boat for a river cruise along the 3-rivers.
After viewing the city, consider exploring one of Pittsburgh’s world-class museums like the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, or visit the Children’s Museum if you’re traveling with a family. The Pittsburgh Zoo and National Aviary are also great options for family-friendly activities. If you’re a foodie or big fan of microbreweries, visit Lawerenceville and the Strip district, you’ll find some of the best food in Pittsburgh here!
Pittsburgh is also an affordable city on the East Coast, so don’t expect high prices! Pittsburgh is accessible by driving or the Pittsburgh International Airport, which is just 20 minutes from downtown. You can also get to Pittsburgh by Megabus, Greyhound bus, or Amtrak. If you’re coming to Pittsburgh without a car, you can Uber or take the T-train around town.
Which of these East Coast cities do you plan on visiting next?