Ideas for Your Next East Coast Road Trip

Summer is nearly here and with it comes nothing but opportunities for how to spend your time. Jetting off to a new place is fun, but can get expensive quickly. Camping can be great for a big guest list, but if you’re planning something for your family or just an intimate group of friends, it can seem daunting. A road trip is a perfect excursion for family or friends, can be easy on your wallet, and provides ample time for sightseeing, listening to music, or, if you’re on your own, thinking and getting to know yourself. But where do you go and what do you see? There’s literally thousands, if not millions of options out there, however, here are some ideas to narrow down your list of possibilities.

Start up north

Begin your trip up north and work your way down to warm, sandy beaches. Boston is an excellent city to start your journey. There are countless historical or sports-related things to do, including seeing the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, which takes great pride in focusing on the president’s life instead of his untimely death. And what’s a stop in Massachusetts without seeing Fenway Park in all it’s Red Sox glory? Grab a dog and a ball cap, and head to your next stop: New Haven, Connecticut.

Yes, this city is the home to Yale University, but that’s not all there is to see and do in this coastal town. Stretch your legs at East Rock Park, and get a bit of a break from your car’s air conditioning. Then make a stop at Claire’s Corner Copia for a bite that won’t break the bank, and will also meet all the dietary restrictions you may be dealing with.

Now is the time to decide how brave you are: do you cut through New York City on your way to Philadelphia, or do you hit the Hamptons instead? If you choose the glamourous Hamptons, take a moment to see how the other half lives: drive around the ritziest neighborhoods and admire the 18th-century style homes. Have a glass (as long as someone else is driving) of long-aged wine at one of the areas many wineries. Sober up, or make an afternoon of it at the East Hampton Main Beach.

If New York City is what you’re aiming for, try less touristy areas to get a better feel of it. Experience the Brooklyn Public Library and everything Prospect Park has to offer. Washington Square Park in Manhattan has beautiful views and is near the Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement. You can never go wrong with the Tenement Museum, either.

History comes alive

No trip to the east coast is complete without a visit to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Get in a workout like Rocky Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and then chow down at Reading Terminal Market to recoup your calories. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell can round out your time in our nation’s most historic city, before heading to our nation’s capital.

Washington D.C. is known for its cherry blossoms in the spring, but don’t overlook what it has to offer in the summer. Get a break from the heat at one of the 17 Smithsonian Institutions, and see the Lincoln and Washington memorials at either dawn or dusk. The crowds will be thinner, and you can enjoy it before or after the stifling midday heat.


You’ve hit the beaches, museums, and restaurants that you’ll remember for years to come. Now it’s time to relax. Take a leisurely drive and enjoy the landscape of Virginia before making your final stop in the mountains of North Carolina. There you can hike, fish, and explore a brewery or two all while staying in one of the many cabins in the area. And who knows, maybe after a few days of swimming and enjoying the sun and nature, you’ll be looking at the log cabins for sale so you can make the place your own.

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