From Maine in the north to Florida in the south, America’s impressive East Coast begs to be explored. With so many incredible attractions (including the Florida Everglades, Acadia National Park, and New York City) it’s no wonder so many tourists flock to the Atlantic shores.
The East Coast has something for everyone, whether you’re an adventurer, an artsy traveler, a family, a history buff, or a laid back traveler. There’s so much to do that it’s hard to decide where to go.
You won’t ever get bored, we promise you. From seeing a Broadway musical to visiting the White House to climbing one of the Smoky Mountains or lying on Florida’s soft sand, you won’t be bored at all!
Visit our list of the best places to visit on the East Coast of the USA for more sightseeing ideas.
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1. New York, New York
There is something for everyone in New York. Gourmet restaurants, famous tourist attractions, fabulous street art, designer fashion, and so much more. You’ll be running out of time with so much to do.
Besides sight-seeing (Hello Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge), you will also have time to enjoy museums, shops, and delicious food (we’re salivating over Gramercy Tavern and Daniel).
Short on cash? There are plenty of free activities you can do. Some free activities we recommend include watching the sun set from a rooftop patio, wandering Central Park, walking the High Line, shopping in SOHO, and people-watching in Union Square.
If you plan your itinerary in advance, you won’t waste any precious seconds standing on a street corner wondering what to do next. You’ll also find much better prices if you buy tickets online (e.g. to Broadway shows or major attractions).
2. Boston, Massachusetts
You can’t help but love Boston. It’s cobblestone streets, architectural gems, and lovely harbor all entice visitors to stay a while. Quincy Market is a hub for shopping and dining in the middle of town.
There are many things to do in this revolutionary city, including strolling the Freedom Trail. Winding its way around the center, this famous path passes 16 historic sites (such as the Old State House, the Paul Revere House, Boston Common and the site of the Boston Massacre).
It’s hard not to spend hours in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. With street performers, street food, and boutiques galore, this is one of Boston’s most fun spots. Do not miss out on Beacon Hill, Boston’s most captivating neighborhood.
Even if you’re not a baseball fan, Fenway Park is still worth a trip just to see the spectacular 37-foot-high Green Monster in person. It features a historic hand-operated scoreboard.
3.Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls is one of the most majestic Wonders of the World. Standing beside the falls as its water thunders over the edge, spraying water on everything in view, is truly a captivating experience.
While you’re there, explore Niagara Falls State Park for more than just the three waterfalls. There’s 400 acres of land to explore, so you’ll have plenty to do. For the most impressive views, head to the Observation Tower.
A boat cruise on the Maid of the Mist is one of Niagara Falls’ most popular attractions. Don a plastic blue poncho and prepare yourself for a close up view of American Falls and Canada’s Horseshoe Falls. You won’t find anything like it.
4.Lake Placid, NY
Sitting at a lakeside, admiring New York’s Adirondack mountains, a steaming mug of tea in your hand, and you’ll never want to leave. That’s why getting outside is so good for you.
The Winter Olympics were held twice at Lake Placid from 1932 to 1980. Mirror Lake, in the midst of decorative fall foliage, freezes in the coldest bursts, making it an ice skating park.
The adventurous soul can try skiing, bobsledding, and even dogsledding while in the summer there are plenty of other activities to be enjoyed, like swimming, waterskiing, canoeing, and kayaking.
5.Everglades National Park, Florida
You might have seen those eyes peering out above the murky waters of Everglades National Park.
You’ll never leave the Everglades without spotting an animal, including alligators, pythons, manatees, egrets, and the elusive panther. The Everglades cover 1.5 million acres in southern Florida.
In addition to flora and fauna, the Everglades is also home to various ecological systems, from freshwater sloughs and pinelands to cypress trees and mangrove swamps.
Among the best ways to explore the Everglades is with an airboat, which whips through the narrow channels winding through the region.
Kayaking through the mangrove canals is another popular method of transportation, but be careful not to fall in.
6.Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more than half a million acres of breathtaking scenery that will leave visitors in awe of its beauty.
With so many different places to see and do, the Smoky Mountains can be enjoyed at any time of year. Spring, fall, winter, or summer, the park is a splendid destination for visiting. The best time to visit the Smokies depends on what you want to do.
Be sure to visit Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, and Rainbow Falls, which offer unbeatable views. Also, Mt. Leconte, the park’s third-highest mountain, is worth climbing.
Visitors to Orlando’s top US vacation destination can find Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld Orlando. Visitors can ride a dolphin-themed roller coaster or touch a manta ray.
Another great attraction, close to SeaWorld is Discovery Cove, where visitors can get up close and personal with marine life. Or park themselves at the Orlando Science Center, with its popular “Kids Town” exhibit for visitors under 48 inches tall.
The Cape Canaveral Space Center is a short drive away, where you may be able to observe a shuttle launch or meet an astronaut.
8.Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
This coastal resort is the best of South Carolina with its neon lights, continuous musical entertainment, spinning Ferris wheel (called SkyWheel), boardwalk games, and myriad boardwalk rides. I liken Myrtle Beach to a cartoon version of Coney Island or Brighton Beach.
Visitors to the Grand Strand can enjoy 60 miles of just pure sand, but it will be hard to get bored surrounded by so much kitsch-from mini-putt courses to souvenir shops to WonderWorks Myrtle Beach.
9.Charlotte, North Carolina
Uptown is the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city. This modern section of town is home to the city’s top shopping and dining.
Racing fans will enjoy the NASCAR Hall of Fame, while flying enthusiasts will appreciate the impressive Carolinas Aviation Museum. The younger, more energetic generations will enjoy an excursion to Paramount’s Carowinds, an amusement and water park with animatronic dinosaurs.
Aside from having plenty of sports options (basketball diamonds, volleyball courts, and more), Freedom Park also hosts concerts and offers a playground.
Philadelphia, like Washington, D.C., is well-known for its role in American history (in particular during revolutionary and colonial times). It is here where the Declaration of Independence was signed as well. The Constitution was ratified eleven years after that.
The Freedom Bell Pavilion houses a long-held symbol of freedom and independence — the Liberty Bell. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, one of the most captivating immersive mixed media experiences in the world with walls and floors covered in mosaics.
At Reading Terminal Market, you can shop for local produce, Amish bread, clothes, and jewelry or hop in a horse and buggy and ride through Independence National Historical Park.