There’s no denying that the East Coast is one of the most beautiful regions in the United States. In fact, I love the East Coast so much that I recently just moved here. I’ve been visiting the East Coast since I was six years old and I’ve fallen in love with the fact that there is so much to do and see here. Some of the best getaways on the East Coast include beaches, mountains, amusement parks, and more.
The East Coast of the United States includes New England, the American South, and everything in between. In other words, you can pick from quite a wide variety of amazing getaways on the East Coast.
You can dive into nature at Shenandoah National Park, visit the bustling New York City, head to the small quiet town of Savannah, or spend your time at thrilling theme parks in Orlando. There are so many fantastic locations on the East Coast that it can be difficult to choose where to go.
Luckily for you, I’ve come up with twelve of the best getaways on the East Coast to help you pick your vacation destination. The East Coast truly has something for everyone whether you’re interested in a romantic weekend, kid-friendly attractions, or solo weekend getaways.
In This Post:
12 Best Getaways on the East Coast
1. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is oozing with Southern charm and needs to be at the top of your bucket list! After visiting Savannah for the first time, it immediately became one of my favorite cities in the States.
If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing East Coast getaway, Savanah, Georgia is a fantastic option to consider. With a calming atmosphere, kind people, and bright green trees, it’s the perfect place to escape the busyness of life.
Savannah has a striking layout. It has twenty-two squares that divide the city into wards. They were once used for military exercises but they’re known for their beauty today. Each one of these squares is pretty much a small park.
The many activities in Savannah also happen to align with the relaxing vibe of the town. You can picnic in Forsyth Park, head to Tybee Island for a beach-filled day trip, hop on a trolley tour and visit historical sites, sample local beer, explore Bonaventure Cemetary, or take a boat ride along the Savannah River.
My favorite thing about Savannah is the food. From fancy restaurants to small cafes, you’ll enjoy delicious Southern food. Pace yourself though — it’s not the healthiest.
2. Boston, Massachusetts
The city of Boston was established in 1630 — over 100 years before the United States officially became a country! It’s known as the “Cradle of Modern America.”
Consequently, this city is filled with tons of historical landmarks, including buildings from the 1600s and the first subway system in the United States. During your time in Boston, you should certainly try to immerse yourself in as much history as possible. After all, there’s no better place to do so. Check out all of the historic stops on the Freedom Trail, watch a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, check out the Paul Revere House, and visit the Bunker Hill Monument.
A visit to Fenway Park is a must as well. It’s the oldest baseball arena in the USA and it’s a fun experience to watch a Boston Red Sox game here.
Even though Boston is small compared to other major cities in America, you can find over 60 museums here that fit every taste. The Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science are especially fun ones to visit.
Did you know that Boston is home to over fifty colleges and universities including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)? A lot of these universities offers tour if that sparks your interest.
Lastly, make sure you don’t leave Boston without trying some New England clam chowder. It’s pronounced “chowdah” here.
3. New York City, New York
With over eight million people living within its borders, New York City is bursting at the seams – with both people and things to do! Your getaway to the Big Apple will be filled with fun activities, amazing experiences, and loads of excitement.
I was actually lucky enough to call New York City “home” for a bit and it’s one of my favorite places I’ve lived. There’s something so magical about this city. It makes you want to dream bigger and set higher goals for yourself. You’ll feel like a stranger here in the sense that you’ll leave discovering something new about yourself.
The list of things to do in New York City is endless, so I’ll just mention some of the highlights. You can take a picture with the Statue of Liberty, watch a show on Broadway, check out the views from the top of the Empire State Building, stroll through the greenery of Central Park, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, hang out in Times Square, honor the victims at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and see the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (if you’re there around the holidays, of course).
If you’re planning on visiting during the holiday season, here is my epic NYC Christmas bucket list that will help you plan the most amazing festive getaway.
4. Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is one of the most gorgeous national parks in the United States – and there’s no shortage of things to do! You can indulge in fishing, biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and more. It’s home to gorgeous landscapes and diverse wildlife.
Watch the breathtaking sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, take on the relatively easy Beehive Hike, rock climb at Otter Cliff, and take a drive on Park Loop Road. Don’t forget to visit Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, Great Long Pond, Schoodic Peninsula, and Isle au Haut.
As if this fantastic national park weren’t enough to keep you occupied, it also happens to be right next door to the noteworthy town of Bar Harbor. While in this little town, you can birdwatch at Frenchman Bay, admire the flowers at the College of the Atlantic Gardens, and even take a whale watching tour!
5. Orlando, Florida
There is so much that Orlando has to offer from nature to art to history. But the main reason that people head to Orlando is for the theme parks.
While there are quite a few theme parks in Orlando, there are two main ones that people tend to visit: Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.
Universal Orlando includes two thrilling theme parks – but, more importantly, it includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Walt Disney World, on the other hand, includes four theme parks and two waterparks, where you can see all of your favorite Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto.
But, there are plenty of other things to do in Orlando besides visiting the theme parks. You can experience the classic Floridian town of Kissimmee, go shopping at the malls, visit the Orlando Science Center, and more. Best of all, visit Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, or New Smyrna Beach.
6. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is another one of those adorable Southern towns that will steal your heart! I, honestly, can’t get enough of this town.
Thanks to its abundance of character, culture, and history, the dreamy town of Charleston is certainly one of the best getaways on the East Coast. With horse-drawn carriages and Antebellum architecture, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled back in time!
While in Charleston, you can take photos with the colorful homes of Rainbow Row, learn the history behind the Fort Sumter National Monument, stop by the inviting Charleston Farmer’s Market, and dine at one of the many amazing restaurants in this up-and-coming foodie city.
No trip to Charleston would be complete without taking a photo in front of the iconic Pineapple Fountain. You can also catch the sunset at Folly Beach.
7. Atlanta, Georgia
Sometimes the best getaways are the ones with something for everyone. After all, there’s a good chance that the people in your travel group have slightly different interests. If this sounds like you, Atlanta, Georgia may be one of the best getaways on the East Coast for you!
For the art aficionados, there’s the High Museum of Art and the Museum of Design Atlanta. For the foodies, there’s the World of Coca-Cola, the original Chick-Fil-A, and a slew of tasty eateries. And for the history buffs, there are all of the marks of Martin Luther King, Jr., including Martin Luther King, Jr. National Monument and Ebenezer Baptist Church.
One of the coolest things to do in Atlanta is to take a guided tour of the CNN Center. You’ll learn how a live broadcast is produced. Also, the music scene is legendary in Atlanta and you can often catch some live music at rooftop bars.
8. Washington D.C.
As the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. is filled with marks of America’s history and politics. As such, Washington D.C. is filled with interesting museums, noteworthy monuments, and important cultural landmarks.
Honestly, you could spend several days in Washington D.C. just exploring the monuments and museums. The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and all the memorials lining the beautiful Tidal Basin are a few sites that must be added to your Washington D.C. bucket list.
As for the museums, check out the National Mall for the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and many more.
If you have time for a longer getaway, consider venturing to the less popular Washington D.C. attractions, including the Washington National Cathedral, Union Market, and the wide array of scrumptious cupcakeries.
9. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park lies just an hour outside of Washington D.C. and is certainly one of the best getaways on the East Coast for nature lovers. There are three main districts in this park, each with its own characteristics — the North District, the Central District, and the South District.
There are tons of things to do at this national park, including tackling part of the Appalachian Trail, doing a little backcountry camping, and exploring the Luray Caverns. But by far the most popular thing to do in Shenandoah National Park is to admire the view from Skyline Drive. This 105-mile drive boasts breathtaking views of the park’s natural wonders and amazing wildlife.
10. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina is one of those trendy, up-and-coming getaways on the East Coast. This little town is perfect for a little bit of history and a little bit of nature.
The most popular attraction in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, which plays into the historical part of Asheville. Built at the end of the 1800s, this estate was meant to be a luxurious summer house. Today, it is the largest privately-owned house in the United States with a whopping 178,926 square feet of space.
As for the nature aspect of Asheville, there are so many great places to see! You can tackle part of the iconic Appalachian Trail, see the numerous waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest, take a drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and wander through the beautiful flowers of the North Carolina Arboretum.
11. Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont is an awesome East Coast getaway, particularly in the fall. As a matter of fact, the whole town has set itself up to celebrate autumn in as many ways as possible. Drive, hike, kayak, road bike, mountain bike, and take a tour through the fiery leaves in Stowe.
If you happen to find yourself in Stowe during another time of year, there are still fantastic things for you to do! In the spring, hike to the beautiful, 125-foot Moss Glenn Falls. In the summer, stop by the Ben & Jerry’s factory for a scoop of ice cream to cool down. And in the winter, try your hand at skiing at the Stowe Mountain Resort.
12. Helen, Georgia
Helen, Georgia is definitely one of the most unique getaways on the East Coast, and this German-inspired town has quite an interesting history.
In the late 1960s, many of Helen’s local businessmen got together and wanted to find a way to make the town even better. These businessmen then asked a friend, who just so happened to be an artist from Germany, for his advice. This artist then decided to go all out and add his German heritage into every nook and cranny of the town of Helen.
You can still experience quite a bit of German culture in Helen, including perusing the Bavarian-style buildings and visiting the Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen. But this little town also offers an opportunity to go tubing down the Chattahoochee River, zipline over the bright green trees, and enjoy the beauty of Anna Ruby Falls.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list of the best getaways on the East Coast? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.