Explore some of the USA’s most iconic cities, charming towns and historic areas on the 1,600-kilometer Northern Atlantic Coast drive. The journey kicks off in Boston, one of the oldest cities in America, and ends in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. Strap in for an unforgettable journey through America’s history and enjoy some of the most dynamic urban areas the USA has to offer, all while hugging the scenic East Coast. What to bring: an extra memory card for pictures, comfortable shoes for exploring the city and curiosity about the USA’s past.
Begin in Boston, Massachusetts, by taking in some local history. Stroll down The Freedom Trail and browse the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum. Don’t limit yourself to historical attractions – there are plenty of other local sights in this exciting city, ranging from the seals at the New England Aquarium to brewery tours you can take across the city. Be sure to hop on a famous Boston Duck Tour to experience the city from water and land. On the way out, stop in nearby Cape Cod to experience charming beachside towns, delicious local seafood and the unmistakable allure of New England architecture.
Make your way down to Newport, Rhode Island and explore the incredible mansions of the 19th century elite. Wealthy, socially prominent families like the Vanderbilts and Astors descended on this seaside town in the 1800s to relax and escape the stifling summer heat of nearby cities. From Newport, cruise along the coast of Connecticut and be sure to stop in Mystic Seaport, home to the world’s largest collection of historic boats and ships. Just eight kilometers east is the little-known borough of Stonington, a former whaling and shipbuilding center that looks today much as it might have a century ago, with its leafy streets lined with sea captains’ homes and churches.
New York City, the USA’s bustling metropolis, has so much to discover from the Statue of Liberty and SoHo shopping district to Broadway and Times Square. If the sun is shining, take a leisurely stroll through Central Park, and see the Natural History Museum on the West Side and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the East Side. It’s worth planning a visit to the city’s popular High Line park and refueling at one of the many cafes and delis. A generous helping of New York’s famous cheesecake is a must!
Once you reach Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, visit the Liberty Bell, the symbol of American independence. Find a peaceful spot to sit at Rittenhouse Square, one of the five original open-space parks planned in the late 17th century. Visitors often run up the 72 steps outside the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to reenact the famous scene from the Oscar-winning film “Rocky,” where boxer Rocky Balboa victoriously runs the stairs. The city views from the top are definitely worth the trip. After you’ve worked up an appetite there, head to trendy South Street to browse quirky boutiques, visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and sample a signature “Philly Cheesesteak.”
On the New Jersey coast, Atlantic City has a historic beach and boardwalk that spans the waterfront. Sample saltwater taffy and other local favorites, hop on a whale-watching tour and then try your luck at some of the storied Las Vegas-style entertainment resorts. It’s worth a day trip to head over to coastal Delaware, which offers an inviting blend of pristine beaches and tax-free shopping. Take a break at Rehoboth Beach, and then find some amazing deals at the Tanger Outlets’ brand-name shops.
Ocean City, Maryland offers excellent views of 10 Mile Long Beach. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs here – Ocean City’s beach offers chances to go horseback riding, kayaking, surfing or jet skiing. Onshore, you can take a stroll, go for a swim or simply enjoy the coastal beauty. If you have time, head to the nearby Assateague Island, which is famous for its roaming wild ponies.
On the way to your next stop, take a quick detour to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where you’ll find wonderful family vacation spots and great dolphin and whale watching. From Virginia Beach, visit Colonial Williamsburg and step back in time in this impeccably restored 18th century community. This is the country’s largest and most popular living-history museum – and one of the world’s finest. Before arriving in Washington, D.C., stop at Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s original plantation home near Alexandria, Virginia. With its dramatic view over the Potomac River, the 200-hectare estate features a working farm with animals, thriving gardens and a reconstructed 16-sided barn.
End your journey in Washington, D.C., and take in the U.S. capital city’s unforgettable skyline with its iconic structures such as the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Explore the myriad museums, monuments and statues to trace the fascinating history of the United States of America. Make plans to take a photo at the famed White House while you’re here. DC, as locals call it, has a vibrant dining and shopping scene on offer as well. Savor world-class cuisine by top-ranked chefs in Logan Circle, browse the charming shops of Georgetown, and peruse the homegrown vendors at Eastern Market.
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