Exploring the Biggest Cities on America’s East Coast
America’s eastern coastline is – unsurprisingly – blessed with an abundance of vibrant, bustling, and historically significant cities that are well worth a visit. As a result, if you’re a big fan of city breaks, then you couldn’t find a better area for your next exploration. From the atmospheric streets of Boston to the glittering sprawl of New York and, of course, the nation’s capital of Washington, the East Coast is littered with fascinating cities to explore.
So, what are you waiting for? If it’s your dream to take a trip along the eastern coast of the United States and experience some of the many unique attractions these cities have to offer, then this guide is for you. Let’s dive right in and start our city tour of America’s iconic East Coast Cities that can be done by train, plane or automobile!
Nestled on the bay of picturesque Massachusetts, Boston is a storied city that offers a mixture of the old and the new. For instance, although the city is home to the oldest restaurant and public park in the United States, Boston also features quirky modern attractions such as the Puttshack – where you can play high-tech mini golf, complete with booze and DJs.
Of course, no visit to Boston would be complete without making your way along the self-guided 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, which stops at 16 important historic sites. Among them, you will get to visit the Paul Revere House, the Granary Burying Ground (dating back to 1660), and the Old Corner Bookstore, which used to be a publishing house that spawned such literary legends as Walden and The Scarlet Letter.
During your time in Boston, you may also wish to take to the waves and book yourself onto a whale watching tour with Boston Harbor Cruises. This tour plies the waters of Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, where you have the chance to spot dolphins, minke whales, humpbacks, finbacks, and perhaps even highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. A visit to the fascinating New England Aquarium located on the harbor is another don’t miss activity.
Vibrant New York City
Moving on from Boston, your next destination may be New York, surely the world’s most easily recognizable metropolis, featured in hundreds of movies and TV shows beamed around the globe. If this is your first visit to NYC, you will probably want to take in the city’s most iconic attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
However, if you’re a seasoned explorer of the Big Apple and beyond, then some lesser-known gems may be in order instead. For example, you could explore the medieval castle known as the Met Cloisters, part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art that takes its inspiration from many different kinds of cloister found across Europe.
On the other hand, if you’re more outdoorsy, you might like to check out the tiny but beautiful Greenacre Park on East 51st Street, with its lush foliage and cascading waterfall. For a taste of history, make your way to Van Cortlandt Park and explore the historic and undeniably picturesque Van Cortlandt House, built in 1748, and now turned into an immersive little museum.
Washington DC, Capitol of American
What better place to visit after New York than the nation’s capital? You can easily make the journey by catching a train from New York to Washington with the help of Wanderu. Compare and contrast different carriers to find the best prices, and then book your tickets. The journey will take just under 3 and a half hours, although if you opt for the high-speed Amtrak Acela train then you can make it in around 2 hours 40 minutes.
You may not think it, but, if you’re on a tight travel budget, Washington is a great place to go, as there is so much to see and do for free or for peanuts. For example, you can check out the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address at the Library of Congress; join a free guided walking tour of the city; visit the U.S. Capitol; and make your way to the Lincoln Memorial, to see where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic speech.
While you’re in DC, be sure to check out its abundance of culinary jewels, many of which are very budget-friendly. For instance, you can sample delicious Maryland craft beers and moreish bar snacks at the Quarry House Tavern, or feast on expertly prepared low-cost Mexican delicacies (complete with kindly priced margaritas) at Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana.
Atlanta, Southern Peach
Last but not least, you can head further south until you come to Atlanta, Georgia. This vibrant city has plenty to see and explore, including a whole plethora of things you can do for just twenty bucks or less. Intrigued, and keen for some Atlanta travel inspiration? First things first, you may want to make your way to the High Museum of Art, where a very affordable entrance fee will gain you access to a treasure trove of artistic delights, including frequently changing new exhibits that are sure to keep art enthusiasts enthralled.
From there, you can test your mettle on the oh-so-spooky Doll’s Head Trail through the woods of South-East Atlanta. Expect scenic forest views interspersed with atmospheric swampland – and, of course, a generous sprinkling of creepy dolls, abandoned toys, and other spooky objects that have been artfully placed to send a chill down your spine.
If being frightened helps you to work up an appetite then Atlanta is the perfect place to be, as this southern metropolis is home to plenty of tasty but cheap eateries where you can feast for a few dollars. Among them, you will find hearty bagel sandwiches at Emerald City Bagels, and a low-priced sushi extravaganza dished up by Sushi Osawa.
These iconic cities are just a few of the vibrant and endlessly fascinating hubs that are well worth a visit on America’s storied Eastern coastline. In fact, you will probably need to make a number of trips back to this picturesque stretch of land bordering the Atlantic, in order to take in as many of its cultural, natural, and historical wonders as possible. But then, that’s the great thing about travelling – you never run out of incredible things to see and do!