What are some cool or interesting towns to visit in the eastern U.S.?
Wondering what some neat, interesting, cool towns might be to visit in the eastern part of the United States - New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, etc. If one were to take a road trip. Thanks!
One of the best vacations I ever took was a New England road trip. It was a very long time ago, so I don't remember all of the towns, but here are some highlights.
New York City, NY - They have the theatre district and you can take a boat to both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The line for the boat is very long though, so be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time (either online or at the stand) to expedite the security process. If you're a sports fan, you can catch a game, too.
Philadelphia, PA - A lot of history locations here. There is also a duck tour (which is riding a boat on land and a bit of water with a fun tour guide) and horse and carriage rides on cobblestone streets.
Baltimore, MD - I'm a sucker for piers personally, but Baltimore has a great one! (As does San Francisco if you were looking to go west eventually). However, if you are not one for a pier or scenery in general, I would not go here. Despite all of the research I did prior to our Baltimore trip, all of the "attractions" I found were actually lies. Either the location was non-existent or something that was supposed to be great was an empty shed with nobody around (literally.) Hopefully you can find someone from there to tell you truly what to see.
Mount Vernon, VA - Another history location, but the tours are great! We did the National Treasure 2 Tour, as the site was used as a location in the movie, and that is the only tour (according to our guide) where you get to go underground in the wine cellar. It is also a very beautiful nature location and next to the home is a small recreation of a town from that era.
Washington D.C., VA - One of those "must see" locations. Be sure to look at the area's calendar and either avoid event days to hopefully lessen the traffic, or go on an event day you like - depending on which scenario you prefer.
I'd also definitely look at Boston, MA. Especially the Salem Witch Trial locations and museums. There was also a spider farm we went to where they have small pieces of wood with a spider web plastered on them. We each bought one and have it to this day.
Overall, you may want a driving buddy or two that you can switch between because there will be a lot of traffic. Or perhaps you would prefer to go by bus (so you don't have to drive) or train (more expensive, but traffic is not an issue.) I'd also suggest (if you're willing) to not book hotels ahead of time, but as you go, because you never know when you'll be too tired to drive.
Other than Boston, none of those places are in New England! Those are definitely still fun places to visit, but New England consists of CT, RI, MA, VT, NH and ME.
Oops, sorry. I did not clarify that I could not remember the places I had went to exactly on the New England road trip, but I primarily answered based on the states that nmdonders mentioned.
That makes sense! I have to explain to people that NY isn't part of New England all the time haha, so its my reflex! (Even to native New Englanders)
So many cool destination spots in Virginia. While most of the places I recommend are cities . . you have to travel through neighborhoods, quaint towns, mountains and beautiful scenery to get to them.
Richmond has Maymont, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, The Poe Museum, several Civil War battlegrounds and St. John's church where Patrick Henry delivered his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. Also, Hollywood Cemetery which includes two U.S. Presidents, Civil War generals and prominent Richmond historical figures. The tour is awesome because it covers interesting local lore, ghost stories and the urban legend of the "Richmond Vampire."
While Charlottesville is most known for Monticello, Thomas Jeffersons final home, there are five other presidential homes within a short drive. These include Montpelier (James Madison), Ashlawn - Highland (James Monroe), Pine Knott (Theodore Roosevelt) and The Brown House at Rapidan Camp (Herbert Hoover.) There is also the University of Virginia, the Rotunda, the Main Street Mall and several local orchards.
On the Eastern side of the state, you can visit the original Jamestown settlement, historic Williamsburg, the naval shipyards in Norfolk and the Virginia Aquamarine and Science Center in Virginia Beach.
Other notable spots are Natural Bridge, Luray Caverns, and Arlington Cemetery.
There are also several award winning vineyards worth visiting:
As you can see . . I love this great state!!
I am from a little further north in New England, so I have to give a shout out for Boston, Cape Cod, and the Rhode Island shoreline as some great places for visits, but I've traveled in most of the states you mentioned so I'll throw in my two cents on those locales as well.
New York City is always a good visit - a huge diversity of places to visit and things to do. You can wander the little neighborhoods, get some good food, visit the tourist destinations like Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building etc. or go the less touristy route and simply wander through the Village or one of the other boroughs. You could also take in a play on Broadway, the US Open in Queens or a baseball game.
If you're in northern New York Niagara Falls is a pretty amazing site to be seen.
In Pennsylvania Lancaster County/Amish Country is great. If you're Christian I recommend taking in a show at the Sight and Sound Theater. They have live animals! (And not just common ones like horses and sheep, the show I attended had a live camel). Philadelphia is also nice, and has a more relaxed vibe than New York City.
As for the other states I've only spent a teeny bit of time in Baltimore, and visited the greater DC area, which I would say is definitely worht a visit! There's all the congressional and governmental buildings to see (call your senator or rep ahead of time for White House or Congress tickets) as well as lots of free places to visit like the Smithsonian, the monuments, the Holocaust Museum etc.
Also if you're in VA the University of Virginia is a pretty cool place to visit
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