In Travel

Beyond NYC: The Best Cities On The US East Coast To Visit

For most travellers, the mention of the US East Coast evokes images of the New York City skyline. And why shouldn’t it? It’s arguably the most famous city in the world and the most popular destination on America’s Eastern Seaboard. Where people go wrong, however, is when they head to New York and wrap up their travels there.

The US East Coast is a large and diverse area packed with incredible food, rich culture and striking natural beauty. It’s got all the makings of the perfect travel destination – if you choose to see the right places, that is.

So, before you jet back to California, or worse, straight home, take some time to consider the gems on this side of the States; there are plenty of them.

Not sure where to start? We’ve picked five of the best cities to add to your US East Coast bucket list:

Boston, Massachusetts

us east coast

Image: Tiffany Chan / Unsplash

Although this city is probably best known as the setting of films like The Departed and Good Will Hunting, there’s a lot more to Boston than just its Hollywood appeal.

Massachusetts’ capital is laced with cobblestone streets and important sites that are key to America’s history. From the buildings of Harvard University to the four-kilometre Freedom Trail, which is made up of 16 points linked to the American Revolution, there’s a lot to be learnt from this city.

Sporting fans can catch a game at Fenway Park (the oldest ballpark in the States), design lovers should pay the Public Library a visit, and food enthusiasts will love the local seafood; the lobster is particularly memorable.

Miami, Florida

us east coast

Image: Aurora Kreativ / Unsplash

Beach lover or not, Miami stands as one of the most exciting cities on the East Coast.

The palm tree-laden destination is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, and for those who aren’t keen on taking a dip, tropical gardens.

When you’re ready to get out of the sun, check out the local art scene at the Pérez Art Museum, or simply take a stroll, grab some Cuban food and soak in the pastel shades of the Art Deco architecture on display.

By night, take advantage of Miami’s party scene and salsa ’til sunrise, or kick back in one of the city’s more laid-back rooftop bars with a cocktail.

Charleston, South Carolina

us east coast

Image: Landis Brown / Unsplash

This Southern belle is lauded for its water views, food, and history.

Take a boat ride on the harbour or stop in at Folly Beach County Park for a quick swim before setting off to experience the food scene that has tourists returning time and time again.

Southern cuisine, barbeque and fresh seafood are the staples that really stand out in Charleston, but the city also has a reputation for its experimental food scene, if you’re keen on curious dishes.

Architecture buffs should make a beeline for Rainbow Row – a strip of 13 brightly-coloured homes with a history that starts as far back as the 1700s. Continue your educational journey by visiting one of the preserved plantations in the area. Here you’ll learn about the history of slavery and oppression in the South.

Savannah, Georgia

us east coast

Image: Jose Llamas / Unsplash

More than just the site where Forrest Gump perched himself on a bench, this Southern city is a rich travel experience for culture lovers.

Unsurprisingly, Southern food is a massive part of the experience here, so expect to eat your fair share of barbeque and mac `n cheese. But on a more unexpected note, Savannah is also known for its supernatural presences. Ghost tours are quite the trend here, as it’s believed the city is one of America’s most haunted. If you’d like a scare, start with the Hamilton-Turner Inn. Guests are reported to have seen the spirit of a man with a cigar in-hand on the roof of this hotel.

If you’re not big on otherworldly beings, there’s also a vibrant art and music scene in the city that’s certainly worth your time.

Portland, Maine

us east coast

Image: Mercedes Mehling / Unsplash

If you’re one for quaint towns and nature walks, Portland, Maine (not to be confused with Portland, Oregon) is definitely a destination to add to the travel list.

This coastal city is full of edgy bars and restaurants, with farm-to-table fresh ingredients and a thriving coffee scene – the latter of course always a drawcard for Aussie travellers. Food trucks are also a large part of the experience here, offering a no-fuss – but no less tasty option for visitors on the go.

Grab yourself a lobster roll then explore the region by taking a hike, or by driving along the coast and catching a glimpse of the six lighthouses in the area.

For a more relaxed stay, stroll through one of Portland’s farmer’s markets, pick up some local produce and pack a picnic for a day at one of the city’s beaches.

(Lead image: Charleston / Dylan Mullins / Unsplash)

Published 20 May, 2019