Travelers have long cherished the sense of freedom and opportunity that accompanies a road trip. From Maine to Florida, our East Coast road trip ideas will help you explore the most beautiful parts of this region. Embarking on a road trip can be eye-opening as you can witness so many different destinations in one trip. If your co-pilot happens to be the love of your life, check out our Romantic Getaway Guide for some great ideas on how to make your vacation one that you will both cherish for a lifetime!
Our Favorite East Coast Road Trip Ideas
Continue reading for some of our thoughtful suggestions! See where the road takes you. From Maine’s rocky coast, through the Blue Ridge Mountains, and down to the warm waters off of Florida’s Atlantic coast.
“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” — Walt Whitman
Explore the Rocky Coast of Maine
Follow in John Steinbeck’s footsteps which he documented in Travels with Charley, and stay in and explore Maine. A drive through the country’s easternmost state should include trips to the beautiful beaches, stops at the many charming lighthouses, and lobster rolls. Take advantage of mountain activities such as hiking or biking and water activities in this beautiful state. Outdoor adventurers will love the chance to explore Maine’s unique landscapes.
Stay at the Maine Stay Inn
Begin each day at the Maine Stay Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, with a multi-course breakfast. In the afternoons, guests can help themselves to tea and snacks before lounging on the gorgeous wraparound porch. This property is located near Goose Rocks Beach and the Goat Island Lighthouse. Spend one day of your road trip exploring the coast and visit these famous landmarks before heading back to Maine Stay Inn to unwind.
Stay at the Trellis House
Escape to the idyllic village of Ogunquit, Maine, while staying at the Trellis House Bed & Breakfast. Three buildings are included in the property: a carriage house, a stand-alone cottage, and the main house. While Ogunquit is a quintessential small Maine town, there are tons of attractions and activities to explore. Visit the Perkin’s Cove area or hike nearby Mount Agamenticus.
Travel Through Historic Massachusetts
Whether you’re a history buff interested in exploring the state’s many significant sites or just looking for a relaxing destination, Massachusetts is an excellent place to visit on a road trip. Pass through the renowned coastal town of Salem to learn more about the witch trials that took place here in the colonial era. Then, continue inland to Concord, where you can visit the famous Revolutionary War site within the Minute Man Historical Park. If you’re traveling through Cape Cod, you should also plan to spend a night in Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, beautiful summer towns with an abundance of beaches and farmland.
Stay at The Captain’s Manor Inn
Stay in Cape Cod for an authentic and charming New England experience! There’s something so romantic about the way that the natural light dances along the Cape. The Captain’s Manor Inn resides in the Falmouth historic district and captures the eccentric essence of the region with its brilliant blue facade, elegant furnishings, and finely-landscaped English gardens. Wake up each morning to a delicious breakfast which you may enjoy on the 2,000-square foot veranda when the weather is nice!
More Great Cape Cod Road Trip Ideas
Stay at Harbor Light Inn
Rest your head in the harbor district of Marblehead, MA. The Harbor Light Inn offers convenient access to all the best local shops, galleries, and restaurants! Elegant 18th-century furnishings accentuate the regal vibes that resonate throughout the property. Grab a drink and relax at their cozy on-site tavern, sit by the pool, or wander around the garden and experience New England hospitality at its finest!
The Mid Atlantic Region
“Discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
— Marcel Proust
Learn about the Nation’s History in Washington, D.C.
Spend some time in the nation’s capital and peruse renowned museums! It’s the perfect opportunity for history buffs to explore the White House, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, and learn about political misadventures and historic anecdotes! Additionally, visitors will discover that the city is a goldmine for food-focused travelers!
Stay at Embassy Circle Guest House
The Embassy Circle Guest House is a gorgeous, restored mansion located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Cozy up in their elegant rooms featuring antique Oriental carpets, hardwood furnishings, and sophisticated decor. Then, wake up to a delicious breakfast and start your day off on the right foot with a delicious hot entree such as frittata, French toast, waffles, quiches, or an omelet!
Go Shopping in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
In addition to their thriving arts scene, amazing food, and rich history, Bethlehem, PA, is the perfect stop for those looking for a unique shopping experience! Downtown Bethlehem shopping women’s boutiques, fun jewelry stores, and vibrant art galleries! Additionally, the art scene in Bethlehem is something you don’t want to miss! Be sure to check out the SteelStacks Art and Cultural campus while you’re in town. If you’re traveling in the winter, you can
Stay at the Sayre Mansion
Make your home away from home the Sayre Mansion, which is located in the heart of Bethlehem. With easy access to the top attractions of the Lehigh Valley and conveniently located within blocks of Lehigh University, St. Luke's Hospital, Historic Downtown Bethlehem, the Revitalized Southside Shopping District and the Sands Casino, you’ll find so much to keep you busy while you’re visiting!
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” — Lewis Carroll
Follow North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway
Part of the Appalachian mountain chain, the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina are an excellent destination for anyone looking to unplug. Pack up your car and drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the majestic mountain scenery while stopping along the way. In this area, you’ll find plenty of small, hidden villages with romantic things to do as well as bigger cities like Asheville. For an interesting daytime activity, stop by the Biltmore Estate and explore this gorgeous 1895 Vanderbilt building.
Stay at Gideon Ridge Inn
Travelers who want to embark on hiking adventures through the many trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains will love staying at Gideon Ridge Inn in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The perfect place to stop off while driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this luxurious inn nestled amongst the mountains offers outstanding amenities and delicious plates at their on-site restaurant.
Stay at Albemarle Inn
As guests pull up to the romantic Albemarle Inn in the illustrious Grove Park area of Asheville, they’re greeted by an impressive Neoclassical Revival-style entrance. A top destination for weddings, this beautiful property features a luscious garden and lavishly decorated guest rooms. Admire the intricately carved staircase which leads to their period guest rooms, appointed with antiques and fresh flowers!
Cruise Down Florida’s US 1 Highway
If you’re craving a sunny, tropical getaway, driving down US 1 in Florida is one of the best East Coast road trip ideas. Beginning in Fort Kent, Maine, and running along the entire East Coast to Key West, Florida, this highway is perfect for a long road trip. Hop on US 1 from Jacksonville, Florida, and ride down to the keys to take advantage of Florida’s many beautiful beach towns. The highway has been called a quirky way to explore the state with a bevy of neon signs and billboards, but these kitschy features are offset by gorgeous seaside settings.
Stay at Bayfront Westcott House Bed & Breakfast
Relax amongst the luxurious atmosphere of this elegant, vintage property located right on the Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Florida. Bayfront Westcott House B&B guests can start each morning by enjoying a cup of coffee on the balcony, which overlooks the water. Then, you can take advantage of all the nearby attractions, including the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, and more.
Casa Grandview Historic Luxury Inn, Cottages, & Suites
Live lavishly even if just for a few days in West Palm Beach. Immerse yourself in a luxury Palm Beach experience when you stay on this gorgeous, historic property. With decor that boasts a cozy Caribbean-like island atmosphere and a Mediterranean flair, Casa Grandview captures the essence of this charming Florida city!
Regardless of where the road takes you, be sure to include a stay at one of our esteemed properties on your list of East Coast road trip ideas! Our catalog of luxury bed and breakfasts, inns, boutique hotels, lodges, and luxury cabins serve as the perfect home away from home for your vacation! From the quiet rocky coast of New England and cultural hubs of the Mid Atlantic region all the way down South to Florida’s warm waters, there’s so much for you to experience! Start planning the trip of a lifetime!
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