Northern Atlantic Coast
Explore some of the USA’s most iconic cities, charming towns and historic areas on the 1,600-kilometre Northern Atlantic Coast drive. The journey kicks off in Boston, one of the oldest cities in America, and ends in Washington, DC, 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 USA’s scenic East Coast.
Begin in Boston, Massachusetts, and take in some local history before heading to 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 kilometres 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 United States’ 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.
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 before 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.
On the New Jersey coast, Atlantic City has a historic beach and boardwalk that spans the waterfront. Sample saltwater taffy and other local favourites, then try your luck at some of the storied casinos. Coastal Delaware offers an inviting blend of crystal-clean beaches and tax-free shopping. Take a break and relax 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. Take a stroll, go for a swim or simply enjoy the coastal beauty. Just south is 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, DC, stop at Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s original plantation home near Alexandria, Virginia. With its dramatic view over the Potomac River, the 500-acre estate features a working farm with animals, thriving gardens and a reconstructed 16-sided barn.
End your journey in Washington and take in the city’s unforgettable skyline with its iconic structures like 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. DC, as locals call it, has a vibrant dining and shopping scene on offer as well. Savour world-class cuisine by top-ranked chefs, and then browse the charming shops of Georgetown or the homegrown vendors at Eastern Market.
What to bring: an extra memory card for pictures, comfortable shoes for exploring the city and a view of the USA’s past.
Basic Route Information