States Found On The East Coast
The East coast of the United States consists of 17 states running from Maine down to Florida. The northernmost region of the East Coast is known as New England. New England contains Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Moving south we have the Mid-Atlantic states which include New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The furthest south and largest of the East Coast regions are the South-Atlantic States including Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The East Coast has so many different States and each brings with it a bit of its own unique culture.
Traveling up or down the East Coast is one way for Travelers to experience the diversity of both the people and the landscape of the United States of America.
The Best Of The East Coast For Travel
The eastern United States is home to the nation’s oldest cities and first European settlements, and it is where the nation began. New York City, Miami Beach, southern barbeque, the Appalachian Trail, Niagara Falls, and even Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, where the Revolutionary War began, are just some of the many wonderful attractions that can be found in the Eastern United States.
The West Coast may claim higher mountains, but ski programs in New Hampshire and Vermont produce pro-skiers at a higher rate than on the west.
A photo from the streets of Manhattan, New York
The western US may have LA, but the eastern US has New York, the largest city in the US, where travelers really can find anything they’re looking for. Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami are all found on the East Coast, and that just names a few of the larger cities.
There are many smaller hidden gems like Ithaca, New York, and Saint Augustine, Florida that are incredible to visit too. These reasons and more, are why the eastern United States is the coast is best for travel.
East Coast: Climate And Geography
The East Coast is quite a diverse place with much land covered between the southern tip of Florida and the northernmost point of Maine. Traveling through the area will take travelers from the lowlands of the Everglades to the rocky trails along the Appalachian range, then back down to the waterways of Chesapeake Bay.
New England has a temperate climate that is home to four distinct seasons including snowy winters. Here are the average temperatures recorded at Logan Airport, Boston.
- Spring – 42 to 56 °F (April)
- Summer – 67 to 81 °F (July)
- Fall – 48 to 62 °F (October)
- Winter – 24 to 37 °F (January)
The Mid-Atlantic states enjoy a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but with much milder winters than the New England states. Here is a look at the average temperatures for Baltimore Airport.
- Spring – 48 to 68 °F (April)
- Summer – 73 to 91 °F (July)
- Fall – 52 to 70 °F (October)
- Winter – 29 to 44 °F (January)
The majority of the South-Atlantic states are considered subtropical and enjoy warm weather most of the year. Here is a look some of the average temperatures from Albert J. Ellis Airport, Jacksonville.
- Spring – 50 to 74 °F (April)
- Summer – 70 to 89 °F (July)
- Fall – 53 to 74 °F (October)
- Winter – 35 to 54 °F (January)
The Climate of the East Coast
On the East Coast, the climate is best discussed in terms of the individual region. New England, the further north region, experiences four distinct seasons including cold and snowy winters, and famously colorful falls.
Travelers who are not fond of the cold or winter sports tend to avoid New England for about a third of the year. The Mid-Atlantic states also experience four seasons, however, except for New York, their winters tend to be a bit less harsh, and they have a longer growing season.
A portion of the South-Atlantic States is considered subtropical, and though the South-Atlantic states may occasionally experience tropical storms, the weather there is warm and pleasant much of the year.
The Mountains and Forests of the East Coast
The old mountains of the East Coast may not reach as high as those on the west as they are pushed upwards by the collision of tectonic plates. However, the East Coast mountains offer their own charm, often rocky and always draped in the thick and hearty green of East Coast forests.
The Appalachian Chain serves as the backbone of the region, running from Georgia into Maine. Adventuring through these mountains along the Appalachian Trail is the journey of a lifetime.
Skiers often flock to the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire where popular ski resorts like Stowe, Killington, and Okemo are found.
Lakes and Waterways of the East Coast
The waterways of the East Coast are perhaps its most fascinating feature, and with wildlife preservation efforts of the years, many areas of the East Coast have rebounded and are thriving pockets of nature, especially along its rocky coasts.
The East Coast is also home to many lakes, with many states including New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, and New York with their popular lake regions.
Vermont and New York are divided by Lake Champlain and two Great Lakes border New York State as well. World-famous Niagara Falls is found right at the border of Buffalo in the US and Toronto in Canada. Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia measuring 32 square miles, is a travelers dream.
The Chesapeake Bay borders several states and is one of the most incredible bastions of wildlife in the entire US.The East Coasts Top Five Largest Lakes
- Lake Okeechobee – Florida, 662 sq mi (1,715 km2)
- Lake Champlain – New York, Vermont and Quebec, 490 sq mi (1,269 km2)
- Moosehead Lake – Maine, 117 sq mi (303 km2)
- Lake Strom Thurmond – Georgia and South Carolina, 111 sq mi (287 km2)
- Lake St. Francis – New York, Ontario and Quebec, 105 sq mi (272 km2)
The East Coast’s Top Waterway Attractions
A view of an airboat on the Florida Everglades with an alligator nearby
- Niagara Falls – New York
- The Chesapeake Bay – Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia
- The Everglades – Florida
Popular Wildlife of the East Coast
Travelers along the East Coast often have the chance to experience the wildlife of the East Coast while on a hike or another outdoor activity.
Many come to East Coast in search of these Animals. Bethany Beach in Delaware is a popular place to catch sight of a variety of waterfowl. Wild ponies can be found near Ocean City, Maryland, and turtles are found throughout the wetlands in New Jersey.
The American alligator from Florida may not be one that travelers want to run into, but they are a rather cool animal. New England has plenty of turkeys, New Jersey has Bald Eagles, and Florida has the Scrub Jay, while many other interesting and beautiful birds populate the skies of the East Coast.
There is some wildlife to watch out for, but careful travelers often have pleasant encounters with wildlife on the East Coast.
The Eastern US Is The Most Known For
Travelers flock to the East Coast of the United States for a variety of reasons. Some travelers come for the popular major cities that dot the East Coast such as New York, Philadelphia, or Miami.
Others will come to explore the East Coasts’ stunning coastline or trek through the old East Coast mountains. Or perhaps, travelers are just coming to the East Coast to chow down on some delicious East Coast cuisine.
The Major Cities of the East Coast
One of the most prominent Features of the East Coast is its metropolitan centers. Nowhere else in the US has the population density of the eastern US’s largest cities or quite the same big city feel.
Travelers will love venturing through these cities finding the shopping and sightseeing adventures they are looking for.
There’s nothing like walking through Manhattan with skyscrapers and towering hotels all around. Cities in the eastern US are also more likely to have useful metro lines.
Five Largest Cities of the East Coast
Photo by Jermaine Ee on Unsplash
A photo of Central Park, Manhattan, New York
- New York City – 8.6 million
- Philadelphia – 1.6 million
- Charlotte – 859,000
- Jacksonville – 821,784
- Washington D.C. – 703,000
Famous Food From The East Coast
The eastern US is home to a few styles of cuisine that are unique to the eastern US. One of them is southern barbeque. Texas might have a thing to say about barbecue, but so do the Carolinas and Georgia.
Another popular cuisine from the eastern US is wings. The most famous wings from this region are buffalo wings, which have become a staple dish across the US, but the best are still found in the eastern US.
A third and entire style would be Italian food, brought to the US by Italian immigrants who primarily landed in northeastern cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.
An image of delicious bagels
Travelers for the best Italian food in the US need to visit the northeast. The fourth style of food that is worth mentioning would be Jewish delis which introduced a great deal of eastern European food to the American palate.
Whether it’s bagels or pastrami, their contributions to American cuisine are significant.
Bucket-List Hikes, The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is often a major draw to the East Coast of the US for hikers and backpackers. Some will do the Appalachian Trail all at once, others will only do sections.
However, this famous route through the mountains of the US continues to be a popular destination for Travelers every year once the weather starts to warm.
Multiple states along the East Coast can boast stunning coastlines. From the rocky and scenic coastlines of the New England states with popular locations like Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard down to the white sand beaches of Long Island and Virginia Beach, the aesthetic shores of St. Augustine, and the always-popular Miami Beach.
Things To Do On The East Coast
Regardless of whether travelers are outdoorsy, city lovers, or want a little of both, the eastern US has something for them. Travelers will find many stunning beaches to relax on, long hikes to engage in, shows to catch on Broadway, and cocktails to sip in luxury accommodations along Miami Beach.
The East Coast of the United States is also home to where the US began, travelers will have many opportunities to explore museum and historical sights during their time on the East Coast. To help travelers find the activities they’re looking for, here is what the East Coast has to offer.
10 Must-Visit Places You Should See On The East Coast
Nicest Beaches On The East Coast
The beauty of the beaches along the eastern coastline sometimes doesn’t enjoy the hype that west coast beaches do. However, that is clearly unfair as the eastern US is home to iconic, stunning, and most visited beaches of the US.
With locations like Virginia Beach, Cape May, Myrtle Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, and Miami Beach, to name just a few. Long stretches of coastline along Long Island, or even the busy boardwalk by the beach in Atlantic City are incredible destinations to visit.
The State of Florida is lined with stunning coasts along either side of its peninsula. The East Coast of the United States also boosts larger cities with a lot going on along the coast. An East Coast beach visit can become quite an exciting event.
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Best East Coast Hiking
The eastern US is home to old mountains, rolling and tree-covered, as they carve their routes up the east coast. The Appalachian Range contains most of the major East Coast mountains.
From The Great Smoky Mountains in the southern states, all they were up to the White Mountains and the Green Mountains of the north, they all fall into the Appalachian Range. Individually, these mountains are full of incredible hikes, but what this region is most known for is the Appalachian Trail.
Though the Appalachian Trail may be known as a months-long backpacking adventure, it can also be broken down into smaller day hikes. Locations like Mount Washington in New Hampshire or the 100-Mile Wilderness in Maine, are on many hikers’ bucket lists.
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Go East Coast Backpacking And Camping
Backpackers looking to visit the East Coast likely have the Appalachian Trail in mind. Though, this months-long hike isn’t the entire option available to travelers. There are many smaller sections that can be hiked in much less time too.
Those looking for a great camping destination in the eastern US will also be able to find those. Locations like Acadia National Park, Maine Island, and Watkins Glen State Park all have fantastic areas for campers and scenic environments for travelers to wander through.
The rolling green hills and mountains of the East Coast are perfect for a bit of camping or backpacking.
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Hiking The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is an adventure that travelers embark on every year. The trail runs the length of the East Coast and takes most hikers five to seven months to finish. Some will complete this trek in its entirety from start to finish.
Others will simply enjoy it in parts. Regardless of how travelers wish to experience the Appalachian Trail, there will be a way for them to do so. This stunning route has a lot of history to it as well.
The trail was first imagined in 1921 and completed in 1937, it would receive the name and recognition it receives today in the National Trails System Act of 1968. Since then, this trail has been a bucket-list adventure for backpackers from all over.
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National Parks On The East Coast
National Parks are an important part of maintaining the stunning landscape along the East Coast. Some of these parks are incredibly well-known such as the Everglades National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, there are many more than this to explore along the American East Coast.
On Maine’s Mount Desert Island, travelers can discover Acadia National Park and its 47,000 square acres. Congaree National Park in the center of South Carolina is another idyllic location for travelers to check out. With so many national parks in the eastern US, travelers will have no shortage of nature to explore.
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Wildlife On The East Coast
The wildlife of the eastern United States ranges a great deal from the Everglades of Florida all the up to the mountains of Maine. The Everglades and much of Florida are home to some of the most unique animals in the United States.
Animals like the American alligator, the American crocodile, the banded water snake, Florida softshell turtle, and the Florida snapping turtle are all animals special to Florida.
As travelers head north, the wildlife changes along with the landscape. Black bears, white-tailed deer, foxes, coyotes, and many more animals will become common sights. The animals of the eastern US are as varied as the landscape.
The restored coastline of the US has even brought much of the aquatic life back in force, keep an eye out for the great whites though! They came back when the food did.
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Vermont, home of the Green Mountains and popular ski slopes, is often known as a skiers’ destination. With an abundance of highly rated slopes, skiers from across the East Coast as well as other parts of the US flock to the slopes of mountains such as Stowe, Stratton, and Mt. Snow.
That being said, Vermont is home to much more than just winter sports. Those venturing to Vermont in months like September will love watching the leaves change color and how the foliage looks draped over the state’s mountains.
During the summer and late spring, Vermont is a great place for a hike too, and travelers looking for fun on the water can venture over to Lake Champlain.
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Skiers and boarders likely already know the name Stowe, Vermont. It is one of the US’s top ten skiing and boarding destinations, and there are more than a few reasons why.
With its ski resort located on Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest mountain, there is an abundance of terrain on the mountain to enjoy. However, the town of Stowe itself has a lot to offer travelers.
Travelers looking to spend some time in Stowe this winter will have more than a few things to consider. To help travelers out, here is a guide to small town Stowe, Vermont’s ultimate ski town.
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Home to the landing spot of the Pilgrims who first arrived at its shores in 1620, Massachusetts grew into one of the US’s most historically important states, being where Revolutionary War started, as well as historic architecture from that time that still lines the streets of Boston and much of the eastern half of the state.
From the coastline of Massachusetts, from Rockport down along the Cape to Province Town, travelers will find many stunning stretches of coastline. Travelers who prefer nature will love the western half of the state with excellent hiking and mountain biking in the Berkshires.
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Boston is not just one of the oldest cities in the country, but it is also one of the most walkable and one of the simplest to explore. The city is full of historical and cultural attractions, from the North End’s Italian heritage to Boston’s classic brick facades and New England charm. First-time visitors who are unsure of what to do in Boston will be delighted to learn that there is something to suit every type of traveler, including Red Sox games for sports fans, fresh oysters shucked at Boston’s best restaurants for foodies, Freedom Trail walking tours for history buffs, and vivid green spaces for relaxing in the summer.
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New York, The Empire State, not only is home to the largest city in the United States, but it is also home to an incredibly vast and resource-rich stretch of land that makes up the majority of the state.
New York City may be one of the main draws to the area, visiting New York really does like visiting the center of everything, however, there are plenty of destinations in Upstate New York too.
Attractions like the Catskills and Niagara Falls, and cities like Ithaca and Syracuse are also incredible destinations to visit.
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Upstate New York
Upstate New York is a stretch of heavily forested land with a mix of mountainous terrain and stunning waterways. The abundant natural resources of Upstate New York are why New York has the title of the Empire State.
With Iconic natural locations like the Catskills, the Finger Lakes, and a border shared with two of the great lakes, not to mention Niagara Falls right at the border of Buffalo and Toronto.
There are also the region’s major cities too, more than just NYC, New York has quiet and beautiful cities like Ithaca to visit or busy and happening cities like Buffalo or Syracuse with their active commitment to their sports and entertainment.
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Ithaca, New York, tucked into the Finger Lakes Region and home to renowned Cornell University, is a stunning location sitting aesthetically in stunning upstate New York. Travelers make their way to this city for a variety of reasons.
The city enjoys a pleasant climate, lovely architecture, and an abundance of stunning nature making Ithaca a must-visit destination.
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Syracuse New York sits in a rather central location in Upstate New York. Known as a university city, Syracuse is a fairly well-known city in many circles. With excellent college sports, the university has brought a lot of attention to the city, but that isn’t all that it has to offer travelers.
Those looking to visit Syracuse can look forward to an incredibly accessible city that is both easy to walk and drive through. Being a college town, travelers can expect a lot of value dining, and fun locations too.
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Buffalo, New York, is famous for its infamous winters, raucous table-breaking sports fans, buffalo wings, and as the USA’s gateway to Niagara Falls. This city also sits intimately close to two of the great lakes making the city an excellent starting point for exploring Upstate New York’s incredible environment.
The city itself is home to a great selection of local flavors, many influenced by what’s available locally, which is quite a bit in Buffalo, York.
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Saratoga Springs in Upstate New York is a playground for travelers of all kinds. Many travelers flock here each summer to enjoy the exciting events at the Saratoga Race Course where thoroughbred horses battle it out for the win.
But this charming city has so much more to offer with its manicured parks, historic sites, cultural museums, haunted past, and delicious fare at every turn. From summer concerts at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) to lakeside getaways with the family, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.
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While Albany is New York’s capital, it is always overlooked. The city is one of the most fascinating destinations, especially for history buffs, cultural enthusiasts, and lovers of arts.
Like the rest of New York, Albany’s atmosphere is vibrant and boasts an incredibly diverse population, with numerous beautiful cultural attractions to explore. Vacationers can visit its top-notch museums, impressive architectural jewels, and top-notch restaurants serving the best food.
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Rochester is an amazing travel destination to visit in Upstate New York, as there are plenty of sites to see and fun adventures to experience. The city is known for its world-class museums and art galleries, but it also boasts an incredible culture to explore.
There are numerous family-friendly attractions, a fantastic dining scene, fascinating food markets, beautiful music concerts, several dance shows, and seasonal festivals to catch. Travelers will have much to look forward to during a trip to Rochester, New York.
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New York City
New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice. New York City isn’t only the most populous city in the US, it is the most bustling and happening city in the US.
Home to incredible diversity, with people from all over the world, and towering skyscrapers, dominating the skyline, there is so much to discover here. Well-known destinations like TimesSquare and the Statue of Liberty always draw crowds, but that isn’t all the city has to offer.
Chefs from across the world come to New York to work, making the city a foodie’s dream as they can explore the city’s borrows for days discovering new wonders. The city is even home to the largest china town in the US, bringing excellent and authentic eastern flavors to the city too.
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Staten Island is the often-forgotten fifth borough of New York City and is something of a small town in a big city. There are roads leading to the island and plenty of ferries from Manhattan. Staten Island offers something of a contrast to the rest of the hustle and bustle of the big city. No ultimate guide to New York City could ever be fully complete without visiting the city’s fifth borough.
Staten Island lacks the high-profile attractions of the other boroughs (especially Manhattan), but it has its own set of things to see and do that make it worth visiting. It is an easy day trip from Manhattan by ferry and means that one can tick all the boroughs off the New York City bucket list.
The contrast between the concrete jungle of skyscrapers of Manhattan and the small-town feel of Staten Island couldn’t be greater.
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Long Island, New York, is that long stretch of land next to New York City that is well known as the idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Home to long aesthetic white beaches, sand dunes, and abundant luxury, many will travel here every year.
Visiting Long Island can be an escape into luxury, or more simply, an escape into its incredible nature and lovely vistas like that from Montauk Lighthouse. There are few better places to enjoy the Atlantic coastline than Long Island.
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Florida, once a Spanish colony, was the first in what would be the continental US. Today, Florida has become both the home to its incredible and unique wildlife with locations like the Everglades, and also the theme park capital of the US with Disney World, LEGOLAND, Universal, Busch Gardens, and many more waiting to be explored by travelers.
Further south, travelers will be able to find Miami, South Beach, and all the wonder that was to come with that. For a more quiet adventure, travelers may even want to stop by charming and historic St. Augustine. Whatever warm weather escape travelers are looking for, they will be able to find in Florida.
A world-famous destination, best known for its striking theme parks (including ones that attract grown adults), Orlando boasts several attractions, including Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, Epcot, Walt Disney World, and Universal Orlando.
These gorgeous amusement parks make Orlando one of the most visited cities and the World’s Theme Park Capital. Visitors are always spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do in the city, even outside of Disney.
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Miami conjures images of beautiful people in beautiful places, like the pools at the art deco hotels, on wide sandy beaches alongside a sparkling blue ocean, at the flashy nightclubs, and in the boutique shops along tony Lincoln Road. It’s a happening place, no doubt, and with so much to see and do, tourists have a lot of choices to make, even if they’re only planning a day trip from Key Largo to Miami.
Most attractions should be booked in advance, online, in any season, due to the constant arrival of tourists from around the world.
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St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States dating back to the Spanish founding of the city in 1565. Since then, the city was ceded to the United States, and it has become an iconic destination on Florida’s northeastern coastline.
To help the many Travelers visiting the city hoping to experience a bit of its iconic history and aesthetic classic beauty. St. Augustine represents a change of pace from the busy theme parks and busy cities that Florida is known for.
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Fort Myers may not be as popular as Florida’s larger cities like Miami, Orlando, or Tampa, but it still boasts a reputation for being a major tourist destination. In fact, according to the official Fort Myers city website, this city welcomes about five million visitors annually, which is no mean feat.
And, there’s a reason why five million people troop to Fort Myers each year: the weather, the beaches, the serenity, the nightlife, the perks go on and on. It’s also one of the cheapest places to visit in Florida.
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