If you’re visiting the north-east of the United States you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of things to see, do and experience. Each state offers unique opportunities, from betting online on NFL in Pennsylvania to eating seafood in Maine, so you could probably live all of your life in the region and never exhaust what is on offer. And while most vacationers will head straight for obvious attractions like New York City, Washington DC or Niagara Falls, there’s much more to the North-East than these justly famous hotspots.
If you’re passing through Pennsylvania you’ll want to head for Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love is hard to beat for culture, history, and entertainment. The big tourist draw remains the Independence National Historical Park, home of the Liberty Bell. This was where the declaration of independence was signed and the constitution was drafted, and the park is home to many historic buildings and museums.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the biggest in the world, and film fans delight in recreating the iconic scene from Rocky on the museum’s steps. There are also many other museums, and the home of Edgar Allen Poe is preserved for visitors. With a thriving art and music scene, world-renowned sports teams and justly famous local cuisine, it’s going to be hard to tear yourself away from Philly on your trip.
Newport, Rhode Island
This old colonial port town is the very picture of faded glamor, with many historic mansions and lavish estates that once belonged to families like the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and the Morgans. Many of them are now open to the public, and you can also take the Cliff Walk with many of the most iconic mansions on one side and the majestic Atlantic Ocean on the other. History buffs can visit many sites of great importance in the American Revolution, while movie enthusiasts will recognize more than a few familiar locations as well. Also recommended is the night-time ghost tour that takes in spooky cemeteries and abandoned mansions.
Between the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River sits Old Saybrook, one of the oldest and most historic towns in the US. Connecticut was one of the first colonies to be settled, and Main Street, Old Saybrook is over 375 years old. The town was also once home to Hollywood legend Katherine Hepburn, and the Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center in the town is named in her honor.
Old Saybrook is just 110 miles from New York City on I-95 and can also be reached by train. Stay at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa complex, comprising the Main Inn and a selection of unique cottages and outbuildings, all with their distinct character. Then eat at one of the many organic or fresh fish and seafood restaurants for which the area is also renowned.
Situated in the Hudson River Valley, this old industrial town is now a popular getaway for New Yorkers in search of relaxation amidst the beauty of nature. Main Street is lined with independent art galleries, small restaurants, and organic cafes, and you can stay at the Roundhouse in Beacon, an old factory transformed into industrial-chic suites. But the town’s main appeal is its beautiful natural setting, close to the Beacon Mountain Trailhead for hikers to set off into the picturesque hills.
This is another recently popular location for New York City residents eager to escape the hustle and bustle while still enjoying the culture they’ve become accustomed to. An award-winning Riesling wine and cheese trail takes you around these eleven lakes in central New York State, sampling fresh local farm produce at any number of independent and family-owned restaurants.
These suggestions, of course, merely scratch the surface of what the North-Eastern US has to offer. One could easily add the Gettysburg National Park, site of the famous Civil War battle, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh that honors one of the city’s most famous sons, or the Nantucket Vineyard on Nantucket Island, among many others.
Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, history, and culture, un-spoilt beaches, pure entertainment or lively nightlife, the north-eastern US has it all. Perhaps the best way to appreciate its wonders is a road trip in late summer or early fall, taking you from the Atlantic States up to New England and the Canadian Border. Just be sure to give the area as much time as you can, and be prepared to return soon.