We've spent the past summer partnering with Holiday Inn to find the most epic road trip. To decide on the final route, we had travelers show us their favorite places to visit.
Your road trip around the Northeast will take you through big cities and scenic state parks, to ice cream factories, along endless beaches, and even to a witch museum. The Northeast and New England region of America is resplendent with pre-Revolutionary War sites and coastal enclaves just begging to be explored. According to travelers, these are the can't-miss road trips spots in the Northeast!
The Northeast is home to New York City, the country's biggest metro area. Naturally, there are loads of things to see and do in the Big Apple (The Statue of Liberty! Times Square! The Brooklyn Bridge!), but if you only do one thing, make it a trip to the top of the Empire State Building. It's very tall, and the view from the top lets you see all of those famous icons. Plus, it's the best way to really get a sense of just how massive New York City is!
Next, head to New Jersey to test your luck in Atlantic City! This town is known for its casinos and wild nightlife, but while you're waiting for the sun to set here, take a stroll along the Atlantic City Boardwalk. One of the country's first boardwalks, it's lined with old-school attractions, museums, rides, and, of course, resorts and casinos. Grab some saltwater taffy, explore the boardwalk, dip your toes in the ocean, and enjoy the people-watching!
After that, head into Philadelphia for a major dose of awesome history. Independence Hall is the exact spot where America was born. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were laid out and signed here in this old building. It's free to visit, and the docents are incredibly informative, so there's no excuse to not stop by and brush up on your U.S. History, and gain a new appreciation for just how awesome this country is!
The Amish Farm & House
Another cool thing about America is that it really is a melting pot of cultures... including some really small, unique ones. The Amish are a distinctly American religious order that live a very strict life without many modern-day conveniences, such as electricity. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is home to a large community of Amish, and the Amish Farm & House is a great place to start a tour of Amish Country. The historic home is a visitor center for the city of Lancaster, and features tons of info and guided tours.
Upstate New York is a place of incredible natural beauty, with lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and forests. Taughannock Falls State Park is a great place to immerse yourself in the surroundings. Miles of trails, lakeshore beaches for swimming, fishing, and cabins make this a perfect retreat... but the highlight of the park is Taughannock Falls itself. One of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, it's only made more beautiful by the cliffs and forests that surround it.
Watkins Glen State Park is another gem in upstate New York. The rugged gorge hides stone bridges, waterfalls, and lush greenery. Come fall, the changing leaves add to the magical feeling here. Keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife along the trails, and get ready to take on a bunch of stairs that go into the gorge.
Niagara Falls was one of the first really popular tourist attractions in the country, and it remains a bucket-list item for many to this day. The falls truly are magnificent, and the sheer size and power must be seen to be understood. Get as close to the action as you can with a ride on the Maid of the Mist, a boat that takes you right inside the dense mist spray of Horseshoe Falls. You'll definitely get wet... but you'll also get as close to the roaring wall of water as possible!
Not surprisingly, the wealthy of the nineteenth century were attracted to the peaceful beauty of upstate New York. Many opulent, historic homes, such as the luxurious Boldt Castle, can be found here. The story behind Boldt is incredibly sad and touching, and the mansion itself is utterly gorgeous.
Ben & Jerry's Factory
Stretch your legs and treat yourself to something sweet on a tour at the Ben & Jerry's Factory! The legendary ice-cream makers are known for their quirky flavors, so a tour of their operation is guaranteed to be entertaining. See how they make their delicious ice cream taste so good, tour the flavor graveyard, and enjoy a scoop of something wacky and tasty!
The natural beauty doesn't stop in upstate New York: New Hampshire is pretty breathtaking as well. Franconia Notch State Park is home to an epic hike known as Flume Gorge, which winds its way through a secluded gorge filled with waterfalls and mossy plants. When you're done exploring the gorge, you can get a view of New Hampshire from the park's Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway!
The Northeast might seem like it's mostly filled with cities, but it's home to one of the country's most beautiful national parks as well: Acadia. The wild Maine coast was a popular vacation spot for the Gilded Age wealthy, and the park preserves the mountains, forests, and coastline where they summered. Hike Cadillac Mountain, enjoy popovers after strolling around Jordan Pond, eat lobster and blueberry pancakes in Bar Harbor, take pictures of the lighthouses, and swim at Sand Beach!
Massachusetts has some great beaches as well. Crane Beach is the perfect place to relax: The flat, sandy shoreline and calm waves make for a serene experience. It's a nature preserve, so it's a lot less developed (and less crowded) than other beaches. Castle Hill Estate nearby is worth checking out, and if you can, grab a meal at the Clam Box!
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
You can't tour the Northeast without stopping by Boston! Faneuil Hall is one of the most popular attractions in Beantown. It's been around since the 1700s, back when Massachusetts was a British colony! Even today, you can find tons of good eats and cool little shops inside. It's a nice place to grab some souvenirs and sample some classic Boston delicacies.
Salem Witch Museum
Go even further back in history in the little village of Salem! Most famous for being the location of a notorious witch panic in the 1600s, Salem still has some spooky vibes even today. The Salem Witch Museum tells the story of the Witch Trials and teaches visitors about witches today through life-sized dioramas. It's a little kitschy, but it's totally classic.
After you leave Massachusetts, head into Rhode Island to visit Newport's Cliff Walk. The 3.5-mile trail takes you past nearly a dozen Gilded Age mansions, each more stunning than the last. By far, the most famous Cliff Walk mansion is The Breakers. The Italian Renaissance-style home was built for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Its Italian marble and French decor was meant to imitate the lavish homes of historically wealthy European families. With 70 rooms, it was the largest and most opulent of all of the Newport mansions. Tour it, or one of the other old homes, as you stroll along the trail!
You could spend weeks exploring each Northeast state and still not see everything the region has to offer... so take your time exploring, and enjoy the ride!
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