Grand East USA Road Trip
Expect on your Grand East USA Road Trip Itinerary
Grand East USA Road Trip
Best months to drive Grand East USA Road Trip in East USAI II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII
Grand East USA Road Trip Itinerary
East USA Grand Tour will provide you with an excellent insight into the architecturally and culturally diverse eastern part of the USA. This part of the country holds many beautiful places to see, including the capital that is vibrant and studded with cultural and historical connotations. The excellent state of the Eastern USA roads will give you a pleasant vibe of a true American road trip during which you will cover as many as 24 diverse stages with plenty of things to see.
East USA Grand Tour starts in New York and takes you south to such cities as Cape May, Virginia Beach, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Charlotte. Afterwards, you head north travelling along routes that are situated more inland in comparison to the first stages of your road trip. Through Harrisonburg, Fredericksburg, Washington DC, Albany, Portland, and Providence, you return to the New York, where you can continue your American adventure to the New York City, a place that rarely sleeps and that will infect you with sophisticated vibe and culturally-diverse feel.
Your journey starts at the JFK or Newark Airport. It is precisely the place where you can collect your rental vehicle.
The East USA Grand Tour starts in New York where you will have an opportunity to rent a vehicle that will live up to your most demanding expectations. The first stage of your road trip will cover around 160 miles and the road will run parallel to the breathtaking coast. Through your car window, you admire the stunning strands full of golden sand as well as brilliant views on the still waters.
Along the way to Cape May, you can take an additional stopover in the smaller towns of Atlantic City and Ocean City that are both located on the scenic coast. For those who are into natural wonders, there is a possibility to visit the Wharton State Forest that will captivate you with unique beauty and a plethora of walking trails of varied difficulty. It is home to multiple animals and colourful butterflies. Cape May is situated on the shores of the beautiful Delaware Bay.
Cape May is at the same time a peninsula and an island that can be found at the southern end of New Jersey State. The island was man-made and will be an ideal choice for those who seek a special place for a holiday photo with a backdrop of the waves roaming against the promontories. Over the years, the place has developed into a summer resort that is valued both by native residents and foreigners. Want to catch some tan? Go to Cape May!
Leave the point where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and continue your road trip further south to Virginia Beach. You will reach the place by driving along US-13 road. Along the way, you can make a few additional stopovers in such places as Reboth Beach, Salisbury, or Chincoteague Island. Most of this stage will lead you along a very narrow promontory that will allow you to admire the beautiful coastal areas on both of your sides.
Virginia Beach is one of the more popular summer destinations for the dwellers of Virginia State. In the past, the place was a natural settlement for the historic indigenous people, the Chesepian. Today, the city offers a number of green areas that will be ideal for all motorists who would like to take a longer break from the road landscape. The most notable of such places is probably Mount Trashmore Park with plenty of shaded spots and peaceful zones.
After spending some time on admiring the beauty of Virginia Beach oceanfront, hop in your car to travel to the famous Jacksonville, located at a stone`s throw from the equally popular Wilmington. Along the way, you can make additional stopovers in smaller town such as Greenville or New Bern. Jacksonville will be also a great starting point for those motorists who would like to venture into the recesses of the Croatan National Forest.
This stage of your road trip will take you approximately 2 hours. However, feel free to make additional breaks to admire the beauty of North Carolina. Jacksonville is a great starting point for numerous road trips around the state. With plenty of interesting restaurants located in the city centre, you will have a unique opportunity to learn more on the topic of local cuisine as well. After some exploration around the city, jump in your car and hit the road again.
The final destination of this road trip lap is Wilmington. In order to reach it, take US-17 road. Along the way, there are two additional spots worth your attention. You can either drive to the coast to such places as Surf City or North Topsail Beach to catch some sun and feel the ocean breeze in your hair or find a peaceful trail to walk for the rest of the day in the Holly Shelter Game Land Park.
Wilmington is full of interesting highlights. While in the city, try visiting the Downtown with the popular Bellamy Mansion that draws many tourists annually. What is more, check out Cameron Art Museum, the Confederate Memorial, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, or Latimer House Museum. The diversity of tourist sites will surprise even the most experienced travellers. After a short break, continue your journey and leave the beautiful city of Wilmington behind.
From Wilmington, you travel for 75 miles by taking US-17 road to Myrtle Beach. You can also consider a short trip to the Green Swamp Preserve, an area that was designated a National Natural Landmark in the second half of the 20th century. Afterwards, buckle up to head for the finishing line of this lap. Along the way, you will have an opportunity to marvel at the oceanfront on your right-hand side.
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is an extremely popular tourist destination. A plethora of fanciful dining spots and a stunning beach are the quintessence of this city. It is an equally popular destination among the lovers of shopping with an array of shopping malls, outlets, and markets. For families with children, the greatest highlight of Myrtle Beach is probably the Family Kingdom Amusement Park with its famous centrepiece, the large ferries wheel.
Myrtle Beach will also be an ideal choice for those who would like to organise an additional trip to such places as Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge that sprawls parallel to the coastline. Leave the flair of Myrtle Beach behind and head for Charleston. During this 95-mile trip, you can venture into such places as the Francis Marion National Forest that offers beautiful glades, shaded areas, and the diverse coastal forest ecoregion.
This stage of your road trip entails almost 350 km of flat roads, exceptional views, and ever changing topography that can be admired through your car window. However, first spend some time in Charleston to take a stroll along the idyllic waterfront, eat a delicious local specialty in one of the restaurants, and admire the typical architecture of this city. Among the most intriguing edifices, you will find the French Protestant Huguenot Church and St Matthew German Evangelical Lutheran Church.
From Charleston, you will take the road heading north to the finishing line of this stage, namely Charlotte. This part of your road trip will take you through Summerville, Ridgeville, Orangeburg, and Rock Hill. You can also visit the nearby Lake Marion with its superb habitat and plenty of colourful picnic spots. Charlotte will be a great base to venture into the Uwharrie National Forest, a treat for those who value tranquillity at its best.
Even though Charlotte is pretty urbanised, with plenty of tall buildings and industrialised zones, it was still able to maintain many green areas that will be perfect to catch a breath before your next long stage spent on the road. Charlotte is also an intriguing place to visit for all the lovers of museums. To name only a few that you can visit here: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum, Discovery Place, and Carolinas Aviation Museum.
From Charlotte, you will hit the road to reach Harrisonburg, located at a distance of almost 300 miles away. If you are particularly interested in the less urbanised areas of the Eastern USA, you should definitely try the Cherokee National Forest and the Monongahela National Forest. These are rife with peaceful spots, long and densely forested trails, and beautiful examples of colourful and speckled butterflies.
During this stage, you will cover a distance of almost 200 km of smooth surfaces and stunning examples of diversified landscapes. Harrisonburg can be found in the scenic Shenandoah Valley. In the city, you will find a number of universities, fancy bars, and interesting edifices. The place holds a few events such as the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, which is a road-cycling event, or the Annual Harrisonburg International Festival.
Harrisonburg is a great starting point for a number of adventures into the Shenandoah National Park. It is a mountainous area offering a variety of diverse trekking and walking trails, a range of changing habitats, and stunning roads that are flat as a table. Its highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain. After a short stay in the national park, head for the finishing line of this stage, Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg will provide you with an intriguing insight into the past events vital to the development of Virginia State. In order to learn more about its history, direct your steps to the Fredericksburg Museum with a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Another notable highlight is the Fredericksburg City Hall, located at a stone`s throw away from Monroe Hall and St Geroge Episcopal Church.
You continue your road trip to Washington D.C., probably the most popular and easily recognised place on your road map. It can be reached by taking I-95 road north and is located at a distance of 54 miles away from Fredericksburg. Along the way, you can also take a breath of fresh air at the Prince William Forest Park. The capital of the United States of America will welcome you with stunning road infrastructure and plenty of thrilling things to pursue.
Iconic landmarks, gigantic museum spaces, and politically-important venues are everything that you can expect when driving into the beautiful capital. Forget yourself during a shopping spree at one of the grand shopping malls, dive into the art and culture in one of the museums or art galleries, and feel the vibe of a large metropolis in one of its clubs that just buzz with bliss and cultural diversity. This lively showcase of American culture, cuisine, and history will enthral even the most experienced travellers.
After a considerable period of time spent on sightseeing around the US capital, head for the ultimate destination of this lap, Harrisburg that is located further to the north. You can also take an additional break in the nearby Michaux State Forest that will be like a breath of fresh air for your lungs after the urbanised and often congested streets of Washington D. C. If this state forest is not enough, try the Tuscarora State Forest located further to the north.
When you reach Harrisburg, you will be surprised at the modern feel that will welcome you in this city. It is worth taking a longer stroll around its city centre to grasp a better understanding of its architectural merit and cultural significance. Interestingly, the place is literally studded with bridges that vary in design, length, and width.
From Harrisburg, you head north to reach the last destination of this lap, Poughkeepsie. Take I-78 and travel for around 228 miles to reach the city. Along the way, you will have an additional opportunity to visit the Harriman State Park and the Schunnemunk Mountain State Park, both are family-friendly places with plenty of interesting sightseeing paths and walking trails. Part of this stage, will run parallel to the scenic Hudson River.
This stage will take you along 127 km from Poughkeepsie to Albany. Poughkeepsie enjoys a beautiful location on the Hudson River. Right across it, you will also find the Franny Reese State Park that will cater to the needs of those who would like to flee the hustle and bustle of larger American cities. Nearby, you will also find Illinois Mountain Park which is characterised by hilly topography and diverse flora.
Main Mall Row in Poughkeepsie is a great spot to begin your adventure around the many examples of local architecture. It is one of the numerous Registered Historic Places in the city. In this city, you can also admire the Statue of Thomas Dongan, the Dongan Park, Mid-Hudson Children Museum, and Locust Grove, these are only a few of the numerous excellent places to visit in this scenic city. After a short break in Poughkeepsie, hop in your vehicle and hit the road again to travel north to Albany, the finishing line of this lap.
The beauty of Albany is visible in its culture, architecture, educational institutions, and a plethora of exciting landmarks to visit. In the very beginning, the area was settled by Dutch colonists who built here Fort Nassau, which mainly traded in fur. Today, the city is riddled with fancy restaurants, lively clubs, and great tourist attractions waiting to be explored.
The most interesting trait of this place is its diverse architecture, ranging from skyscrapers and trading centres to middle-class housing and beautiful municipal parks. For example, while walking around the seemingly ever green Lincoln Park, you will notice the Empire State Plaza towering over its outskirts. While in Albany, you should definitely see such places as Buckingham Lake Park, Albany Rural Cemetery, the New York State Capitol, and Albany City Hall. Afterwards, jump back into your vehicle and head for Franconia.
While travelling the distance from Albany to Franconia, you should definitely consider a stopover at the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. When it comes to the starting point of this stage, Franconia offers a more relaxed atmosphere in comparison to other cities that you will visit during this road trip. Among the few interesting highlights you will see here, there are the Frost Place, New England Ski Museum, Franconia Notch State Park, and Profile House.
From Franconia, you head for Bangor, located around 198 miles away. Along this stage, you will have plenty of opportunities for scenic stopovers. You can take a break in the White Mountain National Forest if you enjoy spending your time around Mother Nature. While driving to Bangor, you pass the beautiful and stately Mt Washington in the distance. Do not be fooled by the calm landscape surrounding the peak. It is a deadly summit where around 135 people lost their lives due to extremely strong winds.
Bangor is characterised by a pleasant humid continental climate that is very favourable for sightseeing. The city offers an interesting insight into local architecture with such notable places as the Thomas Hill Sandpipe, the Hammond Street Congregation Church, the US second oldest garden cemetery, and the William Arnold House. The city also enjoys a pretty idyllic location on the River Penobscot. After a short break in Bangor, you can return on State Road 9 and travel north to Whiting.
Whiting can be found at a distance of around 102 miles away. Along the route, you pass such small towns and villages like Aurora, Beddington, and Wesley. This lap will give you a pretty interesting insight into the topography of Maine. Whiting is located almost on the coastline so you will be at a stone`s throw away from a number of scenic strands that are worth exploring as well.
Whiting is a small settlement that will allow you to fully rest from the hustle and bustle of the larger US cities. It will be a perfect starting point for the exploration of the eastern coast with all the small coves and grey strands running along it. From Whiting, you can also reach the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refure, which will be an interesting highlight for families with children.
From Whiting, you begin your journey south. You will have to cover 75 miles by taking ME-182 and US-1 roads to reach Ellsworth. Along the way, you pass through such places as Machias, Jonesboro, and Cherryfield. You can also plan an additional stopover at the Lyle Frost Wildlife Management Area located further north from Ellsworth.
Ellsworth is a small city located near the Maine coastline. In the city centre, you will find plenty of restaurants serving excellent local cuisine and offering top-notch delicacies. While in Ellsworth, you have an opportunity to admire small-town architecture that is characteristic for the cities located in this part of the state. You can also take a stroll along the Union River before returning to your vehicle and continuing your journey to Portland.
The road signs will show you that Portland is located around 140 miles away from Ellsworth. It ranks among the most populous cities in Maine. Portland heavily depends on tourism; therefore, you have plenty of interesting highlights awaiting you there. While in the city, try visiting such places as Baxter Boulevard, Payson Park, the Portland Museum of Art, Maine Historical Society Museum, and Portland Head Light Lighthouse. The city is literally a treasure trove of attractions for a variety of tourists. There is no time for boredom here!
Portland is a true treasure trove of attractions. Take some time to explore all of its greatest highlights and attractions and then get back to your vehicle in order to experience some more of the eastern coast of the USA. From Portland, you travel around 55 miles to reach Portsmouth. Along the way, you can take additional stopovers at such places as Saco, Wells, and Ogunquit. Portsmouth will welcome you with peaceful city streets and an overall relaxing ambiance.
While in Portsmouth, it is worth visiting such places as the Historic North Church, the Strawbery Banke Museum as well as the Old Custom House and Office. After a short stroll around the peaceful streets of Portsmouth, you take I-95 road to get to Boston. Along the route, you can also take an additional break in the Harold Parker State Forest and the Willowdale State Forest for a breath of fresh air away from the urbanised areas.
Boston is one of the top-rated tourist destinations on the eastern coast of the USA. It is the capital city of Massachusetts and offers a superb insight into the American culture. What is more, it is also an ideal place to soak up the details about the very beginning of the US. You can start your journey around Boston from Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge crossing the Charles River and continue to such places as the Museum of Fine Arts, Symphony Hall, the Old State House, and Hanover Street.
Strolling around Boston streets is an excellent experience, is not it? However, it is time to hop in your car and continue your journey to Plymouth, the next destination of this road trip. The road signs will show you that you are only 40 miles away from the city. Plymouth is known as the America`s Hometown and is of great importance in American culture and history. The city was the host of a number of important events, such as the first Thanksgiving Feast. Today, you can find here such interesting places as the National Monument of the Forefathers or a faithful replica of the Mayflower. After a visit in Plymouth, continue your journey to the finishing line of this stage, Provincetown.
Provincetown can be found on the very tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is a smaller coastal resort that is full of fancy restaurants where you can soak up the small-town ambiance. One of the most popular venues to visit is Commercial Street. You can also check out the Provincetown Town Hall. After a short stay in Provincetown, head for your next destination which is Cape Cod.
While travelling around 35 miles south to Chatham, you will have the opportunity to admire the beauty of Cape Code. It is most known for interesting history, maritime character, and a plethora of top-notch strands that lure thousands of tourists on an annual basis. Along the way to the finishing line of this road stage, you can admire the beautiful coastline through your car window and take additional stopovers to return home with a holiday souvenir in the form of a commemorative photo.
Chatham is also located on the picturesque Cape Cod, however, on its southern tip. It was started as a fishing community and developed into a town that bases its industry on tourism. Among the most interesting places to visit here, you will find Atwood House, dating back to the second half of the 18th century, Caleb Nickerson House, Chatham Railroad Museum, and Marconi Maritime Museum.
After some time spent in the peaceful ambiance of Chatham, you head for Providence, one of the most popular cities of Rhode Island. Take I-195 road and then turn on US-6 road. Along the way, there will be plenty of opportunities to make additional stopovers, for example, in the Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area, SE Mass Bioreserve, and Freetown-Fall River State Forest. In order to reach Providence, you also pass the Taunton River and drive by the Mt Hope Bay.
The starting point of this stage, Providence, is the most populous city of Rhode Island. It is a true treasure trove of attractions for motorists who choose this place as a destination on their road map. It also ranks among the oldest cities in the whole US. Try visiting Waterplace Park to get a breath of fresh air after so many kilometres spent on the road. You can also try Downtown Providence with its Burnside Park. For interesting landmarks, you should consider Providence City Hall, Hope College, and Manning Hall to name a few.
Leave Providence behind to head for the smaller New Haven located at a distance of around 100 miles away. Again, part of your journey will lead you parallel to the coastline. You pass through such places as Westerly, New London, and Madison. For those who would like to take a break from the road trip, you can take a stopover at Big River Management Area or Pachaug State Forest with plenty of family-friendly shaded spots.
New Haven is one of the coastal cities of Connecticut situated on the northern shore of the beautiful Long Island Sound. It offers a unique insight into the beauty of local architecture and a plethora of interesting dining spots where you can learn more on the regional cuisine. While in the city, you should definitely consider a visit at the Museum of Natural History, Eli Whitney Museum, and the New Haven and Historical Society. Do not forget to try the popular white clam pizza served in the classic New-Have style.
You road trip will be slowly coming to an end. It will take you approximately 2 hours to reach the final destination - the New York City Airport. Hop in your car and drive for about 80 miles to reach the finishing line of East USA Grand Tour. If you opted for a car rental option, leave your vehicle at the airport. Do not worry! That does not have to be the ultimate point of your US adventure. In order to get to the centre of New York City, you should either take a taxi or take public transport to reach Penn Station in the central part of Manhattan.
When you reach the centre of New York City, you will be dazzled with the unique vibe of its city streets and the commotion made by thousands of people literally flooding its arteries. This gigantic metropolis is full of sophisticated restaurants, top-notch clubs, and excellent highlights that will astonish even the most demanding globetrotters. With famous places to visit at every corner, it is best to equip yourself with a thorough and well-prepared sightseeing plan. Even though most of the tourists come here to see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Buildings, and the extensive Central Park, New York City is full uncharted streets and undiscovered recesses.
Immerse yourself in the culture through a regional dinner at one of the fancy dining spots, visit the Metropolitan Art Museum to see more than two million masterpieces, and watch one of the latest shows on Broadway. Times Square, New York Public Library, and St Patrick Cathedral are only an ersatz of the abundance of superb tourist attractions and first-class entertainment venues that you can experience in New York City. After a day full of exciting events, beautiful architecture, and cultural shock, it is time to return to the New York City Airport again.
Grand East USA Road Trip Summary
The tour we’ve suggested can be used as a base that you can recreate in its entirety or only partially and that can be enriched with interesting beauty spots.
If travelling by car is your plan when moving around East USA, there are a number of essential road rules to follow and a number of elements to keep in mind to make your trip smooth. These tips will also become useful for drivers who are considering vehicle rental or camper rental in East USA.
There are a number of road regulations to be bore in mind while sightseeing around East USA. When moving around East USA in a car, try to stay away from spirits at any expense. In East USA, the allowed blood alcohol level is rather low and amounts to only 0.5‰. In order to avoid a speeding fine, it is best to never exceed 25mph, which is the maximum car speed inside the cities. In undeveloped areas, holidaymakers can travel at at speeds up to 45mph. On motorways, 80mph is the permissible speed that you should be mindful of. We recommend driving with your headlights on at daytime and equipping your car with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in order to stay safe.
How about the costs of the trip? Depending on the needs of the travellers, the money that you have to pay will differ. A wide range of budget configurations is presented below.
If you’d like to benefit from the cheapest offer to cover the planned 25 stages while travelling around East USA, it can cost roughly 550 GBP. Within the economy offer, accommodation will cost around 1,563 GBP. Tourists should also remember about the fact that they will spend more or less 1,279 GBP for restaurants and food in this option. If your aim is also the budget car rental option, you will pay around 888 GBP. Thus, the estimated travel expenses amount to roughly 3,391 GBP without vehicle rental and 4,279 GBP with vehicle rental.
Holidayers who are interested in greater comfort and the standard option will pay approximately 740 GBP for the gasoline needed to cover the road trip. If you are into standard accommodation options, expect that the expenses can amount up to around 2,344 GBP. The standard option in terms of food and restaurants may cost up to more or less 1,705 GBP. Travellers who want to cover the tour in a standard rental vehicle can expect a cost of more or less 1,065 GBP. Summing up the standard offer, the estimated cost of the road trip will total about 5,854 GBP for holidayers who would like to try car hire and 4,789 GBP for those who are not interested in renting.
Travellers who would like to take advantage of the highest level of comfort will be pleased with the premium offer. When it comes to this offer, the estimated cost of the road trip will total roughly 9,159 GBP for holidaymakers who are considering car rental and 4,789 GBP for those who will not be renting. Travellers who want to cover the tour in a premium rental car can expect a cost of roughly 1,776 GBP. When it comes to the premium configuration of the itinerary, you have to spend the maximum of 920 GBP to cover the planned mileage. Holidaymakers who would like to go for top services in all aspects of their itinerary should expect to pay approximately 2,557 GBP for restaurants and food and roughly 3,907 GBP for accommodation.
Our tour is also a perfect opportunity for all camper enthusiasts. If you choose this travel option, the costs will be up to more or less 5,327 GBP. Travellers will spend approximately 1,099 GBP on gasoline allowing to cover all stages of the itinerary. Tourists who opt for camper rental should expect to pay more or less 651 GBP for accommodation and about 1,279 GBP for expenses connected with food.
The section Road Trip Costs shows all the above-mentioned costs in detail.
The period between April and October is superb to visit the part of East USA mentioned in our road trip idea. There are countless thrilling journeys that we offer on our website if Grand East USA Road Trip has inspired you. We hope that the broad spectrum of options will surely meet the expectations of the most demanding holidayers.
- Road Trip Costs
- How much does it cost to go on a Grand East USA Road Trip in East USA?
Low budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
- rent & more 888 GBP
- drive & more 550 GBP
- sleep & more 1,563 GBP
- eat & more 1,279 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) 3,391 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 4,279 GBP
Mid budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
- rent & more 1,065 GBP
- drive & more 740 GBP
- sleep & more 2,344 GBP
- eat & more 1,705 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) 4,789 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 5,854 GBP
High budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
- rent & more 1,776 GBP
- drive & more 920 GBP
- sleep & more 3,907 GBP
- eat & more 2,557 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) 7,383 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 9,159 GBP
On the road in RV, overnight at camp grounds with self cooking. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
- rent & more 5,327 GBP
- drive & more 1,099 GBP
- sleep & more 651 GBP
- eat & more 1,279 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) 3,029 GBP
- Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 8,356 GBP