Are you looking for the best weekend getaways on the east coast? You’re in luck because we’ve handpicked 34 of the best places for weekend getaways on the east coast.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re going alone or you’re planning a short trip with a friend or loved one. The east coast has a plethora of activities to keep you busy the whole weekend.
Numerous beaches are among the best weekend destinations, ranging from romantic beaches on Cape Cod to the thrill and amusements of Ocean City.
Nature enthusiasts may discover coastal marvels in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Or they can go north to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to explore the region’s mountains.
There is something to see and do wherever they go for history buffs, including the nation’s first European colonies in Saint Augustine and maritime history at Mystic Seaport.
Every kind of visitor may find something to their liking on the East Coast. There are activities for an introverted solo traveller, a couple in search of a romantic weekend, a family in search of kid-friendly activities, or a group of friends seeking to create new memories.
List of 34 Ideal Spots For Weekend Getaways In East Coast
The East Coast is loaded with stunning scenery, fresh local foods and great places to enjoy nature. Whether you prefer relaxing by the water or hiking some amazing trails.
This list of 34 ideal spots for weekend getaways on the East Coast will have something for everyone.
1. Tybee Island
Tybee Island is a small barrier island located only 20 minutes outside of historic Savannah, Georgia. It has 5 miles of beautiful Atlantic coastline and pristine beaches that are perfect for surfing and sunbathing. In addition, it is home to the Tybee Island Surf School.
The south-end pier and pavilion is a prominent location that is ideal for taking in the beautiful sceneries, fishing, and listening to the funky sounds of local bands. It is renowned for its rich history and includes attractions such as Tybee Island Lighthouse, the nation’s oldest lighthouse.
Constructed in 1736, the lighthouse offers a magnificent view of the surrounding region from the top of the lighthouse’s tower. Fort Pulaski, a well-known Civil War battleground, Fort Screven, the Marine Science Center, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse Museum are all popular tourist sites on the island.
If you’re looking for a complete change of scenery, imagine hammocks stretched over turquoise seas, subterranean caverns, and a laid-back island atmosphere. There’s nothing quite like a vacation to Bermuda. And, due to regular flights from New York and Boston that take two and a half hours, escaping to the islands is more than easy.
Bermuda’s expanse of pink sand is one-of-a-kind, so hire a scooter or take a cab to some of the island’s most popular beaches. Some of the most popular include Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay Beach, and Tobacco Bay Beach.
You may continue your exploration of the island once you’ve got your fill of beach activities. There are several spectacular subterranean caves in Bermuda, including Crystal and Fantasy Caves Blue Hole Park, where walking paths cross coastal cliffs, caverns, and lagoons.
In addition, tourists who like being active may explore the island’s coastline by kayaking along the 18-mile Bermuda Railway Trail, which can be walked, jogged, or biked.
3. Old Wethersfield, Connecticut
A visit to Historic Wethersfield, Connecticut, may seem like stepping back in time, especially if you are dressed appropriately. Everything you see in this historic area demonstrates the district’s dedication to preserving history, from the village farms to brick-paver walkways to old trees and 18th-century buildings.
The cove is a great place to launch your boat and explore the Connecticut River, or you may take a stroll around the village’s beautiful gardens alone or with your spouse. There is no better way to experience the timeless beauty of New England than by boat!
4. St. Michaels, Maryland
St. Michaels, Maryland, is a sleepy seaside town on the Chesapeake Bay that’s just a short drive from Washington, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The St. Michaels Museum offers a 90-minute Frederic Douglass walking tour, where you can learn more about the iconic slave turned abolitionist.
After that, wander the town’s quaint side streets, where you’ll find a selection of carefully edited antique shops. One popular shop is Guilford & Company, which specializes in estate jewellery from Boucheron to Bulgari.
Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar is packed with residents at night, who come for the wine as much as they do for the oak-fired prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic pizza.
5. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Since the Kennedy years, the Vineyard has been a preppy-chic hideaway off the coast of Cape Cod (the old family compound was sold a few years ago). To see and experience all that Cape Cod has to offer, get on a Fuji carbon bike, which can be rented for the day at Edgartown Bicycles.
It will be necessary for you to relax after the trip; thus, visit Lucy Vincent Beach, which has a crystal-blue sea, powdery sand, and towering cliffs. L’etoile is a must-visit for dinner, and it’s known for its delectable desserts, such as the Toasted Coconut Rum Creme Brûlée.
6. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Whoever is seeking a weekend filled with glitter and glamour won’t be disappointed in the “Las Vegas of the east.” Recently, Atlantic City has undergone renovation plans to serve a higher-end clientele better. However, the city’s vast beaches, famous boardwalk, and casinos have attracted tourists to the area.
Philadelphia visitors can reach there in an hour and a half by using N.J. Transit. On the other hand, New Yorkers may get there in three hours by taking Amtrak and N.J. Transit. There are even shorter driving distances between the two cities. In addition, the Atlantic City International Airport is available for anyone travelling from a distance.
Visitors may spend the day gaming at the Borgata Hard Rock before taking advantage of the tax-free shopping opportunities. You may also visit the city’s famous beach, which is a great alternative if gaming isn’t really your thing. After a day of sunbathing, surfing, kayaking, or windsurfing, take a stroll down the boardwalk that runs beside the beach.
7. Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, located in the southeastern part of the state of Virginia, is a seaside community that welcomes tourists with Southern hospitality in a laid-back environment. In terms of attractions, it has a wide range of options, ranging from outdoor adventures to culinary pleasures and everything in between.
This is a naturalist’s ideal location with hundreds of acres of parks to explore, lush nature paths, bay waterways, and beautiful shorelines. With their Oyster Tours, visitors may walk on water while climbing through the trees at the Adventure Park’s Treetop Adventures.
Throughout the city, visitors may find a variety of museums, restaurants, seaside breweries, and unique boutique stores. The Town Center, the ViBe Creative District, and the Virginia Aquarium are all worthwhile stops on your itinerary.
8. Burlington, Vermont
Consider taking a weekend vacation to northern Vermont if you need to get away from the heat of the city. The city of Burlington is a little over three hours by car from Boston. However, it offers direct flights to Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. that take one and a half hours.
The city is bike-friendly, and the Lake Champlain Bikeway surrounds the whole lake, providing a convenient way to get about. Visit the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour and indulge in abundant amounts of ice cream once you’ve worked up an appetite.
In the winter, you may visit the neighbouring ski slopes of Smugglers’ Notch Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort. Each of them is less than an hour’s drive from your Burlington home base).
Chincoteague Island is a tiny barrier island off the coast of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It is most known for its gorgeous wild ponies. The Island’s wild and undeveloped beach is a portion of the beautiful 14,000-acre Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
It is an untouched sanctuary that protects the island and preserves its natural beauty as it was when Native Americans came here to harvest oysters thousands of years ago. There are no tourist traps here, and the tiny town of Chincoteague is lovely and relaxing.
You’ll find quaint shops and fascinating attractions. Some good examples include the Chincoteague Pony Center and the Museum of Chincoteague Island.
10. Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is well-known as Bush territory, but there’s a lot more to this charming Maine town than meets the eye. There are plenty of chic stores offering beachy home décor and antiques, as well as artisanal businesses along the streets.
In addition, the rocky coastline is peppered with picture-perfect lighthouses.
A kayak trip of the Mousam River Estuary with Coastal Maine Kayak and Bike is a great way to see wildlife. In addition, you can try your hand at lobstering from a 65-foot boat with Kylie’s Chance Scenic Lobster Tour.
Sample the meals at Earth, where James Beard Award-winning chef Ken Oringer cooks with mainly local, just-picked ingredients. The Birch Glazed Short Ribs with Pickled Chanterelles alone is worth the journey.
11. Montauk, New York
In many ways, Long Island seems like the end of the line in terms of distance from New York City. This is perhaps why residents like artists Paul Simon and Julian Schnabel enjoy it so much. You’ll find surfers catching waves at Ditch Plains beach. Here, a great food truck arrives early in the morning to offer strong coffee and buttery egg burritos.
Purchase a $ 40-day ticket and cool down in the ocean-fed saltwater pool at Gurney’s. Later you can head to 668 The Gig Shack for an alfresco shrimp skewer meal and live music on the patio. Not quite ready to retire for the night? The Surf Lodge’s terrace is the perfect place to enjoy another round of drinks.
12. Outer Banks, North Carolina
This 200-mile series of barrier islands, which was once the home of Blackbeard, the infamous English pirate, is now a popular destination for modern-day buccaneers seeking refuge. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is the longest accessible stretch of protected coastline on the East Coast, stretching for 70 miles.
Climb to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for a bird’s-eye view of the coastline. Even in the off-season, the lineups at Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head are lengthy, but the fried oysters with jalapeño remoulade are well worth the wait.
Another good option is the Avenue Waterfront Grille in Manteo, which has a beautiful view of Shallowbag Bay. Almost everything here, from the ranch dressing to the sliders, is produced in-house.
13. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a hidden treasure on the coast of Massachusetts, and it is one of the most beautiful locations to visit in New England. You can thank its peaceful environment and abundance of luxurious vacation houses.
The stretches of beaches here are ideal for spending hours walking around alone or with a special someone in your life. To top it all off, there are many excellent seafood restaurants, golf courses, lighthouses, and retail districts to discover.
It is also the location of an 80’s noir classic, which will appeal to mystery thriller lovers. It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful locations on the East Coast for a weekend getaway.
14. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is located along South Carolina’s Grand Strand. It is a lovely location for weekend getaways on the East Coast with many family-friendly activities. Amazing golf courses, interesting museums, beautiful campsites, beachfront restaurants, and exceptional fishing are just a few of the attractions in this city that has something for everyone.
Among the many amazing activities on offer are more than 50 mini-golf courses, numerous amusement parks, and the famous SkyWheel, which stands 200 feet tall.
Blackbeard’s Pirate Cruise and The Big M Casino are two waterfront attractions. They cater to people of all ages, from little children with swords to older adults who like gambling.
Brookgreen Gardens, Go Ape Treetop Adventure, and the Myrtle Beach Safari are among the attractions that should not be missed.
15. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
A romantic weekend getaway at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland is the perfect itinerary for couples who like spending time in the great outdoors. Hiking, biking, skiing, and other activities are available in this four-season location.
Water conditions on the lake are ideal for boating and paddleboarding throughout the spring and summer months.
Hiking in the area’s many state parks is delightful in the fall when the lower temperatures turn the landscape a beautiful shade of ruby red and orange. Winter sports lovers will be at ease at Deep Creek Lake, which has a variety of facilities.
The Christmas season brings with it sheets of white snow, which makes for some of the finest skiing conditions in the state throughout the winter months.
16. Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is a beautiful island with 12 miles of virgin beaches that attract visitors from all over the world. A leisure haven, there are tons of activities including
Visitors may explore and experience the Lowcountry on a deeper level through Signature Experiences. History and culture, cuisine and mixology, nature, and animals are all options.
17. Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is a lovely historic town on the east coast with a world-class beach that is suitable for weekend getaways. This is a laid-back city that welcomes guests with a welcoming vibe. It has shaded tree-lined lanes dotted with vibrantly coloured beachfront cottages, artsy boutiques, dynamic galleries, and funky restaurants serving up delectable cuisine, among other attractions.
Families with children will enjoy activities such as jumping on a Bike to Go and cruising about town, playing games at the Beach Arcade, and stopping at the old-fashioned Candy Kitchen, among others.
Attractions such as the Bethany Beach Nature Center and Delaware Seashore State Park will appeal to those who like the outdoors. It is also worth paying a visit to Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park, Funland, and Crab Claw Adventures.
18. Block Island
Block Island, located just off the coast of Rhode Island, provides tourists with a classic New England experience. It is complete with attractions such as beachfront mansions, historic lighthouses, and 17 miles of some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
In between savouring lobster rolls and clam chowder, tourists may take in the spectacular views of the Atlantic from the towering cliffs that rise majestically above the shoreline. From the mainland, guests may get to the island by taking a short boat trip.
You can explore Block Island’s pristine white sand beaches easily with the use of mopeds. Block Island is also home to many shops, making it the ideal place to spend an afternoon window shopping.
19. Florida’s Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine, founded in 1565 by Spanish immigrants, was believed by explorer Ponce de Leon to be the location of the Fountain of Youth. You’ll find early Spanish Colonial military structures and a number of historic marine attractions such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum in the city.
The Castillo de San Marcos, a virtually indestructible fort constructed in the late 16th century, is one of the most frequented attractions; Fort Matanzas is a smaller but admission-free historic military monument in the vicinity.
The Spanish Military Hospital Museum and Colonial Quarter Living History Museum provide interesting glimpses into late 18th-century medical and everyday life.
Annapolis, fondly regarded as “America’s Sailing Capital,” is the location of the illustrious United States Naval Academy (USNA). Naptown, as people often call the city, has a long successful maritime heritage.
It is the perfect location for people who love water sports since it offers access to the Chesapeake Bay and a plethora of streams, rivers, and inland bays to explore. Sporting activities like canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding and motor boating are all popular.
In addition to its beautiful streets and ancient inns, downtown Annapolis is also renowned for its food, shopping, and vibrant cultural scene.
21. Tuckerton Seaport, New Jersey
If you are looking for a weekend trip, this is one of the great spots to visit. Tuckerton Seaport is located in Tuckerton, New Jersey and it is a maritime museum with a collection of artefacts that are more than 300 years old. It has become the only seaport on our East Coast. The museum at Tuckerton Seaport celebrates its history through exhibits, education programs and activities that help people learn about maritime heritage and how it shaped our nation’s past, present and future.
- The world’s oldest surviving commercial sailing vessel: The Andrew Johnson (built-in 1773)
- A re-creation of an 18th-century trading ship from Maine
- An authentic replica of an 18th-century whaling ship from Nantucket Island
22. Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts
Cuttyhunk Island is a small island off the coast of Massachusetts, accessible by ferry from New Bedford. The 20-minute trip over to Cuttyhunk will take you through Vineyard Sound and give you a view of Buzzards Bay and Cuttyhunk Light. Once on the island, there are a few restaurants (including The Galley) and shops where you can pick up souvenirs or grab lunch while exploring the town.
There are also plenty of opportunities to get in some swimming: there’s no better way to cool down than taking a dip in one of their many pools.
23. Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island is the most popular summer destination for the rich and famous. It’s home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Newport Mansions, which are some of America’s most beautiful homes. The city also hosts several events each year, including the Newport Jazz Festival in July and August, as well as many other arts festivals throughout the year. In addition to all this culture, Newport has a long history of equestrian sports that runs through its veins; during certain times of the year, it’s possible to visit polo tournaments or horse shows at one of many area farms.
24. Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine is a great place to visit any time of year. The city is known for its food scene, craft beer and coffee culture. Portland also hosts a number of popular winter events that make it an ideal weekend getaway in the colder months when you’re longing for sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Portland has tons of restaurants that are both locally owned and nationally recognized (including James Beard Award winners). You’ll find everything from classic New England seafood shacks to farm-to-table dining experiences at top restaurants like Fore Street or Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House. If you’re looking for something more casual, try one of the many lobster rolls available throughout the city!
25. Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is a ski resort town in Vermont and has been for decades. It offers world-class skiing, hiking, biking and summer sports as well. You can stay in one of the many hotels or vacation rental homes available from Stowe Rentals or you can try something different like a luxury campervan rental from RVshare!
Stowe offers shopping at its historic covered bridge and plenty to eat at all price ranges with options ranging from fast food to high-end dining.
26. Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is a city in the province of Quebec, Canada. It’s a gorgeous destination that has plenty to offer travellers who want to get away from it all. If you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway with your partner or just some time alone, Quebec City will not disappoint!
Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec. It’s located in the Capitale-Nationale region of Quebec and has been home to many notable historical figures over its 400+ year history.
If you want to spend some time exploring this historic city by foot (or bicycle), there are plenty of places that make for great day trips within walking distance from downtown Quebec City.
27. Burlington, Vermont
Vermont is a great place to visit in the winter, but it’s also beautiful in the summer. It’s got a lot of good food and nightlife, too.
If you’re looking for a cute little town with lots of charm and opportunities for fun activities, Burlington is the perfect place for you!
28. Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Long Beach Island is a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey. It’s a popular summer destination for people who want to spend their time on the beach and enjoy activities like surfing, swimming and jet skiing. But it’s also worth visiting in winter when you can go ice fishing or cross-country skiing.
In springtime, Long Beach Island offers horseback riding tours through its dunes where you’ll see wildflowers that only bloom during that season. The island is also home to many historic sites like Loveladies Harbor Lighthouse which was built in 1872 as part of America’s first light station designed specifically for lighthouses along our East Coast shores; Absecon Lighthouse Museum with exhibits depicting its history starting from 1857 until today.
29. Cape May, New Jersey
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that’s close to home, but far enough away from it all to feel like an escape, then Cape May should be your first choice.
30. Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Nantucket Island is a popular tourist destination perfect for weekend getaways. Located in Massachusetts, this beautiful island has been attracting visitors since the 1800s. It’s not hard to see why: Nantucket’s stunning beaches and natural beauty make it an ideal spot for enjoying the beach during the summer.
If you’re looking for some great places on Nantucket Island to visit this summer or any time of year), check out these recommendations:
The Maria Mitchell Association, home of the world-famous Maria Mitchell Observatory. The first professional observatory built by women was founded by astronomer Maria Mitchell
The Brant Point Light House Museum, where you can learn all about America’s oldest continually staffed lighthouse and explore its history
Madaket Beach and Straight Wharf, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of both ocean and harbour
31. Cooperstown and the Otsego Lake region, New York
Cooperstown and the Otsego Lake region of New York is home to a number of quaint bed-and-breakfasts, and it’s also the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which is sure to be a big hit with baseball fans.
For those looking for an adventure away from Cooperstown or who just want to get out into nature, I recommend taking a trip to Windham Mountain near Windham, New York. There are plenty of hiking trails and other outdoor activities available there.
32. Martha’s Vineyard Island, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard is a great place for a weekend getaway that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for family vacations, romantic getaways or solo trips, there are many things to do in Martha’s Vineyard.
Additionally, if you’re planning on tying the knot there are plenty of options from destination weddings to honeymoons and girls’ weekends.
33. Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut
The Mystic Seaport Museum is the largest maritime museum in the United States and it’s located in Mystic, Connecticut, a small town on the Connecticut coast. The museum is a collection of historic buildings and vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, a whaling ship.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It’s a 70,000-acre park preserving the Delaware River as it flows through a gap in the Appalachian Mountains.
34. Waterside Walkway in Belfast, Maine
The Waterfront Walkway in Belfast, Maine is a 1.5-mile path that runs along the Penobscot River and is accessible to bicyclists, walkers and skaters.
It’s also a great place to watch the sunset and if you happen to be there at sunset on Tuesday night in July, you’ll get an extra special treat when fireworks light up the sky over Long Island Sound.
From the historic sites of Newport and New York City to the magnificent beaches of Cape May, there’s a little something for everyone on this list. The best part? You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money to enjoy these destinations.