The East Coast of the United States of America measures in at about 2,000 miles in length — and that’s just the amount of actual coastline along the country’s right-hand side. The beach as well as the area inland are ripe with interesting places to visit.
Of course, you already know this if you’re trying to plan a vacation along the East Coast. It can be difficult to narrow down your choices and eventually select your destination when there are so many big cities, historical sites, quaint towns and beautiful beaches to visit. An easy way to slash the list is to consider your budget, since many East Coast cities have a reputation for being expensive — New York City, we’re looking at you.
In order to make planning your next budget-friendly vacation easier, we’ve narrowed down the expanse of the East Coast down into a six-city list. These destinations combine the entertainment you seek with the wallet-friendly bottom line you need. Read through, find the spot that’s right for you and voila: you’re ready to book your next vacation.
1. Englewood, Florida
Englewood has all of the draws of the Sunshine State without the big price tag. If your vacation won’t be complete without a visit to the links, you can find plenty of well-maintained and challenging golf courses. And, of course, the area has plenty of white sand beaches for sunbathing and, when it gets to hot, you can take a dip in the bright blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Harwich, Massachusetts
A trip to Cape Cod is one of the most quintessentially American vacations to take. But, with that iconic of a trip often comes a pretty hefty price tag. You can beat the system, though, by planning your Cape Code trip to Harwich, MA, in the fall.
The town will still have all of that classic New England charm, but it won’t cost as much because it’s off-peak. There’s still plenty of outdoor fun to be had, too: you can hike, kayak and bike as you would in the summer. Plus, you can spend time in the Harwich adorable downtown area without the rush of summer tourism. You might just find you prefer the Cape when the leaves start changing colors.
3. Dover, Delaware
The First State doesn’t get as much attention as its East Coast neighbors, but Delaware has plenty to offer tourists. Staying in a hub like Dover can provide you easy access to all the state has to offer, including its lively coastline of beaches like Rehoboth, its casinos and all its historical sites.
Dover is also a great example of strategic accommodation along the East Coast. The city is situated conveniently between bigger tourist hubs like Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC. You can save money, stay in Dover and check out all of the major cities without paying major city hotel prices.
4. Williamsburg, Virginia
Here’s the perfect destination for all the history buffs out there. Williamsburg has a full-on historical village populated by re-enactors who show visitors just what colonial Virginia was like. It’s also near to Jamestown and Yorktown, both of which are pristine representations of what our country once was.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a more modern activity to do while you visit all the state’s historical highlights, you can check out Busch Gardens theme park or Water Country USA, a water park near to the start of American colonization.
5. Franklin, North Carolina
North Carolina has it all — at least, as far as outdoor pursuits are concerned. The Tar Heel State has a full coastline of beautiful beaches to the east and the ripple of the Appalachian Mountains on its west.
In Franklin, NC, you can rent an affordable cabin that lends you easy access to the latter. The mountain climate is especially nice in late summer and early autumn, when temperatures land somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees. You can head out for hikes, fishing and even swimming in waterfalls. The more people you share the cabin with, the more affordable the trip will be, too.
6. Memphis, TN
Memphis is a bit farther from the East Coast than some of the other cities right on the shoreline. But don’t let distance deter you from visiting the home of Blues, delicious barbecue and Elvis Presley.
In fact, for many, The King is the main draw of Memphis. His estate, Graceland, gives visitors an idea of how Elvis lived. He spent 20 years overhauling the home he bought in 1957, and now visitors can see it in its entirety, including the meditation garden where Mr. Presley is buried. There are plenty of other Elvis-centric sites to visit, too.
These are only six of the many destinations along the East Coast that you might consider for your next vacation. But they represent all this side of the country has to offer — and the fact that many trips don’t have to break the bank. Whether you found your dream locale on this list or have let our selections inspire you to do more research, you’re on the way to the perfect East Coast getaway.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.