Big Cities, Open Spaces: This is the Best of East Coast USA

by | 5 Jul 2024

Ready for an unforgettable adventure on the East Coast USA? Rocky shorelines, bustling cities and stunning landscapes are waiting to be discovered. On the Best of East Coast USA tour, we’ll wander through Acadia National Park in Maine, journey through Boston’s historic Freedom Trail, experience the iconic sights of New York City, and dive into the political heart of Washington D.C. From rich history, unique culture, and natural beauty, these are the top highlights of an unforgettable 9-day guided tour of the East Coast USA: the perfect adventure to get a taste of the Eastern Seaboard.

 

Acadia National Park

Renowned for its rugged coastline and nautical charm, Acadia National Park is an incredible 47,000 acre wilderness along Maine’s Atlantic coast. Primarily located on Mount Desert Island, the park’s diverse landscape includes woodlands, rocky beaches, and granite peaks shaped by glaciers. It’s often called the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast”. That makes its star attraction, Cadillac Mountain – the highest point on the U.S. East Coast – its shiniest stone. The peak got its name from the French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac in 1918. The whole area is a tranquil home to a variety of wildlife, such as moose, bears, whales, and seabirds.

 

a close up shot of a brown bear’s face, with shaggy brown fur
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Acadia National Park has had three names: Sieur de Monts National Monument, then Lafayette National Park, and finally it was named Acadia in January 1929.

September – November is the ideal time to visit Acadia National Park, as the East Coast USA’s diverse tree species transform into a stunning display of autumnal colors. Cooler temperatures and fewer crowds make exploring the park even more enjoyable. Don’t miss the chance to see the vibrant fall foliage from Cadillac Mountain and other scenic viewpoints. Save even more with our extra September savings deal.

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On the Best of East Coast USA tour, you can choose to ascend Cadillac Mountain for breathtaking vistas, or join your Travel Director for a guided hike to iconic sites like Thunder Hole. Enjoy free time in Bar Harbor, perfect for a leisurely ice cream or souvenir shopping. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Bar Harbor Historical Society to meet a local storyteller from the Wabanaki Native American confederation. Here, we’ll enjoy traditional music and dive into the world of Indigenous oral traditions through an insightful presentation, learning about the Wabanaki people’s homeland from this family-operated and woman-owned business.

Coastal New England and Boston

Travel along Maine’s rocky shoreline to the charming town of Kennebunkport, a renowned New England resort where we’ll check out quaint boutiques and local craft shops, offering unique art and handmade jewelry. Then, to Boston, ‘the Cradle of Liberty’.

Welcome to America’s first city, birthplace of the American Revolution. Explore it in style with your Travel Director, taking the famous red-brick Freedom Trail, visiting significant sites like the Old State House, Bunker Hill Monument, and the meeting house where the 1773 Boston Tea Party started. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps exploring Downtown Crossing, Faneuil Hall, or Boston’s North End, known for its delicious Italian bakeries and vibrant atmosphere.

A park in Boston with Equestrian statue of George Washington standing in the middle

Take a bite of the big apple

Next up: bright lights in the city that never sleeps. You’ll stay in a hotel in the heart of Times Square, in the beating heart of the city. Here, you’ll get the benefit of Insight Choice: pick whichever experience appeals to you. Option one, explore the Summit One Vanderbilt, a 73-story supertall skyscraper with four levels of a multi-sensory art experience of optical illusions. Head to the wrap-around viewing deck for unbeatable vistas of the NYC skyline. Option two, choose to explore Midtown’s beautiful architecture with a Local Expert on a captivating 2.5 hour walking tour through the heart of the city. We’ll stop by NYC icons like Grand Central Terminal, Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Rockefeller Center, and finally the unforgettable Fifth Avenue. Discover the big apple from the ground or up above; the choice is yours.

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The next day, we’ll take a tour around the city with a Local Expert, before you get the rest of the day to explore at your leisure. We recommend taking a tranquil break in Central Park, before we’ll reconnect later on at Essex Market, a pillar of the Lower East Side for 100+ years. Chat with the local vendors, hear their stories, while tasting their delicacies that come from all over the world. We’ll even get to enjoy a live cooking demonstration while learning how our visit contributes to the nonprofit-run market, helping provide quality, affordable food to the local community.

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Over 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

Philadelphia and Washington D.C

The last two stops on our adventure are Philadelphia and Washington D.C, two cities steeped in American history.

First Philadelphia, the place where Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. We’ll wander around the UNESCO-listed Independence National Historic Park and visit the Liberty Bell, spotting its famous crack. After, we carry on to Washington D.C, where we’ll enjoy the afternoon at leisure. The next day, we’ll take a sightseeing tour of the nation’s capital, stopping by the White House, Washington Monument, and vast National Mall. We’ll then reflect on the country’s past at the iconic Lincoln Memorial and WWII Memorial.

Capitol hill in the morning sunlight, with water in the foreground

After we’re done sightseeing, we’ll MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® with a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This new member of the Smithsonian Institution is the only national museum exclusively dedicated to the documentation of African American history and culture. Peruse 36,000 artifacts that reflect the richness and poignancy of the African American experience.

We’ll then finish the day, and the tour, with a wonderful Celebration Dinner and toast to the new friends and unforgettable memories.

Sound like a good trip? Join us on this ultimate 9-day adventure along the East Coast USA, and save up to 15% off with a Last Minute Deal.

 

 

I'm Jay – born in Italy, raised in South London. Having French sisters and Hungarian ancestors, I've always been fascinated with the world and its cultures, and I carry this curiosity into my writing for Insightful. My favourite destinations I've traveled to so far have been Italy, Peru, France and Brazil.

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