America offers countless diverse, intriguing, tourist-attracting cities, but it’s always had somewhat of an East Coast vs West Coast rivalry. We’ve already touched on which West Coast cities are worthy of a visit, so now it’s time to hop on a 5-hour plane ride and give a little love to our friends out by the Atlantic.
So, let’s start at the bottom and work our way up north, shall we? Here are 10 East Coast cities that need to be on everyone's bucket list for 2020.
10 Miami, Florida
We’re kicking off our East Coast adventure with a stop in the sunny, vibrant, culturally-diverse Florida city of Miami. Unlike its neighboring states to the north, Florida is sunny almost year-round, meaning that its beaches are always welcoming to those looking to work or their tans or catch a couple of waves. Combine this with the bustling nightlife and it’s easy to understand why Miami has a booming tourism industry.
For a unique, authentic injection of Cuban culture, Little Havana awaits, while Lincoln Road offers some A-grade shopping opportunities. Miami isn’t too far from the idyllic scenes of the Everglades National Park either, if nature is more your scene.
9 Orlando, Florida
Orlando is another East Coast city that should be on everyone's 2020 bucket list. Orlando is home to Universal Studios, and more recently, Harry Potter World (at Universal)!
Even though it’s slightly inland from the coast, the detour to Disney (akaThe Happiest Place on Earth) is worth every minute. It’s one of most visited tourist attractions not only in the USA, but across the globe, and that should say just about all there is. It’s the perfect opportunity to unleash the inner child, and forget all about life’s stresses as you cannon down Splash Mountain. Of course, watch out for peak season (typically during the summer, on weekends, and various school holidays).
8 Washington D.C.
From down south in Florida, we’re skipping over Georgia and the Carolinas (sorry folks) and headed up to the nation’s capital - Washington D. C..
Aside from hosting the infamous White House and the adjacent Lincoln Memorial, Washington has garnered a reputation for offering some of the world’s best museums. Whether its a visit to the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, or the Holocaust Memorial, there’s just so much to see in this.
For a breath of fresh air, take a bike ride around town (it’s relatively easy to navigate), and for some killer waffles, check out the Eastern Market.
7 Baltimore, Maryland
The quirky harbor city hasn’t rocked the most illustrious reputation over the years, to put it nicely. These days, however, Baltimore is well and truly reinventing itself and rising up the ranks of hot spots across the East Coast.
Sure, as the stereotype goes, there’s plenty of great crab to try, but there’s so much more to be discovered. With rooftop bars, foodie markets, an up-and-coming dining scene, America’s first Guinness brewery, and a truckload of charm, Baltimore is beckoning.
Plus, it’s so close to Washington D. C. that it would almost be rude not to squeeze in a Baltimore visit.
6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
As Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philly (AKA the City of Brotherly Love) is famous for its notable history, vibrant culture, and as being the place of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (and also for the National Treasure and Rocky films, of course).
The central point for most history-inclined visitors is the UNESCO Heritage-listed Independence National Historical Park, but there’s countless more to see and do. For a couple of less-trafficked tourist attractions, the incredible mosaic property, Magic Gardens, is waiting to be ‘Grammed, while Edgar Allan Poe’s house is any poet’s idea of heaven on Earth.
5 New York, New York
You didn’t think that we could create any list of anything without mentioning the Big Apple, did you? From Manhattan to Brooklyn and up to the Bronx, New York City is a concrete jungle unlike any other, and with more noteworthy things to do, see, and eat than any human can comprehend, it’s easy to see why it's labeled as the center of the universe.
The infamous Central Park is a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of the skyscraper-lines streets, while the Staten Island Ferry offers free, unmatched views of the iconic Lower Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, and the Freedom Tower.
4 New Haven, Connecticut
Situated a relatively short drive north of the Big Apple, New Haven often falls into its shadow and gets swept under the rug, and that's understandable. What New Haven does boast, however, is a much more laidback atmosphere, some world-class pizza joints (arguably the best in the country), and the Ivy League Yale University, founded way back in 1701.
Compared to its larger neighbors, the student-orientated New Haven comes relatively cheap, and there is plenty of restaurants, bars, and funky activities on offer ‘round the clock. Or, for a touch of sophistication and art, check out one of Yale’s many revered museums.
3 Boston, Massachusetts
From one infamous University, we’re headed up to another - Harvard. While part of Boston’s reputation is certainly focused on its Ivy League school, it has plenty more to be proud of. Plymouth Rock is popular (although considerably overrated considering it’s just a rock...), while the historic Freedom Trail, Boston Public Garden, Insta-worthy Acorn Street, and bustling Quimby market are each deserving of a visit and a stroll.
The seafood up in Boston is unreal, arguably up there with the country’s best, thanks to its proximity to the ocean, and it offers plenty of restaurants and bars for the budget-conscious as well.
2 Salem, Massachusetts
While Salem might not boast monolithic skyscrapers, world-famous seafood or incredible art museums, what it does have is an eclectic history shrouded in mystery, controversy, and spooks. Of course, we’re referring to the Witch Trials. Just half an hour’s drive north from Boston, Salem’s dark history is unique to the area, and can be investigated at sites like the Witch Trial Memorial, Old Burying Point Cemetery, or the Witch Museum,
Rest assured that visitors can get chills up their spines any time of year, but in October just before Halloween rolls around is when the town really lives up to its eerie potential. Don’t forget, it’s BYOB (bring your own broomstick…).
1 Portland, Maine
We’ve passed through goliath concrete jungle and historic cities, but we’re finishing off our East Coast journey with a place that’s a little more quaint, charming, and small-town-feel - Portland, Maine.
While most people can only associate Maine with Stephen King and top-quality lobster, the area has so much more to offer if you give it a chance. Portland’s Old Port offers a stunning trip back in time with 19th-century buildings and cobblestone streets, while the Portland Museum of Art is widely revered for its ongoing and rotating exhibitions. Don’t miss the iconic Portland Head Light either, which boasts the claim to fame as the USA’s oldest operational lighthouse.