2020 is the (unexpected) year of the road trip. The coronavirus may have knocked a lot of our travel plans off-kilter, but that just means we’ve had to get more creative when it comes to our holidays and vacations. For a lot of people, that has looked like road trips across the US. From short, weekender trips, to sprawling cross-country tours, the beauty of the road trip is that there’s no one right route to stick to. You can go wherever your heart desires, at whatever pace feels best. If you’re thinking about taking an east coast road trip soon, we want to share some of our favorite road trip destinations to mark on your map. 

1. Newport Cliff Walk, Rhode Island

This 3.5-mile walkway along the rocky Rhode Island coast is the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs for a bit. With stunning views of the beach and some of the area’s most beautiful mansions, there’s plenty to see on this beautiful walk. 

2. Assateague Island, Maryland

Speaking of beaches, this is one beach road trip destination you won’t want to miss. One of the best kept secrets for east coast road trips, Assateague Island is home to a colony of wild horses – descendents of some of the original horses brought over from Europe during colonial times. Pack your camera to get some gorgeous shots of these majestic creatures. 

3. Charleston, South Carolina

One of our favorite east coast road trip destinations, Charleston has it all. From world-class food to beautiful Colonial-style architecture and more, this southern city is sure to captivate you. Try a bite at Cru Cafe, then take one of the city’s iconic nightly ghost tours. 

4. The Witch House, Massachusetts 

If strange history is your thing, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to visit Salem’s infamous Witch House. At the house of judge Jonathan Corwin, you’ll be able to step back in time and view original documents and artifacts from one of America’s darkest moments in history. Once you’ve visited the Witch House, be sure to stop by the Salem Witch Museum for even more history. 

5. Hemingway House, Florida

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Hemingway house part 3

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At the very tip of the east coast lies the Florida Keys, home to one of the most serene of all road trip destinations, the Hemingway House. The place where legendary novelist and poet Ernest Hemingway lived while penning some of his most famous works. Enjoy the coastal ambiance of this beautiful home, and pet the famous 6-toed great-great-grandkittens of his original cats. 

6. Bar Harbor, Maine

This particular stop is one we’d recommend either starting or stopping with, thanks to its sheer beauty and serenity. On the rugged coast of Maine, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights and wonders of Acadia National Park, along with the quaint charm of Bar Harbor town. There’s plenty to do here, including cycling, hiking, and boat cruises.

7. The Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

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Happy #EarthDay!⁠ Did you know that when George Vanderbilt began planning his grand estate, he envisioned a self-sustaining home that would steward the land and its resources for years to come?⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ From this vision came the United States' first planned forestry program and the beginning of a family focus on the environment.⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ Over a century later, #Biltmore continues to honor Vanderbilt’s legacy of preserving the land and protecting the environment through programs across the estate.⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ Learn about our year-round sustainability initiatives on our blog: biltmore.com/blog⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ #Biltmore #Asheville #sustainability #ecofriendly #preservation

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The Biltmore Estate outside of Asheville, North Carolina is one of those rare spots that dazzle at any time of the year. During fall, enjoy the beautiful red and orange hues of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you explore the gardens of this beautiful estate designed by one of America’s wealthiest men in 1895. 

Want more road trip tips? Check out our ingenious road trip hacks and tips on how to keep your car clean and fresh, even on the longest road trips.

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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    1. What an excellent vacation idea. I’ve been to none of these places, but it sure is tempting.

    2. On the east coast, I’d probably also add, as destinations, Savannah, Cape Cod, and the Shenandoah Valley.

      I really like this kind of article.

    3. I have been to Charleston. The Hemingway House has been on my list for quite a while now.

    4. Literally seeing this idea everywhere. Officially thinking about it. I’m thinking of sticking to the coast.

    5. awesome article !

    6. Its very interesting to learn about so many places that there is to visit. Places that you dont really need money to have a good time. In every place we can find something interesting to see or visit.

    7. What an awesome article! I do agree 2020 is the year of road trips, I do see people taking advantage of their time off to go off and explore the wonderful world outside. Im huge on outdoor fun I definitely need to get outside this article definitely makes me want to explore my surroundings.

    8. The Chincoteague Pony became registered as an official horse breed in 1994. Wild horses are a sight to behold.

    9. Love reading about travel destinations! Roadtrip season indeed!

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