The east coast has some of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the USA, with major cities along Interstates I-95 like Portland, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Miami. Nearby, you can also find Cape Cod, Acadia National Park, the Jersey Shore, Outer Banks, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head Island.
If you're heading out on the open road in the US, an east coast road trip is the perfect well rounded experience for its beaches, historical sites, major cities, and beautiful scenery! You'll either begin or end your east coast road trip in the state of Maine, if you are traveling the east coast of the USA in its entirety. Maine is a very diverse state, and has the distinction of being the only state on the east coast with mountains along the shoreline.
In fact, it's the only piece of coastline that has a mountain this high within 25 miles all the way down to the Yucatan Peninsula! If you're visiting Maine, you'll want to make sure you visit Acadia National Park. Home to Cadillac Mountain, where the first sunrise of the east coast is claimed to be visible every day, Acadia National Park is adjacent to the small coastal town of Bar Harbor. The park also has a beautiful loop drive and scenic outlooks around every bend. Further north, you'll find West Quoddy Head Lighthouse on the Maine-Canada border.
This striped lighthouse is a photographer's favorite for its eyecatching horizontal red and white nautical stripes. From Quoddy Head, you'll be able to take scenic Route 191 south to Bar Harbor and more of the Maine coast. The rugged coastline along 191, 187, and Route 1 have been dubbed Maine's Big Sur for its dramatic, steep cliffsides and breathtaking views. The other Big Sur on the Pacific Coast is over 3600 miles away to the west (that's nearly 3 days straight of driving).
South of Bar Harbor, you'll find quaint coastal towns like Bath, as well as the largest city in all of Maine, Portland. The best route through southern Maine and into New Hampshire and Mass is I-95, which will bypass much of the congestion of the coastal route. New Hampshire is dubbed the "live free or die" state, however, expect to pay some tolls along the major routes!