After writing about my 10-day West Coast itinerary and having so much success with it, I’ve decided to make a similar post and to write about my 3 weeks East Coast itinerary. That’s because this part of the country is just as beautiful.
This 3 weeks East Coast itinerary is basically a 21 days road trip, starting at Niagara Falls and ending at the southernmost point of the United States, the amazing town of Key West.
If you think it is too much, you can choose to fly between certain cities. It’s up to you what means of transportation you think are the most suitable for this 3 weeks East Coast itinerary.
Road trips are perfect for those of you who, just like me, love to see how temperature is rising in the thermometer when traveling from one state to another. For people who prefer to admire the landscape and the architecture on their way to a new destination, and who enjoy everything that comes with this type of adventure.
Therefore, this 3 weeks East Coast itinerary includes around 8 USA states.
3 weeks East Coast, USA itinerary
2 days at Niagara Falls
Start your 3 weeks East Coast journey in the USA with a natural tourist attraction: Niagara Falls.
Since it’s one of the most famous or maybe the best-known waterfall in the world, it’s no surprise that Niagara is on the bucket list of most of the travelers. The falls located at the border between the state of New York and Ontario, Canada, is a true natural spectacle. So beautiful that it’s very hard to put it into words.
The drop of water is 51 meters in height, and it’s also one of the most powerful waterfalls. The volume of water per second produces enough energy to “feed” a quarter of the states mentioned above. It also makes such a strong and dramatic noise.
Although it’s generally known as Niagara, the waterfall consists of three different sections: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Studies have shown that it formed around 12 000 years ago.
If you want to get to Niagara Falls by plane, then you should know that the closest airport is Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and is located 30 minutes away.
Things to do at Niagara Falls
- admire a fabulous spectacle of nature that will stay with you forever
- during the evening, enjoy a splendid show of lights projected on the waterfall
- visit the Goat Island
- go on a boat tour with the legendary Maid of the Mist
- climb to Crows Nest, one of the best observation points, from where you can best admire the rainbow
- buy souvenirs as future testimonies of a perfect experience
- cross the Rainbow Bridge and admire the waterfall from the Canadian side
- walk through the town of Niagara Falls
Where to stay Cascada Niagara
- low-budget: Wanderfalls Guesthouse & Hostel
- mid-budget: Hyatt Place Niagara Falls
- luxury: Red Coach Inn
READ ALSO: Quick Guide to Niagara Falls
2 days in Boston
Distance Niagara Falls – Boston: 7 h
Let’s talk about this American metropolis with a European feel, about one of the oldest cities in the States, about an urban settlement that offers Instagrammable view at every step.
Boston is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the US and must be visited because every street is like a story in pictures.
In Boston, it’s a real pleasure to walk through the parks arranged by the magazine, to interact with friendly people, to admire the splendid architecture of the buildings, and to visit top-rated museums. What’s more, explore top universities! Here’s what you can do in Boston:
Things to do in Boston:
- city tour, cruise included
- go on Freedom Trail: a 2.5-mile walk that will take you to the most important monuments and buildings in the city. Some of them are Massachusetts State House, the monument dedicated to the Boston massacre, USS Constitution, etc.
- visit Boston Common Park and Boston Public Gardens
- stroll around Back Bay, where the wealthiest people in Boston live and where you will find the most luxurious shops
- visit Trinity Church, one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the city, built in the 19th century in the Romanesque Richardsonian style
- admire the upper panorama of the city, from the Prudential tower
- discover the famous Harvard University in a 70 min tour
Where to stay in Boston:
- low-budget: Courtyard by Marriott Boston Dedham/Westwood
- mid-budget: citizenM Boston North Station
- luxury: Boston Yacht Haven
4 days in New York
Distance Boston – New York: 3 h 30′
New York needs no introduction. The American metropolis is on the top of the bucket lists of many travelers when it comes to cities to visit.
Spending 4 days in New York can only be a preview, a trailer, or a small fragment of everything that this huge, diverse, and generous city can offer in terms of places to visit and experiences to have.
If you come here for the first time, I think that the first places you should visit are the classic ones, no matter how cliché it may seem. You can’t miss the walk through Times Square in the evening, relaxing in Central Park, observing the city from the top of the Empire State Building, and visiting the 911 memorial.
Of course, the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty shouldn’t be missing or a window-shopping tour on 5th Avenue. The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see on foot and also the MET (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) exhibits.
Things to do in New York:
- visit Rockefeller Center
- admire the city from the High Line
- stare the architecture of the Grand Central Terminal building
- climb the World Trade Center, the tallest building in Manhattan or the Top of the Rock
- visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- walk through Battery and Bryant Park
- take pictures in front of the Flat Iron Building
- admire the beauty of St. Patrick Cathedral
- have lunch in Chinatown and Little Italy
Where to stay in New York:
Every time I have visited New York, I stayed either in a safe neighborhood in Brooklyn or near Times Square in Manhattan. If you only spend 4 days in New York, it would be best to think about the second option. Here are 3 very good hotels that I recommend, depending on your budget:
2 days in Washington D.C.
Distance New York – Washington D.C.: 4 h
The 3-week East Coast itinerary of the United States cannot miss the country’s capital. Washington D.C., as I said in another article, is often an underrated city overlooked by travelers exploring the United States.
I love this city! I like the mix between old and new, its elegance, the serious air of the capital, the beautiful buildings, especially the Capitol below, and the beautiful parks.
Ideally, you should visit Washington D.C. in the spring, when all the Japanese cherries around the Tidal Basin are in bloom. But the beauty of the city doesn’t fade even in the rest of the year, and it’s very charming regardless of the season.
Things to do in Washington D.C.:
- visit Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the National Mall
- go to the Smithsonian National Air and Space and Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- take a tour of Arlington Cemetery
- walk around Georgetown, the most beautiful neighborhood in Washington D.C.
- take a night tour of the most important buildings and monuments
Where to stay in Washington D.C.:
2 days in Virginia Beach; quick stop in Norfolk
Distance Washington D.C. – Virginia Beach: 3 h 30′
I was quite subjective when I chose to include these two destinations in the 3 weeks East Coast itinerary.
Given the fact that I spent a lot of time in both, and I managed to discover wonderful places, I definitely want to recommend them further, so that they can be seen by others.
Virginia Beach is a resort town, located about 3 hours south of Washington D.C. It is famous for its very long beach and the First Landing State Park. As the name suggests, this is the first place where English settlers first settled in 1607.
Things to do in Virginia Beach:
- walk on the 3-mile long boardwalk
- admire the sunset from the beach
- go to a restaurant that serves seafood
- observe the migration of dolphins in the early hours of the morning
- take a selfie with the famous statue of Neptune
- Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
- spend a fun day in the theme parks near the beach
- visit Cape Henry Lighthouse
- Cross the ocean through the famous Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel
Where to stay in Virginia Beach:
Norfolk is my hometown and the place on the American continent that I can call home. Obviously, this can’t be the reason for you to make a stop in Norfolk, so I’ll tell you exactly the reasons why you should visit it.
Norfolk is home to the largest naval station in the world: Naval Station. Norfolk has some fairytale neighborhoods and some really interesting museums. The town is full of trees and vegetation, and because of this, it has a well-deserved nickname of the tree city.
Things to do in Norfolk:
- visit the Botanical Garden; it’s very beautiful and full of colorful flowers
- go to Town Point Park and walk on the seafront
- explore several museums: Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus, Hermitage Museum and Gardens, and MacArthur Memorial Museum
- take a walk on the coolest street in town, Granby Street
- go to the beach in Ocean View
- admire the beautiful colonial-style homes in the Ghent neighborhood
- cruise dinner on the river
Where to stay in Norfolk:
2 days in Savannah, Georgia; stop in Charleston
Distance Norfolk – Charleston: 6 h 30′
The next stop of the 3 weeks East Coast itinerary in the United States will be exactly halfway between Virginia Beach and Orlando. We are talking about Charleston, a major port on the Atlantic coast and a chic city, often defined as the friendliest city in the US.
In Charleston, we make a short stop on our way to Savannah, Georgia. But that doesn’t mean Charleston doesn’t deserve all the attention.
If you will feel captivated by the historic buildings, its large beaches, charming streets, top restaurants, and palm trees lined up in front of pastel-colored buildings, then you are free to spend more time in Charleston.
Being the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, in Charleston, you should expect to discover some historic buildings of beauty as only the past can have.
A big plus in Charleston is the weather. Because it is located about the middle of the east coast, the weather in Charleston is almost perfect. It’s never extremely hot, and it never reaches the threshold of frost in winter.
Charleston is a peninsula city, so no matter where you are, you’ll always be surrounded by water, and the scenery is fabulous.
Things to do in Charleston:
- admire the buildings on Rainbow Row
- walk through Waterfront Park and discover the pineapple-shaped fountain
- Walk on the gorgeous promenade The Battery
- go and take a photo for the famous Angel Oak Tree
- visit several museums: Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Old Slave Mart Museum
- go to Morris Island
- go in a historic tour of the buildings in the city
Where to stay in Charleston:
- low-budget: Sleep Inn Charleston – West Ashley
- mid-budget: Homewood Suites By Hilton Charleston Historic District
- luxury: Zero George Street
Distance Charleston – Savannah: 2 h
After enjoying the sights of Charleston, it’s time to move on and discover a settlement at least as wonderful.
Surely you have seen, at least in the movies, the alleys of the lined trees full of Spanish moss. The mysteriously shaded streets are part of the charming city of Savannah, the oldest in the state of Georgia.
With its cobbled streets, historic buildings and beautiful parks, the city is so beautiful that it has often been included in the list of the most beautiful cities in the United States.
Things to do in Savannah, Georgia:
- walk through the parks; they are all extremely beautiful, but the most beautiful is Forsyth Park
- go on an organized tour of the city, packed with a river cruise
- exploreaza un cimitir plini cu stejari seculari si statuete, Bonaventure Cemetery
- go to the Savannah Historic District and admire the historic houses there
Where to stay in Savannah:
- low-budget: Hotel Indigo Savannah Historic District
- mid-budget: Eliza Thompson House, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection
- luxury: McMillan Inn
2 days in Orlando; stop in Daytona Beach
Distance Savannah – Orlando: 4h
You need to make some space in the 3 weeks East Coast itinerary for the capital of entertainment. Spend at least two days in Orlando and you’ll have fun as for a whole year.
The city of Florida is internationally recognized for its theme parks. Basically, in the same place, you can have fun at Walt Disney, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, and many others.
I assure you that in Orlando you will have a lot of adrenaline and a good mood! Especially since, besides the theme parks that made it famous, it also has a lot of interesting museums, which are worth visiting. Such as Madame Tussauds, Orlando Fire Museum, and the National Vietnam War Museum.
Where to stay in Orlando:
After the fun, you need to relax. So spend at least one afternoon at Daytona Beach, the most famous beach in the world, since the 1920s. I mean already 100 years of celebrity, wow!
Don’t be surprised if you see cars on the hot sand. Cars also have access to Daytona Beach, due to the beach hard-packed sand.
Where to stay in Daytona Beach:
- low-budget: Atlantic Ocean Palm Inn
- mid-budget: Bahama House – Daytona Beach Shores
- luxury: Residence Inn by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront
3 days in Miami
Distance Daytona Beach – Miami: 4 h
Next is Miami, the cruise capital of the world, and a perfect exotic gateway.
Miami is not just about palm trees, bodies sculpted and tanned by the scorching sun, nightclubs, and expensive cars. Miami is an extremely diverse city, known even for its special architecture. In Miami, you will enjoy admiring Art Deco buildings, especially the hotels on Ocean Drive.
Miami Beach has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Biscayne Bay is home to the luxury residences of celebrities, opulent houses that you will be able to see from the outside on a boat tour.
Things to do in Miami:
- visit the Vizcaya Museum
- go shopping on Collins Avenue
- get tanned in Crandon Park
- go on a tour of Little Havana and Coral Gables
- admire all the exotic plants in the botanical garden
- go on a tour of the Everglades National Park, where you can see crocodiles in their natural environment
Where to stay in Miami:
- low-budget: Penguin Hotel
- mid-budget: National Hotel, An Ocean Front Resort
- luxury: The Savoy Hotel & Beach Club
2 days in Key West
Distance Miami – Key West: 3 h 30′
Although it belongs to the United States and is the southernmost point of the country, Key West is closer to Cuba. Just 90 miles separate this beautiful and sunny city from the largest island in the Caribbean.
This means that in Key West you can have about the same vibe that the exotic islands of the Atlantic give you, without leaving the continental USA. Key West is part of the Florida Keys, an archipelago of about 30 islands.
It is quite a touristy place and it could be very crowded in high season, but it is worth spending at least two days here. These are some of the tourist attractions in Key West: the former residence of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, some gorgeous beaches, museums, restaurants with unique decor, but also the delicious Key lemon pie.
Things to do in Key West:
- go to the southernmost continental point of the United States monument
- walk down the Duval Street
- visit the Little White House of former President Truman
Where to stay in Miami: