The northeast, USA is filled with some of the country’s most amazing cities, small towns, picturesque coastal cities, landmarks, and so much more. There’s something for everyone in this part of America.
There are plenty of places to explore the natural landscape, enjoy a charming small-town getaway, relax on a beach, experience busy city life, hike in the great outdoors, and so much more.
The best places in the northeast not only offer tourists fun and excitement but also encompass what the region is best known for, its impressive history. If you’ve been planning a trip to the northeast USA, you’ve come to the right place!
In today’s article, we’ve put together a comprehensive list that looks at the best places this region has to offer. The places on our list are the locations you should visit during your trip. We’ve included something for everyone, so buckle yourself in for the ride ahead!
1. New York City, New York
There really is only one place to start this list, with New York City, New York. Famously known as the Big Apple, New York City isn’t only the most popular tourist destination in the northeast, it’s the whole of America’s most popular tourist destination too, and with good reason.
A city that never sleeps, more than 55 million people visit New York City every year. They come here for the impressive architecture, world-famous sites, and busy city experience. From taking in a show on Broadway to jumping on a ferry to Staten Island, New York City has it all.
Of course, some of the most famous attractions include Central Park, the Empire State Buildings, Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty. Other interesting places to visit are Brooklyn and Queens.
2. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
One of the best weekend getaway destinations in the northeast is Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Cod has been a hugely popular vacation destination for decades.
Particularly popular in the summer, this part of the northeast is famous for its pristine coastline, maritime charm, vibrant architecture, and lush landscape. The main draw to Cape Cod is Cape Cod National Shoreline.
Offering crystal clear waters and divine white sand beaches, this is the perfect place for a beach vacation. However, there are other fun things to do. Cape Cod has numerous art galleries, museums, a theater, and a drive-in cinema.
The filming of Jaws took place on Cape Cod so expect a wide range of Jaws-related attractions too. One of the best is the Jaws filming locations tour.
3. Acadia National Park, Maine
If you prefer more relaxed, outdoor vacations, you have to stop by Acadia National Park. Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, this national park is magical. This natural paradise covers 47,000 acres of land. It features dense forests, historic roads, and a stunning coastline.
Interestingly, Acadia National Park is New England’s only national park. It also offers the highest rock headlands on the Atlantic Coast. In terms of things to do, the opportunities are endless.
You can hike, walk, run, and cycle around the park, soak up the sun on one of the many beaches, enjoy a picnic, or take part in a variety of outdoor activities.
If you love hiking, the national park is perfect for you. The park has a whopping 158 miles of hiking trails ready for you to explore.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Next up, we have Boston, Massachusetts. Boston is one of the best cities in America. Famous for the Boston Red Sox and clam chowder, this city is well worth exploring. A coastal city, Boston is a bustling city with a rich history that dates back to the American Revolution.
With an impressive city skyline, Boston is also one of the more pleasant and relaxing cities to walk around. There seems to be an incredible view no matter where you are.
Some of the places you don’t want to miss during a visit to Boston include the Freedom Trail, the North End, Mike’s Pastry, and Adam’s National Historical Park.
There are also a variety of exciting attractions for children. These include K1 Speed Boston, Key To Amaze, and Boston Duck Tours.
5. Madison, Connecticut
The next place in the northeast that makes our list is Madison, Connecticut. Tucked away between Boston and New York, Madison is a picturesque beach town that offers a great escape from city life.
The local residents try to keep this hidden gem a secret. However, the town is growing in popularity. This is in most parts down to the town’s idyllic landscape, charming atmosphere, and laid-back vibes.
The perfect place for couples to enjoy a romantic beach getaway, you can stroll along the white sand beach, cool off in the crystal clear sea, tuck into a fine-dining dinner, and explore the trendy shops.
Madison town is only a short drive away from the famous Hammonasset State Park too, so make sure you pay the beach a visit.
6. Newburyport, Massachusetts
Another small coastal town found in the northeast is Newburyport, Massachusetts. Aside from offering an impressive coastline, this small town is rich in history. Newbury has a wonderful nautical history that dates all the way back to the 17th century.
Today, the town is still jam-packed with colonial architecture, galleries, and museums that transport visitors back in time. As a result of this history, Newburyport is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about northeast America.
This vibrant town was once a key ship-building port. Although things have changed, the port still plays a big part in the development of the town. The town is now a hotspot for seafaring aficionados. Boat trips run daily and the Custom Maritime Museum is extremely popular.
7. Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont is actually one of the less popular places to visit in the northeast. That is despite the city being the state capital. All we can say is that the people that decide not to visit this gorgeous city are seriously missing out.
Easily one of the best places in Vermont to visit, this colorful city is surrounded by dense forestry and mountains. It is interestingly home to one of the largest urban populations in the state.
The city itself will blow you away. The city has an architectural style that dates back to the 1850s. A fine example of the architecture can be found at the Vermont State House.
The Vermont Historical Society Museum is worth visiting too. Make sure you stop by the lush Hubbard Park as well.
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the next location on this list. This city is one of the most popular places in the northeast for many reasons. However, one of the main reasons is that it is home to the Liberty Bell, which can be found at Independence Hall.
A bit like Boston, most of the people that visit Philadelphia are history buffs that want to learn more about America and the American Revolution. Having said that, there are plenty of other things to do too.
Those wanting to learn more about the American Revolution will enjoy one of the city’s walking tours. These tours show tourists the most iconic historical sites. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great place for history buffs too.
9. Burlington, Vermont
Situated next to the beautiful Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont is one of the most visited places in the northeast. This lovely city can be found in the north of Vermont. As a result, it does experience a lot of snow throughout the year.
This makes the city even more interesting and charming during the winter as it becomes a festive winter wonderland. Burlington is a great place to visit if you love a more relaxed, shopping vacation.
Church Street is crammed with trendy shopping malls, local shops, eateries, and a Ben & Jerry’s shop. In fact, Burlington is actually the home of Ben & Jerry’s so why don’t you tour the factory whilst you’re in the city?
Other popular spots include the scenic Lake Champlain and Waterfront Park.
10. Block Island, Rhode Island
If you’re looking for an escape from everything, one of, if not the best place you can visit is Block Island, Rhode Island. This undisturbed island is found to the south of mainland Rhode Island.
Arguably the best thing about this serene island is the lack of infrastructure and cars. Most people on the island get around by bike. Picking up a bike on arrival before exploring the untouched island is a real treat.
During the ride, you’ll be able to take in amazing views and observe an array of local wildlife. To the south of the island, you’ll find a small town called New Shoreham. This is where a handful of hotels and restaurants can be found, giving you the chance to stay the night.
11. Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Not to be mistaken with Sugar Hill, New York, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire is another region of the northeast that offers a more tranquil, relaxed experience.
Tucked away amongst New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains, Sugar Hill is only a small town with a population of less than 600. As you can imagine, this makes it a very peaceful, laid-back place to visit.
Super scenic, the town is surrounded by a vast mountain landscape, rich in forestry, wildlife, and plant life. If you visit the town at the right time of year, you’ll be treated to spectacular blooming fields which display vibrant flowers.
The hills here are often lit up with purple, yellow, blue, white, and pink colors. You should visit Echo Lake and Franconia Notch State Park during your visit.
12. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts is better suited to those of you looking for a more luxurious, posh getaway. A haven for the rich and famous, and some of your favorite celebrities, this place is perfect for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Everything about Martha’s Vineyard screams elegance, luxury, and peace. Set amongst a stunning coastal shoreline, you won’t find any chain restaurants or stores, and you certainly won’t find any cheesy motels.
Instead, you’ll be greeted with farm-to-table eateries, gorgeous inns, and lovely attractions. A transit bus will be on hand to take you to the best locations, so you don’t even have to worry about getting around.
Some of the best attractions include Gay Head Lighthouse, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Aquinnah Cliffs.
13. Stowe, Vermont
Vermont is also home to some of the best small-town getaways in the northeast of America. One of the very best is Stowe. It’s very hard to think about Vermont without mentioning Stowe.
Consistently voted the top small town in the state, this picturesque town offers a charming getaway that families and couples love. The town’s highlights include the whitewashed church spire, boutique shops, fine-dining restaurants, and the surrounding rugged mountains.
However, what makes the town most popular is its skiing locations. Stowe is one of the most popular skiing destinations in the northeast. It is home to the highest peak in Vermont, Mt. Mansfield, and Stowe Mountain Resort.
14. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Another place you should visit in Pennsylvania if you get the chance is Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is one of Pennsylvania’s largest cities. It is famously known by the nickname steel city as it has a large number of bridges.
When we say a large number, we mean it. Pittsburgh astonishingly has more than 300 bridges. You should try and visit the best during your visit.
Up there with the very best places to visit in the northeast, Pittsburgh has a wide range of interesting and entertaining tourist attractions to see.
Some of the best and most popular include the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and Downtown Pittsburgh. Visiting the above places is a brilliant way to take in local culture.
15. Finger Lakes, New York
The next place in the northeast we have for you is Finger Lakes. Despite being known as one of the best cities in the world, New York does also have some of America’s most naturally beautiful places to visit too. One of the best is the Finger Lakes.
Arguably the best natural attraction in New York, the Finger Lakes is a stunning area home to 11 long and narrow lakes. They have the name Finger Lakes because they bizarrely look like fingers.
An area of natural beauty, this location features lush forests, towering waterfalls, clear waters, and hiking trails. It is also one of the best places to go fishing near New York City. In fact, the lakes are also known by the name Lake Trout Capital of the World.
16. Niagara Falls, New York
We’re almost certain you’ll have heard of this next place as it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Split between Canada and America, Niagara Falls is one of the best natural landmarks in the world.
Covering a vast area of land, the falls are a sight to behold. Powerful, impressive, and simply beautiful, staying near the falls is a must.
Admittedly, the area has been given some glitz and glamor with the construction of hotels and restaurants, but this doesn’t take away from the fall’s overall beauty. If anything, it enhances the experience because you can now stay in a hotel room overlooking this iconic site.
After taking a look at Niagara Falls, you should take a boat ride on Maid of the Mist and maybe even cross over to Ontario in Canada.
17. Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport has been seen as a vacation destination for Maine residents for many years. It is also popular with tourists. It also happens to be home to the Bush family’s summer compound.
Kennebunkport is most famous for its white sandy beaches, charming architecture, refreshing waters, and abundance of lighthouses. Tourists generally flock here in the summer, but it is a great place to visit all year round.
A lot of people also like to visit the area during fall because the foliage looks wonderful. One thing you have to do during your time in Kennebunkport is a ride on the Intown Trolley Tour. We also highly recommend heading to Dock Square.
18. New Haven, Connecticut
The final place on our list is New Haven, Connecticut. This is another place that sits along the northeast’s stunning coastline. Home to Ivy League institution: Yale University, this small city has everything you need to enjoy an entertaining and relaxing weekend getaway.
One of the best things about the city is that it is very walkable. Everything you need to see is quite close together. Some of you might also like to hear that New Haven is one of the safest cities in America.
When you visit New Haven, you need to visit Yale University Art Gallery, Lighthouse Point Park, Shore Line Trolley, and Peabody Museum of Nature History.
Northeast USA has some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and destinations. There’s everything from famous cities and historic sites to incredible landscapes and beach resort towns. In this article, we showed you the best of what the northeast has to offer.
We looked at all the best places you should visit. Whilst the list could have gone on with more places, we firmly believe that we showed you the very best. All you have to do now is decide where you want to visit first!
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