Eastern USA travel guide

Where to go, what to see: your East Coast travel guide

Why visit the East Coast?

There is nothing quite like the charm and beauty of the historic eastern United States. It is a land steeped in culture, American history, beautiful colours and adventure. Between New England, New York, Washington DC, Cape Cod, Boston, or Martha’s Vineyard, the Atlantic Coast states offer a wide variety of sights and activities, and caters to history buffs, shopaholics, foodies and nature lovers.

New England, one of the first English settlements in North America, contains some of the most profound beauty and culture found in the US. Take in lovely New Hampshire and Vermont travelling to North Conway in the heart of the White Mountains. Tour West Point Military Academy, located in New York’s stunning Hudson Valley, to hear stories of cadet life, the important role West Point played in the American Revolution, and famous graduates who shaped the nation. And in autumn, this part of the USA comes into its own when the trees turn crimson and orange - seeing New England in the Fall should be on everyone's bucket list.

Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard offer some of the most glorious beach scenes and holiday spots in the country. Bar Harbor, a popular resort, is the gateway to the beautiful landscapes of Acadia National Park and home to waterfront galleries, gift shops, boutiques and award-winning microbreweries. And don't miss Newport with the ultimate experience of luxury and opulence on a visit to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s magnificent home – The Breakers.

The great New York City needs no introduction - it has some of the most amazing dining, entertainment, and sightseeing in the world. Walk around Times Square and Greenwich Village, cruise Manhattan harbour and go to Chinatown for a taste of authentic New York culture. Neighbouring New York, Philadelphia is another destination for history buffs as it was the birthplace of the Nation. It holds the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were conceived and carried out. It is an essential place of history pride for the United States of America.

Weather and climate on the East Coast

When is the best time to visit Eastern USA?

The East Coast is stretches far enough to have its own distinct climates, so differs from north to south. The winter months are snowy in the north and mild in the south, while the summer months bring warm days to the north and long, hot spells to the south. One of the best times to travel to the East Coast is autumn (‘fall’), when thousands flock to New England and New York to see the blazing leaf colour that permeates the parks, forests and National Parks.

When travelling to the eastern United States, please keep in mind that the temperature can vary greatly between destinations. On average, the farther north you travel, the cooler it gets. Coastal cities like Washington DC, New York, and Boston have a tendency to be humid during the summer months. The humid air dissipates the further inland you travel. We recommend checking the local weather in each of your destinations prior to travelling to ensure you are adequately prepared for the conditions.

To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Eastern United States.





 Bar Harbor


 New York City


















































Eastern USA food and fun facts

Food specialities of Eastern USA

Along the East Coast of the United States, food is a major part of the culture. In Maine and the New England areas, lobster and corn on the cob, New England clam chowder, Vermont cheeses, and maple syrup are some of the essentials of East Coast cuisine. In some restaurants you can pick your own lobster, and the chowder is so rich and fresh – perfect on a day with a mild chill in the air. Fresh berry pies are also well known in New England along with many maple syrup-enhanced desserts. Aside from all the lobster styles, a trip to Cape Cod means you can find the freshest hand-shucked oysters, scallops, and clams. They also boast about their handmade fudge.

In the DC area, there is not a style of cuisine that can't be found. With so many visitors and a constant collision of cultures, you can find just about anything. But the one thing not to miss are the Maryland crab cakes.

Philadelphia offers distinct food specialties, like the iconic Philly cheesesteak sandwich, made ‘the right way,’ soft pretzels, tomato pie, pork rolls and peanut chews. And in New York City, you can find entire neighbourhoods dedicated to different food styles – pasta in Little Italy, Chinese traditions in Chinatown, soul food in Harlem, or Russian delicacies in Brighton Beach. Try a few New York favourites: a slice of pizza, bagels, a Coney Island dog, Manhattan clam chowder, a pastrami sandwich or New York style cheesecake.

Fun facts

  • New York City has over 650 miles of subway track

  • The first department store in the US, called Wanamaker's, was located in Philadelphia

  • Montpellier, Vermont’s capital, is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States

  • Beantown, Boston’s nickname, derives from early resident’s love for baked beans in molasses

Things to consider before visiting Eastern USA

How to call Eastern USA: Country code

The country code for Eastern USA is +1. When calling to Eastern USA from overseas, dial your international access code, followed by the country code, area code, and phone number.

Eastern USA’s currency

In USA the local currency is the American Dollar ($). Although credit cards are widely accepted in the United States, we recommend our passengers carry some cash (~$50) to use in circumstances when credit cards are not accepted or in destinations where cashpoints are not readily available.

Shopping in Eastern USA

New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC all provide some of the best shopping. Of course if you're visiting Washington DC, every museum offers a wide assortment of treasures and if you collect postcards, you can find one for each and every memorial.

In New York, visit the one-of-a kind boutiques of Soho and Tribeca or look for bargains in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Don't miss the many stores in Greenwich Village and Chelsea where you can also find many outdoor flea markets.

Philadelphia has some great antique stores in Chestnut Hill and Old City offers boutiques and vintage shops. A little more upscale shopping can be found in Rittenhouse Square and regional food specialties are available at the Reading Terminal Market.

If you visit Boston, Newberry Street is an absolute must. Great restaurants, bookstores, boutique clothing, and local markets can all be found on this classically “Bostonian” street. Harvard Square is also a great place to pick up some souvenirs.

In New England you'll find smaller and more intimate shops with great art galleries, antique stores, hand blown glass, artisan products, and fresh preserves. Cape Cod in particular showcases a great deal of artwork, as it is one of the most iconic and picturesque destinations on the East Coast.

When and how much to tip in Eastern USA

In USA, tipping is widely spread: the general rule is between 15 and 20% for bartenders or waiters ($1 to $2 a bag for porters). If in doubt, ask your Tour Director.

Plugs, sockets and electricity in Eastern USA

USA uses 110-120 volt power, so you may need a voltage converter, usually for appliances that heat up such as hair dryers and straighteners. However, you’ll definitely need a plug adaptor: USA uses a flat two- or three-prong plug. It’s better to have a two-prong adaptor which will fit either.