bucket list east coast North east travel

50 must see places in the North East

The North East of the United States is full of amazing and wonderful locations for you to visit. From National Parks to major cities and anything you can think of in between. The North East doesn’t lack epic destinations.

Below you will find 50 places from the nine states that make up the North East. These places are great for families, couples, and even solo outings. There is something for everyone. From mysterious places, beaches, National Parks, and even battlefields. It’s hard to find something that you won’t like.

The North East consists of Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. Check out the list below and let us know what you think. How many have you visited before and how many are you going to add to your bucket list?

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, Maine, woodlands, coastal, ocean,

One of the most beautiful spots on the east coast of the United States. Acadia National park is 47,000 acres and is full of rocky beaches, granite peaks, and woodlands. Standing along the coast might give you a chance to catch a peak of whales out in the distance.

New York City, New York

You could fill out a list of 200 things to do in New York City with no problem. Some of the more notable things to do in NYC are Bryant Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, New York Botanical Garden, Statue of Liberty, Washington Square Park, National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and so many more. 

NYC, New York City, Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Central Park,

New York City is made up of 5 different boroughs and has a population of around 8.3 million people. There are endless things to do in the city. A weekend visit is a must but you still will only hit the tip of the iceberg. 

Poconos, Pennsylvania

The Pocono Mountain region is known for its skiing in the winter. Camelback and Jack Frost are two of the most popular. When the snow melts the Poconos are still a great place to visit with many of the mountains transforming it to other outdoor activities like mountain biking, Treetop adventures, and miles upon miles of hiking trails. 

Salem, Massachusetts  

House of the seven gables, Salem, Massachusetts, witches, New England,

Made famous for holding the Salem witch trials back in 1692. If you are a witch you may want to skip this one. 

Mystic Aquarium – Mystic, Connecticut

Here you can see the only beluga whales in New England. Also at Mystic Aquarium, you will find Steller sea lions. It is one of only two places you can see them in the US.

Manchester, Vermont 

This small southern Vermont town has that great small-town New England feel. Plus the mountain “hugging” the town can be accessed by car. You can drive to the top of Mt. Equinox. 

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, New Jersey, Victorian houses, North East, South Jersey,

Cape May is located in Southern New Jersey and is a great seaside town known for its Victorian houses. When visiting a stop at the Cape May Lobster House and Washington Street Mall are a must. 

Ringing Rocks County Park– Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Visit a place where the rocks ring like a bell when hit with a hammer. 

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts, sailing, beach, boat,

Nantucket may just be a tiny island off the coast of Massachusetts but it holds plenty of things to do. Start off by visiting the Whaling Museum and then take a stroll along the beach looking at one of the Lighthouses or the Old Mill. 

Finger Lakes, New York

This region in the Empire State is filled with many things for the whole family to enjoy. Find wineries and craft breweries for mom and dad to enjoy. While the kids will all the outdoor activities and museums in the region.

Sesame Place – Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, Sesame Place, Theme Park, kids, Sesame Street,

Sesame Place is a theme park in PA that is based on the characters of Sesame Street. This is a great theme park for young kids.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The city of Brotherly Love is a must for everyone at least once in their lifetime. This is where the United States became the United States with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Notable places to visit include Independence Hall, Philadelphia Art Museum (Rocky Steps), Philadelphia Zoo, Love Park, Reading Terminal Market, Franklin Institute, Eastern State Penitentiary, Penns Landing, and of course having a soft pretzel and Philly Cheesesteak. 

Boston, Massachusetts 

When you think of New England I bet the first city that pops in your head is Boston. It’s no surprise since Boston is the 24th most populous city in the United States. Plus there are plenty of things to do in Beantown.

If you are a fan of baseball then a stopover at Fenway Park is a must. History lovers should do the Freedom Trail and visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Of course, who could forget visiting a place where everyone knows your name. 

Moosehead Lake – Greenville, Maine

This is the largest lake in Maine and in the eastern United States. 

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, New York, east coast, Winter, summer, waterfall

If you are brave enough you should visit this amazing destination during the winter months. Ice is everywhere. 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

When visiting Cape Cod a stop you should make, is to the John F. Kennedy Museum. But if museums aren’t your thing, there are plenty of seafood shacks like JT’s Seafood Restaurant, lighthouses, and beaches to explore.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

This is Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. Just check out some of the different towns throughout Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Names like Intercourse, Bird in Hand, Blue Ball, and so much more.

Gillette Castle State Park – East Haddam, Connecticut

Medieval fortress in Connecticut? Nope! That’s just William Gillette’s castle he had built back in 1914. 

Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Barnegat Lighthouse

Long Beach Island or LBI as it is known in the area is a barrier island in New Jersey. There is no boardwalk here but that is what makes it a great place to visit. The miles of shoreline make it a great place to take the family for a beach day.  

Santa’s Village – Jefferson, New Hampshire

Celebrate Christmas year-round at this Christmas-themed amusement park in NH. There is a total of 23 rides here aimed at families with kids under 13.

Newport, Rhode Island

While Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the US don’t skip out on this epic location. Visit the Breakers a summer cottage of the Vanderbilt family.  A visit to the Elms and Marble House should also be on your tour of epic houses in the area. Plus don’t forget about the Cliff Walk which has many of Newports Mansion’s back yards touching this scenic walk.

Flight 93 Memorial – Stoystown, Pennsylvania

Flight 93 National Memorial, Pennsylvania, North East, East Coast, 9/11

National Memorial of the crash site of Flight 93. 

Ice Caves – Pine Bush, New York

The ice caves are located in Minnewaska State Park within Ellenville Fault. Ellenville Fault is the largest exposed fault in the US that is known. The temperature states at or below freezing year-round so even in the summer there is a chance, ice is still hanging around. 

Portland, Maine

Portland is the largest city in Maine and is home to some wonderful activities like visiting six different lighthouses. Plus there might not be a better place to get Maine lobster than in Portland. Get a lobster roll or a whole lobster. Either way, you can’t go wrong in Portland.

Cherry Springs State Park- Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Milky Way Galaxy, Stars, Astrophotography, dark sky,

Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania and was named the second “International Dark Sky Park” in the world. This park is so dark that when conditions are right the Milky Way casts a visible shadow. If you want to see the most stars you have ever seen while looking up. A visit to Cherry Springs is a must. 

Bancroft Tower – Worcester, Massachusetts

Just one of the many “castles” located in Massachusetts that you should take a peek at while in the state.

New England Air Museum – Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Fans of flying and even those who aren’t will enjoy a visit to the New England Air Museum. See engines, exhibits, and of course aircraft. Fifty-five different aircraft can be found in three different hangers. Sure you can find more at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center outside of DC but this collection is impressive too. 

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Asbury Park might just look like another Jersey seaside town but it is so much more. The great Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi have played at the Stone Pony which is one of the most popular music venues in the state.

Walk over the Hudson – Poughkeepsie, New York

An old railroad bridge that has been converted as a pedestrian walkway. 

Floating Bridge of Brookfield – Brookfield, Vermont

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Site of the Bloodiest battle of the Civil War. 

Islesboro, Maine

You can’t drive here. The only way you can get here is by boat.

Catskills Region – New York

Take a road trip along the Catskill Mountain Scenic Byway for a little inspiration or just a nice relaxing drive. 

Bushkill Falls – Pennsylvania

Bushkill Falls, PA waterfall,

Known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania. This place has eight waterfalls with one that is over 100 feet tall.

Wildwood, New Jersey

Wildwood, New Jersey, NJ, Shore, Beach, South Jersey, North East, East Coast

One of the most popular beach locations in New Jersey. The “doo-wop” style can be found throughout the Wildwoods, giving them a different and unique feel from other beach towns in the state. Wildwood is the tenth most popular boardwalk in the US. One visit here and you will understand why. 

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth may just be the home of Plymouth Rock but there is more to it than just some boulder on the shore. You can also find a reproduction of the Mayflower that is to scale. Boarding a tall ship like the Mayflower is amazing. Even better if you can take a ride in one. 

Church Street Marketplace – Burlington, Vermont

A lot is packed in this four-block long space that is on the National Register of Historic District. Even though this space may be considered small to some it is packed full of artworks, cafes, shops, boutiques, and restaurants. 

Abandoned PA Turnpike Tunnel – Breezewood, Pennsylvania

Abandoned, tunnel, Pennsylvania, Northeast, spooky,

This is an abandoned section of the PA turnpike. In the 1960s the turnpike was rerouted and expanded and the tunnel was no longer needed. 

Jaw’s Bridge – Edgartown, Massachusetts

The bridge seen in the movie Jaws. 

Atlantic City, New Jersey

AC, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Jersey, shore, beach, ocean, east coast, United States,

It has been called the Vegas of the East Coast. Casinos line the coast but you can also find Lucy the Elephant. 

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

This is the highest peak in the northeastern United States. Can your car climb the mountain?

Watkins Glen State Park – Watkins Glen, New York

Watkins Glen State Park, New York, Waterfall, scenic,

One of the most breathtaking state parks in New York. Follow the stream as it descends 400 feet past 200 foot high cliffs which make 19 amazing waterfalls along this two-mile stretch. 

Kinzua Bridge State Park – Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania

Kinzua Bridge State Park, Epic, scenic, Pennsylvania, Northeast, railroad bridge,

Just east of the Allegheny National Forest lies this state park in northern Pennsylvania. Walkout to the end of this destroyed railroad bridge that was built back in 1882.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

peaceful, scenic, water, marsh, New England, East Coast

Another New England location that is only accessible by air or boat. Walk the sandy beaches or take a tour of the historic longtime New England summer colony. 

Bangor, Maine

Once a major timber hub, Bangor now is a beautiful city in Maine that has that New England charm. Make sure you check out the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street.

Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard – Waterbury, Vermont

See all the flavors that didn’t make the cut.

Concord, Massachusetts

Concord is an important site from the American Revolutionary War and is a place every American should visit at least once in their life. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

Before you head to Acadia National Park make sure to stop in at Bar Harbor. Stop in at the Traveling Lobster for one of the best lobster rolls in the state. 

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Starting in New Hampshire and ending in western Maine. White Mountain National Forest has some epic scenery with clear mountain lakes and majestic alpine peaks. 

Liberty State Park – Jersey City, New Jersey

Liberty State Park offers great views of the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty. While here pay a visit to the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial in honor of the 749 people who lived in Jersey and lost their lives on that fateful day in September. 


A bonus location to visit for all my fellow Jarheads out there. Tun Tavern the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps located in Philadelphia, PA. Stop by and pay your respects to all of our fellow brothers.

The North East is packed full of interesting and unique places for anyone to visit. How many have you visited? How many are you going to add to your next summer adventure? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for even more places you need to visit in the US? Check out our list of 200 places you need to visit in the US. Who knows where the road will take you.

Want to continue on the journey with us? Be sure to follow us on social media by clicking the icons below. We post content weekly and are always looking for fun and exciting places to visit. Just drop us a line on where we should go next or what we should do.

Thank You everyone who has commented and followed us. It means a lot and helps us continue making post, photos, and guides for you. Till our next post….. Have a great day!

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