America was built for road trips. Ever since the beat generation’s rambles across American highways, the road trip has been an American rite of passage. Dave Highbloom, an entrepreneur, traveler, and photographer, says there is nothing more liberating than packing up the car and hitting the open road, whether solo or with some trusted travel companions. Road trips are among the best ways to experience any country, as they put the traveler in touch with different landscapes, road-side eateries, and unique towns and cities along the way.
America has a seemingly endless list of “must-experience” road trips, and the Eastern seaboard sits near the top. If you have the time, you might as well go big and drive north along nearly the entirety of the American east coast. Start in Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the United States, and drive north along the coast all the way to Bar Harbor in Maine. This 2,000 mile journey will take you through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and exciting places, not to mention an impressive variety of culinary delights – especially seafood. The route includes major cities from like Philadelphia and New York, the nation’s capital, Washington DC, and smaller cultural gems like and St. Augustine, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. After thousands of miles of fascinating cities, beautiful beaches, and majestic mountains, your journey will end at one of the world’s best locations for lobster.
If you are a lover of nature, Highbloom points out the many national parks along the east coast to make for a memorable road trip. On route from Florida to Maine, you can visit the Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Catskills, Green Mountains National Forest, the White Mountains National Forest, and Acadia National Park. Dave also emphasizes that some lesser-known natural gems on this route are just as worth visiting as their more widely known counterparts. Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, between Key West and Miami, contains one of the last living coral reefs on the east coast of the US, as well as a chance to dive for buried treasure and enjoy some of the best key lime pie around. A bit further into your trip, Billie Swamp Safari on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation offers the opportunity to explore the Everglades in airboats and safely interact with alligators up close. Kiawah, just south of Charleston, is a golf-focused family resort that offers fantastic beaches and excellent bicycling paths. The Delaware Water Gap, on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is a great spot for river rafting, and is accessible enough for the whole family to safely enjoy the fun. And in Vermont’s Queechee Gorge, Dave recommends going for a hot air balloon trip – a slow-paced but exciting way to experience an impressive natural wonder.
This road trip will put you in some of the quaintest, most relaxing bed & breakfast accommodations and the most beautiful camping sites in the country. Highbloom points out that the National Park Service has deemed Maine’s Acadia National Park the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” with 158 miles of hiking trails and seven peaks that rise higher than 1,000 feet. What better destination to dream about throughout your road trip?