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United States, Michigan, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Best road trips on the East Coast.

My sister and I are looking at taking a road trip the first week of April. We would be leaving from Michigan. We were talking either about doing the East Coast like Boston, New York City and Philly or going down to Nashville and going through the Smoky Mountains. However we are up for any suggestions. Tell us the most beautiful places you are visited in these areas and if you have any suggestions for places to stay or eat that would be helpful too. We will probably try to go for a cheap as possible we don't really have a budget. We love beautiful scenery, big cities and cute picturesque towns. I am a photography so also mention any great photo ops along the way. 


6 Answers

top answer by
Thom from Philadelphia



Depends how much time you have and whether you want cold or warm. I know the east coast cities Philly (I live here), NYC (exciting!) and Boston (Awesome!). These cities are great off-season destinations for April but will most likely be cold (and probably rainy). I have made a list of great philly things (see post about Philly).  


New York is big and wonderful to walk for free. I like Central Park, Washington Square Parkfor the street life and Chinatown New York for other world experience. Art galleries in SoHoare free. Walk TriBeCaFifth Avenueand Park Avenue. Times Square to Rockefeller Center is a great walk with lots to see. MOMA and Metropolitan Museum of Art are fantastic world class museums well worth admission. Ground Zero is an emotionally charged space but is a long wait. Register online to visit...its free. Try cheap, ethnic eats all over city.  Have a New York bagel from any deli.  


Boston is another walkable city. Visit all the parks and universities. There are cheap college eats everywhere. I love the Boston Common, Quincy Market and Charles River Path. The Museum of Fine Artsis great! Favorite eats is Legal Sea Foods(many locals may be jaded about this place...some because it's now a franchise). I have had it in Philly and in Boston and the fresh seafood is always the best! Go for lunch and have same experience for less. Favorite bar is in Allston...Sunset Grill & Tap. Visit Harvard University and Harvard Square.  


The Smokey Mountain Outdoorsand south will be warmer. You will spend less money to be in outdoors especially if you camp. These mountains are gorgeous and have all kinds of small towns and beautiful countryside to explore. Visit Asheville,NC on the way to the coast for quaint charm.  Go south along coast and visit Charleston and Savannah.  Georgia has awesome, inexpensive state campgrounds that are hauntingly beautiful.  Cumberland Island is a fantastic island to camp on.  This is where John Kennedy Jr. got married.  The campground is located just over the dune from the beach!  


Best way to stay in any city is or Very cheap.  


Have a great roadtrip! 



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Central Park (attraction)
  2. Washington Square Park (attraction)
  3. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
  4. SoHo (neighborhood)
  5. TriBeCa (neighborhood)
  6. Fifth Avenue (attraction)
  7. Park Avenue (attraction)
  8. Times Square (metro area)
  9. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  10. MOMA (attraction)
  11. Ground Zero (attraction)
  12. Boston Common (metro area)
  13. Quincy Market (attraction)
  14. Charles River Path (attraction)
  15. Museum of Fine Arts (attraction)
  16. Legal Sea Foods (restaurant)
  17. Allston (attraction)
  18. Sunset Grill & Tap (attraction)
  19. Harvard University (attraction)
  20. Harvard Square (attraction)
  21. Smokey Mountain Outdoors (attraction)
  22. Asheville (attraction)
  23. Cumberland Island (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Stephanie from Kansas City (Missouri)

My husband and I just drove from Missouri to Florida and back.  The best part of our trip was an overnight in Chattanooga.  Town is adorable, at the base of the mountains, great food, great hotels.  We stayed at the The Chattanoogan.  And Lookout Mountain is right nearby.  Nice wineries, great views, nice food.  It's a cute place!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chattanooga (city)
  2. The Chattanoogan (hotel)
  3. Lookout Mountain (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Desiree from Kaohsiung

I highly recommend roadtripping through the Adirondack Mountains. I stayed in Lake George and it was a great base for all the scenic byways throughout that region. That area is just filled with charming hamlets and roadside mom & pop ice cream shops and cafes.

Roadtripping to Watkins Glen State Park is also very scenic. You go through the Finger Lakes Region, known for their wineries, craft breweries (especially in Ithaca) and Amish cheese. Plus, both the state park and Cornell University campus provide lovely hiking / walks.

I once roadtripped from Salt Lake City to Belfast (Maine). The drive through Acadia National Park and to Bar Harbor was particularly lovely.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Adirondack Mountains (attraction)
  2. Lake George (attraction)
  3. Watkins Glen State Park (attraction)
  4. Finger Lakes Region (attraction)
  5. Ithaca (city)
  6. Cornell University (attraction)
  7. Belfast (Maine) (city)
  8. Acadia National Park (amusement park)
  9. Bar Harbor (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Alexis from Pittsburgh

If you're into photography, you DEFINITELY want to visit Pittsburgh!  Pittsburgh is one of the most photogenic cities in the country!  For some beautiful shots of Pittsburgh, check out Dave DiCello's site ...

No, I don't work for the city in any way, and I don't even know Dave DiCello.  I just live here and love the city!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pittsburgh (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Ktown from Knoxville

Nashville has really grown-up over the last few years and can be loads of fun. You have to take at least one night and do Broadway/2nd Ave. Hit the Honky Tonks (Tootsie's,etc) and be like all of the other tourists. I promise you will have a blast. Rooms are expensive downtown. If you are on a tight budget, I might recommend airbnb and stay just outside of the city center. 

The Smoky Mountains are a solid 3 to 4 hours east of Nashville.  I love the park and of course you have plenty of photography ops. Living close to the Smokies I personally avoid Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, but they are worth a few hours of your time to walk the main drag in Gatlinburg.  You can take a pics of folks with matching air brushed T-shirts.

If you want to hike, I like Abrams Falls Trail and Mount Le Conte.  If you want to drive, head up Clingman's dome, take some pics, drop down the mountain into the Cherokee NC and then make a leisurely drive into Asheville

In the south, Nashville and Asheville are two of my favorites.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nashville (city)
  2. Smoky Mountains (attraction)
  3. Gatlinburg (city)
  4. Pigeon Forge (city)
  5. Abrams Falls Trail (attraction)
  6. Mount Le Conte (attraction)
  7. Asheville (city)
1 thanks

answered by

Go to Pittsburgh and Cleveland on the way East! I'm serious.Near Pittsburgh hit Fallingwater- that whole area is very nice.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pittsburgh (city)
  2. Cleveland (city)
  3. Fallingwater (attraction)
1 thanks

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