From coast to coast, there's plenty to see and do when you visit the United States. While Route 66 is one of America's main arteries, and cuts through some of the most beautiful and historic places in the country, from the city of Chicago to the great Grand Canyon and sunny California, there's still so much more to see in the good old U.S. of A.!
The East Coast of America is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant, and visited, megalopolises in the world. The urban corridor stretching from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., is home to more than 45 million people.
That means there's no shortage of must-see places within range of the dynamic cities on America's Eastern Seaboard.
We'll cruise north up the coast with our top five travel destinations on America's East Coast. First up…
Though Richmond isn't quite the deep south, this Virginia city still might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the East Coast. Nevertheless, there's tonnes to see and do in this historic city, and it's just two hours south of Washington.
Country music drew deep inspiration from the bluegrass tunes of Virginia's Appalachian region. Later, the state was home to one of the genre's most prominent groups, the Carter Family. Today, bars and other live music venues across the city of Richmond keep the country music tradition alive and well.
The city has played a central role in the American experiment, stretching back to colonial times. In St. John's Church, Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me death." Richmond went on to serve as the capital of the southern Confederate States during the Civil War. Now a multicultural city with a thriving arts and culture scene, Richmond is the kind of city where a visitor can learn the full story of America's past while toasting its future.
Washington, District of Columbia
A short trip north from Richmond brings you to the city of Washington, which is coterminous with the federal District of Columbia. Once you visit Washington, you'll understand that there's no better place to serve as the capital of the United States. And it's definitely one of the most beautiful cities on our list!
Visitors can stroll the National Mall and tour America's monuments to great leaders, valiant soldiers and world-altering events of immense consequence. Adjoining the mall is the towering Washington Monument and the sombre Lincoln Memorial with its awe-inspiring reflecting pool. It was at the Lincoln Memorial where American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech. Today, visitors can literally stand in his footsteps in the shadow of the memorial.
Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region in Virginia and Maryland, is also home to an amazing array of museums. From history to art to the field of intelligence gathering, there's something everybody will want to explore!
Another three hours or so up the coast from Washington, D.C., you'll reach the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia! This historic Pennsylvania metropolis is a huge and bustling cultural hub on the rise, with loads of options for sightseers.
Like D.C. and Richmond, Philly is home to some of America's most storied destinations, including Independence Hall, the birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. One of the great national icons of America's identity, the Liberty Bell, can also be found on Philadelphia's notably walkable streets.
Today, this bustling town is famous for its association with two other prominent components of the American consciousness: food and sports. Philadelphia sports fans are known far and wide for their enthusiasm, and from fine dining to soft pretzels, this city has a food scene that's in a class of its own. Don't skip the cheesesteak while you're here!
New York City, New York
Is it almost too obvious to bring up New York now? Well, it definitely bears discussion, because there's no other place in the world quite like the Big Apple. If you're still trekking up the East Coast, it's just another couple hours from Philadelphia.
The history of the United States relies on New York. Long a first destination for immigrants the world over, this city definitely embodies the "melting pot" ethos of America's origins and the cosmopolitan aspirations of its future. Like generations of new arrivals before you, visit the Statue of Liberty and reflect on the diversity embodied by the five boroughs of New York City and the immense country that lies beyond.
This world capital of culture is also home to the immensely popular Broadway theatre district, innumerable art museums and some of the finest performing arts organisations anywhere. You've heard New York is the city that never sleeps? Well, it's definitely true, because New Yorkers have a bar scene worth writing home about. Whether you lay your head in the boroughs or somewhere else in the greater tristate area, you're sure to find accommodations that fit your needs.
Last stop: Boston! Well, it's the last stop before Route 66, anyway. From Boston, you can take a convenient passenger rail trip on Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited line to connect to Chicago before hitting the road. But don't skip this town in a hurry. Boston is worthy of way more than a quick stopover.
Sites of national importance abound in this city. Walk the Freedom Trail to visit prominent Revolutionary War locations like the Paul Revere House and Bunker Hill. Literary buffs will also want to scout out the Old Corner Bookstore, known for its association with illuminating authors like Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Along with nearby Cambridge, which is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Greater Boston area is home to a large number of colleges and universities. That might not be exactly why you'll find such a great array of bars here, but it sure can't hurt.
Adventurers will love Boston's proximity to the hilly grounds of New England. The city can serve as an excellent base of operations before journeying northwards to many scenic ski resorts and hiking trails.
After you visit the East Coast, save some of your energy to join us as we journey down Route 66.