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The Ultimate East Coast Vacation Destinations

The east coast of the U.S. and Canada include some incredible destinations to explore with great cities, beaches and activities with something for the whole family. Here are some of Skyscanner's favourite places to consider for your next vacation on the East Coast.

Looking for some vacation ideas? Why not try cities along the east coast? The east coast of Canada and the U.S. have a number of beautiful cities with much to offer in terms of scenery, culture, and food. There are so many east coast cities that make for an ideal weekend getaway. Here are our top picks by our travel experts at Skyscanner Canada.

Washington D.C.

skyline of downtown Washington DC, a great east coast city
The Ultimate East Coast Vacation Destinations | Skyscanner

Beyond the White House and the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. is a great city on the east coast for arts, culture, and adventure. The relatively new National Museum of African American History and Culture traces the history and trials and triumphs of Black Americans in a marvellous and sometimes troubling fashion, with exhibits of the slave trade and uplifting displays on music, literature, sports, and the arts. There’s also the well-known Smithsonian, the National Air and Space Museum and so much more.

After your museum visit, get yourself over to Georgetown for awesome shopping and food, or a kayak ride on the Potomac, where you can rent your gear and paddle past the Kennedy Center and quiet, natural islands. You also can try a food tour with DC Metro Food Tours. The Marriott Marquis is a beautiful hotel near all the major attractions.

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close up of Art deco architecture in Miami, a hot travel destination along the east coast of the U.S.
Art deco architecture in Miami, a hot travel destination along the east coast of the U.S.

Year-round warm temperatures, white sand beaches, and fabulous nightlife make Miami one of the prime east coast cities in the U.S. An Art Deco walking tour of South Beach is a real treat, as is a walk along the newly renovated Espanola Way, with its Spanish architecture and lively restaurants. The Wynwood Arts District is one of the top places in the U.S. to see street art, with wildly colourful renderings on dozens and dozens of buildings and an increasingly trendy food and cocktail scene.

The Perez Art Museum has a lovely location on the Miami waterfront and wonderful, cutting-edge exhibits. Soho Beach House is a sleek beachfront hotel with a funky rooftop bar.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia

person with their hair in a bun standing and looking out at the shores of Lawrencetown Beach in Halifax at sunset
Head to the beach in Halifax, Canada’s favourite east coast city

The capital of the province of Nova Scotia makes a sensational destination along the east coast. Halifax is well-known for its seafood restaurants, a beautiful harbour to explore, and an excellent surfing spot not far from the city at Lawrencetown Beach. Segway Nova Scotia offers Segway rides along the gleaming waterfront, with some tours lasting as little as 30 minutes for travellers a little short on time.

There are several craft breweries in town, including Good Robot and the Garrison Brewing Company. This being part of Atlantic Canada, you’re never too far from a lively pub with great Irish or other types of music. Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, a short drive from downtown Halifax. The Halliburton offers unique, boutique hotel rooms in a historic building downtown.

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New York City

Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan, NY and Central Park
The Ultimate East Coast Vacation Destinations: New York City

There’s nowhere just like New York City. The Big Apple is consistently a beloved destination for adventurous solo travellers, culture seekers, and those looking for a whirlwind weekend getaway.

When it comes to world-class attractions, New York has it all. The Met Museum has a suggested entry fee of $25, but travellers are encouraged to contribute what they can afford, including a discount for students. The Staten Island Ferry is always free and offers spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island. The City Reliquary is a funky museum/display space in Brooklyn that has kitschy memorabilia from the 1964 World’s Fair and only costs $5. For some other budget-friendly ideas in the city that never sleeps, check out this curated guide on free things to do in New York.

Also worth checking out are the restaurants in Jackson Heights (Queens) and The Bronx’s Little Italy, which is centred around Arthur Avenue and is far more authentic than the one in Manhattan. The Library Collection has several lovely hotels in the city, including the Library Hotel and Hotel Giraffe.

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Myrtle Beach

aerial view of Myrtle Beach in the evening, with the ferris wheel glowing in a bright pink
The Ultimate East Coast Vacation Destinations: Myrtle Beach

This South Carolina city has always been a great family spot, with its broad beaches and inexpensive seafood places and old-time arcades. It’s also a world-class spot for golfers. Try a kayak ride on the Black River with Black River Outfitters or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding in Murrells Inlet, where you’ll find fun, waterfront restaurants in a setting that feels a bit like Key West. There are a ton of quirky miniature golf spots in the city, which hosts an annual mini-golf world championship.

The Myrtle Beach Art Museum isn’t big, but it features intriguing works from local artists.

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