Feel like travelling back in time?

If you love diverse cities, historic neighbourhoods and old-world charm, an East Coast adventure is calling your name. We're turning this road trip into a time machine and exploring some of the United States' most historically significant places, from Boston's coastal charm to the iconic landmarks of Washington, DC. We've got a couple of centuries and a few hundred miles to cover, so fuel up with a slice of New York style pizza, a bowl of New England clam chowder or a Philly cheesesteak to keep your (metaphorical) tank full and happy. Fasten your seatbelt, we're headed East... first stop: The City that Never Sleeps.

Our East Coast Road Trips & Tours

7 Days From 2288

Walk in famous footsteps on a 6-day musical journey from Nashville to Memphis and New...

8 Days From 2382

Explore the Georgia History Trail on your way to Nashville on this small group tour...

6 Days From 2903

Travel from New York to Boston on a small group tour that is perfect for anyone who...

14 Days From 4612

Explore the deep South on your way to New Orleans on a twelve-day small group tour...

7 Days From 3534

Discover the best of the USA’s East Coast on a 7-day small-group adventure taking in...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

12 Days From 6532

Spend 12 days uncovering the best of the East Coast with a local leader, taking in...

10 Days From 2885

Explore the Big Apple (New York) and the Big Easy (New Orleans) and discover the...

Highlights of the East Coast

A vendor serves up three bagel sandwiches at a deli in New York City

Take a bite out of the Big Apple

There's nothing more essential to New York City's character than its food scene, and with countless restaurants, bars, and late-night vendors, you'll never run out of options. Stop by a bodega for a bacon egg and cheese on a classic NYC bagel, grab a hot, salty pretzel from a street cart or swing over to Katz's Deli for a pastrami on rye. Pick up a fresh juice from a cart in the park and you've got a well-rounded day of eats.

A seated hiker takes in the view from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park

Rise with the sun in Acadia

With its miles of rugged coastline, it's easy to see why Acadia is one of the most popular national parks in the East. Acadia's Cadillac Mountain is one of the first places in the US that sees the sunrise, and a trip to the summit in the dark is met with a gorgeous reward. After an early morning, keep the momentum going with some hiking or kayaking before finishing the day with a Maine must-have: a lobster roll.

The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the Smoky Mountains in shades of blue and green

Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway

When it comes to East Coast road trips, you don't get more scenic than the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway. The route is slow, twisty and cruisy, with deliberately low-speed limits that encourage leisurely exploration. Expect plenty of scenic pull-offs and picnic spots with unparalleled views of the Great Smoky Mountains. This road trip isn't about the destination, it's purely about enjoying the ride.

Travellers stand in front of a wall of records at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Follow the music in Tennessee

This is a road trip that comes with its own playlist. If you're a country music fan and want to follow the footsteps of legends like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Waylon Jennings, hit the Tennessee Music Trail. From Nashville to Memphis, enjoy stops at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Studio B and Graceland, building courage along the way to belt out a tune of your own at an open mic night.

East Coast tour reviews

East Coast FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

The answer is maybe – depending on where you’re from. Many countries now operate under the United States Visa Waiver Program, meaning a visa isn't required for stays of up to 90 days for travel purposes. There are 40 participating countries, including the United KingdomAustralia, New Zealand, Germany and Spain.

If you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to obtain an authorization letter that confirms you have been approved to travel. Authorisation letters can be obtained by submitting an application through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, also known as ESTA. It takes roughly 20 minutes to apply, and you'll need to complete the application before you travel to the States.

Learn more about visa requirements for the United States

Tipping is very much a part of the culture in the US. Tips are expected at restaurants, cafes and diners, as well as by taxi drivers, valet attendants, porters and hotel maids. People working in the service industry generally receive the minimum wage, which is quite low and therefore rely upon tips as a major source of their income. In general, leave 15-20% of the bill at restaurants or bars and a few dollars for hotel staff who provide a personal service like carrying bags or cleaning your room.

Learn more about tipping in America

Internet access is excellent in the US, and internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots are easily found in most cities and major towns.

Mobile phone coverage is excellent in most parts of the US, although coverage may be patchy in remote, mountainous areas like national parks and canyons. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to the United States directly support our foundation partners, the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) and the Grand Canyon Conservancy.

Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) create inclusive, equitable opportunities for small Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) tourism businesses in the USA. Donations from our trips help CHEA provide access to industry-specific technical assistance, capacity building, and industry networks for small BIPOC travel and tourism businesses through their Diversity Tourism Academy (DTA).  

Find out more or make a donation

The Grand Canyon Conservancy is on a mission to protect the Grand Canyon National Park for future generations. With almost 6 million visitors to the park annually, the Grand Canyon Conservancy runs educational programs and immersive experiences that teach people about the park's cultural and environmental significance. Donations from our trips support trail restoration and maintenance, conservation and preservation of native vegetation and wildlife, and educational programs.  

Find out more or make a donation

Being such a large country, the weather in the US is different depending on which area you are in. This means that it’s always a good time to visit, as the sun is always shining somewhere in the United States. Summer (June to August) is the peak travel season due to school holidays, but it can be uncomfortably hot in the desert areas and the south. Winter can be cold in the northern states but quiet in other areas, which can make it a pleasant time to visit.

Read more about the best time to visit the United States

Read more about travel on the East Coast