How to do the most on the US East Coast

After spending time cruising the USA's East Coast, our writer highlights memorable cities to visit

Sam Norman
25th November 2023
Image Credit: Pixabay
After spending around three weeks in several different states on the East Coast of the United States, I would like to think I have a shred of authority in my opinions on the best spots. In reality, America is a diverse multitude of different places; the states are home to beaches, mountains, landmarks, but, for me, the exhilarating pulse of the USA lays with the unique blend of culture and thrill in the cities. 

Washington DC

For the purpose of giving an authentic opinion, the cities I list will be ones of the East Coast I have visited, and there is nowhere else to begin other than where I began: DC. With so many National Parks, only a fingertip away from each other, the entire city is incredibly well-looked after. Turning over your shoulder to see a national monument at each angle isn’t too bad either. 

Whilst still significant North of the Southern States, in my short time I found DC able to maintain the treasures in some of the Southern cuisines that the further North states lost. It was a shame to peak on day one for trying cornbread. DC had excitement, tourist destinations but as well felt like somewhere I would love to live for a period – so if the White House needs a new host let me know. 

Boston, Massachusetts 

Controversial potentially, but Boston didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was fine – that’s about it. Had some cool parts, and admittedly the weather was terrible, and we didn’t do much tourist things, but compared to other places it was extremely unremarkable. The only significant part of my few days there was a stunning lobster bisque and a terrifying trip to Salem. 

New Haven, Connecticut 

Home to Yale University, New Haven is a hidden gem on the East Coast. I may be biased due to the friends made whilst there, but New Haven has a unique essence to it. It holds both the lively bar atmosphere of a student city, as well as the aspects of a homely cosy neighbourhood. Good bars, good food, good atmosphere; New Haven isn’t one to miss if travelling through the area.

New York City, New York

Sensory overload will be the only way I can define NYC. Was seeing the Statue of Liberty and going up the Empire State Building some of the best experiences of my life? Yes. Did I find every time I crossed a road or walked down the street a Hunger Games style quest? Yes. For most people NYC is, understandably, a bucket list place – I don’t blame them. However, set your expectations reasonably, NYC is great, but it is not the big city utopia you might believe. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Now Philadelphia for me was everything people think NYC is. It checks nearly every box for social factors as well as for the foodies. The city is alive with culture and excitement – watching a Phillies baseball game, visiting the Rocky Statue and touring Eastern State Penitentiary were just some of the activities I barely scratched the surface within Philly. In fewer words, of all the city breaks, Philly may not be the top of mind, but it is the place to be. 

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AUTHOR: Sam Norman
Head of Current Affairs 23/24. Campus Comment Sub-editor 22/23. BA English Language and Literature Student.

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