mid-atlantic boardwalk atlantic city

50 Wonders, 50 States: Coast to Coast USA Travel List – Part 2: Mid-Atlantic

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Adventure Travel, Budget Travel, Destinations, HelloVacay | 0 comments

Continuing our journey through America's must-see experiences, we venture into the Mid-Atlantic region. This area, rich in history and natural beauty, offers a blend of urban excitement and rural charm. From iconic cityscapes to scenic byways, let's explore one quintessential experience for each of the seven Mid-Atlantic states.

empire state building new york city

New York: Stand atop the Empire State Building

In a city of endless icons, the Empire State Building might seem like a predictable choice. Yet, like the perfect Broadway show, it never fails to captivate, no matter how many times you've seen it. From 1,250 feet above the bustling streets, the 360-degree view unfolds like a living map of New York's greatness. Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge all play their parts in this grand urban theater.

Time your visit for sunset, when the city transforms in a breathtaking display of light and shadow. For an extra touch of magic, ascend on a Thursday evening when a live saxophonist serenades visitors, their melodies floating out over the glittering metropolis. In a city that never stops reinventing itself, this Art Deco masterpiece remains a timeless reminder of why New York captures the world's imagination.

atlantic city mid-atlantic

New Jersey: Stroll the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Step onto America's first and most famous boardwalk. Stretching for four miles along the Atlantic Ocean, this historic promenade offers a quintessential Jersey Shore experience. Indulge in saltwater taffy, play classic arcade games, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of street performers and casino lights. Don't miss a ride in an iconic rolling chair, a boardwalk tradition since the 1880s, for a unique way to take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant coastal destination.

philadelphia mid-atlantic

Pennsylvania: Explore Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Walk in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers at Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a tangible connection to the birth of American democracy, allowing visitors to stand in the very room where the nation was born. After your tour, make sure to see the Liberty Bell, housed in a nearby pavilion, and touch a piece of American history that has inspired the cause of freedom around the world.

delaware mid-atlantic

Delaware: Wander through Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Discover America's premier museum of decorative arts set within a spectacular 1,000-acre preserve. Once the home of Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur houses a collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between 1640 and 1860. The surrounding gardens, designed in naturalistic style, are equally impressive and change with every season. Be sure to visit the enchanting Enchanted Woods, a three-acre children's garden where fairy folk are said to live, adding a touch of whimsy to your visit.

chesapeake mid-atlantic<br />

Maryland: Sail the Chesapeake Bay

Experience the heart of Maryland's maritime culture with a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay. Whether you choose a historic skipjack tour or a modern charter, you'll gain a new appreciation for this vast estuary. Keep an eye out for lighthouses, watermen pulling in their daily catch, and the diverse wildlife that calls the bay home. For a true taste of the Chesapeake, time your visit during the fall and indulge in the region's famous blue crabs, best enjoyed at a waterfront crab shack after your sailing adventure.

mid-atlantic virginia

Virginia: Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

Embark on one of America's most scenic road trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 469-mile route winds through the Appalachian Highlands, offering breathtaking vistas, access to hiking trails, and glimpses of local culture. Don't miss stops at overlooks like Peaks of Otter and Mabry Mill for classic Blue Ridge views. For a deeper dive into Appalachian culture, plan a stop at the Blue Ridge Music Center, where you can listen to live mountain music and learn about the region's rich musical heritage.

mid-atlantic west virginia

West Virginia: Raft the New River Gorge

For an adrenaline-pumping adventure, tackle the whitewater rapids of the New River Gorge. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this rugged gorge offers some of the best rafting in the eastern U.S. As you navigate the rapids, you'll be surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs and lush Appalachian forest, showcasing West Virginia's wild beauty. For an extra thrill, time your visit for “Bridge Day” in October, when you can watch base jumpers leap from the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge, the longest steel span in the Western Hemisphere.

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From urban heights to mountain vistas, colonial history to natural wonders, the Mid-Atlantic states offer a rich tapestry of American experiences. These seven activities provide just a glimpse of what this diverse region has to offer. Stay tuned for our next installment as we continue our journey through the 50 states, uncovering unique and unforgettable experiences across America.

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