The eastern coastline of the United States is jampacked with interesting, unique, and unusual sights to see and explore. Among them, you will find world-famous locations such as Fort Lauderdale, sun-soaked Miami, antebellum Charleston, and the historic monuments of Washington DC.
However, if you are planning a trip along this iconic stretch of coast, and you would like to include some sights that are off the beaten track – veritable hidden gems, if you will – then there are some truly intriguing options to check out.
Read on to find out more, and start planning your weird and wonderful East Coast itinerary!
Make Your Way To Mystic
If you’ve ever watched the film Mystic Pizza, then you will already be familiar with the idyllic waterfront town that lent the movie its name. Well, guess what – now’s your chance to pay Mystic a visit for yourself!
Providing a charming blend of time-honored tradition and more modern influences, Mystic is the perfect destination for anyone who hankers after the romance of a picturesque riverside town with bags of character. There is plenty to see and do, so whether you are visiting on your own, with your partner, or as a family, you won’t be lost for entertainment.
Start off with an Insta-worthy stroll through downtown Mystic, stopping off at one of its many alluring bakeries, before making your way to the Seaport Museum and Village, and the town’s Aquarium and rescue center. If you have a fondness for ye olden days, you should also explore the Olde Misticke Village, designed to evoke the feel of an 18th-century haven.
The Conjuring House
Horror movie buffs (or, indeed, anyone with an interest in the paranormal) may be thrilled to discover that you can now visit the so-called ‘Conjuring’ house. Yes, really – the original building, reputed to be a ‘portal to Hell’, that inspired the titular movie of James Wan’s now-infamous franchise.
Nestled on a picturesque plot on Burrillville’s Round Top Road, the home’s new owner has turned it into a paranormal attraction, with guided tours available and the opportunity to stay overnight if you dare.
Of course, as the building’s managers have made clear, there is no guarantee that visitors will actually experience anything spooky – but the widespread appeal of the Conjuring movies and the chilling stories that inspired them will probably be more than enough to entice many curious visitors to step through the front door.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The historic expanse of Boston – one of America’s oldest cities – is well-known for its blend of architectural styles, which range from the sublime to the downright imposing. Arguably one of the most remarkable architectural sites is the Venetian-inspired palazzo of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; a must-see for any fine art enthusiasts passing through Boston.
This dramatic edifice is the legacy of the art-loving heiress who lends the building her name. Now, you can admire her truly remarkable collection, which includes Titian’s Rape of Europa, and works by the likes of John Singer Sargeant, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Botticelli, to name just a few of the luminaries she gathered to fill her halls. You will also find a wealth of historic artifacts hailing from around the globe, including 18th-century Japan and Ancient Rome.
Once you have completed your tour of this awe-inspiring museum, you may be keen to hop on a bus from Boston to NYC to check out the next hotspot on this list. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, don’t hesitate to check out Wanderu in order to find bus tickets at the lowest prices.
Pomander Walk In New York
Thanks to popular films and TV shows, NYC’s most famous attractions are intensely familiar to people around the world, even if many of them have never set foot on American soil. However, the city is also home to a number of hidden gems that even seasoned travellers may not be familiar with – such as Pomander Walk, for instance.
Nestled on the Upper West Side, this exclusive enclave offers a sanctuary of fairy tale charm in the midst of the hustle and bustle and looming skyscrapers. Named after the Louis N. Parker-penned romantic comedy of 1910, Pomander Walk features an idyllic courtyard, Tudor-style houses, and lush foliage which together creates a storybook village in the heart of NYC’s booming metropolis.
While it may not be as dramatic or renowned as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, or the Empire State Building, there’s no denying that Pomander Walk has a beguiling quality all of its own. As such, it’s well worth a visit, even if just to marvel or shake your heads in amused wonder at its anachronistic beauty and aura of fairy-like enchantment.
Last but not least, our journey along the picturesque East Coast leads us to Florida – but not to such well-trodden hotspots as Miami. Instead, you should take some time to explore the pristine network of natural springs you’ll find at nearby Crystal River.
Here, you can swim with manatees at Three Sisters Springs, enjoy fishing, paddle-boarding and scenic kayak trips, as well as immersing yourself in the area’s fascinating First Nations history at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park.
Crystal River may not have the glitz and glamor of Miami, but once you begin exploring this breath-taking part of Florida, you will discover plenty of riches you may never have expected.