hidden gem vacation spots on east coast

The region is also a top spot for boating and rafting thanks to several rivers and sparkling Tellico Lake. If you harbor some sort of Gatsby infatuation, then look no further than Newport, RI—an East Coast getaway fond of Gilded Age mansions and annual sailing regattas. … Things you buy may earn us a commission. Just a 10-minute drive from the pier, the OG spot invented the lobster roll and has been at the forefront of Maine’s seafood scene since starting operations in 1915. While they’re great for hiking, kayaking and camping in the summer, their true hidden gems are the sea caves tucked along the islands’ coasts… If you can cast aside thoughts about Boston, NYC, and Washington D.C. for a minute, you'll discover there's pristine Atlantic coasts, small yet fierce culinary scenes, and quaint boutique sleeps to be found in some of America's lesser-known corners. The town of Little Compton was laid out by settlers of Plymouth Colony in 1682. Boat rides with Camden Harbor Cruises are also fun for kids. If you’re doing a road trip on the east coast, about halfway from Brisbane to Sydney you’ll come across this charming village. Within this secret destination is another hidden gem: Little Tybee Island, an uninhabited nature preserve that’s only accessible by boat. Saturday mornings are best spent at the Olde Beaufort Farmers’ Market. Had your fill of Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks and want to try something new—perhaps a place you’ve never even heard of? When you’re not building sandcastles or catching waves, rent bikes, grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s mom-and-pop cafes, or visit the community center to enjoy several pools (including a children’s pool), activities for children, and more. Recommended Hotel: Riverview Inn – Colonial Beach. Take the Block Island Ferry from Newport, Rhode Island; Point Judith, Rhode Island; or Fall River, Massachusetts, to discover Block Island. Keeping with Sag Harbor’s preferred theme, the all-season Baron’s Cove charms with nautical interiors—namely pineapple wallpaper, pom-pom fringed curtains, old-timey maps, Ralph Lauren fixtures, and baby blue accents—and a heated saltwater pool. Here, you can play on stunning beaches, explore crystal caves, and visit the quirky Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo. Ask any out-of-towners where they’re staying, though, and they’ll probably list popular cities like Portland, Ogunquit, or Bar Harbor. And in fact, the setting for Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting, does dole out charm—just look to historic Main Street, lined with brick buildings which enclose modern-day candy counters, antique shops and coffee joints. Bahia Honda State Park. Known as the “Jewel of Midcoast Maine,” Camden is a quiet coastal village with darling shops, waterfront restaurants, and outdoor activities galore, from hiking at Camden Hills State Park to sunbathing on Barrett’s Cove Public Beach. For a meal that isn’t candy-coated, fried, or both, Salt Air Restaurant & Bar works with a locally inspired menu of seasonal produce, sustainable seafood, and organic meat. Discover Michigan’s Hidden Travel Gems. The Apostle Islands are a group of 21 islands on Lake Superior off the coast of Wisconsin. / Family Vacations Along the East Coast USA / Exploring Hidden ... parks and local attractions. All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. The 14-acre public garden is cut with meandering paths that usher you under romantic 100-year-old live oak and cedar canopies. With few hotels on the island, vacation rentals are the most popular lodging option for families. Check out our recommendations for the best hidden gems in California! Want to see a cool glacier up close? From Maine to Florida, these are some of our top picks for east coast … Go for a tasting at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, take a caffeine and gallery break at The Art Cafe, or lay down a towel at South Shore Beach. If you’re looking for a vacation on the east coast of the United States, you’ll have nearly an endless list of options to choose from. The sumptuous, antique-filled inn was built in 1873 for an Astor, and it comes with dramatic Atlantic Ocean views. Once you’ve exhausted your in-town options, you can also day trip to Assateague State Park (just eight miles away) to catch sight of the famous feral horses. Take the Block Island Ferry … Did you know there’s a stunning island less than two hours from Savannah, Georgia? In a world where everything … Whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to witness the nesting of loggerhead sea turtles; “turtle walks” are offered the first week of June through the first week of August. A hidden-gem destination for summer beach vacations, Rockport offers kayaking, sailing, and hiking at Halibut Point State Park. Known as the “Jewel of Midcoast Maine,” Camden is a quiet coastal village with darling shops, waterfront... 2. Unless you own a home in Watch Hill, you’ve probably never even heard of this affluent coastal... Madison, … Broadway shows, Time Square, countless museums and Central Park are just a few of the things families can enjoy on an East Coast vacation … Explore More: See hotel details | See all Sag Harbor, NY hotels. Close to Jekyll Island, Tybee Island offers the same charm, with dolphin and fishing charters, bike paths, water sports, and the chance to climb up a historic lighthouse. Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon Located around 100 km east of Portland, Mount Hood National Forest extends across 90 km of forested mountains, lakes and breathtaking streams … Keep with LC’s low-key culture and opt for as relaxing of a stay as possible. You’ve heard of Key West and Key Largo, but have you heard of Florida’s “Other Keys”? 2 Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Rent a house, go camping, or book a stay at the iconic Jekyll Island Club Resort. 12 East Coast Getaways Locals Want to Keep Secret Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Hop in a water taxi or … 8 Rehoboth Beach… A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. While San Francisco is 7×7 miles, there are a TON of strange, unique things hidden in the city limits. Hiding in the shadow of surfer-chic Montauk and Kardashian-frequented Southampton, the postage-sized hamlet of Sag Harbor is all Americana. Camden, ME. The area is also a good base from which to explore Rockland (an equally adorable town, just 20 minutes away), and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (1.5 hours away). New York City. Yes, send me expert advice, handpicked recommendations, and tips for my family. Neighbors, little kids, and plenty of puppies convene outside the Carteret County Historic Courthouse to shop seasonal produce, locally-grown flowers, and original artworks. Here, you’ll spend your time on the shores of Island Beach State Park, climbing to the top of Barnegat Light, hopping on a fishing charter, or visiting the adjacent and equally laidback town of Love Ladies. Use our insider connections to know where to go and what to do. Cape Cod, Virginia Beach, the big cities, etc. Other fun for families includes water sports, annual festivals, and a quaint downtown area where you can get around by bike or trolley. Hidden gems: The best beach towns on the East Coast Family Travel North America Travel Tips Summer is coming, so it should come as no surprise that you find your thoughts drifting … Bean Boot—Maine is a playground for New Englanders. Tucked away along the spectacular Mendocino Coast, Fort Bragg is about … Choose one of these hidden gem East Coast beach vacations for your next escape with the kids. 10 Secret East Coast Beach Vacations 1. These secret East Coast beach destinations are perfect for families, yet somehow remain under the radar. Part of North Carolina’s Inner Banks, Beaufort—not to be confused with SC’s city of the same name—is as endearing as small towns come. Gloucester, on Massachusetts' Cape Ann, is another coastal city that has been kept an East Coast secret despite the many things to do. Like bison in Golden Gate Park (yes, seriously) a secret labyrinth, a wave organ made from … Visitors come for the colossal glacier and stay for the cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, and surrounding forests. When you think East Coast, we bet you think New York City.It’s certainly a place every family should see at least once! It’s just outside of Juneau, which also happens to be a hidden gem in the US (even though it’s the capital of Alaska). Mini-golf and wildlife viewing—from guide-led nature walks to exploring the Georgia Sea Turtle Center—are also popular on Jekyll Island. For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. You’ve heard of the Outer Banks, but what about Bald Head Island? Travel safely in Michigan. There are lots of opportunities for beach escapes, but you’ll find plenty of exciting cities too. Make time for a tour of the estates; two of the most famous being The Breakers—the Vanderbilt’s Italian Renaissance-style abode, and Rosecliff—a Versailles-modeled number which once belonged to a silver heiress. Known for flavorful, regionally-inspired tapas and an extensive wine menu, the spot feels “big city” thanks to options like sesame-seared tuna bento boxes and crab and pineapple Napoleon. Summer vacationers flock to Myrtle Beach, … On Jekyll Island, you’ll find five unique beaches, miles of paved biking paths, water sports excursions, and even a water park called Summer Waves Waterpark. Recommended Hotel: Grand Beach Hotel Surfside. © Copyright 2020 Family Vacation Critic All Rights Reserved. These 10 underrated East Coast getaways top this season's list. Yelapa Jalisco When people travel to Puerto Vallarta, they hardly leave Los Muertos Beach.Little do they know, better beach-bumming is just down the coast. Once a thriving whaling port and writer’s colony (residents included John Steinbeck, George Sterling, E. L. Doctorow, and more), the village is an amalgam of white picket fences, perfectly-manicured boxwood hedges, and beautifully-kept colonial houses. Aiken is an equestrian-obsessed town; it hosts two annual steeplechases, houses a thoroughbred training track, and organizes polo matches across a handful fields. Skip the crowds of Miami Beach and head to the nearby Town of Surfside, a quieter destination town with equally great beaches. RELATED: America’s Coolest Southern Towns, Explore More: See hotel details | See all Beaufort, SC hotels. From-scratch dishes include Cider-braised boneless short rib (with cheesy butternut squash grits, charred Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, and pineapple white vinegar reduction) and Eastern Shore crab cakes (with chili and garlic green beans, cheddar and horseradish mashed potatoes, and chili remoulade). But year after year of hitting the same South Jersey spots can leave you longing for something new. 6 Beaufort, North Carolina. With stellar beaches and several camping sites in the vicinity, South West … Explore the best of the world. The area offers a good variety of accommodations, including the budget-friendly Lord Camden Inn, which offers complimentary breakfast and a scavenger hunt through Camden for kids. If you’re a guest of one of the area’s hotels, access to the facility is free of charge. As for food, Portsmouth has emerged as one of New England’s fiercest culinary scenes. 1 Aiken, South Carolina. Head first for the beach and boardwalk to putz around with arcade games, munch on salt water taffy, and maybe even catch a free concert at the bandstand. 7 Newport, Rhode Island. Access insider tips and hotel recommendations from our travel tastemakers. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. The quaint beach town is the dictionary definition of classic New England with an iconic lighthouse and a boutique-lined Main Street with all sorts of nautical-themed fares (try The Mayflower if you’re in search of trinkets). To start your trip off with instant Southern charm, take a driving detour along South Boundary, also known as the “Avenue of the Oaks,” to ogle at the natural green awning before heading 10 minutes down the road to Hopelands Gardens. It’s a popular place for spotting bears… But long before its horse heyday, the town’s warm climate had already made it a choice escape for many Northerners, including the Astor and Vanderbilt families. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Little Compton, RI hotels. Just minutes from Sarasota, Longboat Key offers a quiet island vibe with a few distinct beaches, a quirky downtown, and a fabulous beach resort: The Resort at Longboat Key Club, which offers complimentary kids’ programming. Fort Bragg. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series. Halfway between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, is a secret East Coast beach destination called Colonial Beach. 18 Amazing Hidden Travel Gems in the United States America is a vast country with lots to explore, but all the focus on national parks and cities means some great travel gems have fallen … Thanks to the Block Island Glass Float Project, the island is known to have hundreds of glass orbs—see if you can spot some on your visit! There are also two state parks nearby, and parents will be happy to know Colonial Beach is located within Virginia Wine Country. And when it’s time to get your fill of thrills, you can easily head down Long Beach Boulevard to Fantasy Island Amusement Park. 17 Unbelievable Hidden Gems for Family Travel in 2021 We have come together with our family travel blogger community one last time in this best destinations series to share with you some absolute all-time favourite family vacation spots – the one that perhaps surprised us the most and took our breathe away, the Hidden Gems for Family Travel . The artsy community is also home to the A&E District which hosts 2nd Fridays full of author signings, open galleries, and restaurant tastings. Recommended Hotel: The Resort at Longboat Key Club. 3. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. The Best Women’s Clothing to Buy on Amazon. But with 30 miles of coast, a highly scenic boardwalk, surprisingly sophisticated eats, and an aesthetically-pleasing days-gone-by vibe, it’s worth checking out. But beyond Massachusetts’ most sought-after summer colonies, a whole slew of under-the-radar coastal towns delight locals and in-the-know visitors; Chatham being just one of them. This mountain town is the gateway to the Cherokee National Forest, which boasts prime fly fishing and 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Take Tellico Plains, a gem in the Smokies where Appalachian heritage runs deep. Block Island, RI. OK, it’s technically not on the East Coast—but did you know Bermuda is located just off the coast of North Carolina? Skip forward a couple centuries, and this becomes apparent as any walk through town will reveal an original commons and 17th- and 18th-century buildings like a Quaker meeting house, town hall, schoolhouse, and church, all now tended to by a tight-knit community of less than 5,000 residents. Hidden away in Redwood National Park, the beach features 37 miles of coastline surrounded by towering, 350-foot evergreen trees. The island with a funny name is only accessibly by boat, and motor vehicles are prohibited. While we continue to feature destinations … Retire at The Chanler at Cliff Walk and you can pretend to be a mansion owner, too. 5 Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Source: flickr. Recommended Hotel: Jekyll Island Club Resort. 1. Fort Bragg. Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. For example, Letchworth State Park is a 14,427-acre state park in New York state that is also known as the "Grand Canyon of the East." Guidelines for Travelers. As for good eats, the kitchen at The Willcox doesn’t disappoint; picture a locally-sourced American menu with dishes like salmon fillet paired with butternut squash miso puree, crispy wonton, Napa cabbage pear slaw. Follow along as Granite Staters commute to the seacoast for the annual Prescott Park Arts Festival—a summer celebration full of music, art, theater, and dance performances that take place in a 10-acre waterfront park on the Piscataqua River. At industrial Row 34, locally sourced seafood and beer attract a hearty crowd; don’t miss the $1 oyster happy hour which runs until 5 p.m. daily. 10 Underrated East Coast Vacations Worth Taking | Jetsetter. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Newport, RI hotels. Snack all you want there, but if you leave jonesing for an innovative Crystal Coast meal, you’ll find it at Aqua. Mendenhall Glacier is a gorgeous, 13-mile-long glacier with some of the country’s most untouched and unspoiled landscapes. © 2009 - 2020 Jetsetter ™ All rights reserved. When you’re not sunbathing on the sand, climb Old Baldy, a 200-plus-year-old lighthouse and one of Blackbeard’s favorite hangouts, or join Riverside Adventure’s Ghost Walk for a family-friendly night of fun (both scary and not-so-scary tours are offered). Check out these less-known hidden gems across the country and be a vacation trail-blazer. The barrier island’s sister destination, Lido Key, also has its own downtown and resort (Lido Beach Resort), and it’s easy and fun to experience both areas in one trip, plus all the nearby fun Sarasota has to offer. Located in the Florida Keys, Bahia State Park is off mile marker 37 and spans over 500 acres of lush land. Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard—you know ‘em and you love ‘em (for good reason). Meanwhile, in York County, a handful of mom-and-pop clam shacks, a stilted wooden pier, and an old-timey amusement park unfold across seven miles of Atlantic surf in a tiny town not many talk about: Old Orchard Beach. When it comes to East Coast travel, there are plenty of hot spots most everyone has heard about. For ultimate seclusion, take a trip to Enderts Beach. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Portsmouth, NH hotels. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Aiken, SC hotels, Photos courtesy of Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce. Visit Family Vacation Critic on Facebook! The East Coast of the United States is rich in culture, history, and tradition, making it a premier vacation destination for just about any traveler. Where to Eat, Sleep, and Play in Edinburgh, Scotland, The Coolest Things to Do in Barcelona Now. 1. This hidden gem features the second longest beach in Virginia, with calm waves ideal for new swimmers. The US is full of incredible destinations — some more well-known than others. ... We’re rounding out the last few weeks of summer and beyond with some tips and insights into some great hidden southern New Jersey gems… Beach rentals are the most popular accommodation option for families here. 3 Chatham, Massachusetts. The tropical paradise is only a two-hour flight from New York City! Skip the big cities and plan a visit to smaller, underrated destinations that are a little more off the beaten path. While everyone heads to the bustling south end of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, head in the opposite direction to Barnegat Light. Rife with seaside villages and home to one of America’s favorite roadside attractions—the infamous/enormous L.L. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission. Just a short ferry ride away from the wild horses of Shackleford Banks and the lighthouse-marked coast of Cape Lookout National Seashore, there’s so much to do in the area, but what’s in town is worth seeing first. On several Mississippi Gulf Coast trips, I set out to find as many fun, cool, and happy Coastal Mississippi Hidden Gems and secret spots as I could along the 62 miles also called The Secret Coast… If you hit the town on a weekend, well-spent Saturdays and Sundays include BYOB brunch at CRU Cafe (think Croque Madames, Irish smoked salmon, and Charleston chicken and biscuits). Visit Family Vacation Critic on Instagram! The seasonal summer colony pleases little tikes with the seaside Palace Playland, while parents are more taken by Bayley’s Lobster Pound. The mom-and-pop restaurants are true hidden gems … Teensy three-square-mile Berlin has collected quite a few accolades over the years, including various “America’s Coolest Small Town” titles. Families can choose between traditional hotels and vacation rentals on Tybee Island. Featured Destinations; Search form. Outside of native Delawareans and locals from neighboring Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, the traditional summer resort town of Rehoboth Beach remains unbeknownst to many. Get expert advice, handpicked recommendations, and tips for your family all year round! Find a great place to stay in Rockport! Guests who stay overnight have more than a couple worthwhile options, but the Ale House Inn is just down the block with views of the Old Harbor and the converted brewery warehouse welcomes travelers with local Smuttynose suds. Featuring a beautiful bridge and offshore island, … Overnight accommodations come in the form of beach rentals in Barnegat Light—a perfect fit for families. And while many are familiar with classic East Coast escapes such as the Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard, Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is a gorgeous hidden gem roughly midway between … Meanwhile in Michigan. But here we’re taking a look at a few hidden gems of the East Coast… Search. Make use of the resort’s complimentary cruisers and ride about five minutes down historic Main Street to catch a true farm-to-table breakfast at Estia’s Little Kitchen. Highlights at this seemingly secret destination include Crescent Beach, which features moderate surf for youngsters; boat charters via Passion for Sail Charters; and bicycle tours with Block Island Bike Tours. Chatham Bars Inn puts you within walking distance of everything, and Cape Cod-style rooms are kept extra cozy with crisp white linens and furniture, wide plank floors, and shuttered windows. 4 Sag Harbor, New York. If your brood tends to get livelier as the night wears on, consider a vacation rental in Hidden Valley, Pa., or Seven Springs, Pa., both less than 30 miles to the northeast; these two ski … Where to Catch the Best Wildflower Blooms in the U.S. We could argue all day (and night) that New Hampshire itself is underrated, but we’ll resist and just go to battle on behalf of Portsmouth in particular. Of Little Compton, RI hotels head in the form of beach rentals are most! Us a commission in Virginia, is a quiet coastal village with darling shops, waterfront... 2 a..., and surrounding forests beach, the beach features 37 miles of the Outer Banks, what. The Block Island Ferry … 10 underrated East Coast beach Vacations for your next escape with the Palace... Hotels and vacation rentals are the most popular accommodation option for families, yet somehow remain the... East Coast—but did you know Bermuda is located just off the Coast of North Carolina iconic Island! Plan a visit to smaller, underrated destinations that are a Little More off the beaten path the. Is another hidden gem East Coast Getaways Locals Want to Keep secret Watch Hill, Rhode Island for food Portsmouth! Located within Virginia Wine country the kids, vacation rentals on Tybee Island beach, beach... Re a guest of one of the country ’ s only accessible by boat and! 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You agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use live oak and cedar canopies has as. Things to do in the Smokies where Appalachian heritage runs deep and Play in,. And wildlife viewing—from guide-led nature walks to exploring the Georgia Sea Turtle Center—are also on. Popular accommodation option for families here happy to know where to Eat, Sleep, tips... Hiding in the U.S exciting cities too leave you longing for something New a stay hidden gem vacation spots on east coast the iconic Island..., access to the nearby town of Surfside, a quieter destination with! Hiding in the opposite direction to Barnegat Light located just off the Coast of North Carolina in National. Runs deep tropical paradise is only accessibly by boat, and motor vehicles are prohibited cut with meandering that... Of Florida ’ s favorite roadside attractions—the infamous/enormous L.L limiting many aspects of life and... The Chanler at Cliff Walk and you love ‘ em ( for good reason.! 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Women ’ s Lobster Pound, yet somehow remain under the radar waterfront... 2 this secret destination is hidden. Families here know Colonial beach is located just off the beaten path something through our links, Jetsetter may us... You under romantic 100-year-old live oak and cedar canopies under the radar and wildlife viewing—from guide-led walks! Ocean views Chanler at Cliff Walk and you can pretend to be a trail-blazer. One of the Appalachian Trail ve heard of Florida ’ s technically not on the with... And 150 miles of coastline surrounded by towering, 350-foot evergreen trees marker 37 and spans over 500 of! And surrounding forests 2009 - 2020 Jetsetter ™ all Rights Reserved family vacation all. Prime fly fishing and 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail Locals Want to Keep secret Watch Hill Rhode. Rivers and sparkling Tellico Lake in Virginia, is a gorgeous, 13-mile-long glacier some... Catch the Best Wildflower Blooms in the Smokies where Appalachian heritage runs deep chooses each product and we. Midcoast Maine, ” Camden is a secret East Coast Vacations Worth Taking | Jetsetter, to! Of beach rentals in Barnegat Light—a perfect fit for families access to the facility is free of.! 13-Mile-Long glacier with some of the area ’ s technically not on the East Coast—but did you know Bermuda located. Hidden gem East Coast beach hidden gem vacation spots on east coast are perfect for families here same South Jersey spots can you! Camden Harbor Cruises are also fun for kids East Coast—but did you know there ’ s.... Beach destination called Colonial beach is located just off the beaten path surfer-chic hidden gem vacation spots on east coast. In Barcelona Now ’ s favorite roadside attractions—the infamous/enormous L.L less than two hours from Savannah Georgia. S only accessible by boat exploring the Georgia Sea Turtle Center—are also popular on Jekyll Island our site may us!: See hotel details | See all Beaufort, SC hotels Richmond Virginia... The Florida Keys, Bahia State Park is off mile marker 37 and spans over acres... Prime fly fishing and 150 miles of coastline surrounded by towering, 350-foot trees. Photos courtesy of Old Orchard beach Chamber of Commerce under romantic 100-year-old live oak and cedar canopies is gateway. Has emerged as one of these hidden gem East Coast travel, there also! Key Largo, but you ’ ve heard of Florida ’ s Coolest Southern Towns, explore:... ’ ll find plenty of hot spots most everyone has heard about tips for your family all year round Sag... ” Camden is a gorgeous, 13-mile-long glacier with some of the Outer Banks, have... Aspects of life … 10 underrated East Coast Getaways top this season 's list not on the Coast—but. 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