Taylor-Lavallette-Beach

A woman admiring the Spring Point Ledge Light in Portland, Maine during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

There is nothing like East Coast summers! From Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May through Labor Day Weekend at the beginning of September, the beaches come alive, charming coastal towns beckon and road trips are back in action. If you’re looking for the perfect adventure to enjoy with family and friends this summer, follow this USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks!

From the charming coastal cities of South Carolina to the New England beaches, the East Coast of the USA offers many beautiful destinations and must-see attractions. Below is an excellent USA East Coast itinerary to follow on a 2-week road trip.

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USA East Coast Summer Road Trip Itinerary for 2 Weeks

Where to Start and End an East Coast USA Itinerary:

A woman strolling through Charleston during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Since New England takes longer to warm up, it’s best to start your East Coast road trip in the American South and make your way north.

Because this itinerary starts in Charleston, South Carolina, fly into Charleston International Airport and rent a car from there. Of course, if you’re already doing a USA road trip or live along the East Coast, you can use your own vehicle for this trip.

When you and your party end your trip in Portland, Maine, it’s best to fly home from Portland International Jetport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.

Best Time to do a 2-Week East Coast Road Trip:

Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth.

Even though you can enjoy beautiful weather throughout the American South through most of the spring, it doesn’t start to become proper summer weather until after Memorial Day Weekend for Mid-Atlantic beach destinations and around the Fourth of July for New England vacation spots.

Suppose you’re looking for the perfect time to enjoy this fantastic East Coast travel itinerary where you can experience excellent summer weather without crazy crowds. In that case, I suggest doing your road trip at the end of June or the beginning of September.

When you travel to these coastal destinations in July and August, you’ll be dealing with heavy crowds and inflated prices. Don’t get me wrong, being at a beach destination in the heart of summer is a blast, but you’ll have to book accommodations, restaurant reservations and activities well in advance.

Best USA East Coast Road Trip Itinerary for 2 Weeks:

A woman enjoying a beautiful beach day along the East Coast.

The West Coast of the USA offers incredible landscapes that, when visited, will leave you lasting memories for years, but what makes the East Coast different is its charming towns filled with years of history and culture.

When spending 2 weeks in East Coast USA, you must relax at all the gorgeous beaches, explore the fascinating historical sites, savor incredible cuisines and wander through all the idyllic small towns and cities.

Below are the best East Coast destinations to visit during a summer road trip:

Southern USA Destinations to Visit on a Road Trip:

Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston, South Carolina:

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Mills House, Curio Collection by Hilton

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the upper 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s° and around nine days of precipitation

Day 1: Explore Downtown Charleston
A woman exploring downtown Charleston during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Charleston, South Carolina is a great place to begin a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks during summer. It’s a charming port city near the beach with cobbled streets, incredible Lowcountry restaurants and historic sites.

The perfect place to fuel up after arriving in Charleston is Harken Café. It’s a rustic café that is diagonal from the Mills House.  

One of the best things to do during your first day in Charleston is to stroll around the beautiful city and learn about its history. Admire the colorful row of beautiful buildings along Rainbow Row, see the famous Pineapple Fountain and check out the Southern mansions in The Battery.

The best way to learn about Charleston’s history is to ride a horse and carriage around the city. From there, you must visit the Charleston City Market, a 1700s marketplace that sells clothing, jewelry, art, home décor and food.

A great place for lunch and drinks is The Rooftop at the Vendue. It overlooks the city and it’s a fantastic spot to enjoy margaritas, fish tacos and flatbreads.

After lunch, walk off what you ate and drank by visiting the shops along King Street. A hidden gem for shopping and drinks is The Skinny Dip. Not only is it a cute women’s boutique, but there is also a rooftop bar that sells coffee, tea and frozen wines.

Enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at The Darling Oyster Bar on King Street in the evening. As the name suggests, it’s an excellent spot that’s famous for its oysters! A fantastic dessert place to visit afterward is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Since Charleston is one of North America’s most haunted cities, my favorite thing to do is a ghost and graveyard walking tour. I recommend Bulldog Tours, which will take you to the spookiest spots in the city and discuss the historical events that happened there.  

Day 2: Enjoy Charleston’s Beaches
Folly Beach outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

The next day, wake up to a lovely Southern brunch at Poogan’s Porch, which faces the Mills House. It’s Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishment and my personal favorite Charleston brunch destination, where you can savor mimosas, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and other delicious Lowcountry breakfast items.

After breakfast, tour one of the plantations near the city, such as Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens or Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. These two locations are interesting for history buffs and perfect for photography.

Later on, enjoy a light lunch and grab a frosé to go at The Co-op on either Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island. These Charleston beaches are beautiful and perfect for rest and relaxation. Another great beach near The Holy City is Folly Beach.

If you are trying to decide between the three beaches, Sullivan’s Island offers a more quiet and picturesque ambiance; Isle of Palms is an upscale beach community with a decent amount of stores and restaurants and Folly Beach boasts a younger crowd with beach bars and a laid-back surfer atmosphere.

On your last night in Charleston, savor a fine dining meal at Charleston Grill, an upscale Southern French restaurant in Charleston Place.

Wilmington, North Carolina:

A woman enjoying a summer trip to Wilmington, North Carolina.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Aloft Wilmington at Coastline Center by Marriott

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around 10 days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around 10 days of precipitation

Day 3: Arrive in Wilmington and Relax at Wrightsville Beach
Enjoying Wrightsville Beach during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Named as one of the “Best of the Carolina Coast,” Wilmington, North Carolina is also a port city like Charleston, which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches along the East Coast of the USA.

The drive from Charleston to Wilmington takes approximately three hours and twenty minutes. Once you arrive, check into your hotel and head to Wrightsville Beach for lunch and relaxation.

Overall, Wrightsville Beach is one of my favorite East Coast beaches because it has powdery white sand, crystalline waters and great vibes. Out of all the destinations you visit during this USA East Coast road trip itinerary for 2 weeks, Wrightsville Beach is the spot that will make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean island with its clear waters.

One of the top places to eat in Wrightsville Beach is Oceanic Restaurant. It’s an oceanfront seafood restaurant where you can enjoy fresh local fish, great cocktails and live music. The iconic Crystal Pier is next to this restaurant, where you and your loved ones can walk out and admire the ravishing ocean views.

If you have ample time, take the Masonboro Island Nature Cruise. You’ll sail around the Intracoastal Waterway and learn about the ecology of the North Carolina marshlands.

In the evening, walk along the Wilmington Riverwalk, admire a captivating sunset along the Cape Fear River and have a cocktail with some fries at Sauce’d.

Seabird Restaurant in downtown Wilmington is one of my favorite restaurants where you can appreciate a mindfully sourced dinner on your first night.

Day 4: Experience the Great Outdoors in Wilmington and the Island Beaches
A woman kayaking in Carolina State Park.

On your second day in Wilmington, North Carolina, start by fueling up with incredible coffee and pastry at Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods. From there, head to Carolina State Park for a morning of adventure!

Through Paddle NC, you and your family and friends can enjoy a scenic kayaking journey along the Cape Fear River. What is cool about kayaking at Carolina State Park is that you can see the various local sea birds, which I loved when I did this activity! In addition to kayaking, enjoy one of the many trails at this park.

In the afternoon, you have two options: enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on the Carolina Beach Marina at Stoked, followed by a fun afternoon on the boardwalk at Carolina Beach, or savor a light meal at Ceviche’s in Wilmington, followed by a visit to one of the USA’s most beautiful parks and gardens, Airlie Gardens.

Later on, have an incredible Italian dinner at Tarantelli’s Ristorante Italiano, which was voted the “Best Authentic Italian Restaurant” in Wilmington.

Like Charleston, Wilmington has a haunted past. Once night falls, participate in the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. It’s a 90-minute walking tour that visits notorious places in downtown Wilmington, such as the Latimer House, Burgwin-Wright House and Bellamy Mansion.

Virginia Beach, Virginia:

Oysters from the beach

How Long: One Night

Where to Stay: The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, Autograph Collection

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

Day 5: Spend a Day in Virginia Beach
Visiting Virginia Beach during a USA East Coast summer itinerary for 2 weeks.

Located in Southeastern Virginia, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is a great vacation destination and a must-stop on a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks. It’s famous for its boardwalk, blue crabs, museums and more.

Driving from Wilmington, North Carolina to Virginia Beach, Virginia takes around four and a half hours. When you arrive, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch with an oceanfront view at Chix on the Beach.  

From lunch, stroll along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, sunbathe on the beach, swim in the ocean and play a game of mini golf. While on or near the boardwalk, you must capture a photo of the King Neptune statue. It stands 26 feet tall and was created by Artist Paul DiPasquale.

Suppose you prefer to take a break from the beach during your day in Virginia Beach. In that case, there are plenty of great museums to check out, like the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum/de Witt Cottage, which showcases wildfowl art, carvings and photographs from the local area, as well as the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum.

Other great things to do in Virginia Beach are to rent bikes, see the Cape Henry Lighthouse and meander through First Landing State Park.

Head to Vibrant Shore Brewing Company to get fantastic pizza and beer for dinner .

Mid-Atlantic Summer Destinations to Explore on the East Coast:

A woman enjoying a coastal vacation.

Ocean City, Maryland:

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the upper 70s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around six days of precipitation

Day 6: Visit Chincoteague Island and Arrive in Ocean City, Maryland
Wild horses on the Eastern Shore.

It’s no secret that Ocean City, Maryland is one of America’s favorite beach resort towns, and I know it’ll be one of your’s while you follow a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks. It features a famous boardwalk with fun rides, arcade games, great restaurants, shops and beachfront hotels.

Enjoy a scenic drive up Virginia’s Eastern Shore region from Virginia Beach. Since it takes around two hours and 45 minutes to get to Ocean City, Maryland, stop at the breathtaking Chincoteague Island. This incredible location is famous for its wild horses that gallop on the beaches freely.

Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, clamming, crabbing, fishing and boating are fun outdoor activities on Chincoteague Island. There are also plenty of walking trails to enjoy the natural beauty.

If you’re traveling with younger kids, you must make memories at Funland, which includes mini golf, go-karting, a carousel and an arcade. There is also a waterpark called Maui Jack’s on Chincoteague Island.

There’s no better place on Chincoteague Island than Captain Zack’s Seafood. It’s a casual grab-and-go seafood shack famous for its fresh fish and shellfish platters and oysters.

In the afternoon, resume your hour-long drive to Ocean City, Maryland. When you arrive, check into your hotel and relax at the beach.

A great way to enjoy your first evening in Ocean City is to visit Seacrets, Jamaica U.S.A. It’s a fun spot to savor delicious Jamaican cuisine and seafood, sip tropical cocktails, dance the night away and jam out to a live concert. If you visit Seacrets during the day, you can sit and enjoy your drinks in the water of the Isle of Wight Bay.

For those who prefer a more laid-back evening experience, check out Seacrets Distilling Company!

Day 7: Spend the Perfect Beach Day in Ocean City
A woman on an East Coast summer road trip.

Your summer East Coast USA road trip itinerary must include experiencing the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. In fact, Ocean City was named one of the best USA beaches!

One of the best places to go for breakfast in Ocean City is Barn 34. It’s a typical cozy morning spot with traditional breakfast items like pancakes, French toast and some of the best jumbo lump crab omelets.

It’s no secret that one of the best things to do in Ocean City, Maryland, is to have a relaxing beach day! Ocean City has beautiful beaches with soft sand, sapphire blue waters and convenient access to oceanfront restaurants and bars.

While enjoying the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, you can sunbathe, ride the waves, go boogie boarding or skim boarding and take a long walk on the beach.

Brass Balls Saloon is a fantastic beachside café for lunch. Here, you can savor fish tacos, coconut shrimp, burgers, wraps, Maryland crab cakes and more. When I visited this spot, I got an Orange Crush, a Mid-Atlantic staple summer drink that is both tasty and refreshing.

Later in the evening, walk the Ocean City Boardwalk. This entertaining boardwalk boasts three miles of rides, arcades and food stands. The best way to get to the attractions is by riding the tram.

While enjoying an evening on the Ocean City Boardwalk, watch the sunset on top of the Ferris wheel, cool off to Kohr Brothers’ frozen custard and challenge yourself to fun arcade games.

If you’re not looking to eat boardwalk food for dinner, Fager’s Island is a fine-dining restaurant with mouthwatering dishes. Like Seacrets, Fager’s Island also becomes an awesome party spot as the night goes on.

Lavallette, New Jersey:

Visiting Lavallette, New Jersey during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Starlight Motel & Luxury Suites (Ortley Beach)

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Day 8: Have a Jersey Shore Vacation during your USA East Coast Itinerary for 2 Weeks
The Lavallette Bay at the Jersey Shore.

I may be biased because I grew up here, but Lavallette is the number one destination along the Jersey Shore and a must-visit during a USA East Coast Itinerary for 2 Weeks. Located on the Barnegat Peninsula, a barrier island, Lavallette is a laid-back beach town with a boardwalk, beach, bay and quaint downtown.

It’s around a four-hour drive from Ocean City, Maryland to Lavallette, New Jersey. When you first arrive, grab a coffee and a light bite at Lava Java before heading to the beach.

Like Ocean City’s beach, Lavallette boasts soft sand with glistening water. On a beautiful summer day, relax, swim, play fun beach games and grab a snack from the Italian ice truck! If you have young children and want to unwind at a beach with shallow and calm water, head to Lavallette Bay.

Before dinner, have fun playing mini golf with your friends and family at Barnacle Bill’s in Ortley Beach, which is the next town over. While at Barnacle Bill’s, challenge your loved ones to an 18-hole game, followed by hanging out in the arcade.

Located near Barnacle Bills is Lobster Dock, which offers some of the best seafood on the barrier island. Some of the top things to savor at this restaurant are lobster rolls, crab cakes and oysters. Please note that Lobster Dock is BYOB; I prefer bringing a nice rosé for a seafood dinner.

Day 9: Relish the Best of New Jersey Summer
A woman enjoying a beach day at Island Beach State Park.

During your 2 weeks on your East Coast USA road trip, have the best time participating in all the fun activities the Jersey Shore is known for.

On your second day in Lavallette, New Jersey, enjoy breakfast on the bay at the Bayview Café. I am obsessed with the key lime French toast! Afterward, walk off your meal on the Lavallette Boardwalk or bike around Lavallette’s West Point Island.

If you love exploring natural beauty with fewer crowds, head south to Island Beach State Park. It’s a breathtaking area with 10 miles and 3,000 acres of coastal dunes and incredible biodiversity.

The park’s sand dunes and salt marshes offer easy-to-moderate hiking trails. Additionally, you can go bird watching, fishing and kayaking at Island Beach State Park!

For lunch, grab a refreshing açai or poke bowl from Playa Bowls in Lavallette before returning to the beach. If you prefer to do something thrilling, visit The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights to rent jet skis, a boat or a pontoon for a half-day or full day on the Barnegat Bay.

Before having a fun boardwalk night, ensure you and your party watch the sunset at the Lavallette Gazebo, which overlooks Barnegat Bay. From there, head down to Seaside Heights!

You will experience the most authentic boardwalk night at Seaside Heights’ Casino Pier during your summer road trip. There are rides for all ages, arcade games, food stands and live entertainment.

If you’re looking to savor tasty boardwalk food, you must grab delicious cheesesteaks or sausage and peppers from Midway Steak House, pizza and zeppoles from Three Brothers from Italy, clams on a half shell from Beachcomber Bar & Grill and frozen custard from Kohr’s. For those who prefer a sit-down meal, I recommend dining at The Sawmill.

New York, New York:

A woman with a Flying Dress on in front of the Beehive at Hudson Yards in NYC.

How Long: Optional One Night

Where to Stay: The Highline Hotel

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around eight days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Optional Day 10: Pit Stop in New York City during Your USA Road Trip
A woman at the Edge Observation Deck in NYC during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

It’s no secret that a great summer road trip stop from the Jersey Shore to New England is the “City that Never Sleeps!” An East Coast travel itinerary must always include New York City because there is something for everyone to enjoy.

It’s around an hour and a half drive from Lavallette to New York City. When you first arrive, enjoy brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda before strolling the High Line to Hudson Yards.

After arriving at Hudson Yards, head up to the Edge Observation Deck! It’s 100 stories high and includes a glass floor, a bar and a 360-degree view of NYC. If you’re up for a good thrill, you and your party must conquer the City Climb, where you scale outside the Edge at over 1,200 feet above the ground.

The next stop of your day in NYC should include taking a row boat around Central Park Lake. Please note that boats are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Each boat holds up to four people and costs $25 USD per hour.

For lunch, walk over to Tacombi on the Upper East Side. It’s an authentic Mexican taqueria that will transport you straight to Mexico. During the summer, Tacombi has open-air seating, incredible margaritas and Mexican sodas, tacos, tostadas, chips with guacamole and more.

End your day in the Big Apple by visiting one of the best rooftop bars in NYC, like Spyglass Rooftop Bar in Midtown. It looks out over the Empire State Building and Times Square and is the perfect place to admire the sparkling city lights at night.

If you have extra time, make sure to do a cruise around the East and Hudson Rivers. Not only can you admire the best views of the NYC skyline, but it also allows you to get a close-up look at the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.

New England Coastal Towns to See on a 2-Week Journey:

The charming Thames Street in Newport, Rhode Island.

New Haven, Connecticut:

How Long: One Night

Where to Stay: Hotel Marcel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s° and around six days of precipitation

Day 10: Wander around New Haven
New Haven pizza and wine from Frank Pepe in Connecticut.

If you’re like me and grew up watching Gilmore Girls, you’ll genuinely enjoy visiting New Haven, Connecticut during your USA East Coast summer itinerary for two weeks! I visited during a Gilmore Girls Connecticut road trip during the holiday season and had a wonderful time, but this city thrives during the summer months.

New Haven is a coastal city on the Long Island Sound in Southern Connecticut. It’s the Constitution State’s second-largest city and is home to the famous Ivy League Yale University and New Haven pizza staple Frank Pepe.

It takes around an hour and 45 minutes to drive from New York City to New Haven or three hours from Lavallette. When you arrive, check into Hotel Marcel and have brunch or lunch at the onsite BLDG.

After brunch, walk off your meal by touring the beautiful Yale University campus. Yale is the third-oldest university in the USA, so when you book a student-led tour, you’ll learn about the Ivy League university’s 300-year history. Additionally, you’ll see the enchanting Gothic Sterling Memorial Library, one of the most iconic buildings on Yale’s campus.

Head just outside the city in the afternoon to Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford. Owned by Joe Gouveia, who was born and raised in Portugal, this beautiful Connecticut vineyard is the perfect place to appreciate a stunning summer day! Enjoy a tasting experience, the on-site food trucks, live music and scenic views.

When you arrive back in the city in the evening, it’s a must to savor New Haven-style pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. In case you don’t know, New Haven pizza is thin-crusted and coal-fired. This iconic pizzeria is famous for the Original White Clam Pizza, but you can order numerous other pies. I also recommend getting the house red wine!

Newport, Rhode Island:

A woman staying at Hammetts Hotel during a 2-week East Coast road trip.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Hammetts Hotel

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 70s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 70s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 70s°F with average lows in the upper 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Day 11: Arrive in Newport and Appreciate its Elegance
A woman at the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island.

Newport is a quintessential coastal city you’ll adore during your USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks! It’s located on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island and is famous for its Gilded Age mansions, charming downtown area, seafood restaurants, harbor and beaches.

Driving from New Haven to Newport, Rhode Island takes a little less than two hours. When you first arrive, have brunch at Stoneacre Brasserie.

Next, stroll down Thames Street and enter the lovely boutiques. One of my personal favorite shops is the Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store. Another great way to walk off your breakfast is to stroll the Newport Cliff Walk, which runs 3.5 miles.

From the Newport Cliff Walk, make your way over to The Breakers. This mansion is the grandest of its kind; a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo! It was the summer cottage of the Vanderbilts, one of the most prominent families in American history.

After walking through The Breakers, go to Marble House, another former Vanderbilt home on Bellevue Avenue. This mansion is special because its foyer is completely covered in marble. While at Marble House, don’t forget to check out the Chinese Tea House on the back lawn!

For lunch, enjoy a delicious Italian meal with a cocktail at the “Instagrammable” Pasta Beach! It features cute wallpaper, Bohemian décor, delectable personal pizza pies, pasta dishes, salads and more.

In the afternoon, visit the Newport Art Museum, go wine tasting at Greenvale Vineyards, sip craft beers at Newport Craft Brewing & Distillery or head to one of Newport’s beaches.

One of my favorite places to visit in Newport is Greenvale Vineyards. It’s a quaint winery that produces small quantities of renowned estate-grown wines. In fact, you and your loved ones can do a wine tasting at a table situated right inside the vineyards!

The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar is located on Newport’s historic waterfront and is the perfect venue to savor a delicious dinner. Afterward, nightcap the evening with a glass of wine at 22 Bowens, where you can watch the sunset over the wharf.

Day 12: Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Newport, Rhode Island
A woman enjoying a sailing adventure in Newport, Rhode Island during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

From history to adventure, there is something for all to enjoy in Newport! Start your second day in this coastal city by fueling up to a delicious breakfast at CRU Café on Bellevue Avenue.

One of the best things to do in Newport, Rhode Island during an East Coast summer road trip is to enjoy a sailing experience on Narragansett Bay. The best company to do this adventure with is Sight Sailing of Newport.

With Sight Sailing of Newport, you and your party can do a morning mimosa tour, an evening Champagne sunset cruise or a private sail from Bowen’s Wharf. During this lovely sail, you’ll see Clingstone mansion, Hammersmith Farm (the wedding reception venue of President JFK and Jackie O.) and Fort Adams.

A great place to have lunch on your second day in Newport is The Red Parrot Restaurant, a laid-back restaurant known for its lobster quesadillas and nachos.

In the afternoon, I suggest making your way down Ocean Drive. It’s a scenic road with breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the sea and pretty lighthouses! The best beach to go to along Ocean Drive is Kings Beach.

Additionally, you must walk around the beautiful Brenton State Park, fly a kite, go fishing and cool off with a soft frozen lemonade from Del’s.

Another great Newport Beach to visit is Easton’s Beach, based at the start of Newport’s Cliff Walk. It’s the perfect family-friendly beach with low-tide waters. Sachuest Beach is also lovely to spend the afternoon at!

Have dinner at Midtown Oyster Bar on your last evening in Newport.

Portland, Maine:

Downtown Portland Maine

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Blind Tiger Portland by Lark Hotels

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 70s°F with average lows in the lower 50s°F and around five days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s°F and around two days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s° and around two days of precipitation

Day 13: Spend the Perfect Day Exploring Portland
A woman enjoying the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine.

The best place to end your summer USA East Coast road trip itinerary is the coastal city of Portland, Maine. Located in Southern Maine, this charming city boasts fishing wharves, picturesque lighthouses, renowned restaurants and great shopping.

Driving from Newport to Portland takes around three and a half hours. When you first arrive, grab a coffee and a Holy Donut. This donut shop is famous for its potato donuts, which are made from scratch daily.

Afterward, walk the scenic Eastern Promenade Trail, which offers beautiful views of Casco Bay. Then, stroll the charming cobbled streets of Portland. The downtown area boasts excellent local shops!

Don’t forget to savor a delicious New England clam chowder from Gilbert’s Chowder House off the Commercial Street wharf for lunch.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy a fun time at Shipyard Brewing Company, visit the charming New England town of Kennebunkport or have a rejuvenating beach day at Old Orchard Beach.

Once evening rolls around, one of the best restaurants to dine at is Eventide. It’s an award-winning restaurant with swanky and cozy vibes. Not only should you enjoy the incredible oysters at this location, but the Maine crab roll is also delicious, along with their craft cocktails.

After dinner, walk over to Three Dollar Deweys on Commercial Street for live music!

Day 14: See the Portland Lighthouses and Conclude Your USA East Coast Road Trip
A woman visiting Portland, Maine during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

A summer vacation in Portland, Maine is incomplete without exploring the local lighthouses and nearby parks.

After enjoying a lovely breakfast at Blind Tiger, head to South Portland to see the Spring Point Ledge Light. It’s a beautiful lighthouse built of brick and located at the end of a 900-foot breakwater. Please wear comfortable shoes when you walk across the breakwater!

Later, visit the oldest lighthouse in the Portland area, which is also my favorite! Portland Head Light is in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. The views from this spot are jaw-dropping!

While at Fort Williams Park, get a lobster roll from Bite Into Maine or drive to the scenic Two Lights State Park to eat fresh seafood from The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. Between the views to the food and ambiance, visiting this incredible lobster shack will be a highlight of your USA East Coast summer itinerary for 2 weeks.

Enjoy a relaxing evening at Blind Tiger and savor a scrumptious dinner at Central Provisions before preparing for your departure home the next day.

A woman in Savannah, Georgia.

Here are other charming destinations to add to your USA East Coast summer itinerary:


A woman at Greenvale Vineyards in Newport, Rhode Island.

Discover more incredible East Coast summer destinations:

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Cape May, New Jersey

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best USA East Coast summer road trip itinerary for 2 weeks based on my own experiences. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Time Zone: The above destinations are on Eastern Standard Time.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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8 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on April 24, 2024 at 11:07 pm

    This is an awesome itinerary to see the beautiful East Coast of the US! I have been to most of these beautiful places and they all were amazing! So many fun activities to do, beautiful beaches, delicious food and drinks and fabulous water sports! I love the East coast maybe because I grew up here and visited all these great locations during my family vacations ~ great blog and guide Taylor, love you mom 👩🏻 ❤️ xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on April 24, 2024 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you mom! The East Coast truly is special! <3

  2. Chelsea Messina on May 4, 2024 at 8:26 pm

    Your photos are adorable! I’ve never done an east coast road trip before, but I will be doing one in June for work. We’re starting in Philly, hitting up Boston, then up to Portsmouth, and ending in Portland, any suggestions on things to do in those areas?

  3. Eriel Cleveland on May 6, 2024 at 12:01 am

    I’ve been to Virginia Beach and NYC🎊, and you are SPOT ON! Portland and Charleston are on my list, and your guide is helpful! Thank you!

    • Taylor Deer on May 7, 2024 at 3:46 am

      Thenk you Eriel! You would love both Portland and Charleston. They are some of my top favorite USA cities! 🙂

  4. Susanna on May 10, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, this East Coast 2-week road trip itinerary looks like a dream vacation! I love road trips and haven’t explored the East Coast enough. I’ve always wanted to go to Maine, so ending there sounds perfect! Definitely putting this road trip on my list!

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2024 at 3:44 am

      Yes, there are so many great gems along the east coast! Maine is the perfect summer destination. 🙂

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Taylor-Lavallette-Beach

A woman admiring the Spring Point Ledge Light in Portland, Maine during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

There is nothing like East Coast summers! From Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May through Labor Day Weekend at the beginning of September, the beaches come alive, charming coastal towns beckon and road trips are back in action. If you’re looking for the perfect adventure to enjoy with family and friends this summer, follow this USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks!

From the charming coastal cities of South Carolina to the New England beaches, the East Coast of the USA offers many beautiful destinations and must-see attractions. Below is an excellent USA East Coast itinerary to follow on a 2-week road trip.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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USA East Coast Summer Road Trip Itinerary for 2 Weeks

Where to Start and End an East Coast USA Itinerary:

A woman strolling through Charleston during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Since New England takes longer to warm up, it’s best to start your East Coast road trip in the American South and make your way north.

Because this itinerary starts in Charleston, South Carolina, fly into Charleston International Airport and rent a car from there. Of course, if you’re already doing a USA road trip or live along the East Coast, you can use your own vehicle for this trip.

When you and your party end your trip in Portland, Maine, it’s best to fly home from Portland International Jetport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.

Best Time to do a 2-Week East Coast Road Trip:

Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth.

Even though you can enjoy beautiful weather throughout the American South through most of the spring, it doesn’t start to become proper summer weather until after Memorial Day Weekend for Mid-Atlantic beach destinations and around the Fourth of July for New England vacation spots.

Suppose you’re looking for the perfect time to enjoy this fantastic East Coast travel itinerary where you can experience excellent summer weather without crazy crowds. In that case, I suggest doing your road trip at the end of June or the beginning of September.

When you travel to these coastal destinations in July and August, you’ll be dealing with heavy crowds and inflated prices. Don’t get me wrong, being at a beach destination in the heart of summer is a blast, but you’ll have to book accommodations, restaurant reservations and activities well in advance.

Best USA East Coast Road Trip Itinerary for 2 Weeks:

A woman enjoying a beautiful beach day along the East Coast.

The West Coast of the USA offers incredible landscapes that, when visited, will leave you lasting memories for years, but what makes the East Coast different is its charming towns filled with years of history and culture.

When spending 2 weeks in East Coast USA, you must relax at all the gorgeous beaches, explore the fascinating historical sites, savor incredible cuisines and wander through all the idyllic small towns and cities.

Below are the best East Coast destinations to visit during a summer road trip:

Southern USA Destinations to Visit on a Road Trip:

Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston, South Carolina:

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Mills House, Curio Collection by Hilton

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the upper 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s° and around nine days of precipitation

Day 1: Explore Downtown Charleston
A woman exploring downtown Charleston during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Charleston, South Carolina is a great place to begin a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks during summer. It’s a charming port city near the beach with cobbled streets, incredible Lowcountry restaurants and historic sites.

The perfect place to fuel up after arriving in Charleston is Harken Café. It’s a rustic café that is diagonal from the Mills House.  

One of the best things to do during your first day in Charleston is to stroll around the beautiful city and learn about its history. Admire the colorful row of beautiful buildings along Rainbow Row, see the famous Pineapple Fountain and check out the Southern mansions in The Battery.

The best way to learn about Charleston’s history is to ride a horse and carriage around the city. From there, you must visit the Charleston City Market, a 1700s marketplace that sells clothing, jewelry, art, home décor and food.

A great place for lunch and drinks is The Rooftop at the Vendue. It overlooks the city and it’s a fantastic spot to enjoy margaritas, fish tacos and flatbreads.

After lunch, walk off what you ate and drank by visiting the shops along King Street. A hidden gem for shopping and drinks is The Skinny Dip. Not only is it a cute women’s boutique, but there is also a rooftop bar that sells coffee, tea and frozen wines.

Enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at The Darling Oyster Bar on King Street in the evening. As the name suggests, it’s an excellent spot that’s famous for its oysters! A fantastic dessert place to visit afterward is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Since Charleston is one of North America’s most haunted cities, my favorite thing to do is a ghost and graveyard walking tour. I recommend Bulldog Tours, which will take you to the spookiest spots in the city and discuss the historical events that happened there.  

Day 2: Enjoy Charleston’s Beaches
Folly Beach outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

The next day, wake up to a lovely Southern brunch at Poogan’s Porch, which faces the Mills House. It’s Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishment and my personal favorite Charleston brunch destination, where you can savor mimosas, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and other delicious Lowcountry breakfast items.

After breakfast, tour one of the plantations near the city, such as Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens or Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. These two locations are interesting for history buffs and perfect for photography.

Later on, enjoy a light lunch and grab a frosé to go at The Co-op on either Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island. These Charleston beaches are beautiful and perfect for rest and relaxation. Another great beach near The Holy City is Folly Beach.

If you are trying to decide between the three beaches, Sullivan’s Island offers a more quiet and picturesque ambiance; Isle of Palms is an upscale beach community with a decent amount of stores and restaurants and Folly Beach boasts a younger crowd with beach bars and a laid-back surfer atmosphere.

On your last night in Charleston, savor a fine dining meal at Charleston Grill, an upscale Southern French restaurant in Charleston Place.

Wilmington, North Carolina:

A woman enjoying a summer trip to Wilmington, North Carolina.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Aloft Wilmington at Coastline Center by Marriott

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around 10 days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 70s°F and around 10 days of precipitation

Day 3: Arrive in Wilmington and Relax at Wrightsville Beach
Enjoying Wrightsville Beach during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

Named as one of the “Best of the Carolina Coast,” Wilmington, North Carolina is also a port city like Charleston, which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches along the East Coast of the USA.

The drive from Charleston to Wilmington takes approximately three hours and twenty minutes. Once you arrive, check into your hotel and head to Wrightsville Beach for lunch and relaxation.

Overall, Wrightsville Beach is one of my favorite East Coast beaches because it has powdery white sand, crystalline waters and great vibes. Out of all the destinations you visit during this USA East Coast road trip itinerary for 2 weeks, Wrightsville Beach is the spot that will make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean island with its clear waters.

One of the top places to eat in Wrightsville Beach is Oceanic Restaurant. It’s an oceanfront seafood restaurant where you can enjoy fresh local fish, great cocktails and live music. The iconic Crystal Pier is next to this restaurant, where you and your loved ones can walk out and admire the ravishing ocean views.

If you have ample time, take the Masonboro Island Nature Cruise. You’ll sail around the Intracoastal Waterway and learn about the ecology of the North Carolina marshlands.

In the evening, walk along the Wilmington Riverwalk, admire a captivating sunset along the Cape Fear River and have a cocktail with some fries at Sauce’d.

Seabird Restaurant in downtown Wilmington is one of my favorite restaurants where you can appreciate a mindfully sourced dinner on your first night.

Day 4: Experience the Great Outdoors in Wilmington and the Island Beaches
A woman kayaking in Carolina State Park.

On your second day in Wilmington, North Carolina, start by fueling up with incredible coffee and pastry at Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods. From there, head to Carolina State Park for a morning of adventure!

Through Paddle NC, you and your family and friends can enjoy a scenic kayaking journey along the Cape Fear River. What is cool about kayaking at Carolina State Park is that you can see the various local sea birds, which I loved when I did this activity! In addition to kayaking, enjoy one of the many trails at this park.

In the afternoon, you have two options: enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on the Carolina Beach Marina at Stoked, followed by a fun afternoon on the boardwalk at Carolina Beach, or savor a light meal at Ceviche’s in Wilmington, followed by a visit to one of the USA’s most beautiful parks and gardens, Airlie Gardens.

Later on, have an incredible Italian dinner at Tarantelli’s Ristorante Italiano, which was voted the “Best Authentic Italian Restaurant” in Wilmington.

Like Charleston, Wilmington has a haunted past. Once night falls, participate in the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. It’s a 90-minute walking tour that visits notorious places in downtown Wilmington, such as the Latimer House, Burgwin-Wright House and Bellamy Mansion.

Virginia Beach, Virginia:

Oysters from the beach

How Long: One Night

Where to Stay: The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, Autograph Collection

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the upper 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around eight days of precipitation

Day 5: Spend a Day in Virginia Beach
Visiting Virginia Beach during a USA East Coast summer itinerary for 2 weeks.

Located in Southeastern Virginia, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is a great vacation destination and a must-stop on a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks. It’s famous for its boardwalk, blue crabs, museums and more.

Driving from Wilmington, North Carolina to Virginia Beach, Virginia takes around four and a half hours. When you arrive, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch with an oceanfront view at Chix on the Beach.  

From lunch, stroll along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, sunbathe on the beach, swim in the ocean and play a game of mini golf. While on or near the boardwalk, you must capture a photo of the King Neptune statue. It stands 26 feet tall and was created by Artist Paul DiPasquale.

Suppose you prefer to take a break from the beach during your day in Virginia Beach. In that case, there are plenty of great museums to check out, like the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum/de Witt Cottage, which showcases wildfowl art, carvings and photographs from the local area, as well as the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum.

Other great things to do in Virginia Beach are to rent bikes, see the Cape Henry Lighthouse and meander through First Landing State Park.

Head to Vibrant Shore Brewing Company to get fantastic pizza and beer for dinner .

Mid-Atlantic Summer Destinations to Explore on the East Coast:

A woman enjoying a coastal vacation.

Ocean City, Maryland:

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the upper 70s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the lower 70s°F and around six days of precipitation

Day 6: Visit Chincoteague Island and Arrive in Ocean City, Maryland
Wild horses on the Eastern Shore.

It’s no secret that Ocean City, Maryland is one of America’s favorite beach resort towns, and I know it’ll be one of your’s while you follow a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks. It features a famous boardwalk with fun rides, arcade games, great restaurants, shops and beachfront hotels.

Enjoy a scenic drive up Virginia’s Eastern Shore region from Virginia Beach. Since it takes around two hours and 45 minutes to get to Ocean City, Maryland, stop at the breathtaking Chincoteague Island. This incredible location is famous for its wild horses that gallop on the beaches freely.

Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, clamming, crabbing, fishing and boating are fun outdoor activities on Chincoteague Island. There are also plenty of walking trails to enjoy the natural beauty.

If you’re traveling with younger kids, you must make memories at Funland, which includes mini golf, go-karting, a carousel and an arcade. There is also a waterpark called Maui Jack’s on Chincoteague Island.

There’s no better place on Chincoteague Island than Captain Zack’s Seafood. It’s a casual grab-and-go seafood shack famous for its fresh fish and shellfish platters and oysters.

In the afternoon, resume your hour-long drive to Ocean City, Maryland. When you arrive, check into your hotel and relax at the beach.

A great way to enjoy your first evening in Ocean City is to visit Seacrets, Jamaica U.S.A. It’s a fun spot to savor delicious Jamaican cuisine and seafood, sip tropical cocktails, dance the night away and jam out to a live concert. If you visit Seacrets during the day, you can sit and enjoy your drinks in the water of the Isle of Wight Bay.

For those who prefer a more laid-back evening experience, check out Seacrets Distilling Company!

Day 7: Spend the Perfect Beach Day in Ocean City
A woman on an East Coast summer road trip.

Your summer East Coast USA road trip itinerary must include experiencing the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. In fact, Ocean City was named one of the best USA beaches!

One of the best places to go for breakfast in Ocean City is Barn 34. It’s a typical cozy morning spot with traditional breakfast items like pancakes, French toast and some of the best jumbo lump crab omelets.

It’s no secret that one of the best things to do in Ocean City, Maryland, is to have a relaxing beach day! Ocean City has beautiful beaches with soft sand, sapphire blue waters and convenient access to oceanfront restaurants and bars.

While enjoying the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, you can sunbathe, ride the waves, go boogie boarding or skim boarding and take a long walk on the beach.

Brass Balls Saloon is a fantastic beachside café for lunch. Here, you can savor fish tacos, coconut shrimp, burgers, wraps, Maryland crab cakes and more. When I visited this spot, I got an Orange Crush, a Mid-Atlantic staple summer drink that is both tasty and refreshing.

Later in the evening, walk the Ocean City Boardwalk. This entertaining boardwalk boasts three miles of rides, arcades and food stands. The best way to get to the attractions is by riding the tram.

While enjoying an evening on the Ocean City Boardwalk, watch the sunset on top of the Ferris wheel, cool off to Kohr Brothers’ frozen custard and challenge yourself to fun arcade games.

If you’re not looking to eat boardwalk food for dinner, Fager’s Island is a fine-dining restaurant with mouthwatering dishes. Like Seacrets, Fager’s Island also becomes an awesome party spot as the night goes on.

Lavallette, New Jersey:

Visiting Lavallette, New Jersey during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Starlight Motel & Luxury Suites (Ortley Beach)

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Day 8: Have a Jersey Shore Vacation during your USA East Coast Itinerary for 2 Weeks
The Lavallette Bay at the Jersey Shore.

I may be biased because I grew up here, but Lavallette is the number one destination along the Jersey Shore and a must-visit during a USA East Coast Itinerary for 2 Weeks. Located on the Barnegat Peninsula, a barrier island, Lavallette is a laid-back beach town with a boardwalk, beach, bay and quaint downtown.

It’s around a four-hour drive from Ocean City, Maryland to Lavallette, New Jersey. When you first arrive, grab a coffee and a light bite at Lava Java before heading to the beach.

Like Ocean City’s beach, Lavallette boasts soft sand with glistening water. On a beautiful summer day, relax, swim, play fun beach games and grab a snack from the Italian ice truck! If you have young children and want to unwind at a beach with shallow and calm water, head to Lavallette Bay.

Before dinner, have fun playing mini golf with your friends and family at Barnacle Bill’s in Ortley Beach, which is the next town over. While at Barnacle Bill’s, challenge your loved ones to an 18-hole game, followed by hanging out in the arcade.

Located near Barnacle Bills is Lobster Dock, which offers some of the best seafood on the barrier island. Some of the top things to savor at this restaurant are lobster rolls, crab cakes and oysters. Please note that Lobster Dock is BYOB; I prefer bringing a nice rosé for a seafood dinner.

Day 9: Relish the Best of New Jersey Summer
A woman enjoying a beach day at Island Beach State Park.

During your 2 weeks on your East Coast USA road trip, have the best time participating in all the fun activities the Jersey Shore is known for.

On your second day in Lavallette, New Jersey, enjoy breakfast on the bay at the Bayview Café. I am obsessed with the key lime French toast! Afterward, walk off your meal on the Lavallette Boardwalk or bike around Lavallette’s West Point Island.

If you love exploring natural beauty with fewer crowds, head south to Island Beach State Park. It’s a breathtaking area with 10 miles and 3,000 acres of coastal dunes and incredible biodiversity.

The park’s sand dunes and salt marshes offer easy-to-moderate hiking trails. Additionally, you can go bird watching, fishing and kayaking at Island Beach State Park!

For lunch, grab a refreshing açai or poke bowl from Playa Bowls in Lavallette before returning to the beach. If you prefer to do something thrilling, visit The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights to rent jet skis, a boat or a pontoon for a half-day or full day on the Barnegat Bay.

Before having a fun boardwalk night, ensure you and your party watch the sunset at the Lavallette Gazebo, which overlooks Barnegat Bay. From there, head down to Seaside Heights!

You will experience the most authentic boardwalk night at Seaside Heights’ Casino Pier during your summer road trip. There are rides for all ages, arcade games, food stands and live entertainment.

If you’re looking to savor tasty boardwalk food, you must grab delicious cheesesteaks or sausage and peppers from Midway Steak House, pizza and zeppoles from Three Brothers from Italy, clams on a half shell from Beachcomber Bar & Grill and frozen custard from Kohr’s. For those who prefer a sit-down meal, I recommend dining at The Sawmill.

New York, New York:

A woman with a Flying Dress on in front of the Beehive at Hudson Yards in NYC.

How Long: Optional One Night

Where to Stay: The Highline Hotel

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around eight days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around eight days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the upper 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Optional Day 10: Pit Stop in New York City during Your USA Road Trip
A woman at the Edge Observation Deck in NYC during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

It’s no secret that a great summer road trip stop from the Jersey Shore to New England is the “City that Never Sleeps!” An East Coast travel itinerary must always include New York City because there is something for everyone to enjoy.

It’s around an hour and a half drive from Lavallette to New York City. When you first arrive, enjoy brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda before strolling the High Line to Hudson Yards.

After arriving at Hudson Yards, head up to the Edge Observation Deck! It’s 100 stories high and includes a glass floor, a bar and a 360-degree view of NYC. If you’re up for a good thrill, you and your party must conquer the City Climb, where you scale outside the Edge at over 1,200 feet above the ground.

The next stop of your day in NYC should include taking a row boat around Central Park Lake. Please note that boats are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Each boat holds up to four people and costs $25 USD per hour.

For lunch, walk over to Tacombi on the Upper East Side. It’s an authentic Mexican taqueria that will transport you straight to Mexico. During the summer, Tacombi has open-air seating, incredible margaritas and Mexican sodas, tacos, tostadas, chips with guacamole and more.

End your day in the Big Apple by visiting one of the best rooftop bars in NYC, like Spyglass Rooftop Bar in Midtown. It looks out over the Empire State Building and Times Square and is the perfect place to admire the sparkling city lights at night.

If you have extra time, make sure to do a cruise around the East and Hudson Rivers. Not only can you admire the best views of the NYC skyline, but it also allows you to get a close-up look at the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.

New England Coastal Towns to See on a 2-Week Journey:

The charming Thames Street in Newport, Rhode Island.

New Haven, Connecticut:

How Long: One Night

Where to Stay: Hotel Marcel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 80s°F with average lows in the mid 60s° and around six days of precipitation

Day 10: Wander around New Haven
New Haven pizza and wine from Frank Pepe in Connecticut.

If you’re like me and grew up watching Gilmore Girls, you’ll genuinely enjoy visiting New Haven, Connecticut during your USA East Coast summer itinerary for two weeks! I visited during a Gilmore Girls Connecticut road trip during the holiday season and had a wonderful time, but this city thrives during the summer months.

New Haven is a coastal city on the Long Island Sound in Southern Connecticut. It’s the Constitution State’s second-largest city and is home to the famous Ivy League Yale University and New Haven pizza staple Frank Pepe.

It takes around an hour and 45 minutes to drive from New York City to New Haven or three hours from Lavallette. When you arrive, check into Hotel Marcel and have brunch or lunch at the onsite BLDG.

After brunch, walk off your meal by touring the beautiful Yale University campus. Yale is the third-oldest university in the USA, so when you book a student-led tour, you’ll learn about the Ivy League university’s 300-year history. Additionally, you’ll see the enchanting Gothic Sterling Memorial Library, one of the most iconic buildings on Yale’s campus.

Head just outside the city in the afternoon to Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford. Owned by Joe Gouveia, who was born and raised in Portugal, this beautiful Connecticut vineyard is the perfect place to appreciate a stunning summer day! Enjoy a tasting experience, the on-site food trucks, live music and scenic views.

When you arrive back in the city in the evening, it’s a must to savor New Haven-style pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. In case you don’t know, New Haven pizza is thin-crusted and coal-fired. This iconic pizzeria is famous for the Original White Clam Pizza, but you can order numerous other pies. I also recommend getting the house red wine!

Newport, Rhode Island:

A woman staying at Hammetts Hotel during a 2-week East Coast road trip.

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Hammetts Hotel

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 70s°F with average lows in the lower 60s°F and around seven days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the mid 70s°F with average lows in the upper 60s°F and around six days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the mid 70s°F with average lows in the upper 60s° and around seven days of precipitation

Day 11: Arrive in Newport and Appreciate its Elegance
A woman at the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island.

Newport is a quintessential coastal city you’ll adore during your USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks! It’s located on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island and is famous for its Gilded Age mansions, charming downtown area, seafood restaurants, harbor and beaches.

Driving from New Haven to Newport, Rhode Island takes a little less than two hours. When you first arrive, have brunch at Stoneacre Brasserie.

Next, stroll down Thames Street and enter the lovely boutiques. One of my personal favorite shops is the Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store. Another great way to walk off your breakfast is to stroll the Newport Cliff Walk, which runs 3.5 miles.

From the Newport Cliff Walk, make your way over to The Breakers. This mansion is the grandest of its kind; a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo! It was the summer cottage of the Vanderbilts, one of the most prominent families in American history.

After walking through The Breakers, go to Marble House, another former Vanderbilt home on Bellevue Avenue. This mansion is special because its foyer is completely covered in marble. While at Marble House, don’t forget to check out the Chinese Tea House on the back lawn!

For lunch, enjoy a delicious Italian meal with a cocktail at the “Instagrammable” Pasta Beach! It features cute wallpaper, Bohemian décor, delectable personal pizza pies, pasta dishes, salads and more.

In the afternoon, visit the Newport Art Museum, go wine tasting at Greenvale Vineyards, sip craft beers at Newport Craft Brewing & Distillery or head to one of Newport’s beaches.

One of my favorite places to visit in Newport is Greenvale Vineyards. It’s a quaint winery that produces small quantities of renowned estate-grown wines. In fact, you and your loved ones can do a wine tasting at a table situated right inside the vineyards!

The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar is located on Newport’s historic waterfront and is the perfect venue to savor a delicious dinner. Afterward, nightcap the evening with a glass of wine at 22 Bowens, where you can watch the sunset over the wharf.

Day 12: Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Newport, Rhode Island
A woman enjoying a sailing adventure in Newport, Rhode Island during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

From history to adventure, there is something for all to enjoy in Newport! Start your second day in this coastal city by fueling up to a delicious breakfast at CRU Café on Bellevue Avenue.

One of the best things to do in Newport, Rhode Island during an East Coast summer road trip is to enjoy a sailing experience on Narragansett Bay. The best company to do this adventure with is Sight Sailing of Newport.

With Sight Sailing of Newport, you and your party can do a morning mimosa tour, an evening Champagne sunset cruise or a private sail from Bowen’s Wharf. During this lovely sail, you’ll see Clingstone mansion, Hammersmith Farm (the wedding reception venue of President JFK and Jackie O.) and Fort Adams.

A great place to have lunch on your second day in Newport is The Red Parrot Restaurant, a laid-back restaurant known for its lobster quesadillas and nachos.

In the afternoon, I suggest making your way down Ocean Drive. It’s a scenic road with breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the sea and pretty lighthouses! The best beach to go to along Ocean Drive is Kings Beach.

Additionally, you must walk around the beautiful Brenton State Park, fly a kite, go fishing and cool off with a soft frozen lemonade from Del’s.

Another great Newport Beach to visit is Easton’s Beach, based at the start of Newport’s Cliff Walk. It’s the perfect family-friendly beach with low-tide waters. Sachuest Beach is also lovely to spend the afternoon at!

Have dinner at Midtown Oyster Bar on your last evening in Newport.

Portland, Maine:

Downtown Portland Maine

How Long: Two Nights

Where to Stay: Blind Tiger Portland by Lark Hotels

Weather during Summer:

June – Average highs in the lower 70s°F with average lows in the lower 50s°F and around five days of precipitation

July – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s°F and around two days of precipitation

August – Average highs in the lower 80s°F with average lows in the upper 50s° and around two days of precipitation

Day 13: Spend the Perfect Day Exploring Portland
A woman enjoying the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine.

The best place to end your summer USA East Coast road trip itinerary is the coastal city of Portland, Maine. Located in Southern Maine, this charming city boasts fishing wharves, picturesque lighthouses, renowned restaurants and great shopping.

Driving from Newport to Portland takes around three and a half hours. When you first arrive, grab a coffee and a Holy Donut. This donut shop is famous for its potato donuts, which are made from scratch daily.

Afterward, walk the scenic Eastern Promenade Trail, which offers beautiful views of Casco Bay. Then, stroll the charming cobbled streets of Portland. The downtown area boasts excellent local shops!

Don’t forget to savor a delicious New England clam chowder from Gilbert’s Chowder House off the Commercial Street wharf for lunch.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy a fun time at Shipyard Brewing Company, visit the charming New England town of Kennebunkport or have a rejuvenating beach day at Old Orchard Beach.

Once evening rolls around, one of the best restaurants to dine at is Eventide. It’s an award-winning restaurant with swanky and cozy vibes. Not only should you enjoy the incredible oysters at this location, but the Maine crab roll is also delicious, along with their craft cocktails.

After dinner, walk over to Three Dollar Deweys on Commercial Street for live music!

Day 14: See the Portland Lighthouses and Conclude Your USA East Coast Road Trip
A woman visiting Portland, Maine during a USA East Coast itinerary for 2 weeks.

A summer vacation in Portland, Maine is incomplete without exploring the local lighthouses and nearby parks.

After enjoying a lovely breakfast at Blind Tiger, head to South Portland to see the Spring Point Ledge Light. It’s a beautiful lighthouse built of brick and located at the end of a 900-foot breakwater. Please wear comfortable shoes when you walk across the breakwater!

Later, visit the oldest lighthouse in the Portland area, which is also my favorite! Portland Head Light is in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. The views from this spot are jaw-dropping!

While at Fort Williams Park, get a lobster roll from Bite Into Maine or drive to the scenic Two Lights State Park to eat fresh seafood from The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. Between the views to the food and ambiance, visiting this incredible lobster shack will be a highlight of your USA East Coast summer itinerary for 2 weeks.

Enjoy a relaxing evening at Blind Tiger and savor a scrumptious dinner at Central Provisions before preparing for your departure home the next day.

A woman in Savannah, Georgia.

Here are other charming destinations to add to your USA East Coast summer itinerary:


A woman at Greenvale Vineyards in Newport, Rhode Island.

Discover more incredible East Coast summer destinations:

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Cape May, New Jersey

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best USA East Coast summer road trip itinerary for 2 weeks based on my own experiences. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Time Zone: The above destinations are on Eastern Standard Time.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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8 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on April 24, 2024 at 11:07 pm

    This is an awesome itinerary to see the beautiful East Coast of the US! I have been to most of these beautiful places and they all were amazing! So many fun activities to do, beautiful beaches, delicious food and drinks and fabulous water sports! I love the East coast maybe because I grew up here and visited all these great locations during my family vacations ~ great blog and guide Taylor, love you mom 👩🏻 ❤️ xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on April 24, 2024 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you mom! The East Coast truly is special! <3

  2. Chelsea Messina on May 4, 2024 at 8:26 pm

    Your photos are adorable! I’ve never done an east coast road trip before, but I will be doing one in June for work. We’re starting in Philly, hitting up Boston, then up to Portsmouth, and ending in Portland, any suggestions on things to do in those areas?

  3. Eriel Cleveland on May 6, 2024 at 12:01 am

    I’ve been to Virginia Beach and NYC🎊, and you are SPOT ON! Portland and Charleston are on my list, and your guide is helpful! Thank you!

    • Taylor Deer on May 7, 2024 at 3:46 am

      Thenk you Eriel! You would love both Portland and Charleston. They are some of my top favorite USA cities! 🙂

  4. Susanna on May 10, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, this East Coast 2-week road trip itinerary looks like a dream vacation! I love road trips and haven’t explored the East Coast enough. I’ve always wanted to go to Maine, so ending there sounds perfect! Definitely putting this road trip on my list!

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2024 at 3:44 am

      Yes, there are so many great gems along the east coast! Maine is the perfect summer destination. 🙂

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