North Atlantic Coast Trip Recap
It was a week with the perfect blend of land and sea, old and new, quaint and posh. While some of our stops offered pretty much what we expected in terms of sights and experiences, others blew us away — each will be treasured for different reasons.
We started in Massachusetts where we ferried from metropolitan Boston to charming Cape Cod. Lobster, lighthouses and sand dunes were the order of the day, and we walked farther than we thought possible thanks to a notorious low tide. When we finally gave in to sleep that night, the ocean breezes provided a perfect lullaby.
The next morning we meandered down the coast to Providence, Rhode Island. Our first vantage point was from a gondola as we slipped across a scenic river that cuts through what is known as the “renaissance” city. As if the river walks and parks weren’t beautiful enough, we toured the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and were blown away by the talent. Less than two hours later we found ourselves on a sailing schooner off the coast of Mystic, Connecticut, for a little time travel back to the early 1900s. Who goes to Mystic without stopping at the pizza place made famous by a Julia Roberts movie back in 1988? Not us! We settled into a cozy booth and are in complete agreement with the local assessment that the pie is “a slice of heaven.”
It didn’t take us long to realize that one of the best parts about the Northern Atlantic Coast is variety. The next morning and a little farther down the road we found ourselves in New York City. From a horse and buggy ride in Central Park to window-shopping on 5th Avenue, from a Broadway musical to marveling over that incredible skyline at night, we did as much as we possibly could. But guess what? We barely made a dent in all there is to do in Manhattan. We will be back!
Philadelphia is another stop along our road trip that exceeded our expectations. The Magic Gardens, for example, is a neighborhood that is landscaped with the most amazing mosaic art at every turn. The city is part inspirational urban renovation, part historical landmarks that commemorate the birth of a free country and a whole lot of really friendly people who love where they work and live.
Another day, another gorgeous waterfront destination. Just two hours in our car headed south and we ended up with our feet planted firmly in the present. (And the sand!) Atlantic City, New Jersey, and its famous boardwalk gave us a playground to revel in all day long and well into the night. While you don’t normally think of haute cuisine when you picture yourself on the Jersey Shore, there are some eateries in Atlantic City that rival the best. We gambled a little, shopped a little and generally found ourselves in awe the entire day.
With only a couple days left in our trip, we traded the excitement of Atlantic City for activities in beach towns along the Delaware and Maryland coast. While crossing Delaware Bay on a ferry, we spotted dolphins AND whales and then gave skimboarding a go. We devoured pizza and malt vinegar French fries and promptly followed it up with African Vanilla Bacon ice cream. Hey, we earned it, right?
We started the next day by singing the national anthem with the breakfast crowd at a famous deli as we neared Washington, D.C. How fitting! Once we arrived in the nation’s capital we tooled around the National Mall on rental bikes to see the monuments. We decided to eat Lebanese food and then spent some time inside at the Newseum. So many newsworthy stories in the past 500 years! Discovering the boutique-filled neighborhood of Georgetown provided a cozy break in the day. Later that night and we ended our D.C. visit at a rooftop bar overlooking some of the most famous architecture in the world.
Our last day together ended up being as fun-filled as every day leading up to it. That’s what Virginia Beach offers — fun. We had a few hours before we needed to catch our flights, so we kayaked on the Chesapeake Bay and saw dolphins. As we enjoyed one last waterfront meal together, we may have had different ideas about what was the best part of our adventures, but we agreed wholeheartedly on one thing. We are coming back.