East Coast Weekend Getaways on a Budget
Looking for a quick and budget-friendly escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Look no further than the East Coast, where you’ll find plenty of amazing weekend getaways that won’t break the bank. From charming coastal towns to historic cities to breathtaking natural wonders, there’s something for everyone on this list. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover 20 incredible destinations that are perfect for inexpensive weekend getaways on the East Coast!
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is a popular vacation destination on the East Coast that offers a variety of fun activities and attractions for an inexpensive weekend getaway. The city’s beautiful beaches stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, making it perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.
In addition to its stunning shoreline, Virginia Beach has many other attractions to explore. For example, you can visit the First Landing State Park where English settlers first landed in 1607 or check out the Military Aviation Museum where you’ll see vintage aircraft from both World Wars.
If you’re interested in history, head over to the Cape Henry Lighthouse which was built in 1792 and played a critical role in American Revolutionary War. Or take a stroll through the ViBe Creative District where local artists showcase their work.
For those who love wildlife and nature, there are plenty of options too! At Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge visitors can observe migratory birds while hiking through marshlands or kayaking down creeks.
Virginia Beach has something for everyone – from relaxation on pristine beaches to adventure-packed days filled with exploration!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a popular destination for those looking to have an inexpensive weekend getaway on the East Coast. This charming seaside town has something for everyone, from beautiful beaches and amusement parks to shopping and dining experiences.
One of the main attractions in Myrtle Beach is its 60-mile stretch of sandy beaches. These pristine white sand beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing or simply relaxing with a good book. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, there’s also plenty of opportunities to go fishing or kayaking.
Another must-see attraction in Myrtle Beach is Broadway at the Beach. It’s a massive entertainment complex that features over 100 shops, restaurants and attractions including Ripley’s Aquarium and WonderWorks – an interactive science museum.
If you’re looking for some thrill rides during your stay in Myrtle Beach, then head on over to Family Kingdom Amusement Park where you can experience heart-stopping roller coasters like The Swamp Fox or take it easy with classic carnival games like Skee-ball.
Myrtle Beach offers an incredible mix of natural beauty and man-made wonders that make it one of the top destinations for vacationers seeking affordable fun on the East Coast.
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida is a charming and historic town located on the East Coast that is perfect for an inexpensive weekend getaway. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine is known for its rich history and beautiful architecture.
One of the main attractions in St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a well-preserved fort that dates back to the late 17th century. Visitors can explore the fort’s various exhibits and learn about its important role in protecting Spanish interests in Florida.
Another must-see attraction in St. Augustine is Flagler College, a stunning building that was once used as a luxury hotel during the Gilded Age. Now home to an esteemed liberal arts college, visitors can take tours of this ornate building and marvel at its intricate details.
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, St. Augustine offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and kayaking along its many waterways and nature trails.
St. Augustine offers something for everyone with its mix of history, culture, and natural beauty – all without breaking the bank!
Annapolis, Maryland is a charming and historic city located on the Chesapeake Bay. With its maritime heritage, Annapolis offers visitors a variety of unique experiences. Take a stroll down Main Street and explore the many boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
One must-visit attraction in Annapolis is the United States Naval Academy. The academy’s beautiful campus features impressive architecture and stunning views of the bay. It’s also home to the Navy football team – catch a game if you’re in town during football season!
If you’re interested in history, don’t miss out on touring the Maryland State House – it’s where George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army back in 1783! Another historical site worth checking out is William Paca House & Garden – this Georgian mansion was once home to one of Maryland’s signers of Declaration of Independence.
Take some time to relax by visiting Quiet Waters Park or cruising along Spa Creek. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Annapolis has something for everyone!
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine is a charming coastal town located on Mount Desert Island. It’s known for its stunning views of Acadia National Park and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the best things to do in Bar Harbor is to take a hike up Cadillac Mountain, which offers breathtaking panoramic views at sunrise or sunset.
The town itself has plenty to offer as well, with numerous shops and restaurants serving fresh seafood and craft beers. For history buffs, there are several museums and landmarks like the Abbe Museum, which showcases Native American culture, and the St. Saviour’s Church, an iconic building built in 1877.
Visitors can also take a scenic drive along Park Loop Road or hop on a boat tour from Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. to see whales or puffins up close.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or simply want to relax by the waterfront with some lobster rolls, Bar Harbor makes for an excellent weekend getaway destination that won’t break the bank!
Newport, Rhode Island
Nestled on Aquidneck Island, Newport is a charming coastal town in Rhode Island. It’s known for its Gilded Age mansions, stunning beaches, and rich maritime history.
Visitors can take a stroll down the Cliff Walk and admire the opulent mansions that line the coast. The Breakers mansion is particularly impressive with its grand architecture and beautiful gardens.
Newport’s picturesque harbor also offers plenty of activities such as sailing, fishing, and kayaking. For those who want to learn more about Newport’s seafaring past, the Museum of Yachting provides an excellent opportunity to do so.
Foodies will appreciate Newport’s local cuisine ranging from fresh seafood to farm-to-table dining experiences. Make sure to try clam chowder or lobster rolls at one of the many waterfront restaurants.
In addition to all these attractions, Newport hosts several festivals throughout the year including a Jazz festival in August and Christmas-themed events during December. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, there are plenty of reasons why Newport should be on your list of inexpensive weekend getaways on the East Coast!
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina is a charming coastal city that makes for an excellent weekend getaway destination on the East Coast. The city boasts of its rich history and culture, which can be seen in its well-preserved antebellum architecture.
Visitors can take a stroll along the picturesque Riverwalk or visit the historic USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. For movie buffs, there’s also the option to take a guided tour of EUE Screen Gems Studios where popular TV shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” were filmed.
Foodies will love Wilmington’s culinary scene with fresh seafood being a highlight. From oysters to shrimp and crab cakes, there are plenty of options to tantalize your taste buds.
For nature lovers, there are several parks and gardens such as Airlie Gardens with its beautiful azaleas and camellias or the Greenfield Lake Park & Gardens with paddle boats available for rent.
Wilmington offers visitors an affordable yet enjoyable escape from everyday life.
Wilmington, Delaware may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a weekend getaway, but it is definitely worth considering. This small city located in the north of Delaware has much to offer visitors looking for an inexpensive and unique East Coast experience.
One of the main draws of Wilmington is its rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore museums such as the Hagley Museum and Library or take a stroll through historic neighborhoods like Trolley Square. The Nemours Estate with its beautiful gardens is also worth a visit.
For those who enjoy nature, Wilmington offers several parks where you can hike, bike or picnic while taking in scenic views of Brandywine Creek and other natural attractions. In addition, there are numerous restaurants serving delicious local cuisine including fresh seafood from nearby shores.
If you’re looking for some retail therapy during your trip then head over to Christiana Mall which boasts over 130 stores offering everything from designer clothes to electronics at affordable prices.
Wilmington may not be on everyone’s radar but it’s definitely worth exploring for an inexpensive weekend getaway packed with history, culture and outdoor activities.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island is a charming and historical destination for an inexpensive weekend getaway on the East Coast. This small city packs a big punch with its impressive architecture, delicious food scene, and thriving arts community.
One of the top attractions in Providence is WaterFire, a unique sculpture installation featuring over 80 bonfires along the river that runs through downtown. Visitors can experience this enchanting event from May to November.
For history buffs, there are several museums and landmarks to explore such as the Roger Williams National Memorial and Benefit Street – known as “the mile of history”. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum also offers free admission every Sunday if you’re looking for some culture during your stay.
Foodies will love Providence’s culinary scene which features everything from award-winning Italian restaurants to trendy gastropubs serving up craft beers and innovative dishes. Don’t miss out on trying some local favorites like clam cakes or stuffies (stuffed quahogs).
Providence may be small but it has plenty to offer for an unforgettable weekend getaway without breaking the bank.
Montauk, New York
Located at the easternmost point of Long Island, Montauk is a charming coastal town that has become increasingly popular as an affordable weekend getaway destination. It offers beautiful beaches, parks and nature preserves, as well as plenty of restaurants and boutiques.
One of the main attractions in Montauk is its lighthouse. Built in 1796, it’s one of the oldest lighthouses in America and offers stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean from its top. Another popular spot for nature lovers is Camp Hero State Park, which boasts miles of hiking trails through woodlands and dunes.
If you’re looking to relax on the beach or catch some waves, head to Ditch Plains Beach or Gin Beach. Both offer excellent surf conditions and are great spots for sunbathing too.
For those interested in history, there’s also Fort Pond Bay Park where you can learn about local Native American tribes who once lived here. And if you’re into fishing, Montauk Harbor has numerous charter boats available for hire.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply a quiet escape from city life, Montauk has something to offer everyone at an affordable price point.
Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland is a classic beach town on the East Coast. With miles of pristine beaches, it’s no wonder this destination is a favorite among visitors looking for an inexpensive weekend getaway.
Besides lounging on the sand and soaking in the sun, Ocean City also offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Take a stroll down its famous boardwalk filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment for all ages.
For those seeking adventure, rent a jet ski or try your hand at parasailing over the Atlantic Ocean. And if you’re feeling lucky, head over to one of Ocean City’s many casinos for some gaming fun.
Foodies will love exploring the local cuisine scene in Ocean City as well – from fresh seafood caught daily to iconic boardwalk treats like funnel cakes and saltwater taffy.
Whatever your interests may be, Ocean City has something for everyone looking for an affordable weekend escape by the sea.
The Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a beautiful place to visit for an inexpensive weekend getaway on the East Coast. With its stunning beaches, rich history, and breathtaking natural scenery, there’s something for everyone in this coastal paradise.
One of the top attractions in the area is Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which offers miles of pristine coastline perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. Visitors can also explore historic lighthouses like Bodie Island Lighthouse and climb to the top for panoramic views of the ocean.
For those interested in learning about local history, there are several museums and cultural sites to explore. The Wright Brothers National Memorial pays homage to these aviation pioneers who took their first flight here in 1903. And at Roanoke Island Festival Park, visitors can step back in time to experience life as it was during Elizabethan times.
In addition to outdoor activities and historical sights, The Outer Banks also has plenty of shopping opportunities along with delicious seafood restaurants serving up fresh catch-of-the-day dishes.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly weekend escape that offers relaxation infused with adventure then The Outer Banks should definitely be on your radar!
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey is a quaint seaside town situated at the southernmost tip of the state. It’s known for its stunning Victorian architecture, pristine beaches, and unique shopping experiences.
Visitors to Cape May can take a stroll along Beach Avenue and admire the grandeur of the historic homes or head to Sunset Beach to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets on the East Coast. The beach is also home to some fascinating WWII artifacts that have been buried in the sand for years.
For those interested in history, Cape May has plenty of museums worth exploring like Emlen Physick Estate which offers guided tours around its 18 rooms filled with antiques from yesteryears. Additionally, there are various lighthouses found throughout this charming town including Cape May Lighthouse which was built in 1859.
No trip to Cape May would be complete without indulging in some delicious seafood at one of their many restaurants. From classic lobster rolls to freshly caught fish dishes paired with locally grown produce – visitors will not leave disappointed!
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a charming coastal town located in the northeastern corner of the United States. With its historic homes and buildings, quaint shops and restaurants, and picturesque harbor views, Portsmouth offers visitors an ideal destination for an inexpensive weekend getaway on the East Coast.
A stroll through downtown Portsmouth will take you back in time with its brick sidewalks and elegant old-world architecture. The Strawbery Banke Museum provides a glimpse into life during colonial times while offering beautiful gardens to relax in. For art lovers, there are plenty of galleries showcasing local artists’ works.
Foodies can enjoy fresh seafood from local waters at one of Portsmouth’s many waterfront restaurants or indulge their sweet tooth at Annabelle’s Ice Cream shop which serves up homemade ice cream flavors that have been impressing locals since 1982.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby parks such as Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge or simply take a scenic drive along the coast to see stunning ocean views. Whatever your interests may be, Portsmouth has something enjoyable for everyone looking for an affordable weekend getaway on the East Coast.
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, New Hope is a charming small town that offers a perfect weekend getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With plenty of art galleries, antique shops and restaurants lining its streets, there’s no shortage of things to do.
One of the most popular activities is taking a scenic stroll along the Delaware River Canal Towpath. Here you can enjoy stunning views while getting some exercise. For history buffs, head over to Washington Crossing Historic Park where George Washington famously crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.
New Hope also has an impressive dining scene with options ranging from casual cafes to upscale bistros. The Logan Inn is one such example offering delicious farm-to-table fare in a historic setting.
If you’re interested in staying overnight, consider booking at one of their cozy bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels like The Ghost Light Inn or The Woolverton Inn. New Hope provides an intimate retreat that’s both peaceful and lively all at once.
Mystic, Connecticut is a charming coastal town that offers an ideal weekend getaway for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in New London County, Mystic boasts several scenic attractions such as the Mystic Seaport Museum and Aquarium.
The Mystic Seaport Museum is a living history museum that showcases America’s maritime heritage through interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Visitors can explore historic ships, watch live demonstrations of shipbuilding techniques or even take part in hands-on activities like sailing lessons or rope-making workshops.
At the Mystic Aquarium, visitors can encounter marine animals like beluga whales, sea lions and penguins while learning about marine conservation efforts. The aquarium also features an outdoor exhibit that allows visitors to touch stingrays and sharks.
In addition to these attractions, Mystic has plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining and outdoor recreation. The town features quaint boutiques selling unique gifts and souvenirs alongside popular chain stores. Local restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes along with other regional specialties.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the area’s natural beauty which includes nearby hiking trails at Bluff Point State Park or kayaking on the picturesque Mystic River. Visiting this historic seaport town promises a refreshing break from everyday routine without breaking the bank!
Nestled in the heart of Vermont lies Burlington, a charming city filled with quaint boutiques, delicious farm-to-table restaurants and breathtaking views.
Start your trip by exploring Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor pedestrian mall filled with eclectic shops and street performers. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many local cafes or breweries before making your way to Lake Champlain for stunning sunset views.
Make sure to visit Shelburne Farms, a historic working farm that offers educational tours and scenic walking trails. For art enthusiasts, check out the impressive collection at the Fleming Museum of Art located on the University of Vermont campus.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking through nearby Mount Philo State Park or taking a bike ride along The Burlington Bike Path. And during winter months, hit up nearby ski resorts like Stowe Mountain Resort for some world-class skiing.
End your day back in town with dinner at one of Burlington’s many farm-to-table eateries followed by drinks at one of their cozy bars or clubs. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem tucked away in northern New England!
Block Island, Rhode Island
Block Island, Rhode Island is a hidden gem that offers visitors an authentic New England experience without breaking the bank. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the region, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the best ways to explore Block Island is by bike. Renting a bicycle and pedaling around this small island can be a fun adventure for anyone looking for something different to do over the weekend.
If you’re interested in history, Block Island has plenty of it too! This tiny island was once a bustling hub for whaling ships and was even used as a lookout point during World War II. Take some time to explore its museums or walk through picturesque downtown streets lined with colonial homes.
No visit to Block Island would be complete without trying one of its famous lobster rolls or fresh seafood dishes at any number of local restaurants. The island also has several bars where you can enjoy drinks while taking in breathtaking sunset views.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive getaway on the East Coast that’s off-the-beaten-path but still full of charm and character, then consider visiting Block Island – it might just surprise you!
Provincetown, Massachusetts is a charming and picturesque town located at the tip of Cape Cod. It’s known for its stunning beaches, art galleries, and vibrant LGBTQ community.
One of the must-see attractions in Provincetown is the Pilgrim Monument, which towers over the town at 252 feet tall. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of Cape Cod.
The town also has plenty of restaurants serving up fresh seafood caught by local fishermen. For those looking to learn more about Provincetown’s history and culture, there are several museums worth visiting including the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Provincetown is also famous for its lively nightlife scene with numerous bars and clubs catering to all tastes. The town hosts several events throughout the year including Carnival Week in August which celebrates diversity with a colorful parade through town.
Provincetown is an ideal destination for those seeking a mix of relaxation, culture, history and entertainment during their weekend getaway on East Coast without breaking their budget!
Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls, New York is one of the top weekend getaways on the East Coast. The magnificent falls attract millions of tourists every year who come to witness the sheer beauty and power of nature.
One of the best ways to experience Niagara Falls is by taking a boat tour that takes you right up close to the thundering waterfalls. You can also take a helicopter ride for an aerial view or go on a hike in nearby parks for some breathtaking views.
If you’re looking for more adventure, then try zip lining over Niagara Gorge or going on a jet boat tour that will give you an adrenaline rush like no other.
Apart from its natural wonders, Niagara Falls also has plenty of attractions like casinos, museums, and wineries where visitors can taste delicious wines while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Niagara Falls offers something for everyone making it an ideal inexpensive weekend getaway destination on the East Coast.
There you have it – 20 amazing and inexpensive weekend getaways on the East Coast! With so many diverse options to choose from, there’s no reason not to plan your next adventure. Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway or a historical experience, these destinations offer something special for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road and explore all that the East Coast has to offer without breaking the bank. Happy travels!