The Ultimate 7-Day East Coast Road Trip

Driving around this great country is a favorite pastime among many Americans. But if you’ve never taken an East Coast trip, you’re missing out. Wondering where to even start planning such a trip on your own? Don’t worry; you don’t have to—we’ve done the hard work for you! Here’s our guide to the ultimate seven-day East Coast road trip.

Maine to Florida – The Ultimate Itinerary

Driving from Maine to Florida, you’ll pass through 13 states and see things you might not see in Missoula. So, what states do you visit?  Here they are:

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Florida

That may sound like a massive itinerary, but considering it’s only 1,650 miles, it’s not that far. If you drove at 60mph and didn’t stop, you’d do it in around 28 hours.

However, that’s not the way to make this trip; after all, you want to see the sights, right? If you decided to take seven days to make the trip, you’d average 230 miles daily. That’s much more realistic and gives you plenty of time to stop.

So, what’s the best seven-day itinerary from Maine to Florida? Read on!

7-Day Itinerary

Here’s a suggestion for making the most of your seven days and experiencing some of the best of the East Coast of the USA. You’ll start in Augusta, Maine, and finish in Orlando, Florida, home to Disney World.

Day 1 – Augusta, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts

Start your trip in Augusta, the capital of Maine. The capitol building is an iconic site in this state and a must-see for every itinerary.

When you’re ready to hit the road, it’s only a four-hour drive via New Hampshire to your first stop, Boston, Massachusetts. After you’ve checked into your hotel, enjoy dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants. Don’t forget to sample a Boston clam chowder.

If you plan your drive during the Major League Baseball season, look into getting tickets to Fenway Park to see a Red Sox game. It’s definitely worth seeing.

Day 2 – Boston, Massachusetts to New York City, New York

There’s one more thing left to do in Boston: walk the Freedom Trail. It’s 2.5 miles long and passes by many prominent sites of the American Revolutionary War.

No East Coast road trip would be complete without an overnight stay in New York City, which takes just over four hours. Jump in your car and drive to the city that never sleeps, check in to your hotel, and sample some NYC-style food, like the best pizza in the country.

Day 3 – New York City, New York to Atlantic City, New Jersey

Spend your morning touring New York City, taking an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building and the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

In the afternoon, head to New Jersey and the Las Vegas of the East, Atlantic City. This drive will be the shortest on your itinerary; it’s only around two hours long.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk (yes, the same one on your Monopoly set) is home to the city’s casinos, and there are plenty to choose from. Any online player will recognize many of the names; read more here to jog your memory.

Day 4 – Atlantic City, New Jersey to Washington, DC

Get an early start today, as it’s a 3.5-hour drive from Atlantic City to Washington, D.C. There’s so much to see that you’ll want to spend as much time here as possible.

As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is home to many significant structures. The National Mall, with these iconic monuments, is where to begin:

  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial
  • The Washington Monument
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • 11 Smithsonian Museums
  • The White House
  • US Capitol Building

See what we mean? You’ll need almost a full day to get all that in. You’ll fall into bed that night, tired but culturally fulfilled.

Make sure to get plenty of rest, as the final two days are big driving ones.

Day 6 – Washington, DC to Charlotte, North Carolina

Start as early as you can, as you have two stops today. The first one, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, is two hours away. Many folks from Missoula have had the pleasure of visiting a national park due to their proximity, but Shenandoah is unique. It has an extreme range of biodiversity, with an estimated 160 species of birds and more than 80 species of trees.

Once you’ve had your fill of flora and fauna for the day, you have a five-hour drive ahead of you. Your destination is Charlotte, North Carolina. What’s so great about Charlotte? It’s the home of NASCAR, the perfect second-last stop for any driver.

Day 7 – Charlotte, North Carolina, to Orlando, Florida

Here it is, your last day. It’s a long day of driving — 7.5 hours — but the destination, Disney World, is worth it.

On the way, you’ll pass through the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Break the trip in Savannah just in time for lunch, and you must have pecan pie for dessert — a Georgian staple.

Fueled from lunch, you’ll be all set for the final four hours of driving. You’ll arrive at your final destination and have had an amazing seven days.

Now that the drive is done, spend an extra day (or two or three) acting like a big kid as you enjoy all the fun of Disney World.

An Epic Road Trip

There it is! The ultimate East Coast road trip. From the birthplace of the nation, New England, to one of the most magical places on Earth, Disney World, you’ve seen famous monuments, sampled food unlike any other, had fun at a casino or two, and traveled across 13 inspiring states.

You’ll return home to Missoula with even more appreciation for your country than ever before.