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An East Coast Adventure: Taking a Road Trip From Newark to Boston

We’re Hitting the Road and Taking on the East Coast... Stops Include Manhattan, The Bronx, Hartford, Providence, and More!

Brimming with history and filled with excitement, the East Coast is the perfect place to take a road trip. And with fascinating points of interest seemingly around every corner, an ordinary drive can easily be turned into an unforgettable adventure when you’re making your way through this part of the country. From the crowded streets of New York City to the scenic landscapes of New England, the destinations that dot the road from Newark to Boston are sure to win your heart—even if you’re a West Coaster through and through. 

Times Square

📍 Manhattan (NY)

The Touristy Destination That Never Gets Old! 

Broadway & Seventh Avenue | Midtown | www.timessquarenyc.org

First up on our list is Times Square, the attraction that needs no introduction—but, of course, we’re going to give it one anyway. Only about 30 minutes west of Newark, Manhattan is always a worthwhile place to stop, and what better way to spend your time in the Big Apple than paying a visit to one of the most famous places in the city? Nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is more than a heavily-trafficked intersection—it’s a symbol of New York City itself! From Broadway shows and shopping to costumed characters and public art installations, Times Square has just about everything that you could ask for in a tourist attraction (and maybe that’s why over 300,000 people are there every single day!). 

Some of the top attractions in Times Square include Madame Tussauds, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, M&M’s World, Midtown Comics, Gulliver’s Gate, and much, much more. Other Manhattan must-sees are Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Basically, whether you want to come up with an action-packed itinerary or just wander around the city, Manhattan is one place on the East Coast where you’ll never run out of things to see and do. 

New York Botanical Garden

📍 The Bronx (NY)

A National Historic Landmark and Top-Tier Educational Facility 

2900 Southern Boulevard | Bronx Park | www.nybg.org

We’re not done with New York just yet—before you leave the city, try to make a stop in the Bronx. Sure, it’s not as popular of a borough as Manhattan, but you’ll be driving right through it, and it’s an awesome place to explore! The Bronx Zoo, Yankee Stadium, Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, and Pelham Bay Park are just some of the Bronx’s detour-worthy attractions. But, if you’re looking to appreciate the more natural side of New York City, you’re going to want to stop at the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx Park. 

Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is more than just a pretty place to look at plants—it’s a state-of-the-art research and education center that also happens to be a National Historic Landmark. Encompassing 250 acres and boasting 50 specialty gardens, the New York Botanical Garden is a living history museum that will amaze you with its beauty and impress you with its comprehensiveness. In addition to the plant collections, the garden also hosts special events and temporary exhibits, so make sure to check the website before you visit to see what’s going on. Admission is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and students, and $10 for children ages 2 to 12. 

Cove Island Park

📍 Stamford (CT)

Shoreline Park Bordering Long Island Sound

363 Weed Avenue | Cove Island | www.stamfordct.gov

A waterfront city on Long Island Sound, Stamford, Connecticut, is a fun place to stop as you’re driving up the East Coast. Some of Stamford’s most popular attractions are the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, West Beach, and the Palace Theatre. But, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy New England’s great outdoors, then you’re going to want to stop by Cove Island Park, right in the southeast corner of the city. With trails, two beaches, a nature center, picnic areas, and access to the water, Cove Island Park is an all-in-one park experience that will have you wanting to prolong your stay in Stamford. 

Swimming, fishing, crabbing, walking, running, biking, and wildlife viewing are just some of the activities that you can take part in while visiting Cove Island Park. The Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to see some park residents, including a long list of birds. If you get hungry, there’s even a small convenience store right by the park’s north beach. All in all, Cove Island Park has everything that you need to have a relaxing day outside (or maybe just a few hours). 

Dinosaur State Park

📍 Rocky Hill (CT)

See One of the Largest Dinosaur Track Sites in North America

400 West Street | Southeast Rocky Hill | www.dinosaurstatepark.org

Connecticut probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about Jurassic history, but did you know that the town of Rocky Hill boasts one of the largest dinosaur track sites in all of North America? That’s right—Dinosaur State Park, just about 15 minutes south of Hartford, contains the chunk of land where about 2,000 dinosaur tracks were uncovered in 1968... And you can see 500 of those tracks when you visit the park’s Exhibit Center! (The rest were buried in order to preserve them better.)

A registered Natural Landmark, Dinosaur State Park is a piece of history that still bears remnants of the giant creatures that walked the land nearly 200 million years ago. In addition to its Exhibit Center, the park also has a couple of miles of nature trails and an arboretum. The grounds are open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm, and the Exhibit Center is open every day but Monday. If you’re a big dino fan, don’t forget to stop in the park’s gift shop, where you can find all sorts of dinosaur-themed souvenirs and memorabilia! Plus, all of the profits from the sales help to support the park and its various educational programs. 

Mark Twain House & Museum

📍 Hartford (CT)

Tour the Restored Home That Once Belonged to the Famed American Author 

351 Farmington Avenue | Nook Farm | www.marktwainhouse.org

Connecticut’s capital city, Hartford offers visitors a taste of classic New England with the perfect blend of history, culture, and outdoor recreation. Among Hartford’s biggest attractions are the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Connecticut Science Center, Bushnell Park, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and the Connecticut State Capitol Building. But, one place that pretty everyone wants to see in Hartford is without a doubt the Mark Twain House & Museum, the place where Samuel Clemens—better known by his pen name, Mark Twain—lived from 1874 to 1891. (It was also during these years that Twain wrote some of his most famous works, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.) 

Twain later recalled the year that he lived in Hartford as the happiest and most productive time in his life. He and his wife even designed the house that still stands in Hartford’s Nook Farm neighborhood, which is three stories and has 25 rooms. Whether you’re a literary enthusiast or just someone who appreciates an interesting attraction, the Mark Twain House & Museum won’t leave you disappointed. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $12 for children ages 6 through 16. (But, for an added price, you can get a “living history” tour from an in-character guide! These tours are also slightly longer and grant visitors additional levels of access to the house.)

Gillette Castle State Park

📍 East Haddam (CT)

Decadent Estate Designed By Actor William Gillette 

67 River Road | Hemlock Valley | www.ct.gov 

East Haddam is a delightful little town in Connecticut, and in it, you’ll find ample green space and tons of New England charm. That being said, East Haddam’s main attraction is actually a couple of miles south of the town: Gillette Castle State Park is a Connecticut landmark that you don’t want to skip out on when you’re driving through the state. Overlooking the Connecticut River, the fortress-esque estate looks like a residency that’d be far more at home in a different time—and perhaps even in a different place… It was, after all, modeled to resemble a medieval castle. 

William Gillette was an American actor whose most iconic role was probably that of Sherlock Holmes, whom he played in an original four-act play that he wrote himself. He also designed his elaborate residence himself, which was built in the early 1900s. While the park is open year-round, the inside of the castle is only available for tours on a seasonal basis. Along those same lines, there is no charge to enter the park, but there is a per-person cost to tour the castle. 

Roger Williams Park Zoo 

📍 Providence (RI)

One of the Oldest Zoos in the Country

1000 Elmwood Avenue | South Elmwood | www.rwpzoo.org

Only about an hour southwest of Boston, Providence is one of the best last stops to make before heading into Beantown. In addition to being Rhode Island’s biggest city, Providence is also the state’s capital, and it’s a destination that brimming with history, culture, and fascinating points of interest. A few of the best places to go in Providence are the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Kennedy Plaza, the John Brown House Museum, Waterplace Park, and the Rhode Island State House. Another attraction that you don’t want to miss, especially if you’re an animal lover, is the Roger Williams Park Zoo, which houses to nearly 200 species. 

Having first opened in 1872, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is the third-oldest zoo in America, and it was the first zoo in New England to receive accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, leopards, flamingos, bison, anteaters, monkeys, wolves, otters, and seals are just a few of the animals that you’ll find at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. (While you’re in this part of town, don’t forget to check out Carousel Village, also in Roger Williams Park!)

Now, on to Boston! 

Nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty,” Boston is one of the United States’ oldest cities, and it makes for a well-rounded travel destination with a delightful mix of past and present. Some of the city’s most popular attractions include Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common (America’s first public park!), the Paul Revere House, Fenway Park, the New England Aquarium, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. If you’re a history buff, one of the best ways to see Boston is to do the Freedom Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile walk that will take you through the city’s most important landmarks. Not too into history? Don’t worry—you’ll still find plenty of attractions to fit your interests… Boston’s always a wicked good time! 



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