An Iconic East Coast Road Trip From Maine to Key West - Full-Time Travel

An Iconic East Coast Road Trip From Maine to Key West

An Iconic East Coast Road Trip From Maine to Florida's Key West

By Reade Tilley

There’s a lot of road along the East Coast between Portland, Maine and Key West, FL—nearly 1,800 miles of it, in fact. Following safety guidelines and driving no more than 500 miles at a stretch, you could make the trip in under four days—but why would you? Rather, here are five nicely spaced reasons to pull off the road and take a detour.

Cape Elizabeth, Portland ME

Portland, ME

Tick the box: Take a picture of the Portland Head Light, an iconic lighthouse built in 1791 at the direction of George Washington himself.

Detour: The Hayloft at Dragonfly Barn. With crystalline acoustics and a warmly intimate setting, this converted barn on an historic farm in Bridgton hosts a wide range of accomplished musicians, including locals and notables from around the country (and beyond). Singer-songwriters, classical ensembles, jazz, and more can be found here. Check the site for event tickets, book a room at the nearby Highland Lake Resort (every room has a lake view), and add a memorable evening to your road trip.

The NYC Highline | By Alex Simpson

New York City

Tick the Box: Take a selfie on the top of the Empire State Building

Detour: Walk on The High Line. When NYC converted their elevated train tracks into a landscaped public park and walkway, few could have anticipated the appeal. More than 8 million people per year enjoy the intersection of art, design, and urban green space. Along the High Line, grab a cold beer and German nibbles (e.g. sausage, pretzels, and spätzle) at The Standard hotel’s ground-level Biergarten, but perhaps try The Jane for whimsical (and cost-effective) accommodations.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, VA

Tick the Box: Walk the oceanfront boardwalk and get a pic of the King Neptune statue.

Detour: Be a barnstormer! Soar through the sky in a WWII-era biplane at the Military Aviation Museum. During the flight season from April through late October, 15-minute and 30-minute flights are available for this real—not virtual reality—ride in a thrilling open-cockpit two-winger, goggles and leather helmets included. If you’re a high flier on the ground as well, find your bed at the luxurious Cavalier Hotel (built in 1927), while travelers of most budgets should be happy with the oysters, seafood, and peaches Melba at Tautog’s Restaurant.

Historic streets of Charleston

Charleston, SC

Tick the Box: Book a harbor tour and see Fort Sumter (among other historical sites)

Detour: Head to Forte Jazz Lounge for a charming mix of big-city sound and Southern hospitality. Candlelit tables, charcuterie, libations, and fantastic jazz talent are the recipe for a perfect evening, which can be capped off with a night at the French Quarter’s Loutrel hotel and then breakfast the next morning at the Flying Biscuit Café

Seven Mile Bridge, Key West | By Chase Baker

Key West, FL

Tick the Box: Get a picture at the “Southernmost Point” buoy; bonus points if you stand on the south side of the buoy, technically putting you south of the marker meant to indicate the southernmost point in the continental United States. 

Detour: Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, home to one of Key West’s best beaches (500 yards south of the “Southernmost Point” marker). If you’d rather hang in town, there’s a great little beach behind the Southernmost Beach Café—which has drinks and food that can be enjoyed on the sand. After sunset, the Thirsty Mermaid offers great dinner options (try the togarashi spiced yellowfin tuna or sautéed Bahamian conch) and a nice wine list.

A lucky snorkeler watching a MASSIVE fever of Mobula Rays glide past him during a trip with @bajarawtours. The Mobula migration is in full effect right now in Baja. Every year from April to June, you can witness huge congregations of these animals along the shores of the peninsula. It`s truly an incredible thing to see.

Reel: @wandering.westerner

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Quang Phu Cau Incense Village is a traditional craft village located in Quang Phu Cau Commune, Ung Hoa District, Hanoi, Vietnam. The village has a long-standing history of producing high-quality incense sticks, and it is considered one of the oldest and most famous incense-making villages in the country.

Reel: @travelmina_

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An English fairytale in Canterbury. A wonderful spot for a picnic especially when the sun is shining.

Reel: @pocketwanderings

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As the only Hindu region of the predominantly Islamic Indonesian archipelago, Bali is an island rich with festivals and spiritual rituals – many of which visitors are welcome to respectfully participate in. After rinsing yourself under the holy spring water which cascades through a series of waterspouts, you will emerge feeling cleansed in body and soul.

Reel: @lksjohan_ljc

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Our team & @sassafranski just finished a whirlwind road trip throughout the state of Kentucky visiting some of the best museums and cultural destinations in the state. Below are some of our favorites stops that should be on your list next time you visit.

Stop 1: @bluegrasshall
Stop 2: @owensboromuseumoffineart

Stop 3: Paducah Floodwall Murals
Stop 4: Guided Tour of Metropolitan Hotel

Stop 5: @downing_museum
Stop 6: Bowling Green Murals

Stop 7: @flame_run_gallery
Stop 8: @frazierhistorymuseum
Stop 9: @oldlouisvilleky Walking Tour
Stop 10: @speedartmuseum

Visit @kytourism for your next trip to the Bluegrass state! #TravelKY #partner

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A hidden gem in Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place where ancient history meets modern luxury. Reel: @hobopeeba ...

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Welcome to Season 4 of The Trip That Changed Me! Our first guest of the new season is @lauriewoolever, writer, editor, public speaker, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) in New York, and former assistant to @anthonybourdain, with whom she co-wrote several books.

In this episode, Laurie shares memories from Sri Lanka, where she joined Bourdain (or “Tony,” as she affectionately calls him) on a shoot for the TV show “Parts Unknown.” For Laurie, this trip was part business and part pleasure; an opportunity to explore the lush island nation with her friend and mentor while working on a story about Sri Lankan home cooking, but it was especially significant because she was newly sober. Navigating triggers and travel rituals that involved alcohol was challenging, but the experience shifted Laurie’s perspective. To her surprise, the world was bigger and better without the booze.

🎧 Link in bio to listen to an interview full of wonderful, personal anecdotes about Anthony Bourdain the traveler, plus loads of insider tips that food-obsessives will appreciate.

Cover Art: @nelsonknatalie

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This enormous staircase took 200 years to complete. With 691 steps, it has nine decorated levels with pyramids and statues called the Courtvard of the Kings. It crosses the hill to reach the Santuário Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.

Reel: @bokehm0n

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Morning swim @borgobastiacreti

Reel: @victorsfitz

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Surround yourself in a picturesque scenery of cherry blossoms, tulips, pansy, viola and more at the rainbow colored flower field at Hinoyama Koen Park.

Reel: @1min.traveller

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Town between the mountains 🌊

The settlement of Ponta do Sol was founded around 1425, shortly after the discovery of the island by Portuguese settlers coming from Minho, the Beiras and the Algarve.

Reel: @ilya.somewhere

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From the picturesque canals of Friesland to breathtaking Flevoland, and the stunning Weerribben-Wieden National Park, there`s so much to explore in The Netherlands.

Reel: @kuhrmarvin

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Known for its colorful houses built on steep cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Positano is a small town located on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. Some people might consider it overrated because of its popularity and high prices. However, others might argue that its beauty and charm are worth the cost and crowds. Tell us, what do you think about Positano as a summer destination?

Reel: @rflcpl

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