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.

Swim with killer whales, camp with friends, and cool off in a river surrounded by the beauty of Baja, California. 🇲🇽

Reel: @rodtrvn

171 0

This surreal store in Chengdu, China, which includes over 80,000 books, is lined with images of books on the upper shelves so it would appear that they stretch from floor to ceiling.

Reel: @losojosdelau

734 5

Patagonia is pretty much the most magical place on Earth.

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

358 1

inspired by Space exploration’s seminal era, as it sits in quiet solitude surrounded by pitted rock format, Echo Camp in Antarctica gives you as close as you can get to feeling off the planet without leaving Earth.

It`s the newest luxury adventure experience from White Desert where you can enjoy fine dining, ice climbing, cross-country skiing and for the adventurers learn life saving techniques.

Reel: @jeremyaustiin

120 2

Welcome to the new @thewhitelotus hotel @fskohsamui 🌴 The resort offers stunning views, beautiful beaches, and upscale amenities, which align with the high-end and exotic backdrop often sought after by TV producers. Will you be tuning in to the new season?

Reel: @postcardsbyhannah

138 1

Dreaming of traveling to warmer destinations like Lucky Bay in Western Australia.

Reel: @haylsa

203 3

Discover the allure of Pidurangala Rock, a captivating geological marvel adjacent to Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Embark on a scenic hike that unveils panoramic vistas of Sigiriya Rock, lush forests, and distant mountains. Explore a historic cave temple at the base and catch the magic of sunrise or sunset from the summit.

Reel: @natigana

133 0

Located in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh in India, Kardang Village offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan landscapes and its 12th century monastery that holds cultural and historical significance in the region.

Reel: @shiv.mer

407 1

Picture this: kicking back in a waterfall in Akureyri, Iceland. Laugafell is the spot – where the warm meets the cool. It`s a chill time with nature`s own spa. Keep an eye out for dolphins jumping in the ocean!

Reel: @asasteinars

201 0

Considered as a modern alpine village, Avoriaz is a popular spot for skiers and families. The village is one of the largest stations within Les Portes du Soleil which is a major skisports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Reel: @djemographic

510 3

In search for the best hot springs that will warm us up until the arrival of Spring.

Reel: @kat_khoroshun

223 1

Located near the Katla volcano in Iceland, the Katla cave features stunning blue ice formations and intricate ice sculptures. It`s a popular destination for guided tours, offering a glimpse into the otherworldly beauty of Iceland`s glacial landscapes.

Reel: @asasteinars

420 0

Sunsets at Ruby Beach, Washington, are a mesmerizing display of nature`s beauty. The rugged coastline, sea stacks, and driftwood-strewn shore create a dramatic backdrop for the sun`s descent. A serene and picturesque setting, attracting photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Reel: @ryanresatka

413 0

Take a dip in this 50 meters long infinity pool at Hotel @krallerhof where you`re surrounded by stunning Austrian Alps.

Reel: @meirr

308 0