East Coast South. On the road from Philadelphia to Virginia Beach

East Coast South

East Coast South is a wonderful journey to discover places that have left an indelible mark on US history. A tour through a part of authentic, surprising, lively and melancholic America; natural and artificial. A tour to be performed strictly on the road in at least two weeks

A fantastic journey through picturesque and fascinating places, starting from the beautiful Philadelphia, up to Virginia Beach.


Duration: 15 days / 14 nights.
Destinations visited: 6. Philadelphia (4 nights). Atlantic City (1 night). Wilmington (1 night). Brandywine Valley (1 night). Baltimore (2 nights). Washington DC (2 nights). Virginia (1 night). Virginia Beach (2 nights).
Total distance traveled: approximately 780 miles (approximately 1256km)



Philadelphia, USA

The city of Philly, as they call it in these parts, is the ideal base to start the tour of the South East Coast. Thanks to the homonymous airport, one of the 20 busiest in the USA, you can arrive by direct flight from America, USA, Europe and the Middle East. As soon as you land, you can reach the city by renting a car at the airport. You can also get there on foot, and take the car later.

Better to visit Philly on foot, or using the convenient public transportation.

In a couple of days, you will be able to admire the beauties of one of the cities that have left an indelible trace in the history of the United States. Capital of the USA until 1790, it was the place where, on 4 July 1776, the declaration of independence of the United States of America was signed!

In philadelphia the main monuments and places of interest are concentrated in a small area. Not surprisingly, there is talk of the square mile most rich in history in all of America!

You can start at the beautiful Liberty Bell Center, then continue with the Independence Hall, where the first American government was born. In front of the building stands the splendid Independence Square.

Still in the same area, a few meters away from each other is the National Constitution Center; the Old Congress City Hall, which hosted the US Supreme Court until 1800; the Christ Church, that is, the church in which George Washington and Benjamin Franklin took refuge in prayer; the National Portrait Gallery, an extraordinary art gallery that we recommend to visit. John Franklin Kennedy Plaza is now also known as the square of love, due to the presence of the “Love Sculpture” in the center of the imposing square.

Philly also houses important museums: the Rodin and the Barnes Foundation. But, Philadelphia is best known for being the city of … Rocky Balboa! The long staircase that leads to the famous Filadelfia Museum Art (a splendid museum) brings to mind the famous scenes of the film. From this link, the special guide on what to see on holiday in Philadelphia.


Atlantic City

Once the city of Rocky Balboa is greeted, the second stop on the South East Coast tour is Atlantic City. Located in New Jersey, just an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, the town is the East Coast’s answer to Las Vegas!

An absolutely unmissable place!

By car, cross approximately 60 miles, on NJ-42 and I-73, to get to the coastal city. For those who prefer the train, from Philadelphia there are numerous daily connections with Atlantic City, with a journey of about 90 minutes.

Once in the city, you can easily move on foot or by bus to reach the main attractions.

Atlantic City rises on a 5km long stretch of coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; the Boardwalk is a sparkling and artifact place, which attracts hordes of tourists every day in search of unbridled fun!

Miles of golden sand overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Restaurants, luxury hotels, casinos, neon lights and beautiful young ladies. In this real paradise of entertainment, everything is created specifically … to get you a few dollars!

Try your luck at the world famous Caesar Palace. Take a break at the Hard Rock Café. Rent a rickshaw, and then another episode at the Tropicana Casino, before setting sail with CAPE MAY WHALE WATCHER from the Atlantic city Pier. Keep the camera ready and watch the whales!

Don’t miss the magic of the sunset from the Absecon Lighthouse. This is the largest lighthouse in New Jersey, and the third largest in the United States! Whether you are a lover or not, do not miss the Atlantic City aquarium, one of the most beautiful on the East coast. It is located at the end of the Boardwalk. Open every day, Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00.

Not far from the casino Caesars Palace, you will cross, the Walk. It is the shopping area par excellence, full of outlets with clothing made in U.S.A. Prepare your wallet for crazy expenses!

A curiosity: the original edition of Monopoly is based right on the streets of Atlantic City.


Halfway between Philadelphia and Washington DC, Wilmington is a must see on the South East Coast. The city is located in Delaware, New Hanover County.

In the city you can stay in the Mid-Tow area, full of attractions, restaurants and shops; in addition, you will have a wide choice and you can walk around the most interesting places on foot.

Delaware has played a crucial role in US history. In fact, it was the first of the thirteen colonies to sign the Federal Constitution, thus becoming the first Union state. The capital of this state is Dover.

On the South East Coast tours, Wilmington is not considered a tourist destination. The city, in our opinion, rich in history and testimonies, is an excellent base for a stop of at least a day, thanks to its location halfway.

Delaware, is a small state, with a lively character, with a rough past, made of struggles and changes. All around, beautiful hills and classic mansions of the Brandywine Valley; we are certain that you will appreciate the visit of this city.

Not to be missed, the Delaware Art Museum, which exhibits works by local artists, and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, housed in an Art Deco building, near the riverfront, a booming area.


Photo ©, GPA Photo Archive


Dupont, a family of French origin, settled in this region, transformed the Brandywine Valley into an American version of the French Loire; today, this area has remained an exclusive territory of wealth and ostentation, much appreciated by tourists who visit the city and the region. Stop and enjoy some excellent wine. Take interesting photos and portraits. Dedicate yourself to shopping for typical products, and relax in one of the most evocative places in the region.

Travel to Kennet Square outside of Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania.

Brandywine Valley Tourist Information Center provides very useful information about castles and gardens; among these, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens and Nemours are quite interesting.


Baltimore, Maryland

About 70 miles south of Wilmington, driving for just over an hour along Interstate I-95, we arrive in Baltimore. The beautiful city of Maryland is the place where the famous American anthem was born.

It is a city with a great maritime past. And, as such, it has a port that, over time, has become a real tourist attraction. The tourist port is a concentration of shops, clubs and typical kiosks where you can enjoy excellent crab. There are also many attractions in the area. The Maritim Museum, is a real … floating museum. It houses a raised Knoll Lighthouse, about two meters high, and historic ships, including the USS Constellation, dating back to the civil war. Those who enjoy long walks, on foot or by bike, cannot miss the Jones Falls Trail. It is a fascinating itinerary that follows parallel that of the homonymous stream course, up to the Inner Harbor

The city, unfortunately, has been the subject of continuous attention, due to the numerous episodes of crime. Despite this, the tourist area is perfectly safe and, above all, very well guarded.

Those who are on vacation in the East Coast South with their children, will appreciate, not a little, the Baltimore offer. Child-friendly attractions, activities and museums. Starting from the National Aquarium, where you can admire many sea creatures like seals, dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, octopuses, turtles. Open, generally, from Monday to Thursday, from 09:00 to 16:00. Friday, 09:00-20:00 Saturday and Sunday, 09:00 to 17:00 The entrance ticket, not exactly cheap, costs $39.95 per adult, $29.95 for children aged 3 to 11. Free for children up to 3 years old.

Federal Hill Park is a beautiful, well-kept public garden with a beautiful view of the city. It precedes the interesting Science Museum of Maryland, an ideal place for families and children. Paleontology, Astronomy, Sciences are just some of the aspects covered. Don’t miss the dinosaurs, and the splendid planetarium. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00. Tickets for adults at $28.95 and boys for $22.95.

Patterson Park is a beautiful green lung, ideal for relaxing, with a lake, lots of greenery, and the Patterson Pagoda, a structure that offers a splendid view from the top. The park is open from early morning until sunset. For gastronomy lovers, the Lexington Market is a stop not to be missed. A market with an excellent gastronomic offer, active since 1782. Ideal to visit, and to stop for lunch. More info from this link.


What to see in Washington, Capitol Hill

“Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.” This is what Kennedy quoted about the capital.

The city is located 50 km from the sea, and is located south of the state of Maryland and north of the state of Virginia. It is characterized, mainly, by architectures ranging from neoclassical, Georgian, and Gothic. Styles that characterize modern government buildings and important city buildings.

The main US government institutions (President, Congress, Supreme Court), many ministries and federal agencies, and some international organizations are based in Washington; among these, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization of American States.

Washington DC, since it was declared capital, was the city that forever changed the political life of the most powerful nation on earth.

During the visit of the city, you will be able to appreciate attractions and wonderful museums. Art, Natural history, Space, portraits … all strictly FREE! Without forgetting, of course, the White House! The beautiful Georgetown neighborhood, on the other hand, is ideal for escaping the crush of the city. A couple of days should be enough to appreciate its beauty. All the info on what to do and see on holiday in Washington, from here.


Richmond Virginia

Richmond is one of the cities that has most influenced US history. A place of great historical and, above all, tourist importance, thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic coast. In summer, it is literally besieged by Americans and tourists and, as such, is one of the unmissable stops on the South East Coast.

Richmond is a 2-hour journey from Washington along I-95; Amtrak regional trains connecting Newport News, Virginia, with Washington and Boston. Stop at 1500 E Main St. station

The former capital of the confederacy, Richmond was the scene of the clash of the secession war between north and south. At the end of the war, scars and devastation were evident; in particular, for tobacco plantations, still today, a primary resource.

The famous James River runs through the city, dividing it into two parts. Richmond is not particularly extensive, and it is possible to turn it even on foot, to either side of Broad Street.

The most important attraction is the Virginia State Capitol, the oldest US government building, built to a design by Thomas Jefferson.

The Capitol has been continuously active since 1788 as a governmental seat of the state of Virginia, and for a short time as a Confederation. The building houses the only marble statue for which George Washington personally posed, and the busts of Jefferson and seven other American presidents born in Virginia.

Governor’s Mansion overlooks Capitol Square; it is a federal style building that since 1813 is the residence of the governor of Virginia. Across the square is the imposing Victorian building of Old City Hall, built in 1894 in Gothic style. Really fascinating.

The Canal Walk is a beautiful walk that runs for about 2 kilometers between the center and the Schockoe Bottom; it represents an excellent example of urban renewal.

Along the promenade you will come across numerous historical sites, dating back to the Confederate era. American Civil War Center, offers multimedia exhibits on the history of war. Don’t miss the Tredegar Iron Works, a renovated arms factory, which churned out tons of Confederate material; Tredegar is also the main visitor center of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, which commemorates dozens of sites of battles of the Civil War.


Virginia Beach

Last stage of the South East Coast tour is Virgina Beach, an ideal place to enjoy a few days of relaxation and sea … being lulled by the noise of the Atlantic ocean.

The most classic of summer tourist resorts, with hotels, motels, restaurants, disco clubs and lots of attractions. You will admire the long sandy beaches that run for miles, in what is the favorite destination of thousands of Americans. Many have invested here to enjoy their holidays and escape the chaos of the city.

Along the lively and lively waterfront, Atlantic Avenue, you will find lots of people, both day and night. Virginia Beach is also very popular for surfing, with several shops and rental agencies.

Every year, in August, Virginia Beach hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships. This is an important event in which various professional surfers take part; definitely an event not to be missed.

At the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, you can admire a rich display of marine life including shark tanks, stingrays, sea turtles, and incredible jellyfish. In addition, you can attend technological exhibitions in an IMAX cinema, an aviary with dozens of endemic species and a short pleasant nature trail through the salt works of Owis Creek. The center also organizes boat trips for dolphin and whale watching. Definitely an event not to be missed!

In Virginia Beach we move very well on foot. We recommend renting a bike to relax along the boardwalk.

Virginia Beach represents the worthy conclusion of a splendid South East Coast route on the road. A journey of about 220 miles on I-64 and I-95 awaits you to reach Washington Dulles International Airport. From here, with one of the many direct flights, or making a stopover, you can return home.

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