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Top 10 Hidden Gem Towns To Visit On The East Coast

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With iconic cities such as New York City and sprawling landscapes such as in Acadia National Park, the east coast of the United States is full of breathtaking places. If you’re looking for some places slightly more off the beaten path, here are 10 spots along the coast that you’ll want to consider visiting! 

Lesser Known East Coast Towns

1. Little Compton, Rhode Island

Located in Newport County, Little Compton is a charming rural coastal town. A fun bit of trivia about the town is that it’s the origin place of the popular Rhode Island Red breed of chicken. If chickens aren’t really your thing, though, no worries – there’s plenty of other reasons to visit this town as well. Stroll along the rocky shores, or go wine tasting at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard. 

Little Compton

2. Burlington, Vermont

You won’t want to miss this lakefront town! Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a gorgeous, pedestrian-friendly city. You can look forward to checking out the local stores and shops on Church Street. Or, head down to the lake shores for scenic strolls or boating excursions! 


3. Montpelier, Vermont

The capitol of Vermont, Montpelier is known for its historical sites. You’ll want to check out the city’s Capitol building, one of the best preserved historical buildings in the country. The nearby Vermont Historical Society Museum will offer even more information about the history of the area. 


4. Ithaca, New York

Situated on Cayuga Lake, Ithaca is a beautiful city surrounded by even more beautiful natural wonders. The city is about 4 hours from New York City, making it a great option for a weekend getaway, a road trip stop, or even a day trip. Ithaca is known for its diverse natural landscape, which includes gorges, waterfalls, and nature trails. A trip to Cornell Botanic Gardens is a great way to get a taste of all the city has to offer! 


5. Helen, Georgia

This cozy mountain town is known for two things – vineyards and its Bavarian-style buildings. In a similar fashion to Leavenworth, WA and Solvang, CA, Helen features out-of-the-box and memorable architecture not commonly seen in the United States. This, in addition to an abundance of shops and wine tasting opportunities, make it worth a visit! 


6. Seaside, Florida

Head to the southern part of the coast to check out this dreamy, pastel-colored town. Seaside – as the name implies – sits on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s long been a well-loved vacation spot. Year-round pleasant weather, as well as a relaxing and unique atmosphere, make this town worth checking out. You can look forward to strolls past the pastel houses lining beaches, shopping, and a variety of great restaurants! A couple of recommendations – the Great Southern Cafe, as well as Barefoot BBQ – are both great restaurants located near the city's Santa Rosa Beach.


7. Block Island, Rhode Island

Getting to this island will require a ferry trip, but it’s more than worth it! Block Island is a great spot for some peaceful relaxation. Home to several gorgeous rocky beaches, you can also look forward to checking out a historic 1800s lighthouse on your trip! 

Block Island

8. Oak Bluffs, Massachussets

Located on the popular vacation island of Martha’s Vineyard, Oak Bluffs is a great spot to visit! You can look forward to checking out the scenic beaches, riding a historic carousel, or viewing the town’s unique “Gingerbread” houses with a trip here! 

Oak Bluffs

9. Chincoteague, Virginia

Chincoteague is perhaps best known for its wildlife – in particular, its wild ponies! Though the ponies technically live on the nearby Assateague Island, they have become synonymous with Chincoteague. In addition to viewing wildlife, you may also want to check out the area’s hiking and nature trails.


10. Mystic, Connecticut

This charming town historically served as a large seaport! Nowadays, it's a great destination for those looking for a peaceful and quiet getaway. You can learn more about the town's history at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Or, head over to Jonathan Edwards Winery for some wine tasting. Despite this town's small size, it has quite a few fun things to do!


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