No East Coast road trip is complete without a few stops at national parks.
Not sure which ones to visit? Read on.
We share our eight favorite East Coast national parks. From seashores to mountains, there’s something for everyone!
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park does its state proud, with its rocky coastlines, historic lighthouses, and mountains and vistas to spare. There’s even an adorable footbridge in Somesville. Hike along the trails (there’s over twenty!), feast on lobster, and take it all in.
Instagrammable Spot: Head over to Jordan Pond and tap into your inner photographer. Everyone loves a shot of the North and South Bubbles reflected against the waters of Jordan Pond.
2. Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
With lighthouses, boardwalks, and more, Cape Cod’s got everything you’re looking for on an East Coast day trip. Grab some seafood, walk along the boardwalk, and imagine what it was like the day the Mayflower sailed in.
Instagrammable Spot: Anywhere in Martha’s Vineyard. Just a ferry’s ride off Cape Cod, this picturesque fishermen’s village is what Instagram dreams are made of.
3. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
This special island has cool winds, marshlands, and roving wild horses… Assateague Island is truly a place like no other. Breathe in that fresh coastal air while you explore on your bike, canoe, or your feet!
Instagrammable Spot: Prepare to introduce some equine into your Instagram feed. This island is the only place in the U.S. you can see wild horses, and Assateague’s herds are majestic.
4. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Campers, hikers, and explorers galore love Shenandoah National Park. You can take the literal scenic route along Skyline Drive, hike along the Appalachian Trail, and camp to your heart’s content here.
Instagrammable Spot: Climb the beginner-friendly hike up Little Stony Man, and gaze out over the cliffs.
5. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
The name gives it away: Mammoth Cave is a seriously massive cave system. In fact, with over 400 miles, it’s the world’s largest! Sign up for a cave tour and head underground.
Instagrammable Spot: Mammoth Cave is something you have to see to believe. Help your Instagram followers imagine your travels with a photo of Diamond Caverns.
6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
This national park deserves a spot on everyone’s list. These mountains are called the Great Smokies because they deserve it! Tall trees, fragrant wildflowers, flowing waterfalls, and even log cabins - this park has it all. Don’t leave without a short hike on the Appalachian Trail!
Instagrammable Spot: The observation deck at the top of Clingmans Dome will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
7. Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Making a pit stop in Charleston? Take a detour out to Congaree National Park. This stunning hardwood forest is so dense with trees, you’ll forget all about city life.
Instagrammable Spot: The Boardwalk Loop Trail is a must-see. It takes you through the famous forest, which happens to be a perfect backdrop for the Gram!
8. Biscayne National Park, Florida
National seashores are cute and all, but what about a park that’s almost entirely water? All you mermaids out there, Biscayne National Park is for you. This national park is 95% water, so schedule your snorkeling trip and grab your scuba gear. It’s easy to spot dolphins, turtles, fish, and other sea life here.
Prefer to keep your head above water? Don’t worry. You can see the reefs just fine from a glass-bottom boat, too.
Instagrammable Spot: Take a selfie with the Stiltsville houses in the background.
Looking for itinerary inspiration? Explore more East Coast national parks on our Pinterest board!
Roam often, stay stylish.