- The East Coast has tons to offer to travelers and residents alike.
- GOBankingRates analyzed the best East Coast cities worth visiting.
- Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, made the top of the list.
There is more to the East Coast than just New York City. Whether you crave a vacation to a picturesque beach town or want the high energy of a city, each state on the East Coast has something new to offer to travelers and residents alike.
GOBankingRates found the best cities to visit up and down the East Coast and took a look at the cost of flying out to each destination, based on a departure from Los Angeles in late June. Here are the five most stunning cities you can visit in states along the Atlantic — all of which are accessible on a budget.
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Round-trip flight cost: $415
Savannah is ranked No. 1 among the best relaxing getaways in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. With the airfare just around $400 for a round trip, you can hop on a plane to Georgia for some sunshine and solitude.
There are plenty of free things to do in Savannah, including walking tours of the city’s most famous landmarks. These tours are led by local historians, and you can learn more about the famous squares and see the bench where Forrest Gump sat. There is also free entry to Forsyth Park, home to a 300-year-old Candler Oak tree and the Fragrant Garden for individuals who are visually impaired. Ghost Coast Distillery offers free 40-minute tours of its facility. These tours provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the history of spirits (the alcoholic kind) in Savannah, as well as the process of making rum, whiskey and vodka.
With flights reasonably priced for the summer season, you can splurge on a stay at one of the many bed and breakfasts in the city center. If mansion living is more your thing, visitors can stay at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, which includes an on-site spa, restaurant and cooking school.
Charleston, South Carolina
Round-trip flight cost: $519
You don’t have to travel to Europe to visit one of the world’s best locales — Charleston made Travel and Leisure’s 2018 list of the top 15 international cities. It was also ranked the No. 1 U.S. city by the publication for the sixth year in a row in 2018. With the round-trip cost at $519, you can explore one of the world’s top cities at a reasonable price.
Soak up the sun for free at Folly Beach, the closest beach to downtown. With miles of shoreline, spend the day scouring for seashells or watching the sunset from the pier. Visitors can take a walk over to the Joe Riley Waterfront Park, which is Charleston’s most visited park. It also hosts the famous Pineapple Fountain.
Round-trip flight cost: $517
A round-trip ticket to Roanoke costs $517. However, you can’t put a price tag on the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the Blue Ridge Parkway earning the title of “America’s favorite drive.”
The parkway runs from Afton, Virginia, all the way to Cherokee, North Carolina. Take advantage of the arts and crafts excursions, hiking trails and waterfall stops all along the parkway. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, visit the Taubman Museum of Art for free. The museum boasts a collection of over 2,100 pieces from around the world, and hosts special exhibits throughout the year.
Roanoke also made GOBankingRates’ list of the best small towns to retire in America.
Block Island, Rhode Island
Round-trip flight cost: $358
Block Island is located just 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast. There are no flights from Los Angeles International Airport directly to Block Island, but a round-trip flight to Providence, Rhode Island, costs $358. However, it’s well worth the trip, with Condé Nast Traveler rating it as one of the most underrated islands in the U.S.
Visit 1661 Farms and Gardens, which is home to lemurs, kangaroos, emus, camels, llamas, goats and much more. It is open year-round and free to the public. If you want picturesque views of the coastline, Southeast Lighthouse is hailed for its incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. Built in the 1870s, it has since been named a National Historic Landmark.
Ithaca, New York
Round-trip flight cost: $557
Skip New York City and head to upstate New York for the amazing views. Rated as the prettiest town in New York by Architectural Digest in 2018, Ithaca is a must-see destination. A round-trip flight to Ithaca costs $557, a reasonable price to visit the birthplace of the ice cream sundae.
Andrew Dickson White, the co-founder and first president of Cornell University, had a love of books. If you’re a bibliophile, head to the Andrew Dickson White Library at Cornell to see the three original tiers of wrought-iron stacks that have an array of books on dramatic display.
You can also visit the eight incredible sites that make up Ithaca’s Discovery Trail, which promotes awareness of art, history, literature, science and the natural world. Sites include the Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Botanic Gardens and the Museum of the Earth.
For affordable options on the other side of the U.S., keep reading to see five West Coast cities that are worth visiting.
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Methodology: For airfare, GOBankingRates used Google Flights to find the cheapest available round-trip flights departing Los Angeles (LAX) on June 21, 2019, and returning June 28, 2019. Airfare listed is for one person. All data was compiled on April 17, 2019. Prices are subject to change.