Hipmunk Hotels: Lesser Known Escapes to Reading, Williamsburg, Portsmouth and more

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Some say that everything that people love about the United States can be found in the cities along its East Coast. And while we tend to disagree, one thing is for sure; there is a lot more to discover on the East Coast than the bright lights of New York City.

Here are just a few lesser known destinations worth adding to your East Coast itinerary.

Reading, Pennsylvania

Reading is a historic city, located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch area. This small town may not have a plethora of activities to offer its visitors, but it does have a few gems worth checking out. One of the most well-known is the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, one of the largest and most uncommon community and art centers in the country, that offers visitors staying in Reading an opportunity to watch woodworkers, ceramists, glass blowers, and jewelry artisans in action in their own studios

Williamsburg, Virginia

A short 50-minute drive outside of Richmond, Virginia you will find the small town of Williamsburg. Most Americans know Williamsburg as a town that played a major role in the American Revolution. The majority of visitors come here to watch some of the amazing historical reenactments that take place in the surrounding areas of the historic triangle. Base yourself in the heart of Williamsburg and once you have had your fix of history, be sure to check out some of the other activities in the area including zip-lining, biking or walking along the Virginia Capital Trail or the Powhatan Creek Trail.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The historic city of Portsmouth is believed to be the third-oldest city in the United States, and today boasts an interesting mix of old and new. The city is well-known for its seaside activities, shopping, and dining, with great restaurants like Surf Seafood and Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe (don’t miss $1 oysters on Tuesday’s) being among the best. If you want to get out and explore the coast, consider staying along the harbor and don’t miss a chance to hop on board the Atlantic Queen II for some whale watching and deep-sea fishing.

Ithaca, New York

Ithaca, NY has long been viewed as one of the great American College towns. But opt to visit during the summer break and you will find a lovely getaway with some great outdoor activities. Ithaca is surrounded by some beautiful gorges, which have created 150 different waterfalls all located within a ten square mile area. With an abundance of hikes leading to the falls, it is easy to see why some people come just for the outdoor adventures.

If waterfalls aren’t your thing, consider visiting some of the 25 different wineries along the Finger Lakes Wine Trail just north of the city. Wine tours can be organized through many of the hotels in Ithaca.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine (originally called Eden) is a vibrant city that boasts a lovely combination of natural beauty and rich culinary experience.Visitors may choose to stay in Bar Harbor for a chance to get out and experience the outdoor activities in the Acadia National Park, but none of them leave without indulging in Maine’s world renown lobster.