While residents of America’s western states may eagerly brag about their stretch of the country being the “Best Coast,” those living on the Eastern seaboard know there’s no place like the East Coast—especially when it comes to luxury vacations. However, with so many stunning cities and towns to choose from, it can be hard to pick where to head the next time you’re in need of some serious downtime. We’ve rounded up the top five luxury vacation destinations on the East Coast, each more charming than the last—all you have to do is pack:
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
If you’re in the mood to get away from it all, there’s no better place to relax than Martha’s Vineyard. Though the island is just a short trip from some of Massachusetts’ southern cities, its slow pace of life makes it feel completely different from the locales that surround it. Thanks to its no-chain-stores policy, Martha’s Vineyard is home to some of the most adorable boutiques in New England, from the famous Black Dog to antiques and gift stores throughout its major thoroughfares. And despite its quaint feel, there are countless luxury lodging options around town, from waterfront manses to charming hotels like the Mansion House Inn and Spa and the Harbor View Hotel.
Similar in feel to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket is the quaint waterfront Massachusetts town you’ve been dreaming of. And despite its charm, it’s also a surprising celebrity hotspot: everyone from Joe Biden to Drew Barrymore has been known to vacation here. While Nantucket is home to countless charming hotels, like The Beachside on Nantucket., Veranda House, and White Elephant, to get a feel for its regional flavor, you’d likely want to book a rental: from adorable cottages to waterfront mansions, the real estate here does not disappoint.
Montauk, New York
While the Hamptons have long been known for their picturesque homes and celebrity sightings, Montauk may just offer the change of pace you’re looking for. Despite its more low-key vibe than many East Hampton and Southampton towns, Montauk is also home to some of the area’s most picturesque hotels, from the stunning Montauk Manor to resort-like Driftwood on the Ocean. And for those who don’t want to spend their summer evenings manning a grill, it’s also home to top-tier restaurants, like The Hideaway, South Edison, and Grey Lady MTK.
Newport, Rhode Island
One of the East Coast’s most picturesque coastal cities, Newport exemplifies New England charm. While Newport is under an hour from Providence, it feels a world away from that city’s luxury condo-lined streets, instead of boasting mansions and stunning water views. In addition to taking tours of Newport’s most famous sites, like The Breakers, an 1800s mansion once owned by the Vanderbilt family, and mansions-turned-museums like Marble House and Rosecliff, Newport is also home to tons of charming boutiques and restaurants nestled throughout the city’s walkable center.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Of course, not all East Coast destinations are up north: in fact, Hilton Head Island in South Carolina offers all of the beauty of a New England or Mid-Atlantic destination, but with plenty of Southern charm, too. Enjoy a great meal at Alfred’s or Charlie’s L’etoile Verte, scratch your shopping itch at the Shelter Cove Towne Centre or Coligny Plaza, and rest your head at night at one of the island’s premier hotels, like the Omni, the Grand Hilton Head Inn, or the Inn & Club at Harbour Town.
Whether you opt to venture down the coast to Hilton Head or head up to New York to enjoy the social scene, the East Coast is replete with luxury vacation destinations that are sure to suit your every whim. From stunning beaches to adorable towns with boutique-lined streets, you’re sure to find the rest and relaxation you’re been looking for.