The best national parks on the East Coast- a guide. With 17 states on the East Coast, stretching from Maine to South Carolina, there are plenty of amazing national parks to explore. So, keep reading as I break down the essentials for your trip, including a packing list, the best accommodation and of course- the best national parks on the East Coast.
What is a national park?
What exactly is a national park? A national park is an area protected due to its cultural heritage, boasting varied wildlife and beautiful countryside. They are typically known for their stunning landscapes and unique features. The aim of a national park is to preserve the site of natural beauty and benefit from this, without destroying it. The ‘National Park service‘manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.
Why visit the national parks on the East Coast?
The East Coast, otherwise known as the Atlantic coast, is famous for its diverse and beautiful marine life, one of the many factors that set it apart from the rest of the USA. With abundant wildlife, unique nature and plenty of diverse hiking trails the east coast has so much to offer.
What is a national park pass?
A national park pass, also known as ‘America the beautiful‘ passes grants a free entrance to over 2,000 federal recreation sites in the US. There is an option for a lifetime pass or just an annual pass, which both offer a free entry into all national parks in the USA, which opens up many opportunities in terms of discovering multiple parks in one visit!
The pass is great to have for exploring the national parks in America because it means you will have a cheaper overall price than paying for a ticket every time, which saves time, money and effort! So, when visiting the East Coast of America, a national park pass is the way to go if you wish to visit multiple parks on your trip!
The best accommodation when visiting the national parks on the East Coast?
So, what are the best accommodation when visiting the national parks on the East Coast? Here are the most conveniently located, best quality and best priced accommodations on the East Coast.
Riverfront home is the closest accommodation to Timucuan national park. This amazingly located accommodation is situated nearby to a variety of restaurant’s, from Safe Harbor seafood market to Mcdonalds. With a fully equipped kitchen, flat screen tv and free Wi-Fi on site, it has all the amazing facilities needed for your stay. Click here to find out more.
Quality Inn is just a 30-minute walk from Kings Mountain national park. This accommodation is in a good location with Indian Spring Park and Uptown Park within a short radius of the site, allowing for a scenic walk-in nature. Quality inn has free Wi-Fi on site, an outdoor pool and a flat screen TV. Click here to find out more
Magic Moments II
Magic Moments II is the nearest accommodation to Great Smoky mountains national park. This beautifully furnished woodland retreat offers luxury within the first step, housing a heart shaped hot tub, patio, free WIFI and pool table. The retreat boasts stunningly scenic views of the nature surrounding, gearing you up for an amazing park visit. Click here to find out more.
Quality Inn Atlantic Beach
Quality Inn Atlantic beach is just a 40-minute drive from Timucuan national park. This accommodation provides wellness facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre, so you can enjoy your time within the accommodation as well as outside exploring the national parks on the east coast! With free WIFI, a bar and restaurant on site, you’re sure to enjoy a comfortable and relaxed stay. Click here to find out more.
Essential packing list when visiting the national parks on the East Coast
So, what is the essential packing list when visiting the national parks on the East Coast? Here are all the essentials you need for your trip.
Hiking boots are essential for keeping your feet comfortable over a long duration of time whilst exploring. I recommend the Unisex Grisport hiking boots with comfy insoles and breathable lining, perfect for taking on any national park hiking challenge!
Travel first aid kit
A travel first aid kit is essential for your trip to the national parks on the East Coast. The Protect Life first aid kit is perfect for being on the go, with a soft pouch that is easy and convenient for packing, equipped with all the essentials for any accidents that may happen when outdoors.
A hiking backpack is an essential for visiting the national parks on the East Coast because they are super convenient for carrying everything in a comfortable and lightweight backpack. I recommend the Osprey backpack for its high-quality waterproof material.
On the East Coast there are a selection of beautiful beaches that you just can’t miss, from the glistening shores of Madaket in Massachusetts to Old Orchard beach in Maine! Make sure to come prepared with the essentials:
- Stay dry and relax with the Nomandia Beach towels, with quick drying microfibre material and super funky print- you’re sure to stand out!
- Sun hats are an essential for keeping the sun out of your face and looking stylish. The Interstellar caps come in every colour and have that classic look.
- Sun cream is not only an essential for the beach, but your entire trip to the national parks on the East Coast. I recommend Malibu sun lotion for its SPF 50 protection and water resistance, keeping your skin safe and undamaged, but don’t forget to re-apply!
The best national parks on the East Coast
So here it is, the best national parks on the East Coast. From stunning landscapes to beachside retreats, find it all here as I break down the best national parks on the East Coast…
Timucuan national park in Florida is one of the last unspoiled wetlands on the Atlantic Coast, with 6,000 years of human history. Within Timucuan you will find Fort Caroline and Kingsley plantation.
The Theodore Roosevelt area is a 600-acre treasure of hardwood forest, rich in cultural history. This is one of the best places on site to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, take a hike through the roots of several ecosystems, or birdwatch from the bird observation tower. Gaze out at the incredible marsh views, or find a bench along the trail to sit, relax or picnic within the greenery. Find yourself kayaking through the crystal-clear marshes and enjoying every step through the Roosevelt area, described as more than just “a place in the woods”.
Kings Mountain in South Carolina uncovers the history of ‘The battle of kings mountain‘ which happened on the 7th of October 1780. It was named ‘the turn of the tide of success’ by Thomas Jefferson. This battle was so significant because it was the first major victory for Charleston, South Carolina.
Today you can enjoy the parks site and engage in the historical side as well as the natural side of the site, with plenty of nature trails to discover.
The Battlefield trail is great for gaining insight onto the events of the battle itself, with just 1.5 miles of walking, there are wayside exhibits along the way which underline the battle events at each point. There are also two other short hikes that are great for their scenery, the Browns Mountain trail and Clarks Creek.
Discover the sites history by watching the park film “Battle for Kings Mountain “, which has the full history of the battle in about 45 minutes. After this, explore the museums with plenty of historical exhibits on show!
Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky mountains lies on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, famous for its complexity of diverse plant and animal life and for being the most visited national park in the USA! There are many hikes to take to explore the most beautiful parts of the park- but here are the most popular trails on the East Coast.
The site is renowned for its stunning array of wildflowers, with 1,500 different kinds of flower to look out for. These range from lady slipper orchids, columbine, bleeding heart, phacelia, little brown jugs, and violets.
On site, explore Cades Cove, a vibrant and flourishing valley, one of the most popular destinations within Great Smoky Mountains. This section of the park is home to a diversity of animal wildlife, from Coyote to white-tailed deer. The valley has a rich history which stretches hundreds of years, back to when it was hunted by the Cherokee Indians, to the first Europeans settling there in 1818.
The 3 best national parks on the East Coast- further reading.
Thank you for reading this article on the 3 national parks on The East Coast. If you enjoyed this- you’re sure to love these too:
- 201 Awesome Chicago Instagram Captions + Chicago Quotes
- 16 best beaches in the Florida Keys
- 210 Awesome Instagram Beach Captions + Pictures
- The 3 Best National Parks In New Mexico
- 19 Exciting Things To Do In Florida Clearwater