At Rudder USA, we honor the boat and love spending time on the coast! There is nothing we enjoy more than packing up the car and hitting the road to check out our favorite charming coastal towns. Read on to check out our top 5 coastal road trip destinations!
A sunset sail in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mystic Seaport – Stonington, Connecticut
At the mouth of the Mystic River, protected by a collection of islands and peninsulas, Mystic Seaport gives a glimpse into New England’s roots and a slower pace of life. Despite the hustle and bustle of excellent restaurants and breweries, a walk along the waterfront and over the famous drawbridge offers a quiet retreat. With a flourishing art scene and ample galleries, museums, and even an aquarium, this little seaside slice of heaven in Stonington, Connecticut is just as much fun on a drizzly day.
Newport, Rhode Island
Tucked between Narraganset Bay and the Sakonnet River, Newport’s world-famous oceanside mansions sit on some of Aquidneck Island’s most pristine and prestigious acres. The patchwork of islands, bridges, bays, and estuaries seamlessly integrated into the area’s history, culture, and tourism are a fascinating reminder of just how geologically diverse and important New England’s coastal towns are to a healthy coastline. Come for the luxurious views along Ocean Drive’s shoreline manors, but stay for the parks, annual jazz festival, incredible food, and shopping.
At the very tip of Cape Ann, centuries of seamanship, fishing, lobstering, and boat building has worked its way into every facet of Rockport’s coastal charm. Alongside the neighboring town of Gloucester, Rockport’s deep history of oceanside culture goes back to the 1600s. Home to a thriving artists’ colony on-and-off again since the late 1800s, Rockport’s bright red fish wharf named Motif #1 is one of the most painted and photographed buildings in New England and an iconic symbol of maritime life through the ages. With lobster boat fleets, quaint downtown alleys lined with boutiques, and every imaginable kind of seafood waiting to nourish you after a day of coastal exploring, Rockport is a quintessential destination for New England weekend travel.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
New Hampshire has just over 18 miles of coastline—a relic from old New England and the primacy of access to the Atlantic as a main force for economic and industrial power—though Portsmouth makes it feel much, much larger than that. Quaint, small town vibes meet glam urbanite comforts in this colonial era relic with modern amenities worth driving to see. Oyster bars, chic shops, and gram-worthy cobblestone streets are waiting for you.
The famous tugboats in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The crown jewel of Maine’s southern coastal expanse, Kennebunkport’s shoreline is dotted with lobster boats, fry shacks, wood-shingled estates, hydrangea gardens, and sand beaches. While things get a bit more wild as you make your way up the Maine coast, Kennebunkport is a weekend getaway dreamscape with every imaginable amenity plus charming shops and a growing, world-class dining scene. Spend some time here before it gets too discovered.
Now that we've shared our road trip destinations with you, don't forget to bring us along for the ride. Our Yeti Ramblers are perfect for travel! these 30 oz tumblers keep your drink hot or cold for hours and fit in any cup holder. Check them out here!