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Road Tripping on the East Coast: DC to Maine


We can definitely say the summer is in full swing. With the July 4th fireworks in the rear view, we can celebrate (some) freedom in the US. Individual states are varying on their approach to lifting restrictions related to the pandemic, but regardless there’s still plenty of opportunity to hit the road. We are starting our road tripping in the nation’s capital and heading north…Shoutout to the East Coast! Let’s highlight some places to EAT, SEE and DO along the Atlantic coastline (and adjacent).

 

The East Coast offers many places to explore and mark history, including the Nation’s Capital area of Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Also known as the Mid-Atlantic region, you can combine the beach with visits to historic monuments. In close proximity is Baltimore, Maryland. While one would think this well-known city would be included in the DMV, Baltimore offers its own metropolitan area, and residents will beg to differ that they are part of the DMV. LOL. Roads to get you around include interstates I-95, I-495 and I-695; the Historic National Road in Maryland; and one of the longest and well-known non-interstate highways on the East Coast - US Route 1.

 

National Capital Region (DC/MD/Northern VA)/Baltimore, MD

 

Places to EAT:

· Ben’s Chili Bowl/ Ben’s Next Door - DC

· Georgia Brown’s - DC

· Busboys and Poets - Locations in DC, MD, and Northern VA

· Milk & Honey Cafe – MD

· Timbuktu Restaurant – MD

· G&M Restaurant - MD

· Miss Shirley’s Cafe – MD

 

Sites to SEE:

· MLK Memorial - DC (On the National Mall)

· Blacks in Wax Museum - MD

· National Aquarium - MD

 

Things to DO:

· Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC)

· Visit the Inner Harbor (Baltimore)

· Visit the campus of area HBCUs: Howard University, University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Bowie State University, Coppin State, Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

 

Originally part of the state of Virginia, West Virginia is a close drive from the Capital region and includes beautiful mountain ranges (hence the nickname the Mountain State), historical landmarks and of course places to enjoy for your dining pleasure.

 

West Virginia

 

Places to EAT:

· Sumthin’ Good Soul Food (South Charleston)

· Dem 2 Brothers and A Grill BBQ (Charleston)

· Wild Wild West Soulfood Express (Charleston)

· Dem 2 Brothers BBQ Takeout (London)

 

Sites to SEE:

· The Elizabeth Harden Gilmore House (Charleston)

· Memphis Tennessee Garrison House

 

Things to DO:

· Visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

· Visit the campus of area HBCUs: Bluefield State College, West Virginia State University

 

Moving north from the DMV, there’s Maryland’s Chesapeake neighbor, Delaware. While small in size, there’s still places to eat, sights to see and things to do in this state.

 

Delaware

 

Places to EAT:

· Aunt Mary’s Kitchen Soul Food and Crab House

· Connie’s Chicken and Waffles

· Eat Clean

· L&G Southern Soul Food

· Taste of the Tropic

 

Sites to SEE:

· Mitchell Center for African American Heritage

· Tubman-Garrett Park (part of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom)

 

Things to DO:

· Visit Rehoboth and Bethany Beach

· Visit the campus of HBCU Delaware State University

 

Although it is not technically on the East Coast, a couple of Pennsylvania’s largest major cities are accessible from I-95. The Keystone State, as it’s known, is central to the start of the United States based on two of the nation’s foundational documents (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) being written there. Like others tend to do, we are counting it as an East Coast state for our road trip.

 

Pennsylvania

 

Places to EAT:

· York Street Grill (Philadelphia)

· 48th Street Grill (Philadelphia)

· The New Barber’s Hall Restaurant & Lounge (Philadelphia)

· SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Bar (Philadelphia)

· Back to the FOODture (Pittsburgh)

· Carmi Soul Food (Pittsburgh)

· Cobbler World (Pittsburgh)

 

Sites to SEE:

· Liberty Bell (Philadelphia)

· Famous LOVE sign (Philadelphia)

· McAllister Mill Underground Railroad Site

· Bigham House (Pittsburgh)

· Freedom Corner (Pittsburgh)

 

Things to DO:

· Visit the African American Museum (Philadelphia)

· Check out Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse (Philadelphia)

· Visit the oldest HBCU in the US: Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

· Visit the campus of HBCU Lincoln University

 

From shore-lined homes to urban eateries, New Jersey has a variety of activities for the summer visitor. Here’s a few highlights as you check out The Garden State.

 

New Jersey

 

Places to EAT:

· Freetown Road Project Restaurant

· 1911 Smokehouse (Trenton)

· Cook’s Kitchn (Rahway)

· Cornbread Newark (Newark)

· Diva Delights (Teaneck)

· Papillon 25 (South Orange)

· Sweet T’s Southern Eatery (Montclair)

 

Sites to SEE:

· Shady Rest Country Club at Scotch Hills (Newport)

· Hinchliffe Stadium from the Negro Baseball League (Paterson)

· Count Basie Center for the Arts

· Civil Rights Garden

 

Things to DO:

· Visit the African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers (Tenafly)

· Visit the Afro-American Historical Society Museum (Jersey City)

· Take the Underground Railroad Trolley Tour

· Visit the Harriett Tubman Museum (Cape May)

 

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! Next on our road tripping list for the East Coast is New York. Most think of New York City, Broadway and Manhattan, but the state has broad and vast places to check out from upstate to Long Island. Here’s a few highlights from NYC and beyond.

 

New York

 

Places to EAT:

· The Soul Spot (Brooklyn NY)

· Sylvia’s (NYC)

· Peaches (NYC)

· The Edge Harlem

· @Eleven Wings & Cuisines (Buffalo)

· Je Ne Sais Quoi (Buffalo)

· Kitchen 216 (Albany)

· Black & Blue Steak and Crab (Albany)

 

Sites to SEE:

· African Burial Ground National Monument

· Louis Armstrong House Museum

· Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center

· Marcus Garvey Park

 

Things to DO:

· Attend a show at The Apollo Theatre (NYC)

· Visit the Studio Museum in Harlem

· Visit the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum

 

The group of states collectively known as “New England” are rounding out the list. The historical landmarks and good dining opportunities continue as we travel throughout the northern part of the East Coast.

 

Connecticut

 

Places to EAT:

· My Wife Didn’t Cook (New Britain)

· The Russell Restaurant (Hartford)

· Ricky D’s Rib Shack (New Haven)

· Negril Sports Bar and Seafood Restaurant (Manchester)

· Black-Eyed Sally’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (Hartford)

 

Sites to SEE:

· Amistad Memorial (New Haven)

· 29th Colored Regiment Monument (New Haven)

 

Things to DO:

· Visit The Prudence Crandall Museum

· Visit sites along the Connecticut Freedom Trail

 

Rhode Island

 

Places to EAT:

· Humming Bird (Newport)

· Black Sheep (Providence)

· Atrium on Main (Pawtucket)

· Food For the Soul (Providence)

· Plames (Providence)

 

Sites to SEE:

· The Stephen Hopkins House

· Prospect Terrace (Providence)

· Waterplace Park (Providence)

· Patriots Park (Portsmouth)

 

Things to DO:

· Visit Stages of Freedom bookstore – if available (Providence)

· Visit the Mary Dickerson House/Women’s Newport League (Newport)

· Visit the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge (South Kingstown)

 

Massachusetts

 

Places to EAT:

· Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen (Boston)

· Top Mix Bar & Kitchen (Boston)

· Savor Restaurant and Lounge (Boston)

· The Coast Café (Cambridge)

· Biscuits (Oak Bluffs)

· Sarah Brown’s Comfort Food (Oak Bluffs)

· Linda Jeans (Oak Bluffs)

 

Sights to SEE:

· Inkwell (Martha’s Vineyard)

· George Middleton House (Boston)

· African Meeting House

· Sunset on Menemsha Beach

 

Things to DO:

· Visit the Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield, MA)

· Take the Walking Tour on the Black Heritage Trail (Boston)

 

New Hampshire

 

Places to EAT:

· Madear's Southern Eatery and Bakery (Pembroke)

· The Sassy Biscuit Co. (Dover)

· Firefly American Bistro & Bar (Manchester)

 

Sights to SEE:

· Sherman Adams Visitors Center

· The top of Mount Washington

 

Things to DO:

· Black Heritage Trail of NH

· Take a ride on the Cog Railway – climb Mount Washington.

· Visit Strawberry Banke (Portsmouth)

 

Maine

 

Places to EAT:

· 207 Restaurant and Bar

· Magnus on Water

· Soul Food Paradise [takeout]

· Black Betty Bistro

 

Sights to SEE:

· Abyssinian Meeting House (Portland)

· The North School

· Mariner’s Church

 

Things to DO:

· Take the tour of the Portland Freedom Trail

 

Summer 2021 is shaping up to be a hot one and everyone is having a sense of relief from the burdens of the pandemic. We still have progress to make on that, but thankful for some freedom to move about (Got Vaccine?) and take in a visit to a new place. We will be on the lookout for your road tripping posts. Let us know if we included (or missed) your favorite Eat/See/Do locations on the East Coast. Tag us at #TCMLifestyle and include #TCMRoadtripping and #RoadTrippingEastCoast.