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6 East Coast Towns for Your Beach Vacation

Since April 1, it is no longer necessary to present a negative covid-19 test to enter Canada. Car trips to the other side of the border will therefore become easier to organize.

If you want to plan a vacation by the sea in the coming months, here are some ideas for American cities to (re)visit:

1. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

470 km from Montreal (4h45 drive)

New Hampshire is best known for its towering White Mountains, but it also offers 25 miles of coastline, with beautiful soft-sand beaches. For a lively family vacation, head to Hampton Beach. You will find the typical and retro atmosphere of the east coast: motels, souvenir shops, arcades, dairies, festivals, fireworks. Nearby are quieter beaches (Seabrook Beach, Wallis Sands State Beach) as well as the city of Portsmouth, with its colonial remains, duty-free shops and restaurants.

2. Ogunquit, Maine

500 km from Montreal (5h15 drive)

Dunes and wild roses, shingle houses and nearly six kilometers of beach: Ogunquit — which means “beautiful place by the water” in Abenaki — embodies the maritime charm of New England. In addition to sublime beaches, you will find a host of small souvenir and candy shops, art galleries, restaurants, terraces and lobster shacks. Do not miss Perkins Cove, a now touristy fishing village, but which has kept a pretty character, from where you can take short hikes or sea excursions.

3. Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts


Sixty miles off the Massachusetts coast, Provincetown is a recognized LGBTQ+ destination and one of Cape Cod’s darlings. In summer, its population increases from 3000 to around 60,000! In addition to its restaurants, bars, shops, festivals and lively little streets, the city offers an interesting cycling network and beautiful nature. Much of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park is there, with dunes and sandy beaches like Herring Cove Beach or Race Point Beach. On the swimming side, caution is in order since the great white sharks also visit Cape Cod at certain times of the year… Be well informed!


Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Unsplash / Nik Guiney

Provincetown, Cape Cod.

4. Cape May, New Jersey

830 km from Montreal (8h drive)

Cape May is said to be one of the oldest resort towns in the United States. It has the largest concentration of buildings with Victorian architecture in the country, including no less than 600 restored villas and mansions. In addition to its unique style and atmosphere, it is appreciated for its white and peaceful beaches which stretch for four kilometers, for its lighthouse, its seafood, its local wines, its golf courses and its 400 species of migratory birds. . Nearby Wildwood offers roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and several other seaside attractions.

5. Virginia Beach, Virginia

1160 km from Montreal (12h drive)

Virginia Beach has been frequented by Quebecers for a long time, as much for its sandy beaches as for its nearly 5 km seaside promenade. It’s a big city (pop. 450,000) with a host of restaurants, bars, cafes, microbreweries, shops and attractions, but you can easily get away from it all once in a while, if you feel like it. Green spaces like False Cape State Park, First Landing State Park or the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are nearby, and the water activities offered in the area range from kayaking and surfing to canoeing and paddle boarding. .

6. Avon, Outer Banks, North Carolina

1360 km from Montreal (14h drive)

Do you know the Outer Banks? It’s a 200-mile series of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that offer gorgeous dunes, endless beaches and a host of stilt houses for rent. by the sea. Many go there for kitesurfing or fishing. If you are looking for a peaceful and relatively central base camp, the village of Avon is likely to please you. You will find a pleasant wharf, beautiful beaches, several shops and restaurants, and you can go on excursions both north (hang gliding at Kitty Hawk, wild horse watching at Corolla, etc.) and south (the Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke Island where Blackbeard once hid, etc.).


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Unsplash / Kyle Calhoun

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

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