Summer Travel Showdown: West Coast Or East Coast?

This article is sponsored by HostelBookers.

Now that summer’s just around the corner for us, we’ve got a lot of options for the next few months. Some of you will be doing internships, and if it’s your first time doing one, be sure to check out the Internship Experience series I did last summer. Maybe you’re taking summer classes instead (give that decision some thought).

Or, maybe you’re travelling. This is what I’ll be doing for the first part of the summer (details later), so it’s what I’m most interested right now.

Since that’s my current interest, I decided to have some fun and compare two potential road trips destinations – the east coast and the west coast. I’ll be showcasing two cities from each coast and listing off some of the cool stuff to do in each one.

Now, this list is by no means definitive; it’s more to just spark your interest in travelling and maybe give you some ideas of a destination.

Let’s go!

East Coast

New York City

Bam. The country’s biggest city. I’ll be going here for a week in June for BlogWorld (can’t. freaking. wait.), and it’ll be my first time to NYC.

There’s a ton to do in NYC, including:

  • Exploring Central Park
  • Hitting up the Empire State Building
  • Seeing a show on Broadway

Manhattan is the most famous borough, but take the time to check out some of the others.

It isn’t a cheap city, but a trip doesn’t have to break the bank. Hostels in New York City can be found for $30 a night if you look well and book in advance. Food can be affordable if you don’t eat in restaurants all the time. It’s generally my preference to skimp on food and lodging so I have more money for cool experiences.

Washington D.C.

Not as big as NYC, but Washington D.C. is still an important destination that you shouldn’t pass up if you have the time to see it. Aside from the Washington Monument, Congress, the White House, and all the other government buildings, there are lots of other  attractions. Lodging can be incredibly cheap – I’ve seen hostels in Washinton D.C. listed as low at $16 a night.

West Coast

San Francisco

On to my birth state. San Francisco is another destination I’ll be hitting up this summer, so I can’t leave it off of the list.

There’s plenty to do in this city, including visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. San Francisco is also home to lots of great start-up companies, so it’s an awesome place to consider looking for an internship.

Hostels in San Francisco run as low at $18 a night, so you can spend an entire week there for less than $150.

Though there’s plenty to do in SF, and the weather is generally great, it’s definitely not the ideal place if you want to spend most of your time at the beach. For that, head down to…

Los Angeles

Hey look, a place I actually have been to! (and am going back to this year) Los Angeles is the second-biggest city in the U.S., so there’s definitely plenty to do.

Of course, you can go to Hollywood and do all that kind of stuff, but to me, Los Angeles is attractive because of the weather. It’s almost always warm there, and that includes the water. It’s an awesome place to go if you’re looking to surf or just chill on the beach.

Lodging is cheap here, as it is in SF – you can find hostels in Los Angeles for around $20 a night. Transportation might be a bigger expense here – I can tell you from experience that public transit in LA isn’t the greatest. NYC and SF definitely have it beat in this department.

However, it’s still a great place to visit.

Alright, so that concludes my theoretical road trip comparison. I’ll be filling you in on my plans next week. So tell me – are you planning any travel this summer?

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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4 Comments on "Summer Travel Showdown: West Coast Or East Coast?"

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The city is nice for night out and for students like us. Thanks for sharing this post.

Pamela Nguyen

I will be at BlogWorld too!!

As for travel, I’m heading to Boston and maybe do some camping/hiking in the Catskilts or something along that line. I’ll be working full time so my options are not going to be as awesome as yours probably will be! But I am a big supporter of hostels — I haven’t booked any in the US, but it has been an excellent choice when I went to China, Singapore, Taiwan, Spain, Portugal, etc.

Also, I just wrote a review on Anki. Thanks to your own post on Anki, I managed to ace all my midterms this semester 🙂

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