East Coast vs West Coast – which is best?

  • East Coast vs West Coast USA

Like in many countries, the East Coast of the USA has pitted itself against firm rivals the West Coast in a battle of wills. Whether it be Lakers against 76ers or the Cosmo cocktail versus the West Coast Cooler, each side of the USA has always wanted to outdo the other.

Both have awesome reasons to visit - but does one have the edge over the other? Time to find out - let battle commence! 


Round 1: Big cities

Times Square

Photo credit: iStock

Where better to start than with the bright lights of the headline-grabbing mega cities?

In the East, New York and Boston reign; while in the West you'll find Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

New York will no doubt be on your bucket list when it comes to travelling the USA. Who doesn't want to go ice skating outside the Rockefeller Center or stroll through Central Park on a winter's afternoon? Hop over to Boston to see a ballgame at the Red Sox's famous Fenway Park or follow the Freedom Trail to discover the city's history, then indulge in some retail therapy in a selection of awesome shops you won't find back home. Surely this is enough to tempt you to visit the East Coast?

But the West can really hold its own: keep an eye out for biggest stars on the planet during a stay in Los Angeles - even if it's just their star along the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. No matter what the time of year, LA will be bathed in sunshine. Moving north, head to the Bay Area to see the wonderful city of San Francisco, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and grab some chowder from Fisherman's Wharf.

Verdict: You just can't beat a stay in New York! East Coast 1-0 West Coast.

Experience the East with our Big Eastern tour 


Round 2: Scenery

Yosemite Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, Yosemite National Park

While the East has the picturesque states of Vermont and New Hampshire, this is where the West comes into its own. From climbing the Hollywood Hills and gazing out onto the landscape of downtown Los Angeles to the huge architectural wonder that is the Hoover Dam, the West Coast is that true slice of USA scenery. Take a classic American road trip from San Francisco and camp under the stars of Yosemite National Park with your travel companions.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, you don't even need to leave New York to enjoy the stunning scenery of Central Park. Out of the big cities, Shenandoah National Park is full of stunning colours, exciting wildlife and plenty of trails to see it all from. It's not Yosemite, but it's pretty damn good.

Verdict: The West Coast fights back. 1-1.

Check out our Westerner 2 BLT tour for amazing scenery


Round 3: Nightlife

Vegas Sign at night

We all know it's not a holiday without a few drinks and dancing 'til dawn, so the nightlife is just as important as what goes on throughout the day in the USA. First of all, what will you be sipping on either side of the country? We'd definitely recommend one of the nation's famous microbrews.

Brooklyn and Boston have Brooklyn Lager and Samuel Adams while San Francisco and San Diego have Anchor Steam and Alpine Beer. When it comes to sampling the local scene, it's a tight call. On the East Coast, you can mix it up by going posh in Greenwich Village, sipping cocktails on rooftop terraces, or hitting the happy hours of Brooklyn.

Across the country people are partying long into the night in the dive bars of San Francisco. In nearby San Diego, the bars of the Gaslamp district are packed to the rafters with revellers and it's tempting to become one of them. Just don't forget – the legal age for drinking in the US is 21!

While it is a close call, there is one place that gives the West Coast the edge – Vegas baby! Sin City never seems to turn the lights off...

Verdict: Vegas gives the West a lead. 2-1.

Get more of the West with our Westerner 3 tour!


Round 4: Sports


Photo credit: iStock

American football, baseball and basketball are huge stateside, and you can find the very best sporting action on both sides of the country. But in reality, there's a clear winner...

While the LA Lakers and San Francisco Giants have had their moments in the sun, you can't look beyond the East Coast when it comes to major competitive sport. Baseball teams don't get bigger than the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox – that's a fact. The latter play in baseball's most famous ballpark Fenway Park, a destination dripping with sporting history.

When it comes to the NFL, the East dominates with the New England Patriots and New York Giants winning the Super Bowl a combined 13 times. And if you're not entirely sure what the Super Bowl actually is, expect to learn all about it when you visit the USA.

Verdict: East brings it back level. 2-2.


Okay...so, we simply can't separate the two! A trip to either side of the USA will undoubtedly be memorable and packed with amazing highlights. Really stuck? Our New York to Los Angeles Plus gives you the best of both worlds!

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