Categories Travel Ideas

East Coast Transportation Museums For The Ultimate Road Trip

Rev your engines, and head to the East Coast for some transportation museum fun. These museums have everything from iconic muscle cars that ruled the streets to the big rigs that conquered the highways. Explore one – or pack up the Winnebago and explore them all! 

Every museum on this list features a unique niche, meaning you can visit them all and not see the same thing twice. A great learning experience for the kids and entertaining for the adults, these are not to be missed experiences. Remember, many of these are nonprofit organizations, so your donations and patronage are helping them keep history alive.

Be sure you check with each museum for hours. Some museums are only open at specific times throughout the year.


trolley driving on street
Connecticut Trolley Museum

Connecticut Trolley Museum – East Windsor, CT
The Connecticut Trolley Museum is the oldest incorporated museum dedicated to electric railroading in the United States. It features over 70 pieces of historic rail equipment, including passenger and freight trolley cars, interurban cars, elevated railway cars, and locomotives from various railways. Visitors can explore the museum’s static displays and ride on a heritage railroad line.


1915 frp car
Seal Cove Auto Museum

Boothbay Railway Village – Boothbay, ME
There is no another place in New England where you can ride an authentic steam locomotive. Boothbay Railway Village has 35-acres of history that the whole family can enjoy. A recreated village, 60 antique autos and a large collection of model trains make it worth the trip.

Owl’s Head Transportation Museum – Owls Head, ME
More than just a museum, Owls Head Transportation Museum is also a place where STEM education can be explored through camps and field trips. The museum offers over 150 rare and restored aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, and other artifacts.

Seal Cove Auto Museum – Camden, ME
Over 60 vehicles from 1895 through the early 1920s are on display and ready to tell their stories. The Seal Cove Auto Museum offers various exhibits throughout the year, so check the website for current exhibits.

Cole Land Transportation Museum – Bangor, ME
The Cole Museum is unique in that it features a collection of land transportation equipment specific to Maine. It also contains historical notes and a variety of military equipment.

The Bickford Collection – Yarmouth, ME
The Bickford Collection offers an outdoor experience with many antique trucks, cars and equipment.

Stanley Museum – Kingfield, ME
The Stanley Museum is a historical look at the Stanley family and the people behind the “Stanley Steamer” automobile. It is located in the Stanley School, which was built in 1903 and is its own historical museum.

Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum – Alna, ME
The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum is a non-profit organization that operates a heritage railroad offering passenger excursion trains on about 3 miles of restored 2 ft narrow gauge track in Alna, Maine. It runs historic steam and diesel locomotives, along with other rolling stock that was originally used on the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway from 1895 to 1933. The museum has additional pieces of equipment on static display and operates seasonal train rides through the Sheepscot Valley.

Seashore Trolley Museum – Kennebunkport, ME
The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine is the world’s first and largest museum dedicated to mass transit vehicles, with a focus on trolley cars (trams). It is owned and operated by the New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS) and features an extensive collection of over 350 vehicles, including trolleys, rapid transit trains, interurban cars, trolley buses, and motor buses.


trolleys outside museum
National Capital Trolley Museum

National Capital Trolley Museum – Colesville, MD
The ultimate museum for all things trolleys and street cars. The National Capital Trolley Museum collections include the Washington, American and International. Each collection showcases a variety of street cars from those areas along with historical information. When you are done exploring the museum – take a ride on street car to finish up your day.

Classic Motor Museum – St. Michael’s MD
The 4,800 square feet Amish barn of the Classic Motor Museum features a collection of vehicles, trucks, motorcycles and more. They offer a range of displays from WWII autos to mid-century muscle cars.


car event at larz anderson museum
Larz Anderson Auto Museum

Larz Anderson Auto Museums – Brookline, MA
The most stunning museum on the list  is called the Carriage House and is located at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. The Carriage House is considered a landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Larz Anderson Auto Museum claims to have “America’s Oldest Car Collection.” The museum is set on 64 acres in Larz Anderson Park. 

American Heritage Museum – Hudson, MA
Started in 1979, the American Heritage Museum preserves U.S. military history. It offers a collection of over 90 rare tanks, aircraft, vehicles from World War 1, and artifacts from other wars. Exhibits throughout the museum replicate pieces of wartime situations to give visitors a sense of what war was like.

New Hampshire

man with beach racing car on the beach
New England Racing Museum

New England Racing Museum – Loudon, NH
Have a need for speed? Then the New England Racing Museum is for you. The museum features an extensive collection of auto racing memorabilia. Enjoy a walk through the cars, admiring the helmets, trophies, and awards that have been won. Their mission is to preserve the racing history of New England.

Wright Museum of WWII – Wolfeboro, NH
Over 14,000 items from WWII are on exhibit at the Wright Museum. The museum is a place to learn, remember, and honor the WWII Americans who fought for us. Displays include clothing, weapons, army vehicles and more.

New Jersey

Mahan collection brockway truck
Jill Caren Photo

The Mahan Collection Foundation – Basking Ridge, NJ
The Mahan Collection has over 200 trucks, cars and heavy construction equipment. Having spent the day there, we know firsthand how awesome it is. You will not find a more extensive collection if you love Mack Trucks.


vintage auto on display at museum
Boyertown Museum

Mack Trucks Historical Museum – Allentown, PA
Love Mack trucks? This museum is the place for you! Everything you want – or need – to know about Mack Trucks is waiting for you in the Mack Trucks Historical Museum. Explore the history, see the trucks, and walk away, amazed at how far the company has come.

America on Wheels – Allentown, PA
Opened in 2008, America on Wheels aims to educate visitors on the impact of our transportation systems. Its standard autos are on display, and special exhibits are featured throughout the year. The latest exhibit, “Mustang at 60, an American Icon,” opened in April 2024. There are also many interactive displays for the kids to enjoy.

Classic Auto Mall – Morgantown, PA
While not a traditional museum, the Classic Auto Mall features over 1,000 classic cars for visitors. What makes this place unique is that these cars are actually for sale. Take a walk around the place and admire vehicles ranging from a 1947 Ford pickup to a 1915 Model T.

Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles – Boyertown, PA
The Boyertown Museum displays a collection of historic automobiles, including a 1908 International Harvester M-1-4 233 1/2-ton 4×4 truck that was used as an ambulance during World War II. The museum’s collection showcases the evolution of transportation and the American automobile industry over the past century. The museum also offers a collection of vintage transportation-related artifacts and exhibits.

AACA Museum – Hershey, PA

While known for the most magical chocolate vacation, Hershey, PA is also home to the AACA museum. The 71,000 square-foot museum is recognized by the Smithsonian as an affiliate museum – meaning, it’s pretty darn good. One of the prized collections is the Cammack Tucker Collection which is the largest collection of Tucker cars and memorabilia. Other permanent displays feature the bus collection, evolution of headlights, roads to rails, and of course the Kissmobile Cruiser. 


rare tractors on display in museum
Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum

Keystone Antique Truck and Tractor Museum – Colonial Heights, VA
The Keystone Museum features over 125,000 square feet of space with a collection of automotive and agricultural equipment. It features fully restored antique farm tractors, vintage road trucks, classic cars, and other equipment from the last century. In addition to the tractors and trucks, the museum also features vintage gas pumps, oil cans, automotive signage, clocks, and advertising posters, providing visitors with a “time warp” experience.

Last update to this article was on June 24, 2024. Thank you to those that provided more museums that we missed! 

Mack Daddy of Museums Is The Mahan Collection in NJ

mahan collection 1929 mack truck
Jill Caren Photo

If big trucks are your thing, The Mahan Collection in Basking Ridge is the perfect day trip. Hundreds of trucks across several acres and lots of family fun are all part of the experience. 

View a personal experience at The Mahan Collection.

Gold King Mine in Arizona Is The Perfect Gearhead Getaway

selection of historic items
Jill Caren Photography

A giant junkyard may not sound like fun, but it definitely is. The Gold King Mine is like Disneyland for gearheads. Located just outside of Jerome, Arizona – it will take you back in time and have you exploring for hours. 

Learn more about Gold King Mine


8 thoughts on “East Coast Transportation Museums For The Ultimate Road Trip”

    • Hey Dean! We dive deep to try and find them all – but sometimes they are harder to find! We will be sure to add that one as well. Thank you for letting us know about it!

    • No it isn’t!

      Seashore Trolley Museum – Kennebunkport, ME
      The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine is the world’s first and largest museum dedicated to mass transit vehicles, with a focus on trolley cars (trams). It is owned and operated by the New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS) and features an extensive collection of over 350 vehicles, including trolleys, rapid transit trains, interurban cars, trolley buses, and motor buses.


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