Yes, the marinas are expensive in the North East, but there are still places to anchor. There are some that anchor all summer long in Beacon, New York. I met an author who anchored there for a year and a half. though his boat was on the shore for the winter, not a recommended thing. And the Mooring field there is quite inexpensive, but they have NO services and you have to supply your own mooring. The only bathroom has no running water and is a composting toilet, and not a liquid separating one at that. Joe the Cobbler stopped there for a night. You are a quick walk to the train station (literally a 2 min walk) and can be in the city in about an hour and a half. Or walk up the street to a very nice town with lots of antique stores, art galleries, world class modern art museum, and restaurants as well as a small grocery store. Really beautiful spot to spend a few days, weeks or months. Historic homes, great rock climbing, hiking and other actives. We were fairly well protected from Sandy and Irene, though we did get some flooding.
I am sure there are areas like that further up the coast. Lots of them you would just have to find, not going to be mentioned in any cruising guide, as there is no advertizing money in these kinds of spots. Just remember the further north you go the more pleasant the weather and the lower the risk of hurricanes. If you don't have a "home port" to end up in, just cruse up till you find someplace comfortable for you. Even places that are home to the "rich and famous" can be done on a budget so long as you don't stay too long. Cape Code, New York City, Montauk, Newport all can be visited without spending a ton of money. They are not cheap, so just don't stay long but they all have sites worth seeing.
We don't have a home port and are still trying to figure out what our USCG listed port is going to be.
I've been looking into Maine and they don't appear to be "off the hook" friendly in areas that are close to anything.
I look on Google earth and it is clear that there are lots of anchorages in remote locations where one would have to have a great deal of provisions to stay for any length of time because they are not near anything at all.
All we know are our short term plans at the moment.
Beyond next winter and into the spring we are clueless where we are going.