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BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL ALONE IN US

From sea to shining sea, the United States is stunning. I love being from such a large and diverse country, with so many different landscapes, cultures, and sights to see. Even if I never left the United States and only explored my own backyard for the rest of my life, I’d have so much variety that I’d feel like I’d traveled far and wide.

Taking a solo trip can be both exciting and nerve-racking. You’re in for an exhilarating treat as long as you choose the right place to visit (one that’s safe and well-suited to single travelers). Bonus points if the weather is nice and your travel expenses aren’t prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately, the United States is brimming with ideal destinations for solo adventurers, many of which have easily accessible transportation to make getting around a breeze. There are a plethora of places in the United States to enjoy an alone vacation, whether you want to see the top sights in a major city, relax on a beach, or meet new friends in a welcoming community.

Before you go, think about what kinds of landscapes and experiences appeal to you. Have you ever dreamed of staying at a dude ranch? How about climbing a mountain? Kayak down the bayou? Or are you looking for an urban getaway filled with iconic experiences and local cuisine?

From the Oregon coast and California beaches to the desert Southwest, tall grass prairies in the Great Plains, and glaciers in Alaska, the United States has a diverse landscape. You’ll undoubtedly find the ideal location for you.

If you want see some other place to alone check out TOP PLACES TO TRAVEL ALONE IN US

Table of Contents

THE OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA

While the Outer Banks of North Carolina are a popular family vacation destination, they are also a delightful and safe place for solo travelers to visit. The barrier islands have more than 100 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and are full of small villages and beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy some alone time.

Cape Hatteras, Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Duck are some of the more popular areas. There are many vacation home rentals, small hotels, and even campgrounds to choose from, but if you plan to travel during the summer, you should book early.

You can stay in Cape Hatteras and go shell collecting along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, visit the many local artist studios, and enjoy the outdoor activities.

Another option is to divide your trip and stay in different areas, allowing you to travel along North Carolina Highway 12 to the other towns on the Outer Banks. Kayaking in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, visiting historic lighthouses along the coast, seeing wild horses in Corolla, and taking a hang-gliding lesson over the 100-foot sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park are some of the highlights for solo travelers. Kitesurfers will find excellent conditions around Waves, Salvo, and Rondanthe on Hatteras Island.

THE FLORIDA KEYS

For those traveling alone, getting to the Florida Keys is a breeze. Because of the relaxed atmosphere, you can get away with just flip-flops, a swimsuit, shorts, and a T-shirt.

Solo travelers are especially welcome in Key West. The southernmost key is simple to navigate, and you can walk to the beach and Old Town to explore the small shops and Ernest Hemingway Museum. In Key West, there is also a nice Shipwreck Treasure Museum. If you plan to visit several museums, you can save money by purchasing them all at once.

On your Keys vacation, you can also visit several islands, including Key West, Islamorada, and Key Largo. You can fill your itinerary with the best of each island’s offerings, such as deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and shopping at local art galleries. The beach, of course, is the main attraction, and there is no shortage of ocean, sand, and seashells.

DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN

You may be traveling alone, but once in Door County, Wisconsin, you’ll feel as if you’ve known the locals your entire life. Door County, a warm Midwestern peninsula, is a natural paradise that welcomes solo travelers.

With 300 miles of coastline around the peninsula bounded on one side by Green Bay and on the other by Lake Michigan, Door County is just as exciting to explore alone in the winter as it is in the summer.

Choose one of 19 communities as a base, such as Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Ephraim, or Egg Harbor, and stay in one of the many independently owned lodges and bed and breakfasts.

Kayak along the limestone bluffs; hike in Peninsula State Park; sample in-season cherries or apples from local orchards; visit one of the many public beaches; or take the ferry across Death’s Door to Washington Island for the day, where you can visit a lavender farm and see the famous Schoolhouse Beach made entirely of rocks in the summer.

GRAND COUNTY, COLORADO

Nothing beats the excitement of mingling with the locals in Grand County, Colorado. Being alone makes it even easier to strike up a conversation with these pleasant people.

Grand County, about 70 miles outside of Denver, is the dude ranch capital of the United States, and it’s a sight to behold. Rugged mountains, gleaming lakes, deep valleys, and dense forests will take your breath away.

In the area, there are four world-class dude ranches where you can experience the Wild West at your own pace. Latigo Dude Ranch, which transports you to your private cabin by horse and wagon, is one of the best. Weeklong all-inclusive packages make it simple for solo travelers. You choose your own activities, such as daily horseback riding in the mountains, swimming, white water rafting, and yoga.

The rest of the time, you’ll feel like a modern-day rancher, with home-style cookouts, cattle drives, and perfect sunsets every evening while learning how to throw a lasso like a true cowboy.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is an exciting city to explore at your own pace, with more than 17 Smithsonian museums, galleries, the National Zoo, and a plethora of other tourist attractions. Even if you’re flying solo, there’s no chance of getting bored.

Many of the museums are on the National Mall, so staying at a nearby hotel and making that your destination for several days is simple. Most museums are free, and with easy public transportation, you can visit Washington D.C. on your own for a fraction of the cost of other major cities.

If you are a political junkie, you can take a public tour or stroll around the US Capitol complex and the perimeter of the White House. You can also take the subway into some of D.C.’s hip neighborhoods, such as Barracks Row, artsy Brookland, and Edgewood, or the Navy Yard district’s foodie scene. You could also take a scenic boat ride down the Potomac River.

One of the advantages of traveling alone in Washington D.C. is that you can more easily get a table for one at some of the city’s most popular restaurants without having to wait.

NEW YORK CITY

You might not think of New York City when planning a solo trip, but the city of blinding lights is a fantastic place to visit on your own. It’s easy to find a table for one in restaurants, the variety of museums ensures you’ll find something of interest, and the parks are both beautiful and safe. However, we would avoid walking through them alone at night.

Speaking of the night, if you stay on one of the major avenues (hello, Broadway and Fifth), your journey will be well-lit and accompanied by so many other wanderers that you won’t feel alone, even at three a.m.

With three airports, getting to New York City is simple, and getting around the city by train or subway eliminates the need to take a taxi everywhere. Taxis can be costly and time-consuming (New York traffic is no joke). In the city, ride-hailing services such as Uber are exorbitantly priced.

Plan your trip in sections, starting with the main attractions like Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty.

Plan to spend at least one evening on Broadway, complete with a nice pre-show dinner. There are so many restaurants in the area that you will have no trouble finding a cuisine that suits your tastes. In the afternoons, you can pick up same-day discount Broadway show tickets at local kiosks, and as a solo traveler, it’s even easier to decide which show to see at the last minute.

Visit some of the ethnic neighborhoods, such as Little Italy, Queens, Little Guyana, Little India, and Little Odessa, to round out your visit. Don’t forget to go shopping in SOHO.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

In San Francisco, it’s easy to feel the love. This welcoming Californian city, which seems to accept everyone for who they are (yay! ), should be on your list of the best places to visit alone in the US.

One of the best ways to see the sights is to put on your most comfortable shoes and go on a walking tour. If you want to meet new people, sign up for a guided tour at your hotel. Alternatively, you can use the Bay Area Bike Share to borrow a set of (two) wheels for the day.

When it comes to San Francisco attractions, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see (literally), as is Alcatraz (book your ferry ride well in advance), and the somewhat kitschy, very touristy Fisherman’s Wharf.

You’re in luck if you want to take public transportation. The BART (subway) and Muni (buses, cable cars, and streetcars) systems make getting around extremely simple. They’re also extremely safe and reasonably priced.

While the city is safe, we recommend avoiding walking around the Tenderloin alone after dark.

In San Francisco, it’s easy to feel the love. This welcoming Californian city, which seems to accept everyone for who they are (yay! ), should be on your list of the best places to visit alone in the US.

One of the best ways to see the sights is to put on your most comfortable shoes and go on a walking tour. If you want to meet new people, sign up for a guided tour at your hotel. Alternatively, you can use the Bay Area Bike Share to borrow a set of (two) wheels for the day.

When it comes to San Francisco attractions, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see (literally), as is Alcatraz (book your ferry ride well in advance), and the somewhat kitschy, very touristy Fisherman’s Wharf.

You’re in luck if you want to take public transportation. The BART (subway) and Muni (buses, cable cars, and streetcars) systems make getting around extremely simple. They’re also extremely safe and reasonably priced.

While the city is safe, we recommend avoiding walking around the Tenderloin alone after dark.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is an exciting city to explore at your own pace, with more than 17 Smithsonian museums, galleries, the National Zoo, and a plethora of other tourist attractions. Even if you’re flying solo, there’s no chance of getting bored.

Many of the museums are on the National Mall, so staying at a nearby hotel and making that your destination for several days is simple. Most museums are free, and with easy public transportation, you can visit Washington D.C. on your own for a fraction of the cost of other major cities.

If you are a political junkie, you can take a public tour or stroll around the US Capitol complex and the perimeter of the White House. You can also take the subway into some of D.C.’s hip neighborhoods, such as Barracks Row, artsy Brookland, and Edgewood, or the Navy Yard district’s foodie scene. You could also take a scenic boat ride down the Potomac River.

One of the advantages of traveling alone in Washington D.C. is that you can more easily get a table for one at some of the city’s most popular restaurants without having to wait.

PORTLAND, OREGON

Portland, Oregon, a city of “makers” with a laid-back vibe, is one of the most welcoming communities in the United States for people traveling alone.

There are numerous free activities in the city, ranging from browsing Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the United States, to hiking in Forest Park, a large preserved natural area in Portland. You could spend an entire day or two just visiting local galleries and meeting artists who are bringing their visions to life with products that are unique to the Portland area.

There are numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as biking or strolling through the International Rose Test Garden.

Portland’s transportation system is straightforward. It’s a walkable city, but you can also take the Portland Streetcar to get around. Do not leave Portland without spending some time at a local café (it’s a thing in Portland) and trying a Captain Crunch doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts.

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Austin, Texas should be one of your top considerations if you are a music lover traveling alone. Music and festivals are a way of life in this Texan wonderland, and you won’t be able to walk down the street without hearing some sort of tune.

This Texas capital has over 250 music venues to choose from, as well as a plethora of other activities to fill your free time. To fuel up for your adventure, hunker down for some famous and memorable Texas barbecue.

In Austin, there are numerous outdoor activities to enjoy on your own. Barton Springs in Zilker Park is one of Texas’ largest springs and a great place to cool off with a swim in the summer. Lady Bird Lake, a popular reservoir in the heart of downtown Austin, is a great place to go for a morning swim or paddleboard outing. You can also walk around the lake on the Schoal Creek Trail, a 4.4-mile trail that passes through several parks.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Boston, Massachusetts, is an excellent destination for solo travelers. Museums, parks, waterfront tours, and cruises provide a plethora of options for entertainment. The best part is that you can walk to the majority of the city’s attractions and activities.

Begin your visit by following the Freedom Trail, which takes you past some of the city’s most significant historical landmarks.

Plan a night at Fenway Park to see a Boston Red Sox game and gawk at the infamous Green Monster if you visit during baseball season. Spend one evening taking a sunset boat tour of Boston Harbor to get a different perspective on the city.

As previously stated, there are numerous tours and museums in Boston. Because many require admission, you may want to prioritize the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Plimoth Plantation, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum.

Taking a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour is one of the best ways to see a variety of attractions while resting your feet.

HONOLULU, HAWAII

Hawaii is a bucket-list destination for many people, and while it is often associated with honeymoons and couple’s travel, there are several places, such as Honolulu, that are great for solo travel.

Honolulu, located on Oahu’s main island, is more touristy and less remote than other Hawaiian destinations. This makes it ideal for a solo visit. Another advantage is that the public transportation system is geared toward tourists, so getting around to attractions and to Oahu’s beaches should be simple.

Waikiki Beach is a must-see destination that should be at the top of your vacation itinerary. Don’t miss out on a meal (or several) on the waterfront. While you’re here, consider climbing Diamond Head on your own or joining a guided tour. Pearl Harbor is a must-see, and attending a luau, even if you’re alone, is an unforgettable experience.

If you want to go snorkeling, it is best to go on a guided trip or to one of the more popular snorkeling spots, such as Hanauma Bay, where there will be other people to keep an eye on you in the water.

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