17 Top Places to Travel Alone in the U.S.
We may earn a commission from affiliate links ()
Taking a solo trip can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking adventure. As long as you choose the right place to visit (one that's safe and well suited to single travelers), you're in for an exhilarating treat. Bonus points if the weather is great, and the travel costs won't break the bank along your journey.
Luckily, the US is packed with perfect destinations for solo adventurists, many of which have easily accessible transportation to make it easy to get around. Whether you're hoping to see the top sites in a major city, sprawl lazily on a beach, or meet new friends in an inviting community, there are a slew of places to enjoy an alone vacation in the United States.
Before you go, identify the types of landscapes and experiences that call to you. Have you always wanted to stay at a dude ranch? Climb a mountain? Kayak through the Bayou? Or, are you looking for an urban getaway of iconic experiences and local food?
The United States has such diverse landscapes, from the Oregon coast and California beaches to the desert Southwest, tall grass prairies in the great plains, and glaciers in Alaska. You're sure to find the place that's right for you.
Plan your solo journey with our list of the best places to travel alone in the U.S.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. The Florida Keys
Traveling to the Florida Keys is a breeze for people going it alone. The laid-back atmosphere means you can pack mere flip-flops, a swimsuit, shorts, and a T-shirt and be on your way.
Key West is especially welcoming to solo travelers. The southernmost key is easy to navigate, and you can walk to the beach and the Old Town to explore the small shops or the Ernest Hemingway Museum. There is also a nice Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Key West. You can save a little money by bundling museum tickets if you plan to visit several.
You can also hit several islands on your Keys vacation by island-hopping to Key West, Islamorada, and Key Largo. You can fill the agenda with some of the best of each island, like deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, or shopping at the local art galleries. Of course, the beach is the main draw and there is no shortage of ocean, sand, and seashells.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Florida Keys Resorts for Families
2. The Outer Banks, North Carolina
While the Outer Banks of North Carolina is a popular family vacation destination, it is also a delightful and safe place to visit for solo travelers. With more than 100 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the barrier islands are full of small villages and plenty of beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy the time on your own.
Some of the more popular areas include, Cape Hatteras, Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Duck. It is easy to find many vacation home rentals, small hotels, and even campgrounds, but you will want to book early if your travel plans are during the summer months.
You can base yourself in Cape Hatteras, collect shells along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, visit the many local artist studios, and take advantage of the outdoor activities.
Another option is to split your trip to stay in several different areas, so that you can travel along North Carolina Highway 12 to the other towns along the Outer Banks. Some of the highlights for solo travelers are kayaking in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, visiting the historic lighthouses along the coast, experiencing the wild horses in Corolla, and taking a hang-gliding lesson over the 100-foot sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park. Kitesurfers will find great conditions on Hatteras Island around Waves, Salvo, and Rondanthe.
3. Door County, Wisconsin
You might be traveling alone, but once you arrive at Door County, Wisconsin, you'll feel as if you've known the locals your whole life. The warm, Midwestern peninsula of Door County is a natural paradise that welcomes solo travelers.
With 300 miles of coastline around the peninsula bordered by Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other, Door County is as exciting to explore alone in the winter as it is in the summer.
Take your pick from one of 19 communities like Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Ephraim, or Egg Harbor as a base, and stay in one of the many independently owned lodges and bed and breakfasts.
Kayak along the limestone bluffs; hike in Peninsula State Park; taste in-season cherries or apples from the local orchards; hit one of the many public beaches; or take the ferry across Death's Door to Washington Island for a day, where you can visit a lavender farm in the summer and see the famous Schoolhouse Beach made entirely from rocks.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Door County, WI
4. San Diego, California
A solo trip to San Diego is rejuvenating. With a consistent climate throughout the year there's never really a bad time to go. Take your pick from the beaches along the 70-mile coastline as you relax in the sand or learn a new water sport, like stand up paddleboarding.
Since you are traveling alone, you can even hit a different beach each day in Del Mar, La Jolla, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach.
Spend some time in Balboa Park, the biggest urban park in the United States, with museums, gardens, music, and the famed San Diego Zoo.
One of the easiest ways to explore San Diego alone is with the hop-on, hop-off trolley, which can take you to all the top attractions, where you can spend as much time as you like before heading off to the next one.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in the San Diego Area
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Diego
5. Grand County, Colorado
Little beats the fun of mixing with the locals in Grand County, Colorado. Being alone makes it even easier to break into an interesting conversation with these friendly folks.
Grand County, located less than 70 miles outside of Denver, is the dude ranch capital of the United States, and boy is it a beauty. Rugged mountains, shimmering lakes, deep valleys, and thick forests will leave you breathless.
There are four world-class dude ranches in the area where you can experience the Wild West at your own pace. One of the best is Latigo Dude Ranch, which transports you to your private cabin by horse and wagon. All-inclusive weeklong packages make it easy for solo travelers. You pick the activities that appeal to you, from daily horseback riding in the mountains to 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 as you learn how to throw a lasso like a real cowboy.
6. Washington, D.C.
With more than 17 Smithsonian museums, galleries, the National Zoo, and a host of other tourist sites to visit, Washington, D.C. is an exciting city to see at your own pace. And there's no chance of getting bored, even when you're flying solo.
Many of the museums are located on the National Mall, so it is easy to stay at a nearby hotel and make that your destination for several days. Most of the museums are free, and with easy public transportation, you can visit Washington D.C. alone with minimal cost compared to some other major cities.
If you are a political junkie, you can stroll around the U.S. Capitol complex and the perimeter of the White House, or take a public tour. You can also take the subway into some of D.C.'s hip neighborhoods, like Barracks Row, artsy Brookland, and Edgewood or the foodie scene in the Navy Yard district. You might also want to book a scenic boat trip along the Potomac River.
One of the perks of traveling alone in Washington D.C. is that you can more easily score a table for one at some of the popular restaurants without waiting.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Washington, D.C.: Best Areas & Hotels
7. Nashville, Tennessee
Oh, Nashville, how we love you so. You're so full of Southern charm and toe-tapping tunes that we should write a country song about you. Oh wait...
The official "country music capital of the world," Nashville is the ultimate place to visit if you're a) alone and b) a fan of the Southern drawl and achy breaky music. The locals are as sweet, wonderful, and welcoming as you've heard. You won't feel friendless when so many strangers strike up conversation.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Music Row (home to RCA Studio B), and the Nashville Parthenon aren't to be missed. And you'll kick yourself for skipping out on a show at The Grand Ole Opry. A ride on the General Jackson Showboat is another must.
Don't worry about getting around. The public transit is clean, safe, and super cheap. A sightseeing cart tour is another must, especially if you'd like to give your feet a break.
Accommodation: Best Hotels in Nashville
8. Portland, Oregon
In a city of "makers" with a laid-back vibe, Portland, Oregon is one of the most welcoming communities in the United States for people traveling alone.
There are so many free things to do in the city, from perusing through Powell's City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., to hiking in Forest Park, a large preserved natural area in Portland. You can spend an entire day or two just going to local galleries and meeting artists who are turning their ideas into a reality with products that are unique to the Portland area.
There are many areas for outdoor recreation, like biking or leisurely strolls through the International Rose Test Garden.
Transportation is simple in Portland. It's a walkable city, but you can hop on the Portland Streetcar to get to the various neighborhoods. Do not end your solo trip to the city without planning some time to hang out at a local café (it's a thing in Portland) and trying a Captain Crunch doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Places to Stay in Portland, Oregon
9. Moab, Utah
In need of some fresh air and visual inspiration for your solo vacation? Few places can scratch that itch like Moab, Utah, where the outdoors is the centerpiece of attention. While the area is a top destination for mountain biking, camping, and people who love the outdoors, you will find other solo travelers here looking for life perspective among the stunning rock formations and nighttime constellations.
There are two national parks in Moab to explore: Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park. There's also Dead Horse Point State Park, which has some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes to photograph 2000 feet above the Colorado River. How you choose to experience the parks is up to you. From mountain biking and hiking to white water rafting, fishing, and golfing.
10. New York City
You might not immediately think of New York City when planning a solo trip, but the city of blinding lights is a great place to visit alone. It's easy to find a table for one in restaurants, the variety of museums ensures you'll find something to pique your interest, and the parks are beautiful and safe. That said, we'd avoid walking through them alone at night.
Speaking of night, as long as you stay on one of the major avenues (hello, Broadway and Fifth), your journey will be well lighted and accompanied by so many other wanderers that you won't feel alone, even at three in the morning.
Getting to New York City is easy with three airports, and getting around the city by train or subway means that you don't have to take a taxi everywhere. Taxis can be expensive and super slow (New York's traffic is no joke). Ride services like Uber are astronomically priced in the city.
Plan at least one evening to hit Broadway with a nice pre-show dinner. There are so many restaurants in the area that you won't have trouble finding a cuisine to please your taste buds. You can pick up same-day discount Broadway show tickets in the afternoons at local kiosks, and as a party of one, it's even easier to decide which show to see at the last minute.
Round out your stay by visiting some of the ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy, Queens, Little Guyana, Little India, and Little Odessa. And don't miss out on the shopping in SOHO.
11. Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington is an easy city to visit alone. The people are friendly, the scenery is inspirational, the vibe exciting, transportation easy, and lodging plentiful in a wide range of price points. It is easy to get from point A to point B in the city on the Metro system or Monorail system.
Start your solo Seattle agenda at the Space Needle, where you can go up to the observation deck for a phenomenal 360-degree panoramic view of the city. If you like the view then you might want to check out the observation deck at Columbia Tower, where you can get a high view of the Space Needle.
Stop for some famous Seattle coffee at a local café or take a cup of Joe to go as you stroll along the waterfront and peruse the local produce at the Pike Place Market. You will probably see a lot of people in Seattle dining alone or doing solo activities, so if you're looking for conversation, why not spark one?
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Seattle: Best Areas & Hotels
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Seattle
12. Austin, Texas
If you are a music lover traveling alone, one of your top considerations should be Austin, Texas. Music and festivals are a way of life in this Texan wonderland, and you won't be able to walk a block without hearing a tune of some kind following you down the street.
This Texas capital has more than 250 music venues to enjoy and a host of other activities to fill your solo agenda in between. Hunker down for some famous and memorable Texas barbecue to fuel up for your adventure.
There are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy alone in Austin. Barton Springs in Zilker Park is one of the largest springs in Texas and a great way to cool off with a swim to beat the heat. You can enjoy a morning swim or paddleboard outing at Lady Bird Lake, a popular reservoir located in the heart of downtown. You can also plan walks around the lake on Schoal Creek Trail, a 4.4-mile trail that takes you through several parks.
For some social interaction, you can sign up for one of the many tours available around town to local museums and attractions.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Austin: Best Areas & Hotels
13. Boston, Massachusetts
The historic city of Boston, Massachusetts is great for solo travelers. Museums, parks, waterfront tours, and cruises provide endless ways to stay entertained. The best part: you can walk to most of the attractions and things to do in this palatable city.
Start your visit on the Freedom Trail, which winds its way past some of the most significant historical landmarks in the city.
If you visit during baseball season, plan a night at Fenway Park to take in a Boston Red Sox game and gape at the infamous Green Monster. Spend one evening getting a different perspective of the city with a sunset boat tour of Boston Harbor.
As we mentioned, there are multiple tours and museums in Boston. Since many require admission, you may want to prioritize some of the best, like the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Plimoth Plantation, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum.
One of the best ways to hit a number of attractions while giving your feet a break is by taking a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Boston: Best Areas & Hotels
14. New Orleans, Louisiana
While the city of New Orleans has a reputation for having an extravagant and wild scene, it is also known as one of the friendliest cities in the United States. This makes it an ideal place to visit for people traveling alone. Hit the Bourbon Street jazz clubs to soak up the music scene of the city, or plan a day trip to the Jazz Museum for some historical perspective.
Sign up for a history tour for a new perspective on the city, or plan your own walking tour through some of the neighborhoods to see old Victorian homes and visit some of the unique cemeteries.
Be sure to carve out extra time for visiting the famed French Quarter, where you can shop at the local boutiques and indulge in iconic New Orleans cuisine. Stop for a taste of beignets at Café du Monde and try some of the local Cajun cuisine.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in New Orleans: Best Areas & Hotels
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Orleans
15. Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii is a bucket list destination for many people, and while it is usually associated with honeymoons and couple's travel, there are several places, like Honolulu, that are great destinations for solo travel.
Located on the main island of Oahu, Honolulu is more touristy and less remote than other Hawaiian destinations. That makes it ideal for visiting solo. Another plus: the public transport system is geared towards tourists, so you should find it easy to get around to attractions and to Oahu's beaches.
Waikiki Beach is a must-visit that should top your holiday agenda. Don't miss having a meal (or many) on the waterfront. While you're here, plan a trip to climb Diamond Head on your own, or take a guided tour. Pearl Harbor is a must-see, and taking in a luau, even alone, is an experience you will never forget.
If you want to plan a snorkeling adventure, it is best to take a guided trip or hit one of the populated snorkeling spots, like Hanauma Bay, where there are other people to keep an eye on you in the water.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Honolulu
16. San Francisco, California
It's easy to feel the love in San Francisco. A Californian city that seems to accept everyone for who they are (yay!), this welcoming spot should grace your list of the best places to visit alone in the US.
One of the most ideal ways to see the sights is by lacing up your comfiest shoes and taking a walking tour. Sign up for a guided tour at your hotel if you're hoping to make friends. Or, make use of the Bay Area Bike Share to borrow a set of (two) wheels for the day.
Speaking of San Francisco sights, the Golden Gate Bridge is unmissable (literally), as is Alcatraz (you'll want to book your ferry ride well in advance), and the somewhat kitschy, very touristy Fisherman's Wharf.
If you're hoping to take transit, you're in luck. The BART (subway), Muni (buses, cable cars, and streetcars) make it super easy to get around. And they're super safe and affordable.
A note: While the city is safe, we'd suggest avoiding wandering around the Tenderloin alone after dark.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in San Francisco: Best Areas & Hotels
17. Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado (a.k.a. the Mile High city) has it all: giant ponds, lush parks, farmers markets, live music, eclectic shops, top restaurants, and a backdrop of majestic mountains. Luckily, it's also a very welcoming city for solo travelers.
The downtown core is incredibly palatable and well populated, so visitors will feel safe walking along the streets as they window shop, pop into the iconic Tattered Cover bookshop, or grab a bite in one of the many fab eateries.
Don't miss the historic Union Station, and you should definitely catch a show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Downtown is a pedestrian-friendly area, so you won't have to be worried about being hit by cars. That said, keep an eye out for bikes.
Getting around the city is easy, clean, and safe. You can join the masses and bike, or hop on the RTD light rail or bus. Rent a motorized scooter if you're feeling especially adventurous (we'd suggest renting a helmet as well).
One of Denver's best attractions is located 15 miles from its center, and it's more than worth a visit. The incredible Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater hosts concerts set between captivating giant red sandstone rock formations.
Accommodation: Best Hotels in Denver, CO
More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com
More Solo Travel Ideas: If you need more ideas for solo trips, you can review our articles on weekend getaways in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Alabama. If you are looking for outdoor adventure ideas that you can do alone, you might consider white water rafting and kayaking in Washington or white water rafting in West Virginia. Another great solo destination, especially for peace and relaxation is Sedona, Arizona. Here, you can enjoy a yoga retreat, wander through new age shops, or tackle the scenic hiking trails.