11 Best American Cities For Solo Travel
By Shontel Horne
Epic solo adventures through Europe, South East Asia, and Africa are the dream for many curious travelers, but there are many cities in the US where you can get your solo travel fix without leaving the country. Whether you’re new to traveling alone and want to go on a domestic trip before you travel abroad or you’re simply looking for a fun getaway you can do next week, these destinations are great for anyone that wants to experience a new city alone without ever leaving the country.
Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California
A one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach is all that separates you from a weekend escape to Catalina Island. Tiny with plenty of chic hotels, fun restaurants, and activities like ziplining and scuba diving, visitors go straight from the ferry to their hotel, touring the island by foot, bike, or golf cart. Catalina is a unique experience that can be as social or as private as you want, and you only need two days to do everything you want on the island.
Key West, Florida
Key West took a beating during 2017’s Hurricane Irma, but the island city is recovering and ideal if you want an adventurous solo trip where you can do seaplane tours, kayak and learn how to snorkel or scuba dive. Feast on Key West pink shrimp, get a fellow traveler to take your picture at the Southernmost Point Buoy, and eat and drink everything in sight as you stroll down bustling Duval Street.
A solo trip to Kauai won’t be cheap, but an island adventure to one of America’s most beautiful destinations is sure to be safe, tranquil, and worth the cash. Rent a jeep and stay at an Airbnb to keep costs down, and you’ll want to take your time to enjoy the beautiful scenery while driving to Waimea Canyon. Get surfing lessons or frolic along Haena Beach, just don’t forget to hit up The Fresh Shave for a frozen treat before you leave.
In a city filled with more coffee shops than you can imagine, it’s no surprise that Seattle is ideal for solo travelers that just want to do their own thing. Sample the fresh produce and seafood at Pike Place Market, hike through Discovery Park, and experience the quirks that make Seattle great, all without having to rent a car.
Denver is a city that demands that you get in touch with your soul. The mountains, blue sky, and peaceful atmosphere are special to Denver, and it’s a great place to be alone without feeling like you’re alone. Catch a show the Red Rocks Amphitheater for a one-of-a-kind music experience, shop in downtown’s Larimer Square, hike one of the countless nearby mountain ranges, and tour one of the local breweries to sip beers that are popular in the city’s craft beer scene.
New Orleans isn’t the only city where locals and visitors party outside. The streets of Austin come to life on the weekends, with throngs of people going to restaurants, clubs, and bars while making friends along the way. Cruise Rainey Street to grab drinks in bars located in houses, and enjoy all of the food and music that make Austin both cool and weird.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
It doesn’t take much to get swept up in the beauty of Cape Cod. From the tiny villages to the seafood shacks that are nearly everywhere you turn, Cape Cod is dreamy, safe, and one of the best places to go to experience New England’s charm.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is so easy to navigate that you’ll find yourself bouncing from the Mission District to North Beach while exploring all of the museums, gardens, and parks in between in no time. The city is dense and it’s easy to find yourself marveling at the architecture while trekking up the city’s steep hills lost in your own thoughts, but when you’re ready to get social, there are endless opportunities to meet locals wherever you go.
With more museums, landmarks, and monuments than you’ll ever be able to visit in one trip, D.C. is a solo traveler’s dream if you want to explore in peace. Start the day with a jog through the National Mall and go your own pace at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, all while seeing D.C. on your terms.
There’s so much for solo travelers to love about a city like Portland, Oregon. You don’t need a car to get to many neighborhoods and landmarks, and Portland has a nice mix of nature and city life to keep you occupied during an adventure through the destination. The food scene is enough to keep you busy for a week, but book lovers can easily spend hours in the famed Powell’s Books, and be sure to make time to wander through the bustling Alberta Arts District.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Sure New Orleans is the go-to spot for an epic girl’s trip, but the city is so overflowing with historical landmarks, events, music, food, and nightlife that you’re guaranteed to be apart of a crowd, even without trying. Whether you want to stroll quietly through the garden district or grab a Hurricane and dance in the middle of Frenchmen Street, the “Crescent City” has something for every solo traveler.