Originally posted on travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/solo-travel/best-places-to-travel-alone-in-the-us
December 28, 2021 —
By Evie Carrick
Traveling alone is all about freedom and independence — freedom to go where you want, when you want, and independence in your ability to visit new places and meet new people without the crutch of a travel companion. It's not for everyone, but those willing to venture off on their own are rewarded with a compromise-free vacation and unforgettable experiences (exciting things just seem to happen when you're traveling solo).
But where to go? If you're just testing the waters of solo travel, you might want to stay close to home, which is where these U.S. destinations come in handy. Whether you dream of a spa vacation with plenty of time to relax and reset, a trip packed with activities, or a soul-searching expedition, these U.S. destinations cater to the solo traveler, thanks to their ease of transportation, low crime rates, and large selection of things to do.
Ready to book your next solo trip? Read on for the best places to travel alone in the U.S.
If you have your heart set on a beach vacation, consider Naples, a relatively small community in southwest Florida that was ranked number two in a recent list of safest places to live the U.S., thanks to its low crime rates. Not only will you feel safe in Naples, but there's also plenty to do. Check out the beach at Naples Pier, go for a swim in the area's notoriously calm waters, or hit the links. If you're looking for an activity that will leave a big grin on your face, book a dolphin cruise — a tour that practically guarantees good vibes.
Boston may be a big city, but it can often feel like a small town. Thanks to its walkability, you'll be able to explore the city on foot and get oriented over the course of a day. If your feet start to ache, hop on the subway, known by locals as the "T." Easy walkability and transportation aside, the city was also ranked number 13 in the U.S. for its low crime rates, an impressive feat when you consider it's a city of more than 670,000 people.
Those looking for quiet solo travel in the U.S. can spend their days exploring the mountains and hills surrounding Boulder. Eldorado Canyon State Park is just 20 minutes south of downtown, the approximately two-mile trail up Flagstaff Mountain is just 15 minutes to the west, and the iconic Flatirons (red sandstone formations) are less than 10 minutes away by car. And If you're feeling social, head to Pearl Street Mall, a bustling pedestrian-only street with some of the city's best restaurants, shops, and bars.
One of the hardest parts about traveling solo is eating alone, but Portland makes mealtime a nonissue, thanks to its bustling food truck scene (known locally as food carts). All you have to do is pinpoint what you're craving, pick a food truck (here's where they tend to gather), and find a stretch of curb to eat on. Food aside, Portland's reliable transportation, great parks, and community vibe make this city an easy choice for people traveling alone.
Asheville, North Carolina
If your perfect vacation includes hiking and biking during the day and gulping down beers with new friends at night, there's arguably no better place than Asheville, a city situated in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Bikers will want to tackle the Blue Ridge Parkway, while hikers can head to the Craggy Gardens Pinnacle (an approximately one-mile hike with serious views) or climb Mount Pisgah (nearly three miles round-trip). After a day in the mountains, reward yourself with a beer on the pup-friendly patio at the Funkatorium.
Traveling solo may be the only time you're able to truly check out from the grind and relax. That's why spa destinations like Sedona are so perfect for solo travelers. In addition to beautiful scenery, Sedona is packed with spas and wellness offerings. For a full resort experience, book a stay at the Amara Resort and Spa, or test out a few of the city's plentiful day spas (A Spa for You and Sedona's New Day Spa are long-standing favorites).
Charleston, South Carolina
Just because you're an art lover doesn't mean you need to head to one of the coasts. The city of Charleston is home to 56 art galleries and dealers (plus 17 museums), according to Artnet. If you're hoping to make some art yourself, the French Quarter is sure to inspire, while the city's warm southern hospitality will make you feel both safe and right at home.
If your idea of a dream solo trip is getting out and meeting new people, book a ticket to Nashville and let the city of music connect you (almost seamlessly) to others. The Basement, a live music venue known for its cozy vibe and spacious patio, is a must, as is 3rd and Lindsley. Just don't leave the city without trying the spicy fried chicken at Hattie B's.
This may be the second Portland on the list, but this city by the sea was just rated the number one safest place to live by U.S. News. But don't worry, safe doesn't mean boring — from the coastal city you can hop on a ferry or boat charter, eat your way through the city's best lobster rolls, or meander in and out of the shops and boutiques at the historic Old Port.
San Francisco, California
When you're traveling solo, public transportation is key (no one wants to foot the bill for a weekend full of Uber rides). That's where cities like San Francisco shine. Between Muni buses, trains, streetcars, and cable cars, you can get to every corner of the city without paying for a single overpriced cab. And, of course, being a city on the bay doesn't hurt either.
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, and home to quaint B&Bs and beautiful Victorian homes, Bayfield is a warm and welcoming coastal destination. And once you're tired of roaming Bayfield's intimate downtown, you can head to the nearby Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, best known for its series of caves that transform into ice caves during the winter months.
Just off California's iconic Highway 1 is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small beach city on the Monterey Peninsula that will capture your heart the moment you see it. Traveling solo is no problem here, as the city offers plenty to do — galleries, surfing, sea animals, and a village-style center that feels like it belongs in a storybook.
In addition to securing the number seven spot on U.S. News' report of the safest places to live, Boise is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Solo travelers will find riverside walking and biking trails that travel right through town, skiing (in the winter) and hiking (in the summer) at the city's Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, and easy access to mountain towns like McCall and ski areas like the rapidly growing Tamarack Resort.
Savannah's welcoming nature makes solo travel a breeze. If you're feeling social, join a haunted pub crawl through town or book an architectural tour. And if you're looking for a quiet escape, rent a bike and explore the history-rich city on two wheels.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
As you might guess, Hot Springs, Arkansas, is known for its natural hot springs, which have drawn visitors since the early 1900s. For solo travelers, there's nothing like a serene soak in the natural thermal waters found on the historic Bathhouse Row, followed by a refreshing drink of spring water and a lazy hike through the dense woods at Hot Springs National Park.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole may be home to a world-renowned ski area, mouthwatering cuisine, and high-end galleries, but you'll still find Old West-style bars where cowboys throw back PBRs (check out the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar). It's the perfect place to throw on a Stetson and dress the part for a night or two.
Related: America's Best Ski Towns
If you want access to nature without sacrificing big-city amenities, Seattle offers an ideal balance. Spend a couple of days checking out Pike Place Market (don't miss a cup of mac n' cheese from Beecher's), going to the top of the Space Needle, and visiting the Museum of Pop Culture before hopping aboard a ferry and getting away from it all. From the heart of Seattle, you can take a boat across Elliott Bay to Bainbridge Island and onto Olympic National Park, home to both glacier-capped mountains and 70 miles of wild coastline.
It's been said that one can hardly be called an architect if they haven't designed something in Minneapolis — the city showcases work from Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, César Pelli, and Frank Gehry, among others. So, while it's perfectly acceptable to wander through the city looking up, you don't want to miss a cruise on one of the notorious bike paths, which wind past lakes that are perfect for a dip in the summertime.
Salt Lake City, Utah
It may be Utah's largest city, but Salt Lake City doesn't feel like a giant metropolis. Maybe it's the fact that it's surrounded by mountains or the open expanse of the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island State Park to the west. Either way, this friendly city has everything a solo traveler could want — great food (check out Feldman's Deli), plenty of sun-drenched days, and easy access to both the mountains and water.
Fort Collins, Colorado
If you're a beer lover, head to Fort Collins, a Colorado town with plenty of heart and really good beer. Start your tour of the city in the taproom of New Belgium Brewing (the company behind Fat Tire) and follow it with a pint at a few lesser-known breweries — we recommend Zwei Brewing Co., Maxline Brewing, and Black Bottle Brewery. By the end of the day, you'll have your own beer-loving posse to explore the city with.
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