Though traveling solo can be a daunting prospect, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of taking on the world all by yourself with nothing but your own companionship. It’s liberating and exciting, especially if you choose the right place to visit—and where else to start than right here in the US?
In this article, I’ll share some of the best solo trips in the US that I’ve either visited or heard wonderful things about. This list of the best places to visit is for all travelers worldwide, regardless of sex, experience, and budget.
Let’s dive right in!
The Best Solo Trips in the US
1) San Francisco, California
San Francisco is undoubtedly one of America’s most vibrant and exciting cities. Known for its gorgeous sceneries, comfortable climate, and diverse culture, the city of San Fran ticks all the right boxes for a solo traveler. It offers plenty of things to do for almost everyone in great abundance.
San Francisco is home to the ever-popular Golden Gate Bridge, which every solo traveler should visit at least once—if only to take an iconic picture with it in the background.
2) New York City, NY
Ah, yes. The Big Apple. What’s there to be said that hasn’t already been said? It’s the city of dreams and adventure, booming with culture, diversity, and innovation. It’s no wonder it stars in countless love songs, books, and movies—it’s ever-so-romantic and beautiful!
From its larger-than-life attractions to its stunning, high-end hotels and robust culinary scene, there’s always something to discover in New York.
To start off on the right track, I recommend visiting the topmost level of the Empire State Building: the 86th-floor observatory. It’s the highest open-air observation deck in New York and overlooks all the city’s prominent landmarks.
3) Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts, is a land of history and culture. From its iconic historical sites to its beautiful architecture, you’ll want to uncover the city’s secrets during your solo trip. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations on the East Coast for a reason!
Dubbed the Cradle of Modern America, Boston is the city of firsts. It’s in Boston, where you’ll find America’s oldest public park, its first chocolate factory, subway, and public school.
It’s also where you’ll find the iconic Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path that passes by 16 significant locations in the history of the US.
4) New Orleans, Louisiana
When I think of New Orleans, Louisiana, the first thing that comes to mind is the French Quarter—New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood.
It’s a sight with colorful buildings, French markets filled with gourmet foods and local crafts, and a vibrant nightlife. If you ever get the chance to visit Louisiana, the French Quarter is a definite must-see for its rich history, street performers, and diverse architecture.
Beyond the French Quarter, New Orleans has dozens of areas worth visiting. This includes Bourbon Street, the National WWII Museum, the St. Louis Cathedral, and the 1,300-acre City Park. The Garden District also has elegant 19th-century houses and lush, mature trees.
5) San Diego, California
Located on the Pacific coast of Cali, San Diego is known for its pristine beaches, warm climate, and world-famous family-friendly attractions, such as San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and Legoland. It’s a city full of hidden gems, which makes it all the more exciting to discover as a solo traveler!
Aside from the aforementioned attractions, you shouldn’t miss Balboa Park, which is home to dozens of attractions including restaurants, walking trails, and even museums. It’s a great place to make memories of, even if it’s just for Instagram pictures!
6) Portland, Oregon
Portland is the largest city in Oregon, so it’s naturally home to dozens of scenic spots a solo traveler can enjoy.
It’s known for its gorgeous parks and luscious forests, as well as its breathtaking mountaintops—which you can gaze upon on the Portland Aerial Tram.
The tram takes you on a 3,300-ft journey 500 ft above the ground, so it’s only for adventurers who aren’t afraid of heights! Scratch that; you shouldn’t miss it even if you are afraid of heights. Trust me. It’s worth it!
7) Washington D.C.
If you’re going on a solo trip across the US, you should absolutely stop by Washington, D.C., the US capital.
Washington, D.C. is home to some of the biggest and most impressive museums in the world, like the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, and the International Spy Museum.
And that’s not even touching the surface! There are over 70 unique museums to explore, so it’ll take months to visit all of them. The public transportation makes it easy to go from place to place so you can easily visit 2 or 3 museums in one day.
If you’re a huge history buff, or love visiting museums and learning about art, culture, and science, Washington, D.C., should be at the top of your bucket list.
8) Florida Keys
The Florida Keys is a string of small islands that stretches 123 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
It comprises five unique islands: Key West, Marathon, Key Largo, Islamorada, and the Lower Keys. There are plenty of beautiful beaches here to explore!
42 bridges link the islands, so you can visit each island at your leisure. Activities include scuba diving, fishing, surfing, kayaking, and more.
9) Seaside, Florida
Located in Northwest Florida, Seaside is a picturesque resort community known for its charming architecture, pristine beaches, and jaw-dropping landmarks.
It’s a social hub during the summer, so if you’re looking to meet new people, summer is the way to go. Otherwise, it might be best to visit mid-spring and fall when there are sparser crowds and comfortable temperatures.
10) Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee, is a huge city with a small-town vibe and southern hospitality. Affectionately dubbed as the Music City, Nashville is a country music hot spot. No matter what part of Nashville you visit, you’ll always find yourself listening to live music. It’s a music lover’s dream city!
Nashville is filled with friendly locals, so you’ll feel safe traveling solo. When I visited Nashville, the locals were more than happy to offer traveling advice and point me in the right direction. And trust me, you’ll want to listen to the locals—they know where the best food spots are located!
11) Asheville, North Carolina
If you’re an artist, Asheville is the city for you. It’s home to the River Arts District, the Asheville Art Museum, and dozens of galleries and studios to visit.
Known as the epicenter of contemporary art in the southeast, Asheville hosts hundreds of artists monthly to show off their amazing creations. The city curates major art events nearly every day, so you’ll always find an event that catches your interest during your visit.
If you’re planning a road trip to Asheville, I highly recommend driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Noted for its scenic beauty, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway runs through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties. It’s one if not the most beautiful drives in America that’ll make you appreciate everything nature offers–especially the fantastic sunrises!
When driving on Blue Ridge Parkway, feel free to visit the James River Visitor Center at Milepost 63.7, the Apple Orchard Mountain at Milepost 76.5, and the Mabry Mill at Milepost 176.1. You can also visit the Blue Ridge Music Center at Milepost 213 and enjoy an outdoor concert before going back on the road.
12) Charleston, South Carolina
Whenever I visit Charleston, South Carolina, I feel as if I’m transported back to the past. With cobblestone streets, pastel Victorian homes, and horse-drawn carriages, it almost seems like the city was frozen in time.
Charleston has some amazing historic sites, attractions, and tours that every solo traveler can appreciate. Plus, it’s home to over 30 amazing breweries that you can visit.
13) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
From impressive historic sites to cool street art, there are plenty of reasons to visit Philadelphia. It’s home to The Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, the Independence Hall (where the Constitution was signed), and the Museum of the American Revolution. It’s also where Benjamin Franklin’s grave is located.
All these historic sites are within walking distance of each other.
14) Denver, Colorado
With spectacular mountain views, first-rate breweries, and world-class museums, there’s no shortage of things to do in Denver, Colorado.
Roughly 15 miles from the city center, you’ll find the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, where you can enjoy live music and appreciate the striking red sandstone rock formations along the trail. And don’t miss out on Rocky Mountain National Park!
15) Fort Collins, Colorado
Located in northern Colorado, Fort Collins is a lively town filled with local eateries, high-class boutiques, 1800s houses, and specialty shops and restaurants.
During your visit, marvel at the scenery of Colorado’s most beautiful outdoor paradise, the Horsetooth Reservoir.
While you’re at it, check out the Cache la Poudre River—Colorado’s “Wild & Scenic” river—as well as the botanic gardens at the Gardens on Spring Creek.
16) Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia, is not a big city like most of the cities mentioned here, but it’s still filled with exciting and unique activities for solo travelers to enjoy.
You can visit the Savannah City Market to listen to live music, and meet some of the city’s emerging artists, or visit the ever-popular American Prohibition Museum. Likewise, you can explore the dream-like Forsyth Park and take a picture in front of the park’s iconic fountain.
Don’t forget to check out some of Savannah’s Sacred Places, such as the First African Baptist Church and the Congregation Mickve Israel.
17) Austin, Texas
As the capital city of Texas, Austin deserves a spot on this list for its savory food, coffee shops, and outdoor adventures.
The Congress Bridge Bats is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, so it’s something you shouldn’t miss while in Austin. Marvel at the 1.5 million bats that pepper the sky; you won’t see anything like it!
18) Sedona, Arizona
Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, Sedona, Arizona is a solo adventurer’s paradise. In Sedona, you’ll be met with countless outdoor activities to partake in, such as hiking, mountain biking, and thrill rides.
Start your day with an early morning jog that overlooks the banks of Oak Creek, or swim and slide at the Slide Rock State Park.
You can also take a hot air balloon trip so you can see everything Sedona has to offer 500 feet above the ground.
19) Honolulu, Hawaii
It’s no secret that Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the best vacation spots in the world. With pristine waters, rich cultures, and exotic food, there are endless adventures to be had in Honolulu—especially as a solo traveler.
Honolulu allows you to scuba dive, snorkel, kayak, and swim with the sharks. You can also go off the beaten path and partake in a unique island excursion (with a tour guide, of course—I don’t want you getting lost!).
20) Bar Harbor, Maine
This list wouldn’t be complete without Bar Harbor, Maine. It’s one of my favorite tourist destinations on the East Coast, with its beautiful coastline, historic charm, and world-class restaurants. There’s also the fact that it’s the gateway to Acadia National Park, which is one of the US’s most visited and revered national parks.
21) Big Sur, California
Nothing in the United States is as unique and majestic as Big Sur, California. It’s one of the top destinations along the Pacific Coast Highway because of its rugged coastline and amazing views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
You can drive across the Bixby Bridge and take plenty of photos of the scenery as well as enjoy a day at Pfeiffer Beach. There are many state parks around here, campgrounds, and glamping experiences.
22) Gatlinburg, Tennessee
If you’re up to going on a solo hiking trip, then Gatlinburg is a great place to be. It’s known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are several hiking trails and waterfalls that you have to see in person. The small mountain town also has plenty of shops and places to eat. Be sure to eat some really amazing pancakes and omelets!
23) Moab, Utah
Some travelers argue that Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the US, and if you visit Moab, you may agree. You can see Arches National Park, one of the most famous parks in the country! It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to go camping, see the outdoors, watch the stars, and see some incredible rock formations.
There you have it, folks; the list of the best solo trips in the US for backpackers, adventurers, and thrill seekers! These are the best cities you should add to your bucket list and see in the near future.
As long as you exercise basic caution, the destinations mentioned above are safe for solo female travelers. Start your solo vacay with a walking tour and enjoy the sights each city has to offer.
Let me know which cities are on your solo travel bucket list!
Good luck, and have fun!