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Solo traveling is the perfect way to explore the world on your own schedule. While group and couples’ vacations are fun, there’s almost always a compromise with activities. But when you travel alone, the entire trip is up to you!
Whether you’re about to embark on your first solo trip or your hundredth, the United States is a great country to explore. There are many beautiful places to choose from; however, not every city and state is conducive to traveling alone. In this article, we’ll help you figure out where to travel solo in the U.S. on your next trip!
Considerations for Solo Travel in the USA
The most important key to solo travel is staying safe. While the United States is a safe country overall, be sure to use common sense as you pick out your destination and activities.
Do your research before visiting any city and be aware of what areas to avoid—especially after dark—and whether any current events could put you in a precarious situation. Be particularly aware of areas with political unrest and known human trafficking incidents.
Additionally, don’t put yourself at risk by participating in any potentially dangerous activities while you’re alone (think isolated hikes, rock climbing, late-night ocean swimming, and even nighttime walks). Don’t be afraid to go out in nature, but be wise about where and when you explore, especially if you might lose cell signal.
Where to Travel Solo in the US
Here are three cities to travel solo in the US that are perfect for every kind of solo traveler. Of course, there are more, but our solo experts chose these three because they have everything solo travelers love.
Craving a big-city adventure? Head to the nations’ capital and get your fill of busy streets, high-class restaurants, historical monuments, and more!
One of the best activities to do alone is to visit the Smithsonian Institute. This collection of 17 museums, galleries, and a zoo contains a wealth of fascinating information on all topics! And the best part is, they’re all free! Be sure to include the Museum of Natural History, the National Air & Space Museum, and the National Zoo in your plans.
Outside of the Smithsonian, the city is filled with important monuments and buildings that you can visit. Popular stops include the White House, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the United States Capitol building. The endless list of activities is what makes Washington, D.C., one of the best solo travel destinations in the USA!
Mountains, art, and breweries abound in the charming city of Asheville, North Carolina. There’s something here for everyone, from outdoor activities to photography to culture.
One of the area’s premier sites is the Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America! You can tour the house, grounds, and on-site village for an unforgettable day surrounded by luxury.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Smoky Mountains offer prime hiking opportunities, and the French Broad River is great for water sports like kayaking. If you like art, be sure to visit the River Arts District and its plethora of galleries. There’s also a thriving music scene here, and you’re sure to make some friends if you stop by the Asheville Drum Circle or the Moog Factory.
Chicago is an exciting destination, whether you visit alone or in a group. The city is packed with fun things to do, from museums to parks and even Broadway shows! Plus, the city’s transportation system is top-notch, so it’s safe and easy to get around.
Carve out some time to visit the iconic Millenium Park, bike the 606 railway track, and explore all of Lincoln Park’s attractions. Be sure to spend some time on North Michigan Avenue (a.k.a. The Magnificent Mile) shopping your heart out, then head to the Giordano’s on South Michigan Avenue for the best deep-dish pizza in town.
If you still have time to kill, you’ll have your pick of parks, museums, bars, and shows to fill up your schedule.
Best Places to Travel Alone in the U.S. as a Woman
Do you need some extra help choosing your US solo travel destination? We’ve selected the best places for solo female travelers to visit. These destinations offer some of the best safety and opportunities for adventure all in one!
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is a fantastic destination for solo female travelers, even if you’ve never traveled alone before! There are plenty of activities, and the area is safe to explore independently.
Start your trip by hitting all the famous spots like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Painted Ladies houses. Riding the iconic cable cars and trolleys should also be high on your list. Finally, don’t miss a day at Pier 39, where you can see sea lions, eat fresh seafood, ride the carousel, and take a whale-watching tour!
For some more unique fun, swing by the Roller Disco at the Church of 8 Wheels, navigate the Lands End labyrinth for unmatched views of the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the hidden speakeasy inside Bourbon & Branch (the password is “books”).
Portland, Oregon, offers a plethora of activities for solo travelers and is one of the best places to travel alone in the U.S. as a woman, thanks to the super-friendly community.
There are plenty of free things to do, from hiking in Forest Park to exploring local art galleries. And if you’re a bookworm, you’ll be in heaven as you wander through Powell’s City of Books, the largest bookstore in the world!
For outdoor activities, visit the International Rose Test Garden or take a brewery tour by bike. If you’re more of a culture enthusiast, be sure to check out the Portland Art Museum, Pittock Mansion, and the Shanghai Tunnels Virtual Tour.
And if you do get a bit lonely on your solo adventure, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends at the iconic Voodoo Donuts café or a Mississippi Studios concert!
Outer Banks, NC
If relaxation and ocean views are on your radar, the Outer Banks of North Carolina are the perfect destination. It’s also a fantastic choice for solo female travelers thanks to its overall safety rating and wide range of activities.
A series of small towns along a string of barrier islands on the Atlantic Coast comprise this charming coastal area. Here, you can fill your days with chilling on the beach, lighthouse tours, watersports, and even searching for wild horses! Art galleries and boutique shopping abound in the towns, along with fresh-caught seafood and local specialties like Duck Donuts.
If you want to escape the crowds, Pea Island Wildlife Refuge trades the tourist scene for serene beaches and birdwatching opportunities. And for an unexpected adventure, visit Jockey Ridge State Park to hike the tallest active sand dunes in the eastern United States!
For all of you travelers out there, the United States has plenty to offer when it comes to solo travel. No matter what type of traveler you are, where you want to go in the US is up to your personal preference!
Have you visited any of the above places? What are your favorite things to do when traveling alone in the U.S.? Join our Facebook Group and share your experiences with other solo travelers.