Solo Vacations: The 20 Best Places to Travel Alone in the U.S.

These destinations make traveling solo easy — and extra fun.

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 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.

Naples, Florida

Pier at sunrise in Naples, Florida
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If you have your heart set on a beach vacation, consider Naples, a relatively small community in southwest Florida. There are plenty of ways a solo beach traveler can occupy themselves in Naples. You can check out the beach at Naples Pier, go kayaking in the mangroves, or hit the links at one of the area's 90+ golf courses. If you're looking for an activity that will leave a big grin on your face, book a dolphin watching cruise from Marco Island, just 30 minutes south of Naples. Plus, the city was ranked number one in a recent list of safest places to live the U.S., thanks to its low crime rates.

Boston, Massachusetts

Courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA
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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's historic center on foot and can take the T, the local subway system, across the Charles River to Cambridge. In Boston, you'll find a wellspring of history and culture in museums like the fun Boston Tea Party Museum and the impressive Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the site of one of the world's most famous art heists.

Boulder, Colorado

View of the Pearl Street Mall, a landmark pedestrian area in downtown Boulder, Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains
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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.

Portland, Oregon

food trucks in portland oregon
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Not everyone feels comfortable eating out at a restaurant alone, especially when traveling solo, but Portland makes mealtime a nonissue, thanks to its bustling food cart scene. There are many food cart parks scattered about the city where you can go and peruse a diverse offering of cuisine, from pizza to Senegalese, and enjoy your meal in a atmospheric and fun shared space. Food aside, Portland's reliable transportation, great parks, and community vibe make this city an easy choice for people traveling alone. Between the good meals, you can also enjoy the tranquility of the Japanese Garden or browse the shelves at the famous Powell's Books.

Asheville, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway, near Asheville, North Carolina

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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 Pinnacle Trail (an approximately one-mile hike with serious views) or climb Mount Pisgah (2.6 miles round-trip). After a day in the mountains, reward yourself with a beer on the pup-friendly patio at Wicked Weed Brewing.

Sedona, Arizona

Woman getting massage outside
Pamper mom with the restorative power of nature. L’Auberge de Sedona | Sedona, AZ.

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

Downtown Charleston, SC on a sunny day
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Art lovers will find themselves in their element in this colorful coastal city in South Carolina. The small city of Charleston is home to over 35 fine art galleries and hosts an Art Walk on the first Friday of every month. 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 right at home. If the temperature is right, you can even take a trip out to Isle of Palms, to enjoy some quality time on the beach.

Nashville, Tennessee

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville
The entrance to the historic Hermitage Hotel in Nashville.

Hermitage Hotel

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 to others. The Basement​​, a live music venue known for its cozy vibes 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. A trip to Nashville is also a chance to try out one of its best hotels like the classic Hermitage Hotel.

Portland, Maine

Street along canal in Portland, Maine
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This may be the second Portland on the list, but this one has a coastal advantage. From the seaside city you can hop on a ferry or boat charter, or eat your way through the city's best lobster rolls at Luke's Lobster. When you're not out enjoying the water or stuffing your face with deliciously fresh seafood, you can meander in and out of the shops and boutiques at the historic Old Port.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco city tram climbs up Hyde Street with Alcatraz beyond, San Francisco, California, United States of America, North America
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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 hopping in a cab. Surrounded by beautiful bay views and offering easy access to experience a Redwood forest in Muir Woods, there are plenty of things to do in and around San Francisco.

Bayfield, Wisconsin

The harbor of the waterfront town of Bayfield Wisconsin
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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 one of the loveliest small towns in the U.S. Solo travelers can roam the intimate downtown or head to the nearby Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, best known for its series of caves that freeze during the winter months.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel Mission at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
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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 — surfing, sea animals, and a village-style center that feels like it belongs in a storybook. However, solo travelers may feel most at ease exploring the many art galleries like the Carmel Art Association and Bennett Sculpture.

Boise, Idaho

Boise city skyline surrounded by colorful trees in the Fall season
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Boise is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Solo travelers will find riverside walking and biking trails that run 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, Georgia

Tombstones and gravesite at Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia. Live Oak trees and Spanish Moss in the background.

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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. The best time to visit Savannah is in the fall and winter, when the temperatures are cooler and you can embrace the spooky spirit during Halloween when the city goes all out with on-theme activities.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA town skyline from above at dawn.
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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. In addition to the gorgeous scenery of the park, you can also discover it's unique history as a wellness destination.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Street view of Jackson Hole Playhouse in downtown Jackson, Wyoming
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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. The town itself offers plenty to do when you're not drinking or skiing, like rodeo nights at the Jackson Hole Rodeo and incredible pastries at the James Beard-recognized Persephone Bakery.

Seattle, Washington

Mt. Rainier and Seattle skyline at sunset
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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.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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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. The city's love of design is also noticeable in the hotel scene, where sophistication meets Midwestern hospitality. 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 famous bike paths, which wind past lakes that are perfect for a dip in the summertime.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
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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. Among the many things to do in town, you will also have your pick of exciting day trips to nearby state parks, or you can use the city as a launchpad to explore Utah's stunning geology at national parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado.

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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. Solo travelers will love the atmosphere of the downtown area, which is so charming it was the inspiration for Walt Disney when designing Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland.

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