The United States is blessed with stunning national parks and some of the world’s most vibrant cities. If you’re planning a solo travel trip to the US, you’re in luck! There are tons of great places to travel alone, whether you’re looking for a little solitary time in museums, or some much needed R&R in nature or at a beach. Traveling alone is one of the most exhilarating experiences — you can do everything you want, as and when you want, without having to factor in the needs of others.
Whether you’re a solo female traveler or a solo male traveler, thanks to cheap national flights, a good bus system and well-mapped cities and parks, traveling on your own has never been easier. From the uber-cool city of San Francisco through to the quaint former Spanish-colonial city of Santa Fe, here are the best places to travel alone in the US.
Tip: We always recommend staying in hostels or Airbnbs when traveling solo, which means you have the best chance of meeting others, making friends and getting local tips.
1. San Francisco, California
Arguably San Francisco is the coolest city in the US, and it’s one of the best places to travel alone in the country. Compared to some of the US’ main cities, crime rates are relatively low. The people of San Francisco are welcoming and it’s one of the most liberal spots in the country. With tons of incredible sights to see, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, historic cable cars, piers, and a famous sea lion population, you’ll be spoilt for things to do (check out 10 awesome things to do in San Francisco for some more ideas). You can also join bike tours or boat tours of Alcatraz where you can meet other travelers and make new friends.
2. San Diego, California
If you’re looking for a city with laid-back vibes, San Diego is the place for you. With its quaint old town that visitors can explore on foot, plus relatively low crime rates, it’s a great spot to travel solo. San Diego is most famous for its miles of golden sandy beaches, where you can zone out and read a book, catch up on podcasts, or learn to surf. The hostels in San Diego have a great, beachy atmosphere and draw a cool crowd. There’s also plenty of music venues where you can unwind with a beer in the evening.
3. New York City
Oh, New York City! The Big Apple is one of the most exciting cities in the world and there’s never been a better time to travel it alone. New York is the perfect place for a solo trip — it’s packed with museums, great public transportation, an awesome live music scene, and restaurants where half the population dream of solitude and often grab some food alone. As with major cities around the world, crime rates in New York are high, but that shouldn’t put you off. As long as you stick to main tourist areas and use common sense, your trip should run smoothly. Always take care when on the metro at night, or generally when walking in the evenings and being solo won’t impact your adventure.
4. Washington DC
Like NYC, Washington DC is also a city that was basically made for the solo traveler. With tons of museums and interesting buildings to explore, it’s a great place for a solitary holiday. It’s an easy city to navigate and as the country’s capital, DC has every type of accommodation and restaurant you could want. As with any capital city, petty crime is a problem, along with the possibility of demonstrations and protests. Find out more about safety in Washington DC.
5. Grand Canyon, Arizona
If you’re looking to reconnect with nature and tick-off one of the Seven Wonders of the World from your bucket list, it’s time to plan a trip to the Grand Canyon. The epic canyon is a great place to travel solo as you can see it in your own time. Want to spend a decent chunk of time at the canyon and camp? Head to the Havasupai Reservation at the bottom of the canyon. Prefer to take it easy? Opt for a short walk around the rim. The Grand Canyon is easy to get to, with a shuttle service running between Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Flagstaff, Sedona to the Grand Canyon Village. If you have some extra time, spend a few days unwinding in the nearby spiritual town of Sedona to return truly refreshed from your Arizona trip.
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico, is becoming one of the best places to travel solo in the US. It’s known for its Spanish colonial ‘pueblo-style’ architecture and its charming streets. The city oozes creativity and is filled with art galleries, boutique shops and great museums, such as the Georgia O’Keefe art museum. Santa Fe is a safe city, with a relaxed, hippy-like atmosphere.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. The city is a melting point of African, American, and French cultures, and this is most evident in its food and of course, world-famous jazz clubs. You can spend days strolling its charming, historic French Quarter, eating fine Louisiana cuisine — such as shrimp gumbo and jambalaya — and listening to smooth jazz. It’s generally a safe city to be in, although if you’re planning to enjoy its nightlife, take care when it’s dark. If it’s a party you’re after, stay in one of New Orleans’ best hostels and go to clubs and bars in a group.