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Summertime is coming, and for a lot of people in the United States, it’s finally time to thaw out from a long winter. There are few better ways to take advantage of the warm weather than embarking on an adventure. Solo travel is often rewarding but can be intimidating to plan alone, especially as a female. Luckily, many popular destinations in the US are safe and very welcoming of female explorers. With the help of travel experts at AllTheRooms, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots for solo female travelers this summer.
San Francisco Bay Area
There are few places to go with a wider range of activities within a one or two-hour drive. From the funky, liberal, and beautiful cities of San Francisco and Oakland to the beaches of Santa Cruz and the gorgeous nature in Big Sur and Muir Woods, the Bay Area’s diversity (culturally and geographically) is an ideal starting spot. The only drawback is that San Francisco’s summers are notoriously unpredictable, so plan on packing a jacket despite all of California’s sunny stereotypes.
A good distance away from most major cities, the wild Oregon coastline is ideal for outdoorswomen looking to pack in minimal urban commotion with a few beaches. The sands in Oregon may be covered more in heavy driftwood than palm trees, but they are perfect for relaxing activities. The Oregon Coast also has numerous hikes through seaside woodlands and awesome sleepy port towns with excellent Oregon vacation rentals for those who aren’t keen on camping or glamping.
The Rocky Mountains
Colorado’s Rocky Mountains always get attention for their world-class skiing, but not enough people pay attention to their summertime beauty. Populated with green mountainsides, wildflowers, and cool lakes and rivers to dive into, The Rockies are great for reconnecting with nature. The hiking trails and resort villages are sure to be full of like-minded folks so it should be easy to pick up an adventure buddy or two along the way. While mountain towns like Breckenridge, Vail, and Aspen give a more immersive experience (and should be cheaper than they are in winter), cities like Denver and Boulder are just a short drive from the mountains as well.
While a lot of travelers only think of Hawaii’s resorts, the islands are also full of little towns that welcome wandering mainlanders to try out the Aloha lifestyle for a bit. Pa’ia and Lahaina on Maui, Hilo, and Kona on the Big Island, and Hanalei on Kauai are all ideal places to slow down and maybe pick up an empowering new skill like surfing.
The US’s “Last Frontier” really can only be a summertime destination because the weather is pretty brutal the rest of the year. Alaska, besides being in a completely different ecosystem, is a similar destination to Hawaii because it introduces folks to a way of life different to that in the Continental US. Overflowing with National Parks, wildlife, and stunning towns, Alaska is easily one of the most beautiful states to visit. Those wanting to escape for a while longer can settle in the southeast areas that are well-trafficked by summer tourists, and pick up an odd job for the high season.
Southern Road Trip
Step one is to rent or have a car with air conditioning because it is about to be all kinds of humid down south. However, once that essential item is checked off the list, The South beckons solo travelers with warm hospitality, hearty food, and plenty of historic places to stop. Begin the road trip in Tennessee in Nashville, the Smoky Mountains, or at the legendary Bonnaroo Music Festival (headlined this year by Childish Gambino, Phish, Odesza, and Post Malone). From there, road trippers can wind through fun mid-sized towns like Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. Road trips are great options for a solo female traveler, as you can go wherever you please and control your own schedule. Plus it gives ample time for personal reflection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.