Yearning to travel the world, but struggling to find someone to take a trip with? Don’t use that as an excuse not to explore.
Solo travel has become increasingly popular in recent years because it provides the opportunity for self-indulgence, the ability to see a new place at your own pace, and the chance to step out of your comfort zone. To help you plan your first adventure alone, we’ve rounded up the best US destinations for solo travel in 2017. Whether you’re embracing the solitude of traveling solo or you’re looking to immerse yourself in non-stop action, there’s something for everyone on our list.
Consider booking an affordable vacation rental (FlipKey has more than 300,000!) to save money and stay on budget during your trip. Even better? You’ll have access to amenities like extra privacy and a full kitchen—all to yourself!
Nestled amongst picturesque hills and mountains, Ojai offers what many book vacations for: rest, relaxation, and quiet. It’s nicknamed “Shangri-La” and is an ideal destination for solo travelers truly looking to escape it all.
With no schedule to keep, enjoy a leisurely morning in the comfort of a cozy cottage rental. When you’re ready to explore, head into town to peruse boutiques and stroll through the farmers market. Don’t want to eat out on your own? Take advantage of Ojai’s year-round pleasant climate by grabbing a bite to go and eating at Libbey Park. Other things to do in Ojai include hiking the Rose Valley Falls Trail, sipping wine at a local vineyard, and indulging in a luxe spa treatment.
Denver serves as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, offering loads of outdoor adventures that make it a perfect place for active travelers. From downhill skiing in the surrounding mountains during the winter to wandering through fields of wildflowers in the spring, this city welcomes visitors all year long.
Visiting Denver during the warmer months? Make sure to catch a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. You’ll be amazed by the venue’s killer acoustics and jaw-dropping setting. If you’re looking to self-reflect rather than rock out, take a drive along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway to enjoy sweeping views of Colorado and breathtaking lookout spots along the way. No matter when you’re in town, Denver boasts numerous museums and restaurants worth checking out.
St. Pete Beach has all the makings of an unforgettable getaway: pristine beaches, world-class museums, and friendly locals to show you a good time. Whether you’re visiting for a long weekend or an extended stay, it’s an ideal place for a warm weather escape. And, with waterfront condos for less than $60/night, this popular destination is affordable—even for solo travelers.
The sugary-white sands and crystal clear blue waters of St. Pete Beach, a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award-winning beach, are sure to put you in relaxation mode. Curl up with a book on the beach or head to Corey Avenue where many restaurants, bars, and shops are located. You’re sure to make some new friends in this laidback beach town!
Known for being the home of the University of Michigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor is a charming college town with an unbeatable energy. Whether you’re planning a trip around a game at Michigan Stadium or your itinerary is wide open, this small city is a solo traveler’s dream.
Set aside several hours to browse at some of the 30+ independent bookstores. When your nose isn’t in a book, spend time perusing shops on State Street or catch a game at Michigan Stadium for the ultimate Ann Arbor experience. You’ll feel anything but alone amongst thousands of fans cheering on the city’s beloved home team.
Situated in central Minnesota overlooking the Mississippi River, Saint Paul is a laidback city with lots of draws for solo travelers. Chic urbanites flock here for the one-of-a-kind shops, while foodies love the sidewalk cafes and welcoming pubs.
Downtown Saint Paul is very walkable, making it easy for visitors to safely wander around the city. Admire views of the Mississippi from Kellogg Mall Park or check out the hip Lowertown district for its unique arts and dining scene. Looking to learn about the city? Aspiring historians and architecture lovers will never get bored discovering interesting sites and fascinating legends throughout the city. With its vibrant energy and cosmopolitan culture, Saint Paul should be on your travel wishlist.
Looking for a more unexpected solo travel destination? With a variety of museums, old school jazz clubs, and one-of-a-kind barbecue joints, Kansas City is the perfect choice. The city straddles the Kansas-Missouri state line, making it a unique place to explore and experience.
Music lovers will want to go for a stroll down 39th Street and be lured by the sound of jazz music pouring from the local dive bars. If you’re a history buff, choose a rental in Kansas City’s historic Westport neighborhood and visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Visiting during the summer? Snag a cheap ticket to a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Everything here is relatively affordable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank while traveling solo.
Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Red River is a popular resort town in northern New Mexico that offers four seasons of fun. It was once a booming mine town, but today attracts tourists from around the country in search of the idyllic mountain retreat.
During the winter, rent a cabin at the base of the Red River Ski Area and enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Scheduled your mountain getaway for the summer months? Take advantage of warm weather and abundant sunshine by hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking through the rugged landscape. Whatever the weather, Red River is an ideal vacation spot for adventurers.
A trip to Lake George will leave you feeling positively refreshed. Tucked into the base of the Adirondack Mountains, this destination boasts year-round beauty and endless opportunities for entertainment.
Navigate the surrounding trails of Prospect Mountain and climb to the top for spectacular views of the area. In the afternoon, cruise around the lake on a historic steamboat or simply relax on the shore. Thomas Jefferson described Lake George as “without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw”… so, hurry up and see for yourself! Choose a vacation home just steps from this gorgeous lake for an utterly blissful getaway.
Time your trip to the Outer Bank so that you only need three things: a swimsuit, beach towel, and sunscreen. This stretch of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina is not as easy to get to as some of the other places on our list, but the tranquility and natural beauty are totally worth it once you arrive.
Let your worries slip away as water splashes over your toes at one of the local beaches. The ocean is never far whether you’re staying in a cozy cottage off the beaten path in Duck or renting a home in Nags Head for access to the most activities. Hit the open waters on a deep sea fishing charter or try your luck windsurfing. Out of the water, the area is brimming with birdwatching opportunities. Keep an eye out for egrets, cranes, and other shorebirds during your stay. If your dream getaway involves lazy days at the beach and low-key evenings indulging in great food, then Outer Banks is an obvious choice.
One trip to Virginia Beach and you’ll be hooked! The perfect blend of easy going beach vibes and high energy, this vibrant city attracts travelers from all over the country. Stay in a high rise condo overlooking the Atlantic or choose a home farther inland for extra privacy.
Walk along the three-mile Virginia Beach Boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants and entertainment stages. Dig your toes in the sand at Virginia Beach or make your way to Sandbridge Beach for fewer crowds. Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center or the Military Aviation Museum, which appeal to all ages. Even if you plan your trip for the off-season, there’s still plenty to do.