Big Sur is a fantastic place to unwind. If you want to meet others, the campsites can be pretty social. However when I’m out there, I find the best companions are the dolphins and whales jumping out of the water, the squirrels and deer on the trail, and the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. For more on my favorite state and national parks in California, check out my musings on Alamo’s Scenic Route.
1. Alabama Hills, California
Book your stay in Idaho here, or stay in a cozy, heated treehouse!
Book your stay in Minneapolis here, or look for an Airbnb!
2. Page, Arizona
The Alabama Hills is an area of BLM land, meaning it’s owned by the public, with arches, beautiful views of the Eastern Sierras, and lots of Hollywood history. I did a solo road trip here and enjoyed every minute of it. If you are a photography lover, the Alabama Hills has plenty of photogenic stops, including the popular Movie Road as pictured above, Mobius Arch (go at sunset!), Boot Arch, and Miss Alabama herself.
3. San Francisco, California
Las Vegas wouldn’t have been the first place that I would have expected to be awesome alone, but with so much to do, it’s actually perfect!
It’s easy to meet friends through activities, at the beach, and by going on day tours. The island is easy to navigate with a rental car as there is one main road that circles around the entire island. Most people consider going to the more tourist-heavy islands like Oahu, but the Big Island is an underrated spot that is well worth the trek over.” – Chantae of The Salt Sirens
4. Bayfield, Wisconsin
Book your stay in Moab here, or check out this awesome Airbnb with 600+ 5-star ratings!
5. Moab, Utah
Book your stay in Las Vegas here!
“Traveling solo in Seattle is great because it offers such a variety of activities that you can enjoy some solitude or plant yourself in an area teeming with activity (or even do both easily on the same day). Seattle offers neighborhoods with distinct character, food from any culture you can imagine, fantastic museums, and gorgeous public parks.
A highlight of any trip to Seattle was experiencing the exceptionally talented local musicians that perform throughout the city on most nights. Jazz, experimental, rock, punk, metal, baroque, blues, hip-hop – all there waiting for you. Public transit can get you most places during the day and taxis/ride-shares are readily available for late night adventures. It is very common for people to dine solo or listen to live music by themselves in Seattle, so no need to hesitate or feel awkward. Also, if you have heard of the “Seattle Freeze” don’t worry locals are actually friendly and helpful once you start the conversation. But no umbrellas please!” – Robin
6. Big Sur, California
The USA is gorgeous, from sea to shining sea. I love being from such a huge and varied country with all kinds of different landscapes, cultures, and things to see. If I spent my lifetime never leaving the States and only exploring my own backyard, I’d have so much variety it would still feel like I’d traveled far and wide.
If you have some favorite solo spots to share, please tell me in the comments below!
7. Squaw Valley, California
I’ve looked on every continent and I still haven’t found anywhere as beautiful or majestic as Big Sur on the central coast in California. Though it’s had its fair share of disasters lately, when accessible, McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the dreamiest waterfalls I’ve seen.
The variety of restaurants at Squaw also cater to the solo female travel with many offering small intimate booths where you can curl up with a book and hot toddy while waiting for your meal. When the snow has melted, Squaw is still my favorite solo trip destination as it offers dozens of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. For those who don’t feel comfortable hiking or biking on their own, there are multiple companies who offer guided tours.” – Bailey of Feng Shui Mommy
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
“Cape Cod is known as the tail of Massachusetts and a family-friendly beach destination in New England, but it’s also very well suited to solo female travelers. Why? Because it’s extremely safe, easy to get around, and downright beautiful. The Cape is just over an hour’s drive from Boston or Providence. You’ll definitely want to have a car so that you can freely explore its beautiful beaches. The ocean beaches are all lined with epic sand dunes, while the bay beaches host the most stunning sunsets (if you’re lucky enough to catch one at low tide, wow – the reflections off the puddles in the sand flats are something else!).
Page is the jumping-off point for several of Arizona’s most beautiful places. I was blown away by Horseshoe Bend and of course the famous Antelope Canyon in particular. Since this part of the world attracts so many travelers, I found it easy to have conversations with others who were free camping with me, and even made a friend when I ventured to the paid campsites for a shower (but not in the shower itself, it was in the parking lot later, I swear).
“My go-to solo trip destination is Squaw Valley. During the winter, Squaw offers amble skiable terrain that is safe to navigate solo, in addition to a wide array of yoga classes and spa services perfect for wrapping up a long day of solo skiing or boarding.
Sun Valley is a quaint town with fantastic skiing, snowshoeing, naturally occurring hot springs, and locals who are more than happy to have a conversation with visitors and newcomers. Idaho is so underrated! If you want to venture outside of Sun Valley, there are tons of amazing hot springs to check out. You can find my itinerary here.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
Book your stay in San Francisco here, or check this mushroom dome on Airbnb out!
It’s incredible that in one country you can get some of the highest mountain tops, tropical beaches in Hawaii and glaciers in Alaska, plus rocky and warm deserts with some of the most breathtaking rock formations on planet Earth.Entertainment is plentiful and ranges from low key to raging parties. Learn about the dueling reign and lingering influence of France and Spain, or the city’s centuries-long history of voodoo and witchcraft. Or join the revelers in the Fruit Loop for a round of Hand Grenades. You’re sure to find exactly what you’re in the mood for and stay within your budget, too.
Idaho really must be one of the most beautiful states in the wintertime. I celebrated New Year’s there last year and I just loved the welcoming and friendly vibe.
10. Maui, Hawaii
These are some of my favorites in the USA, plus the advice of several other solo female travelers to get you started:
11. The Big Island of Hawaii
Moab is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. For those all about the camper van life, bouldering, hiking, and kayaking, Moab has it all going on. It’s where you’ll find Canyonlands and Arches National Parks as well as Dead Horse Point State Park. Basically it’s one of the most gorgeous areas on Earth with a high concentration of incredible rock formations and free campsites.
*This post was brought to you in partnership with Alamo Rent A Car. All thoughts on the best places to travel solo in the USA belong to their respective authors.
12. Seattle, Washington
There are plenty of beaches and quirky hangouts as well. If you love camping, there’s plenty of that and if you visit in the winter, the famous caves ice over, which looks incredible. If you’re into photography and the outdoors, then you will absolutely love this little town on Lake Superior, the jumping-off point for the Apostle Islands.
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“For a solo female traveler, it’s a perfect big city to visit. It’s safe to wander around, has beautiful architecture and natural vistas, provides great bike paths, and features plenty of fun shops like cafes and stationary boutiques.
13. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
When it comes to the outdoors, in the summertime it’s wonderful to explore all the green space and the hundreds of lakes nearby. And in the winter you have plenty of opportunities to go ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, and snowshoeing. No matter the time of year, Minneapolis has plenty on the calendar for you to enjoy.” – Hayley of International Hotdish
Though the USA is huge, and no list could ever do the wealth of places to see and experience justice, these are a few of our favorites. I hope this list helped you to get a sense of where to start, or continue, your solo journey.
14. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Book your stay in Cape Cod here, or look for an Airbnb!
I love it for the ease of getting around on the BART system, how small and contained the city itself is, how picturesque, and how multicultural it is. Try a yoga or meditation class, head there during Pride or Outside Lands music festival, and see some live music. It’s the perfect place to jump off from or end up in when on a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway too!
15. Sun Valley, Idaho
Book your stay in Maui here, or check this adorable cottage out!
As a solo traveler, you’ll get lots of solitude in the Alabama Hills and the other deserts on my California deserts road trip, which I personally loved. This is one of the beautiful things about traveling in this part of the world – all the wide open spaces and the spiritual vibe. Plus, you can’t beat the stargazing or the sunsets!
“I call Minneapolis the Stockholm of the Midwest. It’s filled with Swedish-Americans, gets very cold in winter (colder than Stockholm, actually), and has many opportunities to enjoy the fine arts.