The 8 Best Places to Travel Alone in the U.S.
There’s a distinct thrill to traveling alone. Boarding a plane or arriving in a city completely on your own bestows you with a certain sense of anonymity and freedom that is usually followed by a deeper sense of who you are, as all solo travelers know. Traveling solo can also break you out of your comfort zone, boost your self-confidence, and give you a deeper sense of independence.
Thinking about taking a solo trip? This guide details tips for solo travelers along with the best places to travel alone in the U.S., including:
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- San Diego, California
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Key West, Florida
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Washington, D.C.
- San Francisco, California
- New York City, New York
Let’s get started!
Tips for solo travelers
Before you embark on your next adventure, it’s important to know what qualities make any given city one of the best places to travel solo. Some of the aspects that make a place a top destination for solo travelers include:
- Fun things to do solo
- Options for meeting other travelers
- Safe and comfortable lodging (fully furnished, if you plan to stay awhile!)
- Transportation options
Taking each of these factors, and more, into consideration, here are some of the best places to travel alone in the U.S.
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans welcomes nearly 20 million visitors every year, and the residents know how to treat outsiders well—especially those traveling solo. The city is known for its hospitality and friendliness to those just passing through, which can set any solo traveler at ease.
But that’s not all. Here are just some of the reasons why New Orleans is one of the best places for solo travel:
- The nightlife: From the glitzy clubs and bawdy blues joints of the French Quarter to glamorous hotel bars and low-key local meetups in practically every neighborhood, you’ll never want for somewhere to go on a night out.
- Things to do: There’s always an activity to add to your itinerary in New Orleans, from the New Orleans Museum of Art to the National WWII Museum—and all the haunted houses, plantation tours, zoos, and public parks in between. The city is also rich in amazing shopping, fantastic restaurants, and a world-famous annual festival or two. (Mardi Gras, anyone?)
- Accessibility: Although most people in New Orleans have cars, you can get around to many places without one. The streetcar system is convenient and fun, and there’s a bus system as well.
New Orleans enjoys fairly decent weather most of the year, too. That said, it gets very hot and humid in the summertime. And late summer through early fall is hurricane season, so keep that in mind as well when making your solo travel plans.
2. San Diego, California
San Diego is a fun, interesting city that combines a laid-back Southern California vibe with big-city amenities like a vibrant nightlife, thriving art scene, and varied cultural options. It’s a great place to be solo because there’s so much to do, including:
- The nightlife: You can find everything from sports bars to nightclubs in San Diego’s lively Gaslamp Quarter, the heart of the city’s nightlife scene.
- Things to do: The San Diego Zoo might be the city’s most famous attraction, but there’s plenty else to add to your solo travel itinerary, like snorkeling at nearby La Jolla Cove or wandering the immaculately landscaped gardens of Balboa Parks. And between invigorating public lectures at UC San Diego and world-class exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Art, you’re sure to get your fill of cultural attractions.
- Accessibility: You’ll need a car if you want to experience all that this destination has to offer. That said, San prides itself on its network of individual neighborhoods, most of which are walkable. Options for public transportation include the trolleys and buses of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas might have a reputation as the go-to destination for boys’ trips, bachelorette parties, and last-minute elopements, but it’s also increasingly popular on lists of places to travel solo. Here’s why:
- The nightlife: It should go without saying that Vegas lacks nothing when it comes to nightlife. Vegas offers shows, spectaculars, and revues of all kinds, as well as world-class bars, nightclubs, and, of course, some of the world’s most famous casinos.
- Things to do: The biggest stars in the world appear regularly in the city’s glittering theaters and venues. You can learn all about some of history’s baddest gangsters at the Mob Museum. And solo nature lovers will appreciate the options for outdoor recreation available at the nearby Red Rock Canyon. Want to venture a little further? Check out nearby National Parks such as Death Valley National Park, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Accessibility: Las Vegas is a very pedestrian-friendly city. The Strip is extremely walkable, and most of the adjacent attractions are easy to get to on foot. That said, if you want to travel outside the city, you’ll need a car.
4. Key West, Florida
Key West is a tropical paradise, and one of the best vacations solo travelers can take. Aside from the sandy beaches and serene Florida waters, Key West offers travelers with quirky, eccentric, and fun attractions, such as:
- The nightlife: Key West is well-known for its unique nightlife scene. Check out the famous Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square before stopping into the Aqua Bar and Nightclub for cool drinks, DJs, and dancing.
- Things to do: Key West is the heart of the Florida Keys, which means there’s no shortage of solo beach fun to get into. But you can also tour its famous cemetery, visit the homes of icons like Ernest Hemingway and Harry Truman, and go shopping on Duval Street.
- Accessibility: At only about four miles long and one mile wide, Key West is a fairly small island. That means you can get by just fine without a car.
Things can get pretty crowded in Key West during the wintertime. To that end, early spring between March and May is the best time to enjoy the seasonable temperatures without the crowds.
5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
For such a small city, Santa Fe has a lot to offer the solo traveler. Its options for art lovers, history buffs, and people who love the outdoors earn it a spot on this list. A solo trip to Sante Fe will have you exploring the city in its entirety, including:
- The nightlife: The nightlife in Santa Fe is mostly characterized by the city’s live music scene. From regional country-western and Latin music to jazz, rock, and reggae, you can listen (and dance!) to it all.
- Things to do: The Plaza downtown offers a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as live outdoor music. You can also peruse the unique art galleries located on Canyon Road. Plus, biking, hiking, hot springs, and other outdoor adventures are all readily available just outside of the city—and are the perfect getaway for solo travel.
- Accessibility: Downtown Santa Fe is perfectly walkable, but a car is necessary if you want to venture outside of the city.
If you’re thinking of Santa Fe as a warm, southwestern solo getaway for the winter months, think again. It can get pretty cold in Santa Fe, even on summer nights, so pack a puffy jacket or two and a warm pair of socks.
6. Washington, D.C.
If you haven’t been to Washington, D.C. since your class went in the seventh grade, then you’re missing out on all the things this great place has to offer, such as:
- The nightlife: D.C. might be the center of law and order, but that doesn’t mean the town doesn’t know how to have a good time. Travelers will love gazing upon the city’s historic landmarks from one of its many rooftops bars, then dancing at Decades or another of the city’s multi-story nightclubs.
- Things to do: There are hundreds of things to add to your itinerary during a visit to the nation’s capital during a solo trip. Explore all the city’s landmarks, museums, and other historical points of interest, and check back if you still have time. D.C. is also a mecca of amazing international cuisine—from Ethiopian staples at Ethiopic to Afghan kabobs and stews at Bistro Aracosia.
- Accessibility: A car can be more hassle than it’s worth in D.C., which is notorious for heavy traffic. Unless you have diplomatic plates, you’re better off taking the subway or other public transport.
7. San Francisco, California
The Golden City has always been a beacon for solo travelers, and it’s still a sought-after destination to this day. It’s a bustling, diverse city that offers scenic oceans and mountain views, world-class architecture, and some of the best seafood you can buy. Plus, it offers travelers:
- The nightlife: Thanks to its many unique neighborhoods, San Francisco has a diverse nightlife scene. You can party in the Mission District, sample the alternative flavors of the Haight, or catch live music and karaoke in Duboce Triangle.
- Things to do: From Chinatown to Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, there’s plenty to get into in San Francisco. If you’d like to avoid the tourist attractions, you can wander Golden Gate Park or grab a cup of joe to go at Mazarine Coffee while you trek to the Asian Art Museum or Museum of Craft and Design. Want to get out of the city? There are tons of National Parks and outdoor attractions within driving distance, including Yosemite National Park, Mur Woods National Monument, and Big Sur.
- Accessibility: You don’t need a car for solo travel in San Francisco. The city is very walkable, and don’t forget about its iconic cable cars. Use the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Trip Planner to see where you can pick up a trolley. There are also visitor passes available to make your trips hassle-free. If you want to venture outside of the city but don’t have a car, there are plenty of group tours that offer access to Muir Woods, Sausalito, Napa, and Sonoma.
8. New York City, New York
Carrie Bradshaw once said, “You’re never alone in New York. The city is your date.” That’s why no list of solo traveling destinations would be complete without New York City, which offers travelers:
- The nightlife: No matter where you are in the city, there’s a late-night destination that’s right up your alley. This is New York we’re talking about. Stick in Manhattan for a hole-in-the-wall late-night experience at The Maze, or venture across the Brooklyn Bridge for a performance-fueled night at the House of Yes.
- Things to do: Again, this is New York. That means there are virtually unlimited options for incredible restaurants, shopping, live theater and music, movies, plus some of the best public parks in the world. Spend your day strolling through Central Park or attend an Off-Broadway performance front-row.
- Accessibility: Between the subways, buses, and taxi cabs, you’ll rarely need a car in New York City to get to your destination.
Make solo travel easy by living with Landing
Still not convinced you should try being a solo traveler? One of the best things about traveling alone is that you’re in complete control of where you go and when. Wouldn’t it be great if, when you got there, a ready-to-live apartment was waiting for you?
With Landing, it is. Our network includes premium, fully furnished apartments in each of these solo-friendly cities, plus hundreds more. With short-term leases and easy in-network transfers, we’re the perfect living solution for when it’s just you and your will to roam.