9 Best Places to Solo Travel in the US in 2024

If you’re still iffy about going across the pond, fear not. We have a list of the best places to solo travel in the US, perfect for building that wanderlust momentum.

Man exploring the best places to solo travel in the US

2024 saw solo travelers increasingly drawn to the familiar yet expansive landscapes of their own country, with 41% opting for domestic escapades as their first solo venture. This surge in exploring the US from coast to coast highlights a deep-seated desire for adventure and self-discovery within the comfort of familiar borders. 

From the silent majesty of national parks to the vibrant energy of city streets, the journey to find the best places to solo travel in the US becomes a deeper exploration of both place and self. 

Let’s embark on a path less trodden, where every destination promises a story waiting to unfold.

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Elevated Escape

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is acclaimed as the highest capital city in the United States at an elevation of 7,199 feet. It also emerges as an essential destination for solo travel in the USA this year, capturing the heart of solo travelers with its confluence of art, culture, and unspoiled natural beauty. The city’s vibrant art scene, exemplified by its myriad galleries and installations, only complements its historic adobe architecture and panoramic mountain vistas, making vacations here tranquil yet insightful. 

Meander through Santa Fe Plaza, delve into the hidden treasures of Canyon Road, or soak in the tranquil beauty of the desert landscape. Once you’re ready to call it a day, this renovated loft, situated conveniently near Santa Fe Plaza, provides an intimate and cozy retreat, while also solidifying Santa Fe’s position among the best places to solo travel in the US for those seeking rest, art, or nature.

2. San Luis Obispo, California: A Quirky Gem

San Luis Obispo, nestled halfway between the bustle of Los Angeles and San Francisco, is popular for its Bubblegum Alley. A few may find it gross – while most, endearingly quirky that there is such a unique attraction where visitors can freely stick chewed gum to the walls of an alleyway. However you may feel about it, there is no denying that San Luis Obispo’s laid-back atmosphere, amicable locals, and picturesque natural surroundings make it a sanctuary for solo travel in the USA. 

The city’s downtown area also pulsates with life, offering a myriad of dining, shopping, and cultural experiences, while the surrounding landscapes beckon the adventurous spirit for hiking and exploration. Needless to say, San Luis Obispo truly embodies the essence of Californian charm and eccentricity, making it a cherished stop for those embarking on solo trips in the USA to seek adventure and whimsical discovery.

3. Saratoga Springs, New York: History and Harmony

In Saratoga Springs, the past and present blend seamlessly. The region offers solo travelers a rich tapestry of experiences that solidify its status as one of the best places to solo travel in the US. The city serves as home to the historic Saratoga Race Course, which invites visitors to partake in the excitement of prestigious horse racing events. But beyond the race track, Saratoga Springs unfurls a lush panorama of parks, a lively arts scene, and rejuvenating mineral springs.

As if those aren’t enough for the perfect R&R, you can also find spectacular rentals here, like the Springwater B&B, which mirror the city’s elegance, charm, and hospitality. With its harmonious combination of cultural attractions, historical significance, and natural beauty, Saratoga Springs promises a serene yet stimulating getaway for solo explorers.

4. Waco, Texas: Soda and Storytelling

Despite having a scar on its history, Wace, Texas, has shown it has recovered from the past and is ready to welcome solo travelers to its beautiful city. The Dr. Pepper Museum stands as a monument to innovation, tracing the origins of an iconic soda brand back to its roots in 1885. But Waco’s appeal extends far beyond its fizzy fame, presenting a mosaic of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that captivate solo travelers. The city invites exploration of its vibrant community, scenic waterways like the Brazos River, and landmarks such as the Waco Mammoth National Monument, each adding layers to the traveler’s experience. 

Waco’s blend of educational sites and outdoor adventures undoubtedly offers a unique flavor to your solo travel USA itinerary, making it a standout choice if you’re seeking a mix of learning and leisure on your next holiday.

Santa Fe, one of the best places to solo travel in the US

5. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California: Storybook Charm

Carmel-by-the-Sea enchants with its storybook charm— a small beach town where whimsical cottages and fairytale landscapes are the norm rather than the exception. This artistic sanctuary is quite creative too, what with its unconventional address system that is based on landmarks rather than traditional street addresses. 

Strolling through its streets, visitors are transported into a world of artistic expression, serene beaches, and lush, hidden valleys. The town’s plethora of galleries, boutiques, and quaint cafés likewise offer endless opportunities for leisure and exploration. Plus, homebases like the Mid Carmel Valley Guest Cottage provide proximity to attractions, nature areas, and more inspiring adventures. 

An Idyllic destination full of whimsical charm, Carmel-by-the-Sea is definitively one the best places to solo travel in the US if you need solitude to fuel your creativity.

6. Portland, Maine: The Lighthouse of Creativity

Portland, Maine is not only known for its iconic lighthouses and maritime history, but also for how it houses the International Cryptozoology Museum. It’s quite perfect for solo travelers intrigued by the mysterious and the unknown, if you ask us. Here, you’ll find an eclectic mix of attractions— from exploring the cobblestone streets of its vibrant Old Port district and tasting fresh seafood at local wharves to learning about mythical creatures such as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. 

Owing such imaginative offerings to Portland’s thriving arts scene and its reputation for culinary excellence, Maine further solidifies its status as one of the best places to solo travel in the US, especially for those looking to indulge their senses and spark their imagination.

7. Naples, Florida: A Canvas of Sunsets and Art

Naples— with its title as the #1 Small Art Town in America, is another worthy sanctuary for art lovers and solo travelers alike. This coastal paradise balances out Florida’s rep for water sports with its over 100 art galleries, offering a diverse array of artistic expressions set against the backdrop of breathtaking sunsets and pristine beaches. As for where to stay in Naples, this remodeled beachfront condo is only one among hundreds of excellent options. 

8. Seattle, Washington: The Coffee Capital’s Call

Seattle, Washington, might be celebrated as the birthplace of Grunge and Starbucks, but on a deeper perspective, it is not only a mecca for coffee lovers and indie trailblazers, but also a beacon for solo travelers drawn to the city’s innovative spirit and natural splendor. 

Beyond its thriving coffee culture, Seattle presents a nexus of tech, music, and art, with landmarks like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market offering immersive experiences. The city’s abundance of independent coffee shops provides not just a caffeine fix but a taste of local creativity and community. 

For those embarking on solo trips to the USA, Seattle’s combination of urban exploration and natural wonders, from Puget Sound to nearby Mount Rainier, makes it an unforgettable destination that brews the perfect blend of adventure, art, and relaxation.

9. Chicago, Illinois: Skyward Inspirations

Chicago is the city that introduced the world to skyscrapers and today wears its badge as one the best places to solo travel in the US with its architectural marvels. Visitors flock here for the gorgeous skyline, river cruises, and world-class museums like The Art Institute of Chicago. The city’s diverse neighborhoods draw tourists for how they offer a kaleidoscope of experiences— from the historic charm of the Gold Coast to the bustling energy of the Loop. 

Chicago’s status as a hub for the arts, gastronomy, and history, combined with its welcoming spirit, secures its place as a prime destination for solo adventurers looking to discover towering achievements and ground-level pleasures alike.

Long-exposure shot of the“Bean” sculpture in Chicago.

Explore the Best Places to Solo Travel in the US with This City Knows

From the elevated serenity of Santa Fe to the bustling streets of Chicago, our journey through the best places to solo travel in the US in 2024 reveals a tapestry of experiences that cater to every type of solo traveler. These destinations, all rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, affirm that traveling by yourself in the US is an unparalleled path to personal discovery and adventure.

With This City Knows, planning your solo travels becomes not just easier but a part of the adventure itself. We invite you to dive into the vast, vibrant landscapes of the US, from its whispering deserts to its roaring cities, and eventually find your own story within. 

Let This City Knows be your quiet companion to the US and wherever your wanderlust takes you.

Patty O.
Author: Patty O.

A city girl through and through, Patty has always planned her adventures in and around urban areas. Through her travel writing, she aims to make a compelling case for the global city as a place of endless discovery and satisfaction. Her goal is to detail how urban exploration can fulfill the desires of anyone and everyone, from cultural and culinary adventurers to historical and supernatural enthusiasts.

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