Traveling with a group is generally cheaper because you can get group rates for lodging or divide the cost of food and transportation. But then, there is something liberating and empowering about traveling alone. You get utmost privacy, you can explore places at your own pace, and you’re the boss. The great news is you don’t need wads of cash to enjoy a solo holiday.
The United States boasts a wide range of fantastic destinations that offer plenty of fun and relaxing activities at affordable prices. Here are cheap solo vacations in the USA that are surprisingly stunning and unforgettable.
1. Portland, Oregon
Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or a nature lover, you’ll find fascinating things to do in The Rose City without draining your wallet. Portland offers many affordable or no-charge attractions and holds cost-free events and festivals year-round, making it a perfect destination for cheap solo vacations in USA. Enjoy the city’s quirky food scene in an underground donut tour or experience its diversity in a biking excursion. Head to the Columbia River Gorge, famous for its incredible views, hiking trails, and over 90 waterfalls.
Budget at least $136 per day for your holiday in Portland, including $35 on food and $20 on transportation. The average hotel rate for singles is $76/night, but you can find an Airbnb for $38/night.
2. Charleston, South Carolina
Evocative of old-world charm, Charleston is home to exquisite architecture, breathtaking beaches, lush parks, and cobbled districts lined with antebellum houses. Hit Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island for fun in the sun. Or go to the secluded Botany Bay for its pristine beauty. Enjoy the views at Battery Park and Point Gardens, hunt for souvenirs at Charleston City Market, and take a complimentary trip to the Charleston Tea Plantation. If you love sightseeing, book a free walking tour of the city.
You can find hostels for $35/night and Airbnb rentals for $55/night in Charleston. Meals at a casual restaurant cost around $20-$30 per day, while local transportation is $22.
3. San Antonio, Texas
If you’re seeking fab but cheap solo vacations in USA, San Antonio might tick all the boxes. It has everything you could ask for – superb food scene, historical landmarks, stunning parks. Enjoy a stroll down the River Walk, a strip that stretches along the San Antonio River, lined with restaurants, open-air cafés, boutiques and live entertainment. Check out the Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, Brackenridge Park, and the UNESCO-listed San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which are all free to visit.
You can spend as little as $85 daily in San Antonio, budgeting around $25-$45 on meals for one day and $3-$16 on transportation. You can also find Airbnb rentals for $65/night and guesthouses for $58/night.
4. Raleigh, North Carolina
As one of the most inexpensive places to live in the country, Raleigh also offers cheap solo vacations in USA. The city’s natural wonders are among its top popular attractions. Unwind at the Pullen Park, kayak on the Neuse River, or trek in the Triangle Region. Visit the North Carolina Museum of History and the Museum of Natural Science. Don’t forget to wander around downtown Raleigh, with its collection of trendy cafés, lively bars, local breweries, and art galleries.
Meals at a mid-range restaurant cost around $25-$45 a day, while transportation is $20-$30. The average price of hotel accommodations for one person is $80/night. You can also find vacation rentals for only $55/night.
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
You don’t need lots of money to have a great time in Albuquerque. Many of its attractions – scenic trails, art galleries, museums – are free to visit. These include the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, the Petroglyph National Monument, the Sandia Man Cave, and the Open Space Visitor Center. Shell out a small fee to hike in the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park or access the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Visit in early October to witness the colorful hot air balloon festival.
You can find accommodations for $40-$65/night. Meals cost between $35-$40 per day. Public transportation is $3-$5 a day, while taxis and rideshares within the city cost approximately $30.
6. Nashville, Tennessee
There’s more to Nashville than live music and lively nightlife. The Music City is home to beautiful architecture, scenic green spaces, well-curated museums and hearty Southern cooking. Visit the Warner Park Nature Center, the Tennessee State Museum, and the iconic Music City Walk of Fame, then look for the intriguing and quirky murals in the Gulch, Germantown, and Jefferson Street. If your trip falls on the first Saturday of the month, you can see the works and exhibits of local and international artists in a free-admission art crawl.
Nashville has budget-friendly lodgings that cost around $40-$55/night. Spare $30-$40 per day for meals. You can get around on foot in downtown Nashville. But if you’re traveling away from the city center, budget $15-$20 for taxis or rideshares.
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sightseeing doesn’t have to be expensive when you’re visiting Philadelphia. Start your excursion at the Independence National Historical Park, home to the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall. Stroll along Elfreth’s Alley, follow the Philadelphia Distillery Trail, chill at Fairmont Park, and discover thousands of murals in a self-guided walking tour downtown. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the most-visited attractions in the city. But if you can’t swing the $25 admission fee, go there on the first Sunday of the month or on Friday evening and pay whatever amount you want.
The average hotel accommodation for one person is $95/night. You can find cheaper lodgings at a hostel or guesthouse for $30-$70/night. Prepare $20-$40 per day for meals. To see as much of the city without overspending, book a PhillyPHLASH one-day pass for $5.
8. Savannah, Georgia
Oozing with Southern charm, Savannah is a must-see destination for any budget-conscious traveler looking for cheap solo vacations in USA. This old coastal city is chockful of magnificent architecture, scenic public squares, and historic homes that mostly don’t cost anything to see. The 30-acre Forsyth Park, the buzzing River Street, the hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery, and the dramatic Wormsloe Historic Site, with its avenue of Spanish moss-covered oak trees, are among the top places to see in Savannah. If you have extra time, make a beeline to Tybee Island for a relaxing day at the beach.
The cheapest time to visit Savannah is from mid to late September. The average hotel rate is $95-$145/night, but you can find inns for as low as $40/night. Budget $52-$96 per day for meals, transportation and sightseeing.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
From art to jazz to great food, New Orleans is easily one of the liveliest cities in the US. Best of all, you can enjoy its activities and attractions for less than $100 a day. Watch live entertainment at the French Quarter, tour the Garden District, and explore the century-old New Orleans Museum of Art. Walk along the Mississippi Riverside or ride the ferry to Algiers Point for an idyllic stroll in a historic neighborhood.
10. Daytona, Florida
With over 23 miles of sandy coastline, Daytona is perfect for beach lovers, especially those considering cheap solo vacations in the USA. Daytona teems with free-to-visit parks, including the North Peninsula State Park, Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens, and Bulow Creek State Park. Visit the Southeast Museum of Photography, stroll down the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, and go on a tour of the Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory.
Budget and mid-range accommodations cost between $55-$120 per night. Prepare $20-$40 per day for meals and $15 for public transportation.