The United States is a stunningly diverse country with extensively varied landscapes, cultures, experiences and sights. And with so much to offer, it is one of the top destinations for solo female travel. Cosmopolitan cities, sleepy towns, windswept deserts, frozen glaciers, tropical beaches and national parks – your destination options are essentially endless. The catch is you would be hard-pressed to pick where to start exploring. No need to fuss about spending hours looking for places to travel alone in the US for female globetrotters. To help you plan your next adventure, here are 13 fabulous destinations in the US that you can explore on your own.
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
The city is a tropical oasis that combines nature with urban and cultural treasures. If you’re seeking the best places to travel alone in the US for female travelers, Honolulu should be one your list. Along with white-sand beaches, dense jungles, and dramatic sunsets, are award-winning restaurants, designer boutiques, seaside bars, and exciting nightlife.
Honolulu is home to a bustling Chinatown, the lavish Iolani Palace, and the somber Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Located on the south shore of the city is Waikiki, where soaring skyscrapers and glitzy resorts contrast beautifully with sweeping beaches. There are plenty of outdoor adventures here, including snorkeling, kayaking, biking, hiking, diving, sailing, and surfing. Honolulu also has various dining options that range from fancy restaurants to food trucks to farmers markets. Between late December and early April, you’ll witness surfers and surf fans flock to the North Shore to catch the waves or watch competitions.
2. New York City
Culturally diverse and historically rich, New York City was named the top destination in the US for solo travelers by Forbes. And it’s easy to see why. There is a gazillion of fantastic activities you can do on your own in the Big Apple, whatever your interests.
If art and history fascinate you, there’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. Catch a performance on Broadway, enjoy a Shakespearean play in Central Park, or hear live music at a jazz club. Eat solo at a trendy brasserie in Soho, have a hearty slice of pizza at a pizzeria in Brooklyn, or book a food tour around Queens for the best international cuisines. Go on a scenic cruise around Manhattan, visit Staten Island by ferry, stroll down Brooklyn Heights, window shop on 5th Avenue, or people watch at Times Square. After a long active day, get pampered at one of NYC’s luxurious spas.
3. Washington D.C.
The country’s capital often tops the list of the top places to travel alone in the US female art and history lovers. Discover breathtaking architecture and impressive exhibits as you explore the many museums and monuments at the National Mall. It is not a shopping mall but a landscaped park that houses the Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Freer Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It is also home to the Smithsonian Castle, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. To the north of the park, you will find the White House and the domed Capitol at the eastern end.
But there’s more to Washington DC than landmarks. Head to the charming neighborhood of Georgetown and stroll its cobblestone streets lined with Federal-style architecture, restaurants, bars, and shops. Meander to the waterfront park, down the riverside promenade for incredible views of the Potomac River. Don’t miss the chance to visit a speakeasy, a retro-style bar that mimics the illicit taverns selling alcoholic drinks during the Prohibition Era in the US in the 1920s.
4. Savannah, Georgia
This delightfully quaint and historic city is a bucket list destination for solo travelers seeking to experience authentic Southern charm. Known for its lush tree-lined squares, hearty cuisine, and antebellum architecture, Savannah is safe and easy to get around.
A tour on the hop-on-hop-off trolley will show you Savannah’s main attractions. Do you prefer a DIY stroll? Start at the Historic District, home to manicured gardens, cobblestone streets with rows of alfresco cafés and gourmet restaurants, and 22 squares full of churches, museums, mansions, forts, and monuments. Enjoy the sights in Forsyth Park, with its elaborate water fountain and ancient oaks laden with silvery Spanish moss. Just outside of the district lies Bonaventure Cemetery, a Victorian burial ground that’s surprisingly scenic and fittingly serene. If you’re feeling brave, book a ghost tour and learn about Savannah’s history and supernatural activity. End your day with a walk along River Street, where you’ll find a line of cotton warehouses converted into pubs, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants serving the best Southern cuisine. Don’t leave until you sample decadent homemade ice cream at Leopold’s.
5. Miami, Florida
Located in southwestern Florida, Miami is a sprawling coastal metropolis and rightfully one of the sunniest places to travel alone in the US for female beach lovers. The city teems with fun group tours, but it also has activities that are particularly fitting for solo travelers.
Visit the Pérez Art Museum, which houses international exhibits from 20th and 21st centuries. For a different kind of art experience, stroll around the Wynwood neighborhood to admire the colorful wall murals. Book a cruise along the spectacular Biscayne Bay, soaking up incredible sights such as city skyline, Miami Beach, the Port of Miami, Fisher Island and the upscale Millionaire’s Row. Relish a relaxing morning at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, then do a walking tour of Little Havana. While there, indulge in various Cuban dishes on a food trip. Speaking of food, don’t miss sampling one or two uniquely-flavored donuts from the famous The Salty Donut in South Miami. Spend the night learning to dance salsa or bachata at a nightclub in South Beach.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has a rep for being a party destination, more suited for big groups or couples on a romantic getaway. But did you know that The Big Easy is one of the best places to travel alone in the US for female travelers? The city is an excellent destination for hanging out, listening to live jazz on the street, eating superb Creole and Cajun dishes, and drinking lots of coffee paired with lots of beignets!
Indulge in retail therapy at the French Quarter, home to vintage clothing boutiques, quirky bookstores, art markets, and voodoo shops. Consider booking a guided tour to see as much of the city. There are water tours on the local swamps to the Mississippi River. Book cocktail and food tours with history lessons about the local gastronomic scene. City tours showcase Spanish and French architecture in the old district, while ghost tours take you through graveyards and haunted houses. Lastly, have a tarot card reader tell your fortune because it’s something you do in NOLA.
7. San Francisco, California
Thoroughly urban but amazingly green, San Francisco constantly tops the list of the best places to travel alone in US for female culture lovers. It can be pricey, but it is safe, easy to navigate, and chockful of activities for solo travelers. And yes, there’s more to San Francisco than the Golden Gate Bridge.
Get lost in its fabulous neighborhoods, the colorful Chinatown, the hippie Haight-Ashbury, and the posh Union Square. For a taste of history, go on a tour to Alcatraz Island and climb up the 210-foot Coit Tower for the best 360 views of San Francisco. Head to Ghirardelli Square for chocolates or to the Mission District for Mexican food. Take a selfie with the Painted Ladies, a row of pastel-colored Victorian and Edwardian structures, as your backdrop. Admire the architecture of the Palace of Fine Arts, wander around the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and ride the cable car on the Powell-Hyde line.
8. Seattle, Washington
The Emerald City is a fabulous destination, full of soaring high rises, spectacular views, outdoor adventures, and well-curated museums. Add to these a rich coffee culture and phenomenal food scene, and you have one of the liveliest places to travel alone in the US for female outdoor and art enthusiasts.
Seattle is a foodie haven, offering a wide variety of local and international cuisine. It also has plenty of dining venues with communal-style seating where you can meet new people. Walk around Pike Place Market, go up the 605-foot-tall Space Needle, visit the Museum of Pop Culture, and admire the masterpieces at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Escape the bustling city and take a ferry to Bainbridge Island to explore Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre forest garden and botanical park. Head out to the Olympic National Park, about 90 minutes by boat from Seattle.
9. San Diego, California
Sunny San Diego, with its beaches, laidback vibes, and impressive food scene, wins the hearts of many lone travelers. But not only is San Diego stunning. It’s also one of the safest places to travel alone in US for females.
Love meeting other people while on an adventure? Participate in a group kayaking tour along San Diego’s coastline. Are you visiting between mid-December to late April? You can go on a whale-watching tour. Be sure to explore its parks, Balboa and Belmont. Hit its beaches, La Jolla, Mission, Ocean, and Pacific. For a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding areas, hike to the peak of Cowles Mountain. Want to experience San Diego’s nightlife? Join a pub crawl of the trendiest hot spots in the downtown neighborhood of Gaslamp Quarter. For something more unique, ride the Ghost Bus around the Old Town and learn about San Diego’s (haunted) history on a ghost tour.
10. Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City is known for its rich history, avant-garde arts, diverse culture, and outstanding architecture. In addition to its many attractions, Chicago is easy to get around, both by foot and public transport. These and many more make the city one of the best places to travel alone in US for females.
Try Skydeck Chicago and see incredible city views from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. If you prefer to witness the city’s stunning skyline from the water, get on an architecture cruise down the Chicago River. Drop by the Museum Campus, a 57-acre park that houses famous attractions such as the Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. For more art, visit the Art Institute of Chicago. Check out Grant Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Millennium Park, where you’ll find the iconic sculpture, the Cloud Gate, also known as the Bean. Are you looking for a food tour? Chicago has all sorts, from donut tours to pizza tours to classic food tours and even a bite, bite and brews tour.
11. Las Vegas
There’s a reason Las Vegas keeps popping in lists for best places to travel alone in US for females. Despite its size and glittering notoriety, Las Vegas is safe for solo travelers. And it’s spectacular.
Hit the iconic neon-stroked Strip, where you’ll find casinos, restaurants, performance venues, the Fountains of Bellagio, and the High Roller. You don’t have to gamble to enjoy the city; catch a show such as Cirque du Soleil. Head to downtown Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience, which features a light show and live music. For a bit of adrenaline rush, try the SlotZilla Zipline or, for something more relaxing, get on the High Roller, a 550-foot Ferris wheel. Daytrips to attractions outside Las Vegas are common. To escape the city, join a group tour to the Grand Canyon for a total change of scenery.
12. Portland, Oregon
Portland is not only one of the best places to travel alone in US for females. It’s also ideal for first-time solo travelers, especially if you love food. The city is a gastronomic mecca, thanks to its remarkable food truck scene, locally called food carts. You can even enroll in a cooking class at the Portland Cookshop.
Food aside, Portland has an incredibly stunning landscape and natural beauty. Relax at the Japanese Garden at Washington Park. Stroll down the tree-lined paths of the Hoyt Arboretum, or make a beeline for the Multnomah Falls, about 30 minutes away from Portland. Within the city, visit the Portland Art Museum, book a walking tour around the old downtown, or explore the attractions on a bike.
13. Austin, Texas
It’s impossible to get bored in Austin. Not only is there a plethora of things to do in this Texan capital. Austin is also one of the loveliest and friendliest places to travel alone in US for female adventure-seekers.
No trip to Austin is complete without seeing the State Capitol Building and standing on the Congress Bridge to watch the famous bats at sundown. Check out the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas State History Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. If you prefer something quirkier, try the Museum of the Weird. For your daily art fix, head to Baylor Street and spray paint on its mural wall. Then see the highlights of the city on a walking tour or a bike tour. Want to meet new friends while traveling solo? Join Austin’s Ladies’ Coffee and Brunch, where you can meet with other women through food and coffee.