Get us in your inbox

Kaitlyn Rosati - female solo travel - Dallas
Photograph: Kaitlyn Rosati for Time Out

The best destinations for female solo travel in the U.S.

See the country safely and in good company—your own—when you visit the best destinations for female solo travel in the U.S.

Kaitlyn Rosati
Written by
Kaitlyn Rosati

Solo female travel is on an all-time rise. Women are finally catching onto the concept that often, the best company is our own. If you’re sick of arguing over where to get dinner, whether you should go hiking or lounge by the pool, or simply needing to use the restroom when your travel partner is in there with the door locked, perhaps it’s time you book a trip, party of one.

Solo traveling in the United States can be just as, if not more, rewarding as traveling to far-flung destinations. Plus, the convenience of not having to bring outlet adapters, knowing local emergency numbers, and having cell service and data makes solo traveling feel more at ease, especially for newcomers. Solo female travel is possible anywhere in the world, from Singapore to South Dakota, but if you’re looking for a domestic getaway, here’s where to go.

RECOMMENDED: The best cities for singles in the USA

Best places for female solo travel in the U.S.

Grand Rapids, MI
Photograph: Shutterstock/Suzanne Tucker

1. Grand Rapids, MI

The Midwest is frequently overlooked for the fast-paced East Coast, palm tree and mountain-lined West Coast, or the sunny South, but Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a colorful city ideal for women traveling alone. There are plenty of women-owned businesses to support the local ladies of Grand Rapids during your stay. For a buzz in the morning, head to Last Mile Café, a Black- and woman-owned shop, and for a buzz at night in what’s been named Beer City USA, head to Brewery Vivant, set in an old funeral home.

Perfect for: beer and art lovers

Honolulu, HI
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Honolulu, HI

Before I took my first international solo trip, I dipped my toes in solo travel by dipping them in the warm waters of Waikiki Beach. Taking my first solo trip to one of the most cliche honeymoon destinations in the U.S. felt equal parts rebellious and romantic. I sat at the bar at Waikiki Brewing Company and made friends with strangers. On my way back from snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, I took myself to Rainbow Drive-In for a proper Hawaiian lunch plate. I hiked Diamond Head, trekked through Manoa Falls, and on my last day there, I sat in the sand with a lilikoi in hand while I watched young local kids do backflips into the Pacific, officially falling in love with the tranquility that comes with solo traveling.

Perfect for: a tranquil escape

New York, NY
Photograph: Kaitlyn Rosati for Time Out

3. New York, NY

I’ve planned many trips solely around food, and if you want to do the same, look no further than the culinary mecca of the USA: New York. A solo trip to New York City is a love letter to oneself; take yourself out on the town. For a classic New York steakhouse experience, grab a seat at Strip House, where every meal should be legally required to end with their decadent 24-layer chocolate cake. For a brunch that feels like an international solo trip, head to La Nacional, located beneath the Spanish Benevolent Society. And no trip to New York City is complete without some ‘za; for some of the best in the city, head to woman-owned Don Antonio, which is conveniently located a stone’s throw away from Times Square. Speaking of Times Square, stay at The Algonquin Hotel, and if your solo trip starts to feel a little lonely, hang with their resident cat, Hamlet.

Perfect for: foodies

Dallas, TX
Photograph: Kaitlyn Rosati for Time Out

4. Dallas, TX

As women in the United States, Texas is often one of the last places we call a safe haven. But it’s crucial to remember that the people living in places whose policies we don’t agree with aren’t always fairly represented by those who govern them. Dallas is a prime example. I traveled to Dallas alone in 2023 and ended up having the time of my life. I frolicked through the 500,000 spring tulips at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, drank my way through Margarita Mile, and ate tender brisket at Terry Black’s BBQ. If you have reservations about going to Texas, flip the script by putting your money where your mouth is, and catch a drag show at The Rose Room to support communities affected by recent state changes.

Perfect for: a plain ol' good time

Hot Springs, AR
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Hot Springs

5. Hot Springs, AR

Out of all the places I’ve looked for a relaxing oasis, Arkansas was not where I expected to find it, but it turns out you don’t need a flight to Budapest or Helsinki to enjoy some good ol’ thermal baths. Pumping out nearly one million gallons of water daily, the natural hot springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas, produce H2O at an average temperature of 143 degrees Fahrenheit. Native American tribes deemed Hot Springs “the Valley of the Vapors,” and in 1832, President Andrew Jackson made Hot Springs a federal reservation. To best enjoy the town’s natural thermal waters, head to Bathhouse Row and check out Quapaw Baths & Spa, or simply take advantage of one of the many water fountains around Hot Springs National Park to stay hydrated.

Perfect for: wellness junkies

Alamogordo, NM
Photograph: Kaitlyn Rosati for Time Out

6. Alamogordo, NM

In 2021, I drove cross-country with my dog, Bowie. Alamogordo was wildly out of the way for my planned route, but I wanted to see White Sands National Park, so I took the detour, hoping the additional hours in the car would be worth it. While White Sands National Park is what drew me to Alamogordo, it surprisingly became an afterthought compared to what else the town had in store. I learned the southern New Mexico town is well known for its wine production, and I spent the afternoon at Heart of the Desert, where I tried New Mexican wines along with locally harvested pistachios. I also stopped at several antique shops, and in theme with Alamogordo being an underrated wine destination, I bought a wine rack that looks like a bicycle.

Perfect for: wine lovers

Anchorage, AK
Photograph: Courtesy Exodus Adventure Travels/Cheryl Ramalho

7. Anchorage, AK

Traveling solo doesn’t always mean being entirely alone, and both cruises and group trips are surefire ways to meet people. Plus, both options mean you don’t have to go through the hassle of planning an itinerary. Cruises, in particular, have recently seen a large influx in solo passenger bookings, and while many associate cruises with a tropical vacation, swap the bikini for a parka and head to Anchorage, Alaska, instead. Anchorage is the USA’s dupe for Iceland; you can expect to see glaciers, chase northern lights, go dog-sledding, and even go for solo late-night walks in the midnight sun. Princess Cruises offers routes to Anchorage with prices starting at only $398. If you’re not into big boats, tour company Exodus Adventure Travels offers a 10-day Alaska Wildlife & Wilderness trip with several opportunities to spot Alaska’s Big 5: bear, moose, Dall sheep, wolf and caribou.

Perfect for: making new friends

Chicago, IL
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Chicago, IL

For a colorful city with walkable streets, museums for days, quality regional food, and endless entertainment, Chicago simply has it all. For an ideal Chicago Day, start your morning off at Millennium Park, where you can snap a shot with The Bean (pro tip: it gets crowded, so get here bright and early). The Art Institute of Chicago is just a five-minute walk away, but for another compelling museum, head to the Museum of Science and Industry. Try the famous Chicago pizza at Gino’s East and a Chicago-style hotdog at Chicago’s Dog House. At night, catch an improv show at The Second City. Finish with a nightcap at Pops for Champagne for an unforgettable day of enjoying your own company.

Perfect for: a quick city break

Gulf Shores, AL
Photograph: Shutterstock/Pugalenthi Iniabarathi

9. Gulf Shores, AL

The cliché images that come to mind for those who have never been to Alabama might be small rural towns and hefty portions of barbecue, but its best-kept secret is that the state is home to one of the country’s top beaches. For the ladies looking for a pristine beach in an underrated destination, Gulf Shores has 32 miles of white sand, and with its location being directly on the coast of Mexico, you can experience the same iconic turquoise waters of the Caribbean without whipping out your passport. Rent a bike from Gulf Shores Bike Rental, hit the boardwalk and enjoy an off-the-beaten-path beach getaway.

Perfect for: a beach weekend 

Elkhart Lake, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Elkhart Lake Tourism

10. Elkhart Lake, WI

If it’s strictly your own company that you crave, sans distraction, solo travel is a pretty easy way to achieve that goal. Skip the big cities and head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where solitude is easy with a population of less than 1,000. Nature lovers will particularly thrive here; head to Kettle Moraine State Forest to wander around the 22,000 acres of trees, glacial hills, and kettle lakes. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is within the forest, where you can enjoy a peaceful, easy hike. Elkhart Lake is the perfect respite for those dreamy log cabin vibes. Grab a book, make a fire, and stock up at Vintage Elkhart Lake for wine and Henning's Wisconsin Cheese for cheese.

Perfect for: the great outdoors 

    You may also like
    You may also like