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Detroit, MI
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The best solo trips in the US

Ready to venture out on your own? Our selection of the best solo trips in the US are the perfect way to get started.

Written by
Tolly Wright
&
Shoshi Parks
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Traveling with others can be a blast, but sometimes you just want to experience a city on your own schedule. Whether on a day trip or a lengthier vacation, traveling solo combines much-needed alone time with a sense of discovery. If you are looking for some options for serious soul searching, a bit of history, or non-stop stimulation through food, activities, and entertainment, our selection of the best solo trips in the US have more than enough to keep little old you as busy as you want to be. Looking to do absolutely nothing at all? We've got that covered too.

Whatever your reason for heading out on your own, these destinations will make it easy to find your rhythm. If you're not quite ready to plunge into traveling on your own, heading out on a road trip with your best bud or taking a couples vacation with your special someone are equally amazing ways to see the US. We've laid out all the options so you can worry about what works best for you and you alone.

Best solo trips in the US

Formerly down-and-out Detroit has experienced quite the renaissance in recent years. Today, the city is a dynamic canvas for art, music, and thought. Hoof it around the Grand River Creative Corridor, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, and the so-called Guggenheim Ghetto to take in some incredible street art at your own pace, or head to landmarks of Tha D's Motown heritage like the Motown Museum (temporarily closed) and the homes of hitmakers Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin. When you've worked up an appetite, follow your nose for some Detroit-style pizza at Loui's or Polish dumplings at Pietrzyk Pierogi.

Let your love of music—and hearty Southern cooking—guide your trip through Nashville. For a toe-tapping good time, head to the Basement and possibly catch a “secret” show from a national headliner in an intimate setting. Before the music, fill up with some finger-licking good Tennessee pork shoulder at Jack’s Bar-B-Cue, where you’ll make friends while waiting in long lines (totally worth it), or test your limit for spicy food at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack or Hattie B’s.

Discover the best things to do in Nashville

 

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Marfa, TX
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3. Marfa, TX

Independent travelers with an artistic side need to visit Marfa, which has quickly become a top destination for artists of all kinds looking for a productive retreat. Miles away from any other city and hours from the nearest airport, this teeny-tiny small town (population: less than 2,000) in the desert boasts large-scale art installations, the Chinati Foundation art museum, and a historic army fort.

Discover the best things to do in Texas

While being alone in a city as densely populated as the Big Apple might seem lonely, we guarantee it’ll feel quite freeing in no time. Get in a New York state of mind while heading to the city’s fabulous museums (including MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art), gorgeous public spaces, and phenomenal performances on Broadway or at the Metropolitan Opera. Don’t forget to get a taste of the world-renowned Brooklyn food scene and never fear going to a restaurant or bar to dine solo—in New York, that’s standard fare.

Discover the best things to do in New York City

 

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Hiking boots are a must if you’re visiting Boulder. Skiers and snowboarders take over the city in the winter, and when the weather is good, visitors flock to Eldorado Canyon State Park, Flagstaff Mountain, Chautauqua Park, and the Flatirons. While in town, visit Pearl Street Mall for some excellent shopping and learn how the local drink of choice is made when touring Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory (temporarily closed), the makers of Sleepytime tea.

Discover the best things to do in Boulder

 

Portland's laid-back vibes and numerous attractions make it ideal for a solo trip. Join fellow foodies as you sample your way through SE Division Street, including a savory breakfast at Pine State Biscuits and a creamy milkshake from Fifty Licks. Get in some me-time (and burn off all those calories) while hiking through Forest Park or among the thousands of flowers in the International Rose Test Garden. Looking to make new friends? Try hitting up a concert at local favorite Mississippi Studios or grab a beer at the city's best bars.

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Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, this western Carolina city is a favorite among artists and outdoor lovers alike. The tranquil waters of the French Broad River, located within the city limits, are perfect for a kayak trip, while the nearby mountains offer plenty of great hikes and look-out spots for photographers and nature enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a more refined experience, check out the castle-esque Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned house in America. A fan of beer? You’re in luck: Asheville has more breweries per capita than any other city in America. Cheers!

Discover the best things to do in Asheville

 

While Boston might loom large in American history (it is the oldest city in New England, after all), you’ll be able to walk the narrow winding streets and explore the relatively small center in a day. The nearly 400-year-old town is full of hidden treasures that can be discovered while on one of its many walking tours. Tired of walking? Try one of the trolley tours—the guides are top-notch, and you might just make some friends while aboard the bright vehicles. 

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Even when you're alone in Bozeman, you're never lonely. The city is beloved not just because it's the perfect home base for solo activities like hiking, skiing, and horseback riding, but because the scene in town boasts interesting museums, distilleries, breweries, and restaurants. When you've had your fill of Palisade Falls, the Gallatin Canyon, or Bridger Bowl, stroll around the laid-back town's historic brewery sector or dig into the heritage of this wild northern landscape at the Museum of the Rockies

With top-notch museums and parks and a public transportation system that rivals any other across the country, Chicago is a winning bet for a vacationer still unsure about the pros of solo traveling. For some much-needed me-time, go shopping along the Magnificent Mile (North Michigan Avenue) or visit an amazing spa. Looking for some company? Check out the city’s top comedy clubs, including Second City and The Laugh Factory.

Discover the best things to do in Chicago

 

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Make sure to pack a comfy pair of shoes when visiting the city’s top attractions, including the Space Needle, Pike Street Market, Fremont, and Pioneer Square. Grab a cup of the world-famous coffee from a local café (we recommend Elm Coffee Roasters) and hop on one of the Puget Sound ferries to appreciate the scenic landscape, including the skyline, waterfront, and, in the hazy distance, Mount Rainer.

Discover the best things to do in Seattle 

 

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Florida Keys, FL
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13. Florida Keys, FL

If it’s sunny days, warm temperatures, and turquoise water you’re after, this laid-back destination is ideal. Rent a bike and take a leisurely ride around the Keys, stopping at cafés and shops along the way. In the afternoons, head for the beach with a book and get ready to meet fellow travelers with a colorful cocktail in hand at the beach-side bars. If you're looking for ultimate peace, stay in the Lower and Middle Keys.

Discover the best things to do in Florida

Visiting DC solo might give you the chance to explore the entire city at your own pace and according to your own cultural preferences. Many of the museums are free and deserve an entire day of exploring— like the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. In the evening, take in a transformative performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts or enjoy a play with a side of history at the Ford's Theatre, where President Lincoln was assassinated. Prefer to shop and eat your way through vacation? Make sure to visit Dupont Circle and Georgetown. 

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The young-at-heart solo traveler will find Austin’s lively spirit infectious. The city attracts creative types, many of which regularly flock to local music venues. Visit the Continental Club for fun-filled nights, take stand-up paddleboard tours of Lady Bird Lake, and eat the perfect taco at Veracruz All Natural. 

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Whether you’re a history buff looking to delve into our nation’s past, you want to eat your way through vacation, or you simply need some time by yourself, Philadelphia is the place for you. Stay near Center City, and the whole shebang will be easily accessible: Gorgeous Rittenhouse Square—and the surrounding shopping area—is an easy stroll away, as well as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Art lovers should visit the magnificent Barnes Foundation and the sprawling galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

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San Diego is all about the beach, surf, and California burritos. The 1,200-acre Balboa Park deserves a full day (or two) of your attention. Here you’ll find gardens, hiking trails, museums, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. All that amazing culture will be perfect fodder for your conversation on the boat to your scuba diving expedition.  

Discover the best things to do in San Diego

 

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