The Best 5 Destinations to Enjoy a Solo Getaway
Traveling solo is one of the most rewarding ways to get away and see the world. You're free to travel how you want and do what you want - exploring the city uninhibited. Maybe the city isn't for you and you prefer exploring the great outdoors? From sleeping in trees to surfing in the Pacific, this list of destinations has you covered. If you're looking to go on a solo trip, these are the best 5 locations we've found that are perfect for a solo getaway.
1. Portland, Oregon
We mentioned Portland in our last blog post but felt it was such a good place for a solo getaway we had to include it here as well. Portland is an interesting city and whatever you have heard about it is probably true. Despite its interesting reputation, the city is the perfect place to travel alone with its many outdoor activities, breweries, concerts, and food.
Outdoor activities are a dime a dozen here. You can even take a guided tour to climb trees - that seems a bit weird to us but hey, this is Portland we're talking about. Truthfully though it's actually pretty cool, you get to climb several hundred feet into the air and can even sleep up in the tree canopy! A Portland activity if I ever saw one.
If you're looking for something else to do outdoors besides climb trees, tours to the Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Mt. St. Helens, Olympic National Park, and Crater Lake among other destinations can be purchased through First Nature Tours.
Evergreen Escapes also offers day tours to both outdoor activities and city tours - many are offered with wine. That's what I call touring in style. Incidentally, while they do offer pick-ups from most downtown hotels, their default pickup location is Hotel Monico which just so happens to be one of the hotels Weeklander books for subscribers (although not guaranteed).
Oregon Tour Co. also offers tours for both outdoor and city tours.
There are currently 77 breweries in Portland - i.e. you're not going to hit them all up in a weekend, sorry. Visiting a few does make for a good activity when traveling solo, however. So grab lunch at the Ecliptic or another brewery and try some of their beers. A ranked list of good breweries in Portland can be found here.
2. San Diego
San Diego is an exciting destination for traveling solo. There is something for everyone in this city regardless of your style - the beach, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, historical sites or city life. While, yes, San Deigo might be your cliche tourist stop, it is so worth it.
Obviously, San Diego is a coastal city in California so if we didn't mention surfing we'd be failing you. Ocean Beach is the place to visit if you want to surf. Dog Beach in Ocean Beach is shallow and good for amateur surfers, the north end of Ocean Beach is good for more experienced surfers.
If you happen to be in Ocean Beach on Wednesday afternoon be sure and check out the farmers market. Not only will you find produce, but you might also stumble into a yoga class or a fire dancer or some other odd thing you won't find anywhere else.
If you enjoy hiking, there is Cabrillo National Monument where you can hike down to the tide pools on the shore. Not your normal hike, I assure you. Be sure and plan your trip beforehand, parts of the park can close from time to time.
None of those activities suit your fancy? Maybe try diving with sharks! Leopard sharks congregate from early June to the end of September along the shores of La Jolla. There are several guided tours that offer shark diving. Take a camera and impress your friends when you get back home!
Maybe you didn't come to San Deigo for the beaches, I mean who would do that, right? Take a ride in an open cockpit bi-plane and see the city from the sky. Ok, really you need to do this even if you did come for the beaches. It is an unforgettable experience.
As for food in the city, being near the border of Mexico the Mexican cuisine in San Deigo is top-notch. You can find plenty of options for Mexican food at Imperial Beach which is right on the Mexican border. There are also plenty of good options pretty much everywhere in the city as well.
New Orleans doesn't need much of an introduction. Nor do you probably need much information on the city, you know exactly what you're going to do there - drink. However, you're probably thinking about now "why in the world would someone want to travel to New Orleans alone?? It's a party city!" Tell you I will, my young padawan.
New Orleans is so much more than a party city and it makes for a wonderful place to travel alone. The architecture of the city is fantastic. If you'd like to view the architecture, tours can be found here. Not only in the city but plantations outside the city as well are great places to see - or even spend the night.
Obviously, if you're going to New Orleans you're going to the French Quarter. For some people, the French Quarter ends at Bourbon Street but they'd be wrong. In addition to the bars everyone wants to visit, good food can be found here. Chief among those restaurants is Antoine's or try the beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
The French Quarter is one of the oldest historic districts in the United States and has many museums and galleries in addition to bars, restaurants, and street performers. If you visit the French Quarter you definitely need to explore beyond Bourbon Street.
If you like live shows there are plenty of options in New Orleans, both for live music and comedy. Check out Preservation Hall, The Spotted Cat or Three Muses for great places to see local live jazz bands. If you're looking for comedy, Dragon's Den and Siberia Lounge have been known to have stand-up comedy once or twice a week along with live music.
The French Quarter doesn't excite you? Well, you're in luck! New Orleans is surrounded by a swamp - go visit it. You can take kayak tours of the swamp or even tour it on an unusual pedal boat where everyone pitches in and pedals. If that is not your style you can also take an airboat tour of the swamp and see the alligators up close with departures from downtown.
As you can see there are plenty of things for a solo traveler to do in New Orleans besides getting wasted and having a generally miserable time.
Despite being close to the mountains, Denver has more to offer than just mountain hiking - although you can do that too. Visit a farmers market, check out the street art or tour the Coors Brewery. There's enough to do in Denver to keep any solo traveler occupied for a weekend, if not a month.
Denver is known for its craft beer and what better thing to do while you're there than to brewery hop? The Five Points district is the area to brewery hop. Although you can find breweries throughout Denver, Five Points has more than their fair share of them. Odell Brewing has great beers and live events from time to time. Great Divide Brewing is another local favorite.
While you're in the area, why not stop by the Mercury Cafe and take a few swing dancing lessons? Or if you already know how to swing dance, all the better, stop by and show off a bit. Or if dancing isn't your style, go and see a concert at Red Rocks it is hands down the best concert venue in the world. Check it out.
Being as close to the mountains as Denver is there are plenty of opportunities to and experience the great outdoors when you visit. Whether you are new to rock climbing or an experienced mountain goat that can scale any flat vertical surface, Denver Climbing Company offers several opportunities to climb a few rocks in the area.
If you're looking to scale a mountain while you're in town, check out Mount Evans about 45 miles west of Denver. It is the 12th highest peak in Colorado with an elevation of 14,264 feet. You can drive to the top if you like, however hiking is an option and it is about a 3-4 hour hike from Echo Lake. The hike is beautiful, particularly in spring.
Cincinnati probably isn't the first city that pops into your mind when you think solo getaway - heck, it probably doesn't even make your list. But trust me on this one, Cincinnati is a great place to spend a weekend alone in. It is a beautiful city with plenty of things to do.
It seems breweries are everywhere these days, I mean I've mentioned them in two of the last four cities and here I am mentioning them again. With more than 30 breweries, Cincinnati has several to choose from. Craft beer has been a staple of Cincinnati since the late 1800s, long before craft beer became hip. If you want to try out craft beer Cincinnati is your place. You can take a bus tour and visit as many as you like without having to worry about transportation.
The banks of the Ohio River is a popular place to visit while in Cincinnati. There are several parks along the Ohio River and often there will be an event such as the annual Bunbury Music Festival. A pedestrian-only bridge crosses the Ohio River and ends in Newport, Kentucky. If you cross at dusk and arrive in Newport just as the sun is going down you'll find some spectacular views of the Cincinnati skyline - not to mention shopping and other activities.
Speaking of shopping, Findlay Market has many shops and street vendors with a plethora of items for sale. It is a great area to spend an afternoon browsing the goods.
There are also outdoor activities to be found in the city - or outside the city - or in the air. Take your pick. Just a short 35 miles north of Cincinnati you can find hot air balloon rides that will take you over the Ohio countryside. Or 10-miles east of downtown, there is a nice little spot on the Little Miami River where you can rent a canoe, kayak or tube and float down the river - definitely something to try if visiting during the summer.
Cincinnati is also considered the birthplace of American astronomy. The Cincinnati Observatory is a must to visit while you're in town. It features the oldest telescope in America and is available to look through.
You could literally travel anywhere in the U.S. solo and have a blast. But these cities are the destinations that stuck out the most to us. If you have visited one of these cities solo (or not solo) we would love to hear what you found interesting about those cities!
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