15 U.S Weekend Destinations For The Solo Traveler
Sometimes, we all need a break — but we just don’t have the time (or the budget) to go halfway around the world. We also don’t want to wait around on anyone’s schedule – we just need some “me” time.
Fortunately, there are a number of American destinations perfect for solo travelers—and a quick weekend getaway—and more than you might think. Factors ideal for a weekend destination include ease of navigation, variety of sites and things to do, and size. You don’t want to go somewhere that’s too big and stressful and stressful, but at the same time, you don’t want to go to a small town that doesn’t have much to do. The key here is to find the sweet spot between the two. You also want a single traveler-friendly destination, which means one where you feel comfortable and not alone. But there are a variety of destinations perfect for weekend getaways and solo travelers. From bustling cities like Las Vegas to quiet valley towns like Ojai, the cities below offer plenty of attractions for the solo traveler.
01. Ojai, California
Ojai is located in the Ojai Valley, sixty-four miles northwest of Los Angeles. With a population of only seven thousand, it is very relaxing and ideal for a weekend getaway. If you’re in the mood for some time outdoors, go camping at the nearby Lake Casitas Recreation Area. There is also Matileja Creek, where you can hike or wade through the falls. For some booze, head to the Casa Barranca Winery tasting room in downtown Ojai, where you can sample organic wines. Check out the Ojai Valley Museum for exhibits on the indigenous Chumash culture that once lived in the area, art by Marguerite Herman, and dioramas from nearby Sespe Wilderness. Peek inside stores like Bart’s Books, Made in Ojai, and Human Arts Gallery.
02. Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital of Texas, one of its most populous cities, but it still lags far behind. It has a vibrant music scene where you can catch festivals like South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Pecan Street Festival, and more. There are as many walking tours as this one that explores the Capitol District, including Congress Street and downtown Austin, where you’ll find Republic Square and the Max Museum of Art. With over a thousand food trucks in town, you’ll have plenty of dining options. For libations, head to Hops and Grains for your tour and sample their beers.
03. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans provides the perfect getaway for the solo traveler with just the right mix of history and jazz. Head to the French Quarter and wander around, admiring the architecture that blends Spanish, French, Creole, and American styles. Head south to visit the Garden District, a pretty neighborhood full of antebellum mansions. Now it’s time to find out what the Big Easy is famous for – jazz. Head to 21st Modified Jazz Club, named after the abolitionist of Prohibition Mods, and pack some tunes. Grab a bite to eat at Mr. B’s Bistro at New Orleans’ famous gumbo.
04. Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is more than just a beach. You can begin your visit with an Art Deco tour, strolling through the South Beach neighborhood to see the colorful and geometric designs of the buildings. Then head to the old Spanish monastery, officially Abbey of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, which was founded in the 12th century but opened to the public as a tourist attraction in the 1960s. For some time outdoors, head to South Point Park and Pier on the southern tip of Miami Beach, which boasts seventeen acres and ocean views. End the weekend relaxing on the sands of South Beach.
05. Providence, Rhode Island
Home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island’s capital has a youthful vibe. Check out Waterplace Park for a look at the waterfront and the site of a fire water art installation. Visit the Rhode Island School of Design to see the fine art gallery. DePasquale Plaza features a variety of shops and restaurants. Dine out at an Italian pastry shop. Head to Providence Athenaeum, a library built in the 19th century, to see its stunning architecture. Fun fact – Edgar Allan Poe once walked through his rooms.
06. Portland, Oregon
The TV series Portland catapulted the city into the cultural zeitgeist, but many people know this chilly city as a haven in the Pacific Northwest. Less popular than nearby Seattle, Portland has a lot to offer for a weekend getaway. In Washington Park, you’ll find the wonderful Japanese Garden and the Oregon Zoo. Portland is the king of food trucks, and there is a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, from Indian to American. Head to Portland’s Saturday Market for local goods. And no visit to Portland is complete without a visit to one of its famous beer pubs, from Rock Bottom to Bridgeport.
07. Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is a trendy, young and relaxed city to visit on a weekend. Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where you’ll find the Faberge collection, or relax with a coffee in its café. Visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to admire a variety of blooming flowers and plants. For fun outdoor activities, visit Pony Pasture Park. The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is also worth a visit, as it is the home of Maggie Walker, the first black woman to own a bank in the United States. For food, head south to James Farmers Market.
08. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is filled with unique Pueblo-style architecture and having a thriving art scene, it’s well worth a visit. You can visit the Governors Mansion, where you will find the New Mexico Museum of History. At the Santa Fe Opera House, you can catch a performance in this outdoor amphitheater. Head to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum for a look at her work. At Folk Art Market, you’ll find handmade pieces of art, and purchases here directly support the artists.
09. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, a port city founded in the 17th century, has plenty of activities for weekend visitors. Visit Raleigh Waterfront Park, an attractive park and pier filled with swinging seats that overlook the waterfront. Head to Charleston’s Historic District to see the Battery and White Point Gardens, with views of Fort Sumter across the water. Fort Sumter is worth a visit in itself, as it was here that the first terrible shots of the Civil War were fired.
10. Las Vegas, Nevada
It may come as a surprise that Las Vegas is so friendly to solo travellers. The casino itself is an attraction; Walking alone can make for a fun afternoon. The Palazzo has Venetian aqueducts, a fake Eiffel Tower in Paris, and fountains and botanical gardens in Bellagio. Head to the Neon Museum to pick up vintage neon signs.
11. Sedona, Arizona
You can start your visit at one of the many spas – try a special mud wrap at Mii Amo Spa. You can also hike in Red Rock State Park, a park with a variety of red rock formations, including the Cathedral Rocks. In Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, you’ll find an outdoor shopping center in a traditional Mexican village setting. Head to the Gallery District, where you can browse the diverse shops and view artwork.
12. Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is more than just the location of the Indy 500; it’s a dynamic city with lots of weekend activities. Visit White River State Park, where you may ride gondolas or hire bikes to explore the grounds. There is also the White River Garden which has a botanical garden with reflecting pools. At the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, you’ll find exhibits on the art and culture of the American West. In downtown Indianapolis, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants and bars, and stop by Nicky Blaine’s cocktail lounge for a drink.
13. Denver, Colorado
Founded during the era of the Old West, Denver is an ideal weekend getaway destination. You can visit the Denver Museum of Art, which houses a collection of original works as well as several art galleries. “Amusement park” may not be what comes to mind when you think of Denver, but at Elitch Gardens Theme Park, you’ll find plenty of roller coasters for thrill-seekers. You can then hike to Dinosaur Ridge, located in the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark. In Larimer Square, Denver’s historic district, you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options.
14. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville isn’t just the home of country music – it’s the perfect weekend getaway. Head to Tootsie’s Orchards Lounge to see up-and-coming acts, any of which could be the country’s next big star. Continue to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to see exhibits on country legends, past and present. Visit Music Row, including RCA Studio B, where Elvis has recorded hundreds of songs. For some shopping, head to Opry Mills, the largest mall in the state. Head to the Parthenon, where you can see the art gallery and museum.
15. Cedar Rapids, Lowa
Cedar Rapids is often overlooked, but well worth a visit. Start by heading to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, where you’ll find exhibits by regional artist Grant Wood and prints by American artists. In Beaver Park, you’ll find an ice rink for the cooler winter months and a swimming pool for the hot summers. On Broadmoor, you’ll find a 19th-century mansion that hosts tours and concerts. You can enjoy hiking at Sac and Fox Trail City Park without leaving town. For shopping, head to the Czech Village, which has vintage and vintage shops.