I developed my unique travel style by visiting more than 20 U.S. states by myself and have figured out how to stay safe on the road as a solo female traveler.
My general solo travel rule of thumb is to travel to destinations near U.S. national parks and to avoid major metropolitan cities with high crime rates. But really, there’s a destination for every travel style.
I want you to be as safe as possible in your travels, which is why I’ve come up with this ultimate list of safe solo destinations in the U.S. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 31 Best Places for Solo Female Travel in the U.S.
- Eastern Sierra Mountains, California
- Yosemite National Park, California
- Joshua Tree, California
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Boulder, Colorado
- Ouray, Colorado
- San Francisco, California
- Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
- Santa Cruz, California
- Grand Tetons, Wyoming
- Saratoga Springs, New York
- Seattle, Washington
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Portland, Maine
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Astoria, Oregon
- Everglades, Florida
- Boone, North Carolina
- Big Sky, Montana
- Boise, Idaho
- Sedona, Arizona
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Palmer, Alaska
- Orlando, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Cape May, New Jersey
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Stowe, Vermont
- Wilmington, North Carolina
- St. Croix
- FAQs About Solo Female Travel in the U.S.
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!
31 Best Places for Solo Female Travel in the U.S.
Eastern Sierra Mountains, California
A mountain-dense area with hundreds of alpine hikes and chilly glaciated lakes that are perfect for late-summer dips.
The Eastern Sierra Mountains is the destination I solo travel to the most. Not only is this alpine alcove in the perfect California location, only a short drive from just about anywhere, but it’s also an outdoor recreation dreamland.
Bring a tent and camp for free in the Alabama Hills or bring your hiking gear and head up the road to tackle Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States and one of the coolest hikes in California.
The small-town communities in the Sierra Mountains boast warm locals, making you feel welcome on your solo endeavor. I highly recommend staying at The Hostel California in Bishop (the only hostel on the Eastern Sierra Highway 395) to meet some fellow travelers.
Yosemite National Park, California
California’s most popular national park has 13 campgrounds to choose from and hundreds of backcountry trails.
Yosemite National Park is a great destination for solo travelers of all ages. I always feel safest traveling to national parks as a solo traveler, Yosemite included.
My national park campgrounds of choice are Camp 4 and Upper Pines Campground, both of which are close to the top Yosemite hiking trails, but there are also plenty of free sites outside the park boundaries.
With its proximity to other cool solo travel destinations like San Francisco and the Eastern Sierras, Yosemite is the perfect stop along an ultimate California road trip.
👉 Read Next: How to Travel Alone
Joshua Tree, California
A desert oasis town with more cacti than people and more stars in the desert night sky than cacti.
I spend at least one or two nights a month solo camping in Joshua Tree. I boondock all around town with my dog and motorhome. My favorite place to solo camp in Joshua Tree is the giant Sunfair dry lake just north of town. The open BLM land is so enormous that even with 100 other campers, you still feel spread out.
This location is only 20 minutes from the Joshua Tree National Park entrance and about 35 minutes to Pioneertown, my favorite stop in the high desert.
This old yet rejuvenated ghost town is home to the Red Dog Saloon and the Pappy and Harriet’s biker bar/ venue. Get your desert cowboy fix by attending a special event like live music at Pappy’s or Bingo at Red Dog.
There are so many other options for where to stay in Joshua Tree. House rentals are by far the most popular option and camping in the national park is the best way to experience an undisrupted view of the cosmos.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
An artsy adobe town rich with Native American history.
This artsy New Mexico town is high on my list of safe places for solo female travel in the US. The timeless adobe fortresses of Downtown Santa Fe make it one of the cutest Southwestern destinations, not to mention the delicious Tex-Mex food!
Santa Fe is less than two hours from Albuquerque, Taos, and a bunch of spectacular New Mexico hot springs, bringing the number of fun things to do in Santa Fe to the hundreds. I highly recommend visiting Santa Fe during the Labor Day Santa Fe Fiesta, a soiree of Native American art, music, dancing, and food!
A Southwestern state with so many scenic and safe destinations that it’s impossible to choose only one.
I’m such a Utah fanatic that I have to recommend the whole state. Narrowing it down to just one desert town is impossible, as I’ve traveled extensively throughout the nooks and crannies of Utah and felt safe everywhere as a solo female.
In a state where the sandstone walls seem to outnumber the people, disappearing into the vast Utah desert is one of my favorite pastimes. Playing under a hot desert sun is high on my list of Utah recommendations but mountain lovers can also get their fix in the Wasatch Range in the north or the La Sals in the east.
There are so many fun things to do in Utah like exploring the “big five” Utah national parks, cruising down the Colorado River in Moab, lounging on a lake right outside of Salt Lake City, and experiencing the isolation of slot canyoneering.
One of the hippest college towns in Colorado with fun weekly communal events.
Boulder is Colorado’s trendy, hip college town. Filled to the brim with cafes and breweries, Boulder is one of my favorite places to stay in Colorado for big city amenities without a big metropolitan feel.
I stayed just outside Downtown Boulder this summer for 5 days at a free campsite I found on iOverlander and had no problems whatsoever. I didn’t get a parking ticket in my motorhome (which is commonplace with a big rig in a big city) and was able to walk around the city at night as a solo female just fine.
Some of the fun things to do in Boulder that I highly recommend are Eldorado Canyon State Park, the fun Pearl Street Mall in Downtown Boulder, and hiking among the rolling hills of Chautauqua Park.
A small ice-climbing town in the heart of the old Colorado mining industry.
Ouray, Colorado is one of the coolest places for solo travelers. This tiny mountain town is rising in popularity, thanks to the world-acclaimed ice climbing festival that takes place every January.
I recommend visiting Ouray, one of the best places in Colorado, during the summer when the roads are clear of snow and ice. I liked to hang out at the Silver Eagle Saloon, complete with an old-timey jukebox, pool tables, and friendly locals.
I hiked to both Box Canyon and Cascade Falls when I was in Ouray and the refreshing cascade mist was everything I needed in the hot summer. The hike to Cascade Falls is free but there is a small $5 entrance fee at Box Canyon.
San Francisco, California
Northern California’s hub for live music and tourist attractions right along the coast.
San Francisco is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in California. I used to not care for the big-city atmosphere of San Francisco but the more time I spend there as a solo traveler, the more I understand its charm.
From art galleries to hundreds of concert venues, free parks, the Golden Gate Bridge, delicious eateries, and many many other fun attractions in San Francisco, your time in the big city is guaranteed to be filled with excitement.
There are a few San Francisco hostels that are perfect for travelers on a budget in San Francisco. Hostels are also a great way to meet other San Francisco tourists. For travelers on an even stricter budget, there are some free overnight parking spots in the city like on the waterfront in the North Beach neighborhood.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
A red rock paradise not too far from Las Vegas, with many hiking trails and boulder-hopping opportunities.
I recommend avoiding the hectic nightlife scene of Las Vegas when traveling through Nevada if you’re a solo traveler (especially females). Instead, head to the safer Nevada desert of Valley of Fire State Park.
The best time to experience this sandstone oasis is during sunrise when the valley really does give off the appearance of being set ablaze. If you’re lucky, you may also encounter some bighorn sheep on your sandy desert hike throughout the park.
Continue on east if you’ve got the extra road trip time to Rachel, Nevada. Area 51 is located right outside of this tiny town, only 2 hours away from Valley of Fire! While you may have slim chances of experiencing anything extraterrestrial, the alien roadside attractions like the Little A’Le’Inn bar make this trip one to remember.
Santa Cruz, California
This California “hippie beach” is also one of the coolest places to surf on the West Coast.
Surfs up, dude! Santa Cruz is one of the best places on the West Coast to lounge around for a while and fill your days with endless waves. Many wanderers who’ve ended up calling Santa Cruz home were once solo travelers just like you.
It’s easy to get stuck for a while at Santa Cruz, one of the cutest beach towns in California. Rent a board to surf, ride the epic coaster on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Amusement Park, one of the most unique theme parks in California, or stroll around the trendy shops downtown.
👉 Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for famous Santa Cruz banana slugs while camping in the Santa Cruz forest. See how many famous SC critters you can catch!
Grand Tetons, Wyoming
A quiet national park with few crowds and a greater chance to spot native wildlife.
Overshadowed by nearby Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park is one of the best places to travel alone in the Western USA. This mountain treasure is far less populated than neighboring national parks, allowing more of a chance to spot wildlife like grizzlies and moose.
The Grand Tetons also have one of the most photogenic gateway towns leading into the park. An arch of deer antlers welcomes you to the wild west mountain town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jackson Hole is a great place to set up basecamp while exploring the national park with many fun tourist things to do around town.
Saratoga Springs, New York
A quaint, horse race-loving town just outside Albany, New York.
Saratoga Springs is one of the best towns in New York and one of the top places to travel alone in the East Coast state. Ideal for solo travel, Saratoga Springs is less than an hour from Albany and comes alive during the summer horseback riding races.
While you’re in the area, be sure to also check out the live music over at the Saratoga Casino Hotel for some fun nighttime entertainment.
The perfect place to establish a base camp for exploring the nearby Cascade Mountains.
While I typically stray away from major cities while I’m on a solo trip, Seattle is one of my exceptions. Seattle is big enough for travelers to choose if they want to stay in the heart of the action or on the quieter outskirts.
Seattle is also a great base city for exploring the surrounding Cascade Mountains, one of the best things to do in Seattle. Mount Rainier National Park is only two hours from the city and hosts a wide range of fun outdoor activities.
I recommend booking a guide if going up Mount Rainier is high on your travel list. I typically don’t like to climb mountains with guides but due to the amount of glacier crevasse crossings on Rainier, it’s not wise to go alone. Rainier Mountain Guides is a highly-rated service in the area with good guiding reviews.
The gateway town to Grand Canyon National Park is also one of the best places to go skiing in Arizona.
Flagstaff is a stomping ground for tourists either visiting the Grand Canyon or skiing the Arizona Snowbowl in the winter. This northern Arizona city is also a college town and home to an eclectic array of breweries, eateries, and cafes.
Many tourists stay in Flagstaff while exploring the Grand Canyon, one of the best places to visit in Arizona. I’ve stayed in Flagstaff solo countless times both in a tent and in my motorhome. I’ve found Flagstaff to be one of the safest towns in Arizona, just be weary of freezing winter temps!
A historic coastal town with quaint seafood restaurants.
Portland, Maine was named one of the best solo destinations in the world on account of its lackadaisical coastal vibes and top-notch seafood.
This New England destination is located right on the scenic Atlantic coast. I recommend renting a coastal cabin when you visit Portland, Maine so you can spend your mornings reading with a hot cup of joe and a scenic view of the coast.
This quiet Hawaii island is the ideal destination for fresh fruit, good surfing, and meeting fellow Hawaii nomads.
Very few vacations beat island paradise. A solo trip to Hawaii is one of the safest excursions you can have in my book. The crime rate is relatively low in Kauai in comparison to other major towns in the U.S. and I’ve only ever encountered friendly locals.
Since Kauai is hard to get to and the beauty of the island makes it hard to leave, doing a work exchange program on the island may be your best bet. Sign up for either Workaway, WWOOF, or Worldpackers and stay in paradise for as long as you want!
A quaint fishing town along the Oregon coast with a prime selection of local coffee and home-brewed beer.
Astoria is one of the cutest seaside towns in Oregon. Hop in the water, embark on a coastal hike, or hang out all day at the Fort George Brewery for a trip to Astoria to remember.
I’ve stayed at a nearby RV park before in Astoria as well as a free site just over the bridge that I found on iOverlander. Astoria is a great stop along a coastal Oregon excursion. I recommend taking the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH or Highway 1 for short) to your next destination, as it’s the most scenic highway on the West Coast.
A jungle of swamp land in southern Florida that offers visitors a high chance of spotting famous Florida gators.
As a suburban girl, the Everglades was one of the most foreign, swampy places I’ve visited solo. Swampland humidity mixed with all sorts of creepy crawlers combined to create one of the weirdest, most beautiful experiences I’ve had in the U.S.
It’ll be worth your while to book an Everglades swamp tour. Board an airboat and go looking for Floridian alligators. More daring solo travelers can even choose to go on a night tour. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my 500-pound alligators to be seen in the light and from a very far distance.
Boone, North Carolina
A small mountain town away from tourist crowds that offers fun mountain excursions.
Boone, North Carolina is one of the less-visited places to visit in the state, overshadowed by Asheville in the south. The small-town mountain feel of Boone makes it an ideal destination for solo travelers who prefer the peace and quiet of a small town without being too far from big city amenities.
Mountain biking, hiking, lounging down the lazy river, and staying in a cozy mountain cabin are some of the top things to do in Boone in every season. I’ve encountered countless other “van lifers” in Boone, one of the best places to visit in North Carolina, quickly transforming my solo trip into a shared experience.
Big Sky, Montana
A ski resort mountain town that’s only a short drive from Yellowstone National Park.
One of the best places to ski in Montana is also less than an hour from the famous West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Traveling to Montana is one of the best places to travel alone because with the grand landscapes and abundant amount of wildlife, it never truly feels like a solo trip.
The Big Sky Resort is home to over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain. There is also plenty of free BLM land around this area. Stay for a few days, spending half your time skiing and the other half looking for packs of gray wolves in the national park. Winter is the best time to see these incredible creatures, just be sure to layer up!
A hotspot for van-lifers and other West Coast expats with hot springs, hiking trails, and more.
A recent mecca of “van-lifers,” rubber trampers, and other on-the-road enthusiasts, Boise is one of the most beloved places to travel alone on the West Coast. One of my favorite things to do in Boise is hot spring hopping.
Harrison Hollow is a great place to hike with your pup just outside of town and Stack Rock Trail takes you away from the major city hustle and bustle and into the Boise wilderness. A solo journey in Idaho is sure to be one for the books, filled with new friends.
A hip Arizona town surrounded by red rock plateaus only two hours south of the Grand Canyon.
Sedona is a great solo travel destination. I’ve camped in Sedona more times than I can remember, many times as a solo traveler and other times with either my dog, family members, or a friend.
One trip to Arizona’s most scenic, vibrant city isn’t enough. The amount of things to do in Sedona is tenfold, from shopping downtown to hiking up the Navajo Sandstone cliffs and going for an off-roading jeep tour.
The adobe buildings of downtown Sedona are engulfed by towering desert mesas on all sides. The natural beauty of this trendy town is reason enough to visit, not to mention the convenient free campsites just outside of town (which you can find on iOverlander!)
📚Related Reading: Where to Stay in Sedona
A live music haven with plenty of surrounding BLM land to camp on for free.
Welcome to Music City USA. Nashville is bursting with cool music-related excursions like Honky Tonk Highway, a row of honky tonks regurgitating live music hour after hour, night after night.
This is where many famous country stars got their big break like Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings. Nashville, Tennessee is one of the best places to travel alone for music lovers and country enthusiasts.
Other fun Nashville attractions include eating mouthwatering barbeque until you burst, going museum hopping in the historic district, and visiting nearby national parks, state parks, or monuments like Stones River National Battlefield and Bledsoe Creek State Park.
A quieter town just outside of Anchorage that’s the perfect starting point for exploring deep into the Alaskan wilderness.
Located less than an hour from Anchorage, Palmer, Alaska is close enough to the downtown area for shopping and arranging tours but far enough into the country to experience some good ol’ isolation on the American frontier.
I worked on a flower farm just outside Palmer and would hike and sightsee on my days off. The nearby Matanuska Glacier was my favorite tourist spot in the area. I also hiked up nearby buttes and the (not so lazy) Lazy Mountain, a 5.8-mile loop with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain.
Palmer is also one of the first stops on an Alaska road trip (if starting in Anchorage) and is a great place to start traveling solo in Alaska, due to its proximity to other top day trip destinations.
A theme park paradise that’s filled with roller coaster fun and is only an hour from the beach.
The possibilities are endless for solo travelers in Orlando, Florida. It’s impossible to get bored with the insane amount of amusement parks in Orlando like the six Disney World parks, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld, and more!
There are also tons of free things to do in Orlando like visiting Old Town, Hontoon Island State Park, or taking a drive down to Cocoa Beach, only 60 miles east.
Orlando is also a foodie’s dream. There are so many top restaurants in Orlando from delicious Southern-inspired bakeries to high-end Italian joints and casual Japanese eateries. Be sure to visit Orlando hungry and you won’t be disappointed!
📚Related Reading: 49 Disney World Tips
San Diego, California
One of the most iconic beach towns in California with great weather year-round and perfect surf spots.
With so many San Diego beach towns to choose from, you’re sure to have a sunny solo vacation in San Diego. San Diego is one of the best places to go surfing in California and attracts surfing dudes and bettys from all over the country.
My favorite thing about San Diego is its proximity to some of the coolest California towns like Anza Borrego, Oceanside, and even Los Angeles. Being that the two major cities are only about 2 hours apart (with no traffic), you don’t have to choose between San Diego vs Los Angeles on your solo trip, you can visit both!
Cape May, New Jersey
One of the most scenic beach towns in New Jersey that’s dog-friendly.
Should you find yourself on an East Coast road trip, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains and checking out the brilliant fall foliage, you wouldn’t want to miss out on exploring the picturesque Cape May, New Jersey.
Cape May is one of the top parks in New Jersey and as a result, is a hot destination for solo travelers in the state. It’s one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in New Jersey and is dog-friendly, perfect for van-lifers with furry friends!
There are also tons of free things to do in Cape May like the Washington Street Mall and the Salt Marsh Safari.
A historic East Coast town with enough things to do to keep solo travelers busy for weeks.
As previously mentioned, I tend to stay away from major metropolitan cities on my solo trips due to safety reasons but I’ve found that Philadelphia is one of the best places to travel alone.
There are so many things to do in Philadelphia, one of the oldest and most historic places in Pennsylvania. From street art to a vibrant culinary scene and booming nightlife, Philadelphia really does have it all.
I prefer to stay in Germantown when visiting Philadelphia, a neighborhood with a small-town feel. I feel safer outside the city center but there are many affordable places to stay in Philadelphia throughout the whole city.
One of the most vibrant places to see the changing fall foliage in New England.
Stowe is one of the best places to see the brilliant fall foliage on the East Coast. I took a solo female travel vacation to Stowe a couple of autumns ago for the sole purpose of witnessing the explosion of fall colors in the rolling hills of the historic New England town.
Wilmington, North Carolina
A quiet beach town that isn’t spoiled yet with crazy tourist crowds.
Wilmington is an up-and-coming destination for solo travelers in North Carolina. This beach town is off the beaten path and isn’t yet overcrowded like other solo traveler tourist destinations in North Carolina.
The main downtown area is near the top beaches in Wilmington and you can often find live music on the weekends. I’ve been to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater before in Wilmington to see a jam band and met so many cool people!
Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, this island is one of the best places for tropical solo travel in the U.S.
Saint Croix is technically outside the contiguous United States but is considered a U.S. territory, meaning you don’t have to bring your passport! I recommend at least a week to fully explore all the best things to do in St. Croix.
Check out our travel itinerary for St. Croix before your trip to make sure you don’t miss any top spots.
Try a new activity on St. Croix next time you travel solo to the island like scuba diving or cliff diving, and don’t forget to try the mouthwatering seafood.
FAQs About Solo Female Travel in the U.S.
Where is the best place to travel as a solo female in the US?
What is the safest city in the USA for solo female travelers?
Which method of transportation is best for solo female travelers in the USA?
Due to the sheer size of the USA, renting a car is the best mode of transportation for solo female travelers in the USA. Discover Cars is a top rental option that’s available in most major U.S. cities.
Which state is best for solo female trips?
California and Utah are some of the best U.S. states for solo female trips. The expansive amount of open, public land and national parks makes these states safer than others that have high rates of petty crime.
Thank you for reading my ultimate guide on the best places for solo female travel in the U.S.! Be sure to also read our guide on solo travel for women to learn some epic safety travel tips.
Have fun on your upcoming trip and be safe out there!
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?