While travelling solo is something that a lot of people may dread, mainly for safety concerns, it is actually a wonderful adventure and experience that all travel lovers should experience at least once in their lifetime. A country of road trips and big blue skies, the United States harbours orderly cities filled with restaurants, parks, museums, and innumerable sightseeing opportunities, as well as pristine natural areas perfect for a holiday in the great outdoors, especially if you are travelling solo. Here are the top seven places you must explore.
-Moab, Utah: With easy access to thousands of square kilometers of amazing red rock landscapes waiting to be explored, Moab delivers nonstop fun and excitement for everyone. While exploring the scenery of the American Southwest, visitors can relax and experience the small-town hospitality of the city, a world-famous base camp for mountain biking, hiking, four-wheel driving or river trips of any length and experience level.
There’s no better view of the snaking Colorado River than from the mesa at Dead Horse Point State Park, just a short drive from town and a hot spot for mountain biking, hiking, and wide canyon views. Additionally, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards are the perfect way to explore calm segments of Colorado.
-New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans welcomes its visitors in a grand way to experience Caribbean, American, French and African cultures colliding in a brilliant explosion of flavours, emotions, and sounds. With a combination of city life and rural plantations, swamp tours, festivals, historical significance and revelry during Mardi Gras, New Orleans has the recipe to captivate everyone.
A must-stop is Preservation Hall, dedicated to preserving the New Orleans Jazz tradition. Also worthy of your time are visits to the National World War II Museum and the Presbytere and Cabildo state museums.
-Maui, Hawaii: This is where island dreams come true, whether they involve sitting on a gorgeous beach watching the waves, golfing on one of the world’s most beautiful courses, exploring underwater, discovering charming small towns or driving along winding roads with incredible greenery and postcard-worthy waterfalls.
One can head to Maui east side to see the Black Sand Beach at Wai’anapanapa, the Red Sand Beach at Kaihalulu Beach and the gray beach at the crescent-shaped Hamoa. Other places to visit include Visitor Center, the Pipiwai Trail, Makahiku and Waimoku Falls among other places. The historic town of Paia offers quirky shops influenced by hippies and surfers. Food-truck aficionados can’t miss the crispy calamari, coconut shrimp and rice in Kihei.
-Seattle, Washington: With a thriving food-and-drink scene, eclectic neighborhoods and a stunning coastal setting, Seattle is a dynamic urban enclave nestled in the Pacific Northwest. The view is spectacular from the observation deck atop the world-famous Space Needle, a 185.5-meter-high legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair and symbol of the city. Locals and visitors alike flock to Pike Place Market on the waterfront, the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the U.S.
-Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Cape Cod and its islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are celebrated for their unadulterated beaches and New England seaside way of life. The windswept coastline gives way to dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean, which is often lit up at night by historic lighthouses or bonfires on the beach. The 15 towns and handful of fishing villages contribute to the region’s maritime character and air of romance, offering everything from glasswork studios and vineyards to gabled inns serving straight-from-the-ocean seafood.
One can head to Nickerson State Park to fish for trout or go canoeing. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory bird preserve, offers visitors a chance to engage with wildlife. Because its peninsula is shaped so irregularly, Cape Cod is studded with lighthouses of all shapes, sizes and colors.
-Portland, Oregon: Portland is packed with so much character you’ll almost forget to explore its great outdoors. You’ll find a mindful community dedicated to keeping its city sustainable, innovative and accessible, with an enviable public transit system, tax-free shopping and enormous in-city parks offering dozens of cultural attractions. Get acquainted with Portland’s culinary landscape with a visit to Saturday Market, held in Chinatown every weekend and featuring arts, crafts, food and a lot of street culture. Go on a brew tour of 89 breweries or its pubs. Sprawling Washington Park, set right in the city, is a destination in its own right.
You’ll find Hoyt Arboretum, a glorious, forested place full of flora from around the world; the International Rose Test Garden, the oldest one in the U.S.; and the Portland Japanese Garden, which includes five varieties of gardens.
-Memphis, Tennessee: Memphis is where blues music grew up, where rock ‘n’ roll was born and where important strides were made in the struggle for civil rights. This living history hits visitors right away during a stroll through Graceland, Elvis Presley’s final home, or on a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the site where Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life.
-Austin, Texas: Austin’s personality is often quirky, a mix of educated flair and a touch of Texas bravado. Over the past three decades, the small university town where Willie Nelson crafted his signature musical style has grown into a bustling capital city with world-renowned festivals, top-notch attractions, a glittering skyline and 1.9 million people in the metropolitan area.
Austin’s live music scene is legendary, and the action is concentrated in the Warehouse District as well as the Sixth Street and Red River entertainment districts. The city’s musical crown jewel is the Continental Club, featuring a solid lineup of rock, blues and country performers.
With well over 1,000 mobile food vendors, Austin’s food trucks offer a world of culinary creativity. The Blanton Museum on the University of Texas campus is an art lover’s dream, featuring more than 18,000 pieces of European, American and Latin American works of art.