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Archive for the ‘Best Places To Travel To In The USA’ Category

10 Most Beautiful US Towns To Visit This Time Of Year

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Stowe, Vermont (Flickr: My Discovery)

If you’re looking for picturesque foliage this fall to capture on your kid’s Instagram or your own Pinterest account, you needn’t go far. Whether you live on the East Coast and have access to New England or upstate New York, or you’re on the West Coast in proximity to the Pacific Northwest, or even in the most Southern part of the country, you will find spectacular displays of color and natural beauty. Each of the ten towns listed below offer stunning leaves, family-friendly accommodations, activities and things to do for all ages. It’s easy to spend a day or a weekend, jumping in leaves, snapping shots of fall in its glory, picking apples and drinking hot apple cider.

Here are ten of our suggested most beautiful U.S. towns to visit in the fall.

(MORE: 5 Insanely Beautiful US Cities in the Fall)

Stowe is superb in the fall when its mountains, fields and trails come alive with dazzling colorful foliage. It’s also extremely kid-friendly, offering a village for shopping and strolling, galleries, theaters and great restaurants. Kids will love a visit to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Percy Farm Corn Maze and a visit to the Depot Street Malt Shoppe, a 1950’s style soda fountain for families. An adventurous family will enjoy renting bikes and taking the 5.3-mile recreation path, winding through meadows, crossing the West Branch River on 11 arched bridges or the 1-1/2 hour morning paddle downriver to the Maple Outlet in Jeffersonville where you will learn about the process of making maple syrup. There are also local farms and orchards where you can celebrate fall.

Where to stay: Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa offers comfort, lovely service, good food, plenty to do and easy access to Stowe’s village – all the ingredients for a great family vacation. If you want a unique family weekend, head to the Trapp Family Lodge, named after the real family from The Sound of Music, for it was where they relocated after escaping Nazi Europe.

Woodstock a 2.5-hour drive from NYC and is a wonderful place to witness fall foliage. The first week of October is typically peak period, and you can observe the leaves either by hiking on nearby mountain trails, like on Temper Mountain, or by strolling through the town’s country village and tapping into your artsy side in its boutiques and crystal shops. If your kids like apple picking, High Spring Orchard and Woodstock Orchards offer pick-your-own apples and also sell apples from their farm stands. If they like train excursions, the family-friendly Catskill Mountain Railroad Scenic Tour is an hour and thirty-minute railroad ride located in nearby Kingston. And guess what? They offer fall foliage train rides!

Where to stay: The nearby Emerson Resort is perched on the edge of a meandering creek, with views of the mountains from every balcony and a family-friendly restaurant on the premises. For something a bit cheaper, head to the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, where you can get a room with a full kitchen, fireplace and whirlpool tub, as well as free continental breakfast.

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Beacon, New York (Flickr: David Brooks)

Located on the Hudson River just 60 miles north of New York City, Beacon is a small town that has a warm feeling that’s sprinkled with art, culture, Victorian architecture, good food, boutique shopping and the outdoors. The town offers a plethora of fall activity including the annual Beacon Waterfront Pumpkin Festival and apple-picking at Fishkill Farms where they offer 15 kinds of apples. While in town, be sure to visit Dia: Beacon, a modern art museum housed in a former Nabisco factory that contains a collection of the Dia Foundation of art from the 1960s to the present.

Where to Stay: The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls is located right on Fishkill Creek overlooking Beacon Falls, just minutes from Mount Beacon and steps away from the heart of Main Street. It hosts 14 chic hotel rooms, two restaurants – one inside, one outside – both facing the waterfalls, a yoga studio and spa.

(MORE: Awesome Late Summer to Early Fall Outdoor Adventures for Families)

Newport is one of America’s great, historic cities; and it shines in the fall, making it the perfect family fall getaway. This is a city whose prime attractions are decadent mansions, and they are stunning when surrounded by colorful foliage. In addition to seeing the leaves, kids will love one-hour narrated cruises around Newport Harbor or a visit to Fort Adams State Park where kids can explore a citadel. Kids will love a ride on Newport’s Old Colony & Newport Railway, a historic ride along the west side of Aquidneck Island. The Newport Exploration Center is a maritime museum for children where kids can learn about sea life. The Newport area is also host to a dozen or so apple orchards such as Rocky Brook Orchard, a family run orchard.

Where to stay: If you have never stayed in a lighthouse, now’s your chance. Lighthouse Inn of Galilee offers harbor side rooms with kid-friendly amenities such as Internet access, an indoor swimming pool, arcade and game room. For something more straightforward, head to the Newport Marriott, with amenities that include an indoor pool, spa, and best of all, proximity to the mansions on Ocean Drive.

Bethlehem is located in Lehigh Valley near the Poconos. It’s a city filled with museums, restaurants, antique shops and things to do. The city comes alive in the fall with ghost tours and harvest festivals. Kids will love nearby Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway that goes from Port Clinton into downtown Jim Thorpe, offering beautiful colors and scenery of the Lehigh Gorge State Park. In nearby Easton, kids will love Crayola Experience, a museum dedicated to some of their favorite creative tools on earth: crayons and markers. With 10,000 square feet of science and technology activities for children of all ages, the local Da Vinci Science Center is another wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Where to stay: You can’t beat the amount of space and comfort that the Hyatt in Bethlehem offers and it’s a great value. Located in the center of town, you can walk to restaurants, antique shops and galleries. It includes free parking in a covered lot, breakfast is and Wifi.

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Vail, Colorado (Courtesy Vail.com)

Vail is gorgeous in the fall, despite the fact this ski town is off-season. Imagine looking down at the fall foliage from a hot air balloon, with a view of the majestic Rocky Mountains, colorful leaves, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Other kid-friendly adventures include zip lining, horseback riding, bike riding, a walk around the Vail Farmer’s Market, fly-fishing and, of course, eating. There is plenty of farm-to-table dining throughout Vail. Scenic drives to fully capture the beauty of the leaves include rides through the Battle Mountain Pass, Red Sandstone Park, Brush Creek Road and Independence Pass.

Where to stay: The Arrabelle at Vail Square is ideal for a family stay. Rooms are spacious and cozy, and the hotel offers unusual touches like pumice stones in the shower, a balcony with a view of Vail, a flat-screen TV, free Wifi and an electric fireplace. Another option is the Lodge at Vail offering murphy beds (great for kids), wood-burning fireplaces and marble bathrooms, plus balconies and mountain views

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Hood River, Oregon (Photo Peter Marbach courtesy Hood River County Chamber of Commerce)

Home to some of the most spectacular fall scenery in the Pacific Northwest, Hood River makes for an awesome sightseeing destination. From orchards to agricultural areas around the river, you can grab your hiking boots and step into Mother Nature to see the leaves – along the Indian Creek Trail or Waterfront Park, for example. There is also Mt. Hood Railroad Excursion Train, taking you through the Upper Valley of Hood River, a cruise on the “Historic Columbia River Scenic Waterway” on the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler where the colors of the Gorge jump out in their glory, whitewater rafting in the beautiful Columbia Gorge or you can witness the leaves from the air in a glider or airplane. Hood River is also home to fruit farms, the Dalles Farmers Market, vineyards, chestnut farms and stands, all which come alive in the autumn.

Where to stay: Comfort Suites Hood River is an all-suite hotel less than 2 miles from Mount Hood Railroad that offers free WiFi, hot breakfast and parking.

Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend is the perfect place to witness the dramatic fall beauty of Olympic National Park. It’s a great place for a family-friendly hike to see the leaves or stroll through a colorful forest. Public trails surround the town noted by signposts. Your kids may also love taking a boat charter to see the leaves, or biking the Larry Scott Trail to Port Angeles. The city also includes many family-friendly things to do such as the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum, Rothschild House, the Northwest Maritime Center, Fort Warden State Park and Port Townsend Marine Science Center. There are local orchards and farms for apple picking and cider tastings. In addition, the town’s Uptown Historical district is perfect for a stroll on the waterfront.

Where to stay: The Swan Hotel is near the waterfront and Fort Warden State Park and offers rooms and cottages with bay views. Cottages have fireplaces, whirl tubs and patios.

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Avalon, California (Courtes Santa Catalina Island Company)

Avalon is a gorgeous enclave on Catalina Island, 22 miles south of Los Angeles surrounding Avalon Bay. It’s a picturesque seaport with so much to do with kids – from Catalina’s Undersea Adventure, zip lining adventures, paddle boarding and boat rides. Fall tends to be more of an Indian summer, meaning you can still take a dip in the ocean and stroll around the island in a tee shirt. The lines are shorter as kids in California are back to school. There are fall festivals and events including JazzTrax, the Catalina Swing Dance Festival, the Catalina Air Show and Catalina Art Festival.

Where to stay: The Catalina Island Inn Hotel offers family rooms with deluxe plush beds and complimentary continental breakfast. Another option is the Hotel Metropole, an upscale hotel that overlooks the harbor and features spacious rooms, perfect for families, fireplaces and onsite shopping and restaurants.

(MORE: Final Fling! 5 Fun Outdoor Escapes with the Kids this Fall)

Known for its beautiful beaches and delicious seafood, but St. Simons Island should be considered in your list of where to go in the fall. Kids will love a visit to nearby Jekyll Island, climbing the local lighthouse, seeing historic Christ Church, taking a trolley ride and going to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The marshlands begin to lose their summer green color by late fall of each year and the contrast of colorful leaves with surrounding beach life is a sight to behold. Take a stroll through Massengale Park or a crisp walk on St. Simons Island Beach.

Where to stay: The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort is a beachfront resort with six swimming pools, a sandy play area and a multitude of activities for kids.

Holly Rosen Fink of The Culture Mom contributed this to MiniTime. She is the founder of Pivoting Media who blogs about her love of culture and travel.

Larry Scott Trail

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The 6 best US travel destinations for black travelers in 2019

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The Best Places To Travel Alone

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Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you’d rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here’s our pick of some of the best places to travel alone. For our list of the best places to visit in 2020 & 2021 click here!

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1. Lombok and the Gili Islands, Indonesia

Not as busy as its more famous neighbour Bali, Lombok is gaining a sterling reputation with independent travellers who want to learn to surf, snorkel or dive. Inland, lush green paddy fields stretch away to the massive Gunung Rinjani volcano with its waterfalls and hot springs. The three tiny but increasingly popular Gili Islands off Lombok’s northwest coast are also easy to access – Trawangan is where the party’s at.

Where to stay

Best for partying: Gili Beach Bum Hotel

Best for beachfront in Lombok: Cafe Alberto B and B

What to do

Best to explore Lombok: North Lombok Waterfall and Village Tour

Best for snorkeling: Gili Kondo, Kapal and Lampu from Lombok

Jaipur

Air Terjun Tiu Kelep waterfall near Rinjani, Senaru, Lombok, Indonesia © Michail_Vorobyev/Shutterstock

2. Cuba

The Cuban capital of Havana conjures images of crumbling colonial architecture, 1950s Chevys, salsa and cigars. However, with the political scene inside Cuba shifting, private enterprise is being encouraged and small businesses across the country are opening and expanding. Now is a great time to visit those tiny back street restaurants and artisan shops. Homestays have always been a characteristic of travel in Cuba, and this, along with low crime rates, means going it alone is safe and rewarding.

Where to stay

Best to meet others in Havana: Paradise Hostel Backpacker

Best for stays in Trinidad: Hostal Twins

What to do

Best to learn about the culture: Afro-Cuban religions walking tour in Havana

Best for a night out with friends: Cabaret Tropicana

Jaipur

Havana Capitol, Cuba © Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

3. Guatemala

If you’re looking for the best places to travel alone in Central and South America, don’t overlook Guatemala and its ancient Mayan ruins. It’s an inexpensive place to travel, which means you can stay for a while – to learn Spanish or even volunteer. Many come here for adventure activities like hiking, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Exploring the jungle is another great way to see the country. You can also get up close and personal with Central America’s most active volcano – the volcán de Fuego. Haggling for fresh produce in one of the country’s colourful markets is an adventure in itself.

Where to stay

Best for relaxed stays in Antigua: Barbara’s Boutique Hostel (adults only)

Best to discover Semuc Champey: El Portal de Champey

What to do

Best for an active adventure: Pocaya Volcano Trek from Antigua

Best for spirituality: Mayan ceremony at Lake Atitlan

Jaipur

Haggling for fresh produce at the market in Guatemala © Tim Draper/Rough Guides

4. Kenya

With its incredibly diverse ecosystem and reputation for the “Big Five” (elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), Kenya is the place for a safari. You can easily join a big group or arrange for a guide to take you out into the wilderness alone. The country has a good infrastructure and it’s easy to get around and find accommodation. Take care of your belongings, particularly in Nairobi; but don’t hide away in your hotel when it gets dark. Venture out to discover the city’s burgeoning nightlife scene (though taxis between venues are recommended).

Where to stay

Best in the CBD: Hillpark Hotel

Best for beach views: Sebbuleni Homestay Nyali

What to do

Best for Maasai Mara: 3 day tour from Nairobi

Best for getting to know the city: Storytelling tour with former street kids

Jaipur

A lion chases a herd of zebra in the Masai Mara National Reserve © GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock

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5. South Island, New Zealand

The list of solo activities you can do on New Zealand’s beautiful South Island is endless: horse riding, skiing, hiking, kayaking, bungy jumping, skydiving, jet boating, whitewater rafting… With jaw-dropping scenery around every corner, the small country is one big outdoor playground. Mountains, glaciers, lakes and craggy coastline form the backdrop for a place that is regularly voted one of the most beautiful in the world.

Where to stay

Best to meet people: Nomads Queenstown Backpackers

Best for nature views: YHA Wanaka

What to do

Best for scenery: Glowworm Cave Tour in Te Anau

Best for adventure: Zipline Tour in Christchurch

Jaipur

Lake Wanaka from Roy’s Peak © Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock

6. Barcelona, Spain

Busy Barcelona is one of the best places to travel alone. Its café-lined boulevards are perfect for people watching, or you can escape the hustle and bustle by heading out to one of the city beaches on the super easy to use public transport. In the evening you can avoid eating alone in a stuffy restaurant by doing as the Spanish do: grazing on tapas in one of the city’s cool bars.

Where to stay

Best to find new friends: Hostel One Sants

Best for views and a pool: Hotel Jazz

What to do

Best to find new friends: Barcelona Pub Crawl

Best for highlights of the city: Bike Tour including Sagrada Familia (from outside)

Jaipur

The Barri Gòtic (Old Town) of Barcelona © Francis XT/Shutterstock

7. Ireland

Ireland is famous for the welcome it extends to strangers; pull up a stool in a traditional Irish pub, offer to buy your neighbour a pint and you’ll have a friend for life – or at least the evening. Stay awhile and you might get lucky and catch a traditional Celtic music session. If you don’t have your own transport, then it can be tricky to get out to the remote west coast, though some people still hitchhike (of course not without its dangers). Here you’ll find some of the country’s most sacred sites including Skellig Michael and Croagh Patrick.

Where to stay

Best for pub crawling in Dublin: Cassidy’s Hotel

Best to discover Galway: The Nest Boutique Hostel

What to do

Best for views: Cliffs of Moher cruise

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Best for connoisseurs: Jameson Whiskey Tour in Cork

Jaipur

Ireland’s countryside is filled with atmospheric ruins © Joe Cornish/Dorling Kindersley

8. Nepal

If you’re an experienced altitude trekker, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal can be tackled independently, but it’s wise to hire a porter or set out with an organised group. Hiking this Himalayan circuit typically takes three weeks and it’s a great way to get up close to traditional mountain people; you need very little gear as you stay in comfortable teahouses along the way and buy food as you go.

Where to stay

Best for a cozy atmosphere: Thamel Hostel in Kathmandu

Best for a treat in Pokhara: Hotel Barahi

What to do

Best for foodies: Nepalese Cooking Class in Bhaktapur

Best for incredible views: Tandem Paragliding in Pokhara

Jaipur

Trekking in Nepal allows you to get a unique sense of the country © MOROZ NATALIYA/Shutterstock

9. New York City, USA

Explore the streets of Manhattan and the outer boroughs with no arguments over which world-famous museum, cutting edge art gallery or iconic landmark to visit. If you aren’t as brave as Carrie Bradshaw and don’t want to face a restaurant alone, then there are plenty of gourmet food markets to eat on the hop. You could also browse a Brooklyn flea market, people-watch in Times Square, go rollerblading in Central Park or take a sightseeing cruise on the Hudson.

Just remember to take The Pocket Rough Guide to New York City along to guide you to all the best spots.

Where to stay

Best to stay close to Broadway: HI NYC Hostel

Best for a splurge: MOXY NYC Times Square

What to do

Best for foodies: Underground Donut Tour

Best for first timers: Sunset cruise to Statue of Liberty

Jaipur

The Manhattan skyline with its endless appeal © Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

10. Hokkaidō, Japan

Japan is a very friendly country and outsiders, especially those travelling alone, are made welcome as a matter of course. Hokkaidō is the most northern and least developed of the country’s four main islands and although it brews the famous Sapporo beer, Hokkaidō is best known for the great outdoors. The 1972 Winter Olympic Games were held here. Hiking, skiing and birdwatching are top activities if you want to embrace the elements in a remote and unspoiled landscape. The island even has lavender fields of the type you might expect to see in Provence.

Where to stay

Best to make new friends: Grids Sapporo Hotel & Hostel

Best for the capsule hotel experience in a ski resort: The Lodge Moiwa 834

What to do

Get to know Japanese food on a private and personalised ‘Eat like a local’ tour.

Jaipur

Lavender Field at Tomita Farm, Furano, Hokkaido, Japan © Phubet Juntarungsee/Shutterstock

11. Jordan

Jordan is a gentle introduction to the Middle East, so follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia to explore evocative ruins and ancient cities, stargaze in the desert or float in the Dead Sea. On your travels, be ready to accept a few offers to drink tea or eat a meal in someone’s home. You’ll find it impossible to go anywhere in Jordan without experiencing some of its famous hospitality; it’s one of 21 highlights of visiting the country.

Where to stay

Best to splurge in Petra: Petra Bubble Luxotel

Best to get to know people: Hostel 1930 in Amman

What to do

Best for those with limited time in Jordan: Full day tour to Petra from Amman

Best for a private experience: Dead Sea Experience with Lunch from Amman

Jaipur

The Dead Sea lies between Jordan and Israel © Photographer Lili/Shutterstock

12. Southern Thailand

Thailand’s beaches and islands are on the traditional backpacking route. Whether you choose the Gulf coast to the east or the Andaman coast to the west, you are bound to find people to chat with over a cold Chang beer if you’re travelling alone. The land of smiles is also fifteen degrees north of the equator, so there’s a tropical climate with plenty of sunshine almost year-round.

Where to stay

Best for beach front in Koh Lanta: Peaceful Resort Koh Lanta

Best to make friends in Koh Samui: Timeless Hostel

What to do

Best for a fun day out: 4 WD Tour in Koh Samui

Best for water fans: Snorkeling Day from Koh Lanta by Catamaran

Jaipur

Thailand’s beautiful islands are perennially popular with solo travellers © Martin Richardson/Rough Guides

13. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country, and its residents are friendly and welcoming to all. In the interior of this island nation, the undeveloped hill country is home to tea plantations, ancient cities, forest reserves and sacred mountains. On the coast, you’ll find beautiful sandy beaches, quiet resorts and labyrinthine lagoons. Support local communities and get to know your hosts by staying in an ecolodge or a homestay.

Where to stay

Best beachfront in Galle: Ramya Ru Beach Home

Best for socializing in Kandy: Sizzlers Hub

What to do

Best for foodies: Eating with a local tour in Colombo

Best for seeing elephants: Day Safari from Ella to Yala National Park

Jaipur

Traditional stilt fishing near Galle in Sri Lanka © Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock

14. Copenhagen, Denmark

This laidback capital city Copenhagen makes a brilliant weekend destination for a solo traveller. It’s a compact city that’s easy to explore on foot or by bike – there are cycle paths everywhere – there’s a lovely Scandi café culture, great art museums and cool, low-key nightlife. In summer, you could hit the nearby beaches, one of the harbour baths or an outdoor city pool for a swim.

Where to stay

Best for making new friends: Danhostel Copenhagen City

Best for location: WakeUp Copenhagen – Borgergade

What to do

Best for first time visitors: Old Town Walking Tour

Best for a relaxing afternoon: 1-hour Canal Cruise

Jaipur

Copenhagen is the ideal size to explore on foot and by bike © William Perugini/Shutterstock

15. The Greek Islands

Yes, there are party islands and whole coastlines dedicated to package tourism, but it’s easy to escape the crowds and find a lonely and unspoilt beach or traditional Hellenic village, particularly if you travel off-season and aim to stay with locals. The ferry timetables easy to work out, so spend time hopping between islands or zone in on somewhere like Crete and explore every inch.

Where to stay

Best to party in Mykonos: MyCocoon Hostel

Best to chill in Crete: Balos Beach

What to do

Best to stay active on Crete: Full Day Trek to Samaria Gorge

Best for beach lovers in Crete: Full Day Tour Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay

Jaipur

The seafront in Mykonos, Greece © Ella Hanochi/Shutterstock

16. Newfoundland, Canada

Wild and craggy, Newfoundland is dotted with remote traditional fishing settlements that have been there for centuries. St John’s – a lively port city with plenty of nightlife – is a great place to start any solo trip. Get “screeched in” on George Street, a touristy but fun initiation for all newcomers (which basically involves kissing a cod and drinking rum). But the real reason to visit is to find peace in the remote wilderness of the interior or spend time on the coast viewing icebergs, whales and seabirds.

Where to stay

Best for a homestay in nature: AURA in Riverhead

Best for views: Oceanside Cabins in Bonavista

What to do

Best for sea adventures: Puffin & Whale Watching Cruise

Best for the curious mind: Manuels River Interpretation Center

Jaipur

Coastal cliffs on Cape St Mary in Newfoundland © Wildnerdpix/Shutterstock

17. Dubrovnik, Croatia

A historic walled city jutting out into the deep blue waters of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik has plenty to offer the solo traveller. Try to avoid high summer when cruise ships dock and passengers spill out into the narrow streets; the best times to visit are April and September when the weather is warm and the cafés and restaurants are open for the season. Walk the city walls, visit the islands by ferry and go sea kayaking around the stunning bay.

Where to stay

Best for socializing: Hostel Angelina Old Town

Best to splurge: Hotel Lero

What to do

Best for Game of Thrones fans: Walking Tour with hidden walls

Best for an active day out: Sea Kayaking

Jaipur

Dubrovnik never fails to capture the imagination – just try to avoid visiting in high season © Michal Rosak/Shutterstock

18. Southwest USA

The American Southwest is famed for its spectacular landscapes and although there are pine forests and snow-capped mountains, the region’s best-known vista is the deep red sandstone desert dotted with flat-topped buttes and towering pinnacles. A range of great tours makes this the perfect place to strike out solo. You can even star in your own Western in Monument Valley, joining a horseback tour along the valley’s many trails. Be sure to stop at the viewpoints and photograph lengthening shadows in the atmospheric early morning or late afternoon light.

Where to stay

Best for the Grand Canyon: Grand Canyon Inn and Motel – South Rim Entrance

Best to stay close to Monument Valley: Desert Rose Resort & Cabins

What to do

Best way to spend an evening: Sunset Tour in Monument Valley

Best views of the Grand Canyon: Scenic flight over the Canyon

Jaipur

The spectacular colours of Monument Valley at sunset © Bill45/Shutterstock

19. The East Coast, Australia

Australia‘s east coast is a popular route with backpackers who typically travel overland in either direction between Melbourne and Cairns. It’s the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. It’s easy to meet fellow travellers on this stretch as everyone is in holiday mode, taking time to hang out in hippie retreats, surf towns and national parks. A great way to meet people is to join a sailing trip to the pristine Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast.

Looking for more tips? Check out our complete guide to solo travel in Australia.

Jaipur

Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia © DAE Photo/Shutterstock

20. Rajasthan, India

Rajasthan is a wonderful introduction to India if you’re travelling alone. The Land of Kings is packed with forts and palaces, it’s easy to travel between the major sites of Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, and you’ll be spoilt for choice for atmospheric and inexpensive places to stay and eat. Spend time in the desert on the back of a camel and don’t miss the camel fair in Pushkar (held in October or November).

Where to stay

Best to make new friends: Zostel Jaipur

Best to splurge: Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur

What to do

For an unforgettable experience: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Jaipur

Best for foodies: Street Food Tour with a local guide

Jaipur

Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada Mausoleum in Jaipur © Marcel Toung/Shutterstock

Ready to go but prefer an organised tour?

Our tailor-made trips service is ready to take you to over 70 destinations worldwide, all with the help of carefully selected professional local experts. These experts are based in the destination(s) of your choice and organise full service trips: accommodation, transportation, and experiences. As the majority of these tours are privately guided, it is aimed at those with little time to plan but a thirst to really get to know a place. Those on a limited budget may be better off with our guidebooks for the selected destination.

For more on solo travel, check out our podcast: What does solo female travel look like today?

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6 of the best destinations to visit in December

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a waterfall surrounded by trees © Provided by The Points Guy

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The holiday season is in full swing, though this December certainly doesn’t look like any other.

Whether you’re planning for this year or already dreaming about next, December has long been a popular time for travel, since many people have paid time off for the holidays and students can get a break from school. And there are some destinations that, no matter how unfamiliar the world may seem, are simply best seen with a dusting of snow or a flash of holiday tinsel.

For people who are seeking close-to-home getaways now or planning future trips for next winter, these are the six destinations we’re most excited about for December, including warm-weather getaways, places with iconic outdoor holiday attractions and mountain towns with snow sports perfect for physical distancing.

Just remember, it’s still incredibly important to focus on flexible travel plans, pay close attention to the guidance from local and national officials and medical experts and be mindful of testing and quarantine requirements if you’re leaving town. Take thoughtful steps to minimize your risk of coronavirus exposure and always prioritize your health — and the health of everyone around you — by wearing your mask, keeping your distance, washing your hands frequently and more.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out the most exciting and promising destinations for 2021 and learn how to minimize your risk of getting sick no matter where or when you travel.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

a view of a city at night: Philadelphia. (Photo by Claire Gentile/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Philadelphia. (Photo by Claire Gentile/Getty Images)

One of the few cities in the country still hosting its annual Christmas market, Philadelphia is a perfect destination for travelers in search of the holiday spirit. Head to LOVE Park to explore the Christmas Village, which features traditional timber booths, glittering lights and the aroma of German delicacies, including bratwurst, glühwein and lebkuchen (gingerbread).

The City of Brotherly Love has also welcomed a flurry of new hotel openings this year and last, and if you haven’t visited in a while you might be surprised by the number of new places to bed down. Some of our favorites include the Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia, which welcomed its first guests this summer; the new Hyatt Centric Center City; and the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at the Comcast Center and The Notary Hotel, an Autograph Collection property, both of which opened in the summer of 2019.

Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to love Philadelphia this winter — including how accessible it is for travelers who are seeking close-to-home adventures reachable by car or train.

TPG tip: Want to make sure your trip to Philadelphia includes plenty of time spent in the great outdoors? Head to the Poconos, a scenic mountain region just an hour and a half from the city with waterfalls and rivers that’s perfect for winter hiking and cross-country skiing.

Las Vegas, Nevada

a view of Las Vegas Strip at night: Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Sattlberger/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Sattlberger/Getty Images)

The next time you travel to Sin City, you might be surprised at how much has changed. Gone are the opulent self-service buffets, and most clubs and parties remain closed. Shows are beginning to reopen, but you shouldn’t expect the same variety of performances.

But in many ways, your trip to Las Vegas may be better than expected. Gone are the impassable crowds, and with social distancing policies, travelers may find this new version of Las Vegas to be far more comfortable and less stressful. Travelers can also find incredible deals on hotel room rates, and free parking has made a popular comeback.

Gallery: Places You Can Escape To During Quarantine — If You’re Rich (GOBankingRates)

a tree next to a body of water: Who doesn’t dream of escaping from the limitations of COVID-19 to somewhere tropical, remote, exotic or exciting? For most of us, however, due to costs and restrictions, getting much further away than driving distance is mostly a pipe dream. Read More: Airline Warns of Slow Recovery for Air Travel For the uber-rich, however, travel, even under heavy restrictions, is a no-brainer. Those with the cash to go anywhere they can afford are seeking out locales with limited numbers of people, and low or declining COVID-19 infection rates, according to CNBC. These range from tropical respites such as private islands to coastal towns with access to surf and sun. From private jets to luxury villas, the rich know how to quarantine in style. Here are five places the rich are visiting to escape quarantine. Last updated: Dec. 7, 2020

In late October, Las Vegas also welcomed Circa Resort and Casino. This splashy opening marked the first new-build hotel in downtown Las Vegas since the 1980s, the first adults-only resort in the city (guests must be 21 or older) and it’s also home to the world’s largest sportsbook.

Another reason to consider a trip to Las Vegas this December or next? You don’t have to worry about sweating it out in 100-degree weather.

TPG tip: Whether you’re traveling to Las Vegas this December or next, leverage elite status matches to get Caesars Rewards Diamond Tier benefits during your next trip (available until Dec. 31, 2020)

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

a group of people standing on top of a snow covered mountain: Steamboat Springs. (Photo by Zach Shortway/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Steamboat Springs. (Photo by Zach Shortway/Getty Images)

Want to enjoy wide-open spaces and fresh mountain air this winter? Steamboat Springs, an authentic ski town in northern Colorado with plenty of old-school charm may be the best place in the country to get your turns this year.

With exceptionally dry snow, an Old West aesthetic and an average of 314 inches of powder every year, there’s a reason Steamboat Springs is a perennial favorite among skiers and snowboarders. But for travelers planning a last-minute December getaway, there are new reasons to keep this town at the top of your list.

Starting Dec. 19, Southwest Airlines will fly new seasonal routes from Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Denver (DEN) to Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN), the closest gateway to Steamboat Springs. JetBlue is adding nonstop service from New York-JFK. During ski season, United, American and Alaska also serve Yampa Valley Regional. And while other major ski areas are requiring reservations, Steamboat isn’t, which might make planning your ski vacation less stressful.

TPG tip: If you really want to make sure you’re avoiding other people, this might be the year to take to the backcountry. At the Bluebird Backcountry ski area, which officially opens this year and will be the first resort of its kind in North America, there are no lifts: Guests will ski uphill or “skin” to the top of their run. It’s just 30 minutes from Steamboat Springs, and there are warming huts, a lodge, gear rentals, ski patrol and 1,200 avalanche-evaluated in-bounds acres.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

a large body of water with buildings in the background: Hilton Head, South Carolina. (Photo by Dennis Govoni/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Hilton Head, South Carolina. (Photo by Dennis Govoni/Getty Images)

It’s easy to see why so many snowbirds head to South Carolina’s Lowcountry to wait out the winter. In December, this barrier island experiences mostly mild weather and has plenty of holiday spirit.

Take part in a Jingle Bell Run, enjoy the twinkling lights on the harbor at The Sea Pines Resort and get into the holiday spirit at South Beach Christmas Village (get a wave from Santa, listen to live music outside and enjoy a complimentary cup of cocoa around the fireside).

Hilton Head Island is drivable from many major metropolitan areas across the East Coast, including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Travelers can also fly into Hilton Head Airport (HHH), though there are many more flights into Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is about 40 miles away.

TPG tip: Hilton Head Island may be best known for its timeshare resorts, boutique properties and luxury home rentals, but you can also use your points to offset the cost of your stay — especially if you have a stash of Marriott Bonvoy points. Book a room at the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa (Category 5) or the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa (Category 6).

Dominican Republic

a group of people walking on a city street: The Dominican Republic. (Photo by Maremagnum/Getty Images) © The Points Guy The Dominican Republic. (Photo by Maremagnum/Getty Images)

With relatively easy entry requirements, the Dominican Republic is a practical tropical getaway for travelers craving an international escape. To help stop the spread of coronavirus, all travelers will have their temperature checked on arrival, must abide by social distancing and wear face masks, according to the Ministry of Tourism. But the nation is no longer requiring negative COVID-19 tests, which continues to be one of the biggest barriers in the travel industry.

Consider booking a room at the Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda — the first resort to open in this undeveloped region — which opened in January and is spread across 50 acres. Or head to Punta Cana to check out the new all-inclusive Serenade Punta Cana Beach, Spa & Casino Resort. And for travelers with Radisson Rewards points, there’s the just-opened Radisson Blu Resort & Residence, also in Punta Cana, which marks the brand’s first all-inclusive property in the world.

TPG tip: Leverage airline alliances to get the best deal on an award flight to the Dominican Republic. Consider using Turkish Miles & Smiles for a United flight, Flying Blue miles if you’re traveling with Delta or British Airways Avios, which might make the most sense if you’re flying American Airlines from the southeast.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

a canyon with a mountain in the background: Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (Photo by Jim Wiltschko/EyeEm/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (Photo by Jim Wiltschko/EyeEm/Getty Images)

A gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg isn’t just a summer retreat. In fact, this mountain town may be one of the best places to drop your bags for the holidays. Located in eastern Tennessee, visitors will discover a great year-round getaway with mild weather and a number of seasonal activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and even snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg (the state’s only ski resort) and the Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration at Dollywood.

With over 5 million lights, holiday performances (including classic carolers and Christmas-themed musical theater) and, for the first time ever, festive “Merry & Bright” fireworks displays set to holiday tunes, few places in the country will be conjuring the Christmas spirit quite like the Dollywood theme park. Smoky Mountains Christmas will run until Jan. 2, 2021.

Around the corner in Pigeon Forge, the annual Winterfest light festival gives visitors even more ways to experience the magic of the season. Just remember, it does snow in the Smoky Mountains, so do your research and make sure you’re careful to avoid any winter road closures.

TPG tip: Cozy up around the outdoor fire pit at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Gatlinburg Downtown by Marriott (from 30,000 points per night) or the Park Vista by Hilton Doubletree, which has great views of Gatlinburg and is perfect for families. Or, consider renting one of the area’s many cabins, which have the benefit of kitchens — perfect for avoiding public places — and other wintertime amenities such as hot tubs and fireplaces.

Featured photo of Hilton Head Island by Whitney Carlson/EyeEm/Getty Images

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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Top 10 Destinations to Solo Travel in USA 2021

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Are you looking forward to Solo Travel in the USA in 2020 then you’re in for the surprise as we countdown the Top 10 Best Destinations to Travel Solo in the USA. These are the breathtaking and most enjoyable places at an affordable budget.

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COVID-19 and Your Health

Air travel

New Travel Requirements:

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

COVID-19 Alert: Cases are Extremely High. Avoid Travel

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are extremely high across the United States. Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet/2 meters apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. The more steps you take, the more you and others around you are protected against COVID-19. View cases in the U.S. and cases by state on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community during and after travel. Check your state, territorial, or local health department for information about local quarantine requirements.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or you have tested positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Before You Consider Traveling

Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

If you must travel, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand.

  • Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
    If you get infected you can spread the virus to loved ones during travel and when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms. If your household includes one or more individuals at increased risk for severe illness, all family members should act as if they, themselves are at increased risk. Learn how to protect yourself and others.
  • Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state, territorial, and local department websites.
  • Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state, territorial, and local requirements before you travel.
  • During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
    The following activities can put you at higher risk for COVID-19:
    • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
    • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
    • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
    • Taking public transportation like planes, trains, or buses, or being in transportation hubs like airports.
    • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.
  • Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air, which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  • Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should delay your travel.

If You Must Travel

If you must travel, take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive.
  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Get Tested Before and After Travel

  • If you are traveling, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Make sure you have the results of your negative test before you travel. Keep a copy of your results with you during travel; you might be asked for them.
  • Do not travel if you test positive. Immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.
  • Get tested again with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect others from getting COVID-19 after travel:
    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19: Testing Before Travel

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COVID-19: Testing After Travel

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Traveling Internationally? All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Check CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination before planning your trip.

Check Travel Restrictions

State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel. Follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions.

If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any health information, testing, or other documents. Local policies at your destination may require you to be tested for COVID-19. If you test positive on arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

After You Travel

You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends, and community after your travel.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask  and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

Considerations for Types of Travel

Travel increases your chances of spreading and getting COVID-19. Delay travel and stay home. If you must travel, consider which activities you will be doing and their risk.

The type of transportation you use, type of accommodation you stay in, and the activities you do during travel, can increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.  Your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 while traveling also depend on whether you and those around you take steps to protect yourselves and others, by wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and staying 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you (social distancing). Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Airports, bus and train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to social distance. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19, the more likely you are to get infected.

Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air is circulated and filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. How you get to and from the airport, such as with public transportation and ridesharing, can also increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.

Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve being in crowded terminals and sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. If you choose to travel by bus or train, learn what you can do to protect yourself on public transportation.

Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces.

You may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but RV travel usually means staying at RV parks overnight and getting gas and supplies at other public places. These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from COVID-19 on different types of transportation.

Considerations for Staying with Family or Friends

If you, someone you live with, or anyone you plan to visit is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19,  delay travel and stay home. If you must travel, stay in a separate accommodation like a hotel, guest house, or short-stay rental.

Tips for staying overnight or hosting overnight guests

  • Wear masks while in shared spaces inside the house. Masks may be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arms lengths) away from each other at all times.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially upon arrival.
  • Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
  • Spend time together outdoors. Take a walk or sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart for interpersonal interactions.
  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.

Be prepared. Know what you will do if you, a family member or friend becomes sick during the visit. Make plans for isolation, medical care, basic care, and quarantining exposed people.

Tips to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19 in common travel situations:

In public:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.

Bathrooms and rest stops:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom and after you have been in a public place.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Getting gas:

  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pumps before you touch them.
  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When you get to your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Hotels and accommodations:

Food stops:

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USA travel

Dancing with the Stars

Are the ’90s still alive in Portland? The characters in the award-winning indie series Portlandia sure think so, and their satiric skits make it clear that this city is a quirky but lovable place. It’s as friendly as a big town, and home to a mix of students, artists, cyclists, hipsters, young families, old hippies, eco-freaks and everything in between. There’s great food, music and culture aplenty, plus it’s as sustainable as you can get. Come visit, but be careful – like everyone else, you might just want to move here!

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Travel & Leisure just released its list of the 50 best places to travel in 2020. Here’s a look at the 7 US destinations that made the list.

Hospitality Recreation
Travel & Leisure just released its list of the 50 best places to travel in 2020. Here’s a look at the 7 US destinations that made the list.Travel & Leisure just released its list of the 50 best places to travel in 2020. Here’s a look at the 7 US destinations that made the list. 0) ? window.innerWidth : screen.width; var billboard_format = [[970,500],[970,250],[970,90],[728,90]]; var rectangle_format = [[300,600],[336,280],[300,250],[160,600]]; var addPosition = false; var detailBottomPosition = true; var mobile = false; if (deviceWidth 728 && deviceWidth <= 970 ){ billboard_format = [[728,90]]; platform = ['tablet_web']; } if(deviceWidth Magazines
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The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo Travelers

Airbnb
The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersPin me!

The USA is gorgeous, from sea to shining sea. I love being from such a huge and varied country with all kinds of different landscapes, cultures, and things to see. If I spent my lifetime never leaving the States and only exploring my own backyard, I’d have so much variety it would still feel like I’d traveled far and wide.

It’s incredible that in one country you can get some of the highest mountain tops, tropical beaches in Hawaii and glaciers in Alaska, plus rocky and warm deserts with some of the most breathtaking rock formations on planet Earth.

So for those who want to test out solo traveling at home before they go abroad, or if you’re from elsewhere and want to see what the US has to offer to solo travelers, you’ve made a great choice. But with so many options, you might be wondering where to start. For a visual tour, watch the video below, or keep reading for an explanation of each below:

These are some of my favorites in the USA, plus the advice of several other solo female travelers to get you started:

1. Alabama Hills, California

alabama hills sunrisealabama hills sunriseJust amazing

The Alabama Hills is an area of BLM land, meaning it’s owned by the public, with arches, beautiful views of the Eastern Sierras, and lots of Hollywood history. I did a solo road trip here and enjoyed every minute of it. If you are a photography lover, the Alabama Hills has plenty of photogenic stops, including the popular Movie Road as pictured above, Mobius Arch (go at sunset!), Boot Arch, and Miss Alabama herself.

As a solo traveler, you’ll get lots of solitude in the Alabama Hills and the other deserts on my California deserts road trip, which I personally loved. This is one of the beautiful things about traveling in this part of the world – all the wide open spaces and the spiritual vibe. Plus, you can’t beat the stargazing or the sunsets!

2. Page, Arizona

arizona itineraryarizona itineraryMind-blowing

Page is the jumping-off point for several of Arizona’s most beautiful places. I was blown away by Horseshoe Bend and of course the famous Antelope Canyon in particular. Since this part of the world attracts so many travelers, I found it easy to have conversations with others who were free camping with me, and even made a friend when I ventured to the paid campsites for a shower (but not in the shower itself, it was in the parking lot later, I swear).

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo Travelers

If you’re considering which of the two canyons to visit I did a comparison of Lower and Upper here, though both are worth checking out for different reasons!

3. San Francisco, California

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelAt Baker Beach

Whenever people who aren’t from the state visit California, almost everyone ends up falling in love with San Francisco. As a native Southern Californian it’s in my DNA to roll my eyes and find this offensive but deep down, I silently agree. The Bay Area in general is beautiful, temperate, and has a unique culture. My European friends often say it has a charm that reminds them of home.

I love it for the ease of getting around on the BART system, how small and contained the city itself is, how picturesque, and how multicultural it is. Try a yoga or meditation class, head there during Pride or Outside Lands music festival, and see some live music. It’s the perfect place to jump off from or end up in when on a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway too!

Book your stay in San Francisco here, or check this mushroom dome on Airbnb out!

4. Bayfield, Wisconsin

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelApostle Islands sailing – what a dream

Midwesterners are known for being friendly and they lived up to their reputation when I visited Bayfield, Wisconsin. It’s an artsy town with outgoing people, and it is small enough that it feels intimate yet big enough that there is plenty to do. Join a kayaking trip, a boat trip, or take a drive around to the various orchards.

There are plenty of beaches and quirky hangouts as well. If you love camping, there’s plenty of that and if you visit in the winter, the famous caves ice over, which looks incredible. If you’re into photography and the outdoors, then you will absolutely love this little town on Lake Superior, the jumping-off point for the Apostle Islands.

Book your stay in Bayfield here, or spend a night on a sailboat!

5. Moab, Utah

capitol reefcapitol reefA great spot to meet fellow adventurous female travelers

Moab is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. For those all about the camper van life, bouldering, hiking, and kayaking, Moab has it all going on. It’s where you’ll find Canyonlands and Arches National Parks as well as Dead Horse Point State Park. Basically it’s one of the most gorgeous areas on Earth with a high concentration of incredible rock formations and free campsites.

I easily met people just by hanging around the free campsites, the coffee shops, and while watching the sunset over Dead Horse Point during my solo American Southwest road trip. I tend to find that when a place attracts people because of common shared interest, especially something outdoorsy, it tends to be social. Moab is a perfect example of that.

Book your stay in Moab here, or check out this awesome Airbnb with 600+ 5-star ratings!

6. Big Sur, California

mcway fallsmcway fallsBig Sur’s most famous feature, McWay Falls

I’ve looked on every continent and I still haven’t found anywhere as beautiful or majestic as Big Sur on the central coast in California. Though it’s had its fair share of disasters lately, when accessible, McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the dreamiest waterfalls I’ve seen.

Big Sur is a fantastic place to unwind. If you want to meet others, the campsites can be pretty social. However when I’m out there, I find the best companions are the dolphins and whales jumping out of the water, the squirrels and deer on the trail, and the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. For more on my favorite state and national parks in California, check out my musings on Alamo’s Scenic Route.

Book your stay in Big Sur here, or stay in a yurt!

7. Squaw Valley, California

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelBeautiful view from KT-22 at Squaw

“My go-to solo trip destination is Squaw Valley. During the winter, Squaw offers amble skiable terrain that is safe to navigate solo, in addition to a wide array of yoga classes and spa services perfect for wrapping up a long day of solo skiing or boarding.

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelBailey at Squaw

The variety of restaurants at Squaw also cater to the solo female travel with many offering small intimate booths where you can curl up with a book and hot toddy while waiting for your meal. When the snow has melted, Squaw is still my favorite solo trip destination as it offers dozens of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. For those who don’t feel comfortable hiking or biking on their own, there are multiple companies who offer guided tours.” – Bailey of Feng Shui Mommy

Book your stay in Squaw Valley here!

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersVegas, baby!

Las Vegas wouldn’t have been the first place that I would have expected to be awesome alone, but with so much to do, it’s actually perfect!

According to Noni, “I’ve traveled in North America by myself and I’ve never enjoyed anything more than Las Vegas!! I’m not American and didn’t expect much before, but when I arrived I knew it was so much better than any other location in Northern America!

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelNoni in Vegas

It’s very easy to meet people, everybody’s in a good mood and very open to meeting new people, there’s a bus that’s very popular and goes every couple of minutes which makes traveling easy and there’s so much to do, from cinemas and clubs to bowling and casino’s – Las Vegas is definitely my favorite place to travel as a female solo traveler!” – Noni of Noni May

Book your stay in Las Vegas here!

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

solo female travel in new orleans - Taken at Royal and Dumaine street in the French Quartersolo female travel in new orleans - Taken at Royal and Dumaine street in the French QuarterGetting cheered on while taking selfie in front of the French Quarter

“I believe New Orleans is a perfect place for solo female travelers to visit. I have traveled there on my own and loved it. The city may be known for Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, but there is a fascinating and rich cultural history to discover over a long weekend. There’s something for everyone in NOLA. For starters, I suggest staying in a boutique hotel on Royal Street, right near the allegedly haunted LaLaurie Mansion. While you’re there, tour cemeteries in the Garden District and the French Quarter, and sample the town’s famous beignets, po’ boys, and beverages.

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo Travelers

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersEntertainment is plentiful and ranges from low key to raging parties. Learn about the dueling reign and lingering influence of France and Spain, or the city’s centuries-long history of voodoo and witchcraft. Or join the revelers in the Fruit Loop for a round of Hand Grenades. You’re sure to find exactly what you’re in the mood for and stay within your budget, too.

New Orleans is a large city, but easy to navigate on foot or by streetcar and bus. I never felt unsafe as a solo traveler because the streets are always bustling with tourists and locals, although it’s smart to practice precautions appropriate for travel in any big city.”  – Brittany of She Goes With Purpose.

Book your stay in New Orleans here. Airbnb has a bunch of great options, too.

10. Maui, Hawaii

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersRoad to Hana – unmissable

I forgive you if you don’t think of Hawaii when you think of great places to travel solo, and I wouldn’t have either until I actually went to Maui alone last year. It was fantastic! There was so much to do, from a women’s surf school, to driving the Road to Hana, and joining snorkeling trips.

I thought I would be surrounded by honeymooners but I actually found that people were very outgoing and friendly, coupled off or not. I highly recommend Maui solo, much to my surprise!

Book your stay in Maui here, or check this adorable cottage out!

11. The Big Island of Hawaii

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersA gorgeous Airbnb – you can find so many of them on the Big Island!

“The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the best places for adventurous solo female travelers to visit. With volcanoes, world-class dive sites, interesting beaches, and miles of hiking trails, any girl with a penchant for the unexplored can never get bored. Solo travelers will love watching lava bubble at the top of Mauna Loa, snorkeling in Honaunau Bay, and visiting Uncle Robert’s night market — an eclectic market that serves fresh food and sells handmade clothing, beauty products, and decor.

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelChantae doing her thing!

It’s easy to meet friends through activities, at the beach, and by going on day tours. The island is easy to navigate with a rental car as there is one main road that circles around the entire island. Most people consider going to the more tourist-heavy islands like Oahu, but the Big Island is an underrated spot that is well worth the trek over.” – Chantae of The Salt Sirens

Book your stay in The Big Island here, or consider staying in a real treehouse (!).

Read: The perfect Hawaii Big Island itinerary, the best beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii, 25 amazing things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii

12. Seattle, Washington

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersView for days

“Traveling solo in Seattle is great because it offers such a variety of activities that you can enjoy some solitude or plant yourself in an area teeming with activity (or even do both easily on the same day). Seattle offers neighborhoods with distinct character, food from any culture you can imagine, fantastic museums, and gorgeous public parks.

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelRobin and Ava canoeing!

A highlight of any trip to Seattle was experiencing the exceptionally talented local musicians that perform throughout the city on most nights. Jazz, experimental, rock, punk, metal, baroque, blues, hip-hop ­– all there waiting for you. Public transit can get you most places during the day and taxis/ride-shares are readily available for late night adventures. It is very common for people to dine solo or listen to live music by themselves in Seattle, so no need to hesitate or feel awkward. Also, if you have heard of the “Seattle Freeze” don’t worry locals are actually friendly and helpful once you start the conversation. But no umbrellas please!” – Robin

Book your stay in Seattle here. There are many great options on Airbnb, too!

13. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersCape Cod is for sunset lovers

“Cape Cod is known as the tail of Massachusetts and a family-friendly beach destination in New England, but it’s also very well suited to solo female travelers. Why? Because it’s extremely safe, easy to get around, and downright beautiful. The Cape is just over an hour’s drive from Boston or Providence. You’ll definitely want to have a car so that you can freely explore its beautiful beaches. The ocean beaches are all lined with epic sand dunes, while the bay beaches host the most stunning sunsets (if you’re lucky enough to catch one at low tide, wow – the reflections off the puddles in the sand flats are something else!).

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelLindsay in Cape Cod

Outdoor adventurers should tackle the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which runs for 25 miles from Dennis to Wellfleet. There are outposts all along the trail where you can rent a bike and cycle past cranberry bogs, marshes, and lakes. Or for slightly less-active adventures, hit up Wellfleet for the weekend flea market and drive-in movies, gay-friendly Provincetown for shopping and nightlife, and just about any restaurant for the Cape’s legendary clam chowder.” – Lindsay of Frugal Frolicker

Book your stay in Cape Cod here, or look for an Airbnb!

14. Minneapolis, Minnesota

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelPretty, pretty Minneapolis

“I call Minneapolis the Stockholm of the Midwest. It’s filled with Swedish-Americans, gets very cold in winter (colder than Stockholm, actually), and has many opportunities to enjoy the fine arts.

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travelHayley in Minneapolis

“For a solo female traveler, it’s a perfect big city to visit. It’s safe to wander around, has beautiful architecture and natural vistas, provides great bike paths, and features plenty of fun shops like cafes and stationary boutiques.

When it comes to the outdoors, in the summertime it’s wonderful to explore all the green space and the hundreds of lakes nearby. And in the winter you have plenty of opportunities to go ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, and snowshoeing. No matter the time of year, Minneapolis has plenty on the calendar for you to enjoy.” – Hayley of International Hotdish

Book your stay in Minneapolis here, or look for an Airbnb!

15. Sun Valley, Idaho

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travel

Idaho really must be one of the most beautiful states in the wintertime. I celebrated New Year’s there last year and I just loved the welcoming and friendly vibe.

Sun Valley is a quaint town with fantastic skiing, snowshoeing, naturally occurring hot springs, and locals who are more than happy to have a conversation with visitors and newcomers. Idaho is so underrated! If you want to venture outside of Sun Valley, there are tons of amazing hot springs to check out. You can find my itinerary here.

Book your stay in Idaho here, or stay in a cozy, heated treehouse!

best places in USA for solo travelbest places in USA for solo travel

Though the USA is huge, and no list could ever do the wealth of places to see and experience justice, these are a few of our favorites. I hope this list helped you to get a sense of where to start, or continue, your solo journey.

If you have some favorite solo spots to share, please tell me in the comments below!

The 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo TravelersThe 15 Best Places in the USA for Solo Travelers

*This post was brought to you in partnership with Alamo Rent A Car. All thoughts on the best places to travel solo in the USA belong to their respective authors. 

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