The Best Solo Travel Beach Destinations in the USA
There’s nothing quite like a beach vacation to help you relax and rejuvenate. And while beaches are often thought of as being ideal for couples or families, they can actually be great solo travel destinations as well.
If you’re looking for the best solo travel beach destinations in the USA, you’ve come to the right place. Solo travel can be a great way to relax and enjoy some time to yourself, and what better place to do that than at one of America’s stunning beaches?
In this article, we’ll be counting down the top solo travel beach destinations in the USA, so you can start planning your next solo trip.
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Table of Contents
- Santa Monica State Beach
- Anna Maria Island
- Magen’s Bay, USVI
- Cape Cod
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
- Hilton Head Beach
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Kaanapali Beach
- Clearwater Beach
- Marco Island Florida
- La Jolla
- Final Thoughts
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica State Beach is an iconic Californian beach, perfect for a solo traveler. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, exploring, and people-watching. Nearby, you’ll find the Santa Monica Pier, an amusement park complete with rides, a ferris wheel, and lots of places to grab a snack. If you’re curious about the local fauna, you can walk to the end of the pier and watch the people fishing–you may even see them catch a small shark or a stingray!
As a solo traveler, you will find that there’s so much activity and so many groups of varied sizes that, most likely, no one will even notice that you’re alone. There’s so much to do at the beach and in the surrounding area that you’ll be able to enjoy your own company without getting bored.
The beach is located adjacent to the city of Santa Monica, one of the safest parts of Los Angeles. Make sure that you take time to wander! When you’ve had your fill of the beach, you can check out the Saturday Santa Monica Farmer’s Market for a healthy snack, or stop for an iced coffee at one of the popular Californian coffee shops like Blue Bottle, 10 Speed Coffee, or Menotti’s Coffee Stop.
Santa Monica is also a foodie haven, with contemporary and healthy restaurants throughout the city and along the beachfront. Walk about 30 minutes down the beach to Venice to try the iconic vegan restaurant, Cafe Gratitude, where you can find a delicious and perfectly Californian meal.
If you do decide to wander around Santa Monica and Venice, head back to Santa Monica State Beach for the sunset. You won’t want to miss it!
Contributed By: Amber | Blog: Amber Everywhere
Anna Maria Island
Florida’s Gulf Coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Anna Maria Island is definitely one of them.
Located off the coast of Sarasota, Anna Maria is a tropical paradise. With powder white sand, crystal turquoise waters, and out-of-this-world sunsets, you may never want to leave! The gulf has warm water with minimal waves which is perfect for relaxing on a raft or snorkeling for shells. All you need is an umbrella and a book, and you can spend hours listening to the seagulls and the waves.
But there is so much more to do than just sunbathe! For the foodies there are amazing seafood restaurants, locally-owned donut and ice cream shops, and upscale restaurants overlooking the ocean scattered along the island. You can even have all-you-can-eat pancakes on the beach while sitting with your toes in the sand!
And for those with a more adventurous spirit, try parasailing over the sparkling water, fishing off the Anna Maria pier, or kayaking in Bimini Bay.
A great way to explore the entire island is to rent a golf cart for the weekend or use the free hop-on hop-off trolley that runs daily. While the entire island has the laid-back vibes you want when on a beach vacation, the northern end of the island is more private.
For nightlife, Bridge Street at the southern end has fun bars, more restaurants, and shops. Anna Maria Island is the best place to visit when traveling solo because there is something here for everyone to enjoy!
Contributed By: Erin | Blog: Super Simple Salty Life
Magen’s Bay, USVI
Learn about the Caribbean’s pirate history or find turtles snorkeling in the pristine turquoise waters of Magen’s Bay, USVI. The United States Virgin Islands is an excellent option for solo travelers to visit the tropics with no passport required. With a fairly short and inexpensive flight from the US, whisk yourself to islands that offer fantastic beaches, plenty of tourist highlights and viewpoints, and a laid-back, friendly atmosphere that makes meeting new people easy.
There are three main islands to choose from when visiting the USVI – St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Each island has its own unique personality and attractions.
As a solo traveler, the tourism infrastructure and size of the island make St. Thomas the perfect home base to start exploring the territory. St. Thomas is the most developed of the three and provides a variety of activities, from its famous duty-free shopping and historical town attractions to watersports and beach-hopping.
Magen’s Bay is widely considered to be the best beach in St. Thomas. The bay is sheltered from the open ocean, making the calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling to try your luck finding turtles. The white sand beaches and lush vegetation are beautiful, and there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy.
Take a ride to St. Thomas’s highest point, Mountain Top, to get a taste of the famous banana daiquiri. Sip on your slice of island paradise, soaking in panoramic views of Magen’s Bay and the neighboring islands from its huge observation deck.
Finally, don’t miss the most epic Caribbean experience – sailing around white sand beaches and crossing azure waters around or to nearby islands. Just make sure to pack for any sailing conditions as storms can brew quickly.
Contributed By: Catherine | Blog: Nomadicated
Cape Cod is a beautiful region along the Massachusetts coast with over 500 miles of shoreline to explore, and it’s known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country. But this area is also a wonderful destination for solo travelers because it’s incredibly safe, inclusive, and easy to navigate.
Solo travelers will enjoy Cape Cod for its natural beauty, but will also love the ability to have a quiet and relaxing vacation to themselves, or meet new people by visiting some of the local bars and restaurants, and going on some awesome tours.
The Cape Cod National Seashore is home to the best beaches on the Cape. In fact, Coast Guard Beach within the National Seashore has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. by Conde Nast, making it perfect for a day of flying solo along the shore.
While Cape Cod is one of the safest areas in the U.S., Provincetown is regarded as one of the most inclusive destinations in the country. Known for its LGBTQ+ community, it’s long been a welcoming artist’s haven, where everyone is accepted just as they are. For LGBTQ+ solo travelers with safety concerns, Provincetown is an incredible destination to experience.
If you’re looking to get out and meet fellow travelers, Provincetown is a great place to start with plenty of bars, lively restaurants, and awesome nightlife. And if you’re looking to mingle with others on a tour, there are lots of whale watching and sailing experiences to join.
Cape Cod can easily be navigated by car. The closest airport is Boston Logan International Airport, and from there, you’ll drive 1.5 hours to Cape Cod. Once you arrive on the Cape, everything is accessible by car, and cell service is reliable for a very worry-free beach vacation.
Contributed By: Samantha | Blog: New England Wanderlust
Cannon Beach, Oregon
The town of Cannon Beach is one of the best places to go for solo travelers! The cute beach town has so much to explore – local cafes and restaurants, art galleries, and quirky shops. And of course, the beach itself is the perfect place to go, whether you want to relax on the shoreline or bring a surfboard and catch some waves!
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a little bit, you can spend some time exploring the hiking trails near Cannon Beach. With three state parks just minutes away, you can choose from easy nature walks along the ocean, or steeper treks that will take you through old growth forest and out to views of the sea!
Cannon Beach is a great destination for solo travelers, because it’s a safe place to visit, and there are options for every budget – you can stay in a seaside hotel, or go camping nearby. There’s also tons to do, so whether you want to learn about the history of the town and meet locals and other travelers, or you want to adventure solo, you’ll find the perfect way to spend your trip!
The most popular time to visit Cannon Beach is in the summer, but heading to the coast in spring or fall can give you an opportunity to enjoy the beach with fewer crowds around. But, be sure to bring some rain gear – the Oregon Coast is known for moody weather!
Contributed By: Anna | Blog: Anna Tee
Hilton Head Beach
There’s plenty to do in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a solo traveler. For starters, the island is famous for its golf courses. In fact, there are more than fifteen golf courses on the island, so whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll be able to find a course that’s right for you.
If golf isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options for things to do. The island is home to several beautiful beaches such as Coligny Beach and Mitchelville Beach Park, so you can spend your days lounging in the sun or swimming in the ocean.
For a more active trip, the island also has many miles of trails, and renting bikes is very popular here. Sea Pines Forest Preserve and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge are both excellent choices if you’re looking to get into nature and see wildlife.
Hilton Head Island is also a nice place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing solo trip. There’s plenty to keep you busy, but it also has a laid-back vibe that makes it perfect for unwinding and enjoying some time to yourself.
The Sea Pines area of Hilton Head Island has lots to explore including Harbour Town, which is famous for the lighthouse and pier, which provide epic views of the surrounding area. There are also plenty of shops, food options, and water activities here.
Hilton Head Island is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a solo trip that’s both relaxing and enjoyable. With its beautiful beaches, golf courses, shops, and restaurants, there’s plenty to keep you busy on your vacation. Whether you’re looking for shopping, outdoor activities, relaxing at the beaches, or amazing lowcountry food, there’s something to do on the island that suits your interests.
Contributed By: Wanye | Blog: Always On The Shore
Mackinac Island, Michigan
If you’re looking for one of the best beach destinations for solo travelers in the USA, then look no further than Mackinac Island, Michigan.
After all, this quaint island is incredibly safe and sits just in between the lower and upper peninsulas in Lake Huron.
As a result, it’s an enchanting place with incredible beaches that sit along the shores of Lake Huron and that offer visitors sweeping panoramas of the area.
You also won’t have to worry about traffic, pollution, or excessive noise since the island is car-free is 80% protected land and can be accessed via an 18-minute ferry ride from the mainland.
Once on the island, be sure to enjoy pristine beaches like British Landing and some of the beaches that dot the coast of Mackinac Island State Park.
Yes, the water is cold, but it’s a stunning blue color and is some of the clearest and cleanest water in the country.
Then, after relaxing at the beach, enjoy other fun activities for solo travelers like a visit to Fort Holmes, a stroll through the historic downtown, a tour of the Grand Hotel, and a stop at Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.
Whatever you do though, don’t leave the park without photographing the immortal Arch Rock. It’s a gorgeous limestone arch that stands 146 feet in the air.
It can also be accessed from the downtown area by using either the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail or the Arch Rock Road.
Both trails are easy to navigate and sit about a mile away from the downtown area – making them a great way to explore one of the best islands in the Great Lakes.
Contributed By: Linda | Blog: Midwest Explored
Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is one of the most popular beaches.
Located on a resort, Kaanapali beach is highly recommended for solo travelers due to the many activities you can do there and the safety that it provides.
Kaanapali Beach is very safe for solo travelers as it’s located in a family-friendly resort in West Maui. If you are planning to stay in the resort, you’ll have access to hotel parking, and all the outside amenities such as cabanas, snorkeling gear, and swimming pools.
It has some of the clearest waters for snorkeling where you can see schools of fish and even turtles. It’s also great for swimming, surfing, and paddleboarding! If you are an adventure seeker, you can even cliff dive off the black rock located on the northern end of Kaanapali beach.
What’s also great about Kaanapali Beach is Whaler’s Village, which is a shopping center and area with amazing restaurants for when you get hungry. The Hula Grill, one of the best restaurants on Maui, is a must-try restaurant at Whaler’s Village so you can have a meal with a view right on the beach!
The best way to end your day on Kaanapali Beach is to watch the sunset. Make sure to head to the Sheraton on the north end before sunset to see local Hawaiians light up the tiki torches and cliff dive off the black rock–a routine performed every single night.
Kaanapali Beach is the perfect place for solo travelers who want to explore and have an amazing time!
Contributed by: Pafoua | Blog: Her Wanderful World
Welcome to paradise in Clearwater Beach, Florida! This pristine sugar-white sand beach town is an ideal location for solo travelers. Here you are close to major attractions, delicious restaurants, as well as some amazing places to stay on the beach.
Clearwater Beach is located on the west coast of Florida in Pinellas County. Less than 40 minutes from the Tampa International Airport (TPA), it is easily accessible by car, bus, or driver. There is also St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) that is even closer and offers budget-friendly options from low-cost carriers.
Clearwater Beach is perhaps best known for its award-winning beaches. It has been repeatedly ranked #1 by TripAdvisor as the “Best Beach in America” in 2017 and 2019. Enjoy a lazy day by the water and take in the spectacular views and scenery.
There is a substantial list of great attractions within a short proximity of Clearwater Beach. It is most known for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is located within a 5-minute drive away.
As a solo traveler, you can easily beach hop with others to nearby towns. The Suncoast Beach Trolley goes along Gulf Boulevard to locations including St. Pete Beach and John’s Pass Village. John’s Pass Village in Madeira Beach has a spectacular list of fun things to do including pirate cruises, deep sea fishing, shark boat tours, and more!
Before leaving Clearwater Beach you must make time for a beach walk at sunset. At Pier 60, you will be entertained by the nightly celebration and gulf views that stretch for miles. With your toes still in the sand, continue your beach walk to a casual beachfront restaurant nearby for live music and delicious seafood. Tate Island Grill, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, and The Salty Crab Bar & Grill are just a few options. Whatever you decide, you can’t go wrong with Clearwater Beach for a relaxing solo getaway!
Contributed by: Erin | Blog: Erin Travel Tips
Marco Island Florida
When it comes to finding great beaches for a solo traveler, southwest Florida is one of the best tropical destinations in the country, and nowhere is it better than in Marco Island.
Located south of Naples on the Gulf coast and at the edge of the Everglades and the 10,000 Islands, there’s plenty of sun, sand, and fun things to do on Marco Island.
There are 6 miles of spectacular pristine beaches with Tigertail Beach arguably being the best among them. The beaches are never crowded, and Tigertail has soft white sand, a gentle surf, and warm clear water. It’s easy to get to, has plenty of parking, showers and changing rooms, and an awesome snack bar.
The beaches on Marco Island also have the best shelling in the area if you’re seeking to add more beauties to your collection. There are many tours that will take you to nearby Keewaydin and other barrier islands where shelling goes from awesome to spectacular.
For a solo traveler, it’s easy to make new friends with the many eateries and casual bars just off the beach. Many tours are small with other just a few other travelers, some of them also traveling alone. In the evening there are sunset happy hours and a wide range of restaurants where you can relax after a day on the sand.
When you need a day off from the beach, Marco has great shopping, dolphin and manatee tours, and kayak tours to the Everglades.
For a solo traveler, Marco Island has a wide range of accommodations and restaurants, great shopping, and best of all, great beaches.
Contributed by: Lori | Blog: Naples Florida Travel Guide
La Jolla is one of the best coastal towns in California. This San Diego enclave has a lot to offer everyone – especially solo travelers. With its mild weather, beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and laid-back atmosphere, La Jolla is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy some time alone.
Start with a visit to one of the town’s stunning beaches. La Jolla Shores beach is a great place to catch some California rays or take a surf lesson. Scripps Pier is another beautiful spot to visit during the day, and Windandsea Beach is highly recommended for an incredible sunset. Black’s Beach is another beautiful spot with great waves, but it’s also known for being a nudist beach.
For those that love to get out in nature, try one of the great hikes at Torrey Pines State Reserve. You’ll see why Californians love to hike! Another fun outing is a sea kayak tour of the La Jolla Underwater Park and seven sea caves.
And of course, no visit to La Jolla would be complete without enjoying a meal in one of the fabulous restaurants. Try Herringbone La Jolla for delectable seafood dishes, Puesto La Jolla for tacos and margaritas, or George’s at the Cove for a meal with a view.
Finally, don’t forget to go shopping – La Jolla has some great boutiques and shops selling everything from beachwear to home decor and great souvenirs. So whether you’re looking to recharge your batteries or simply enjoy some time to yourself, La Jolla should be at the top of your list.
Contributed by Jenifer | Blog: The Evolista
If you want a perfect solo beach destination that has more to offer than just the beach, look no further than Honolulu. Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii’s capital city and the area surrounding it are home to great beaches, gorgeous hikes, and delicious food.
Honolulu’s most famous beach is none other than the famous Waikiki Beach. Although it’s pretty touristy, Waikiki Beach is home to some gorgeous views and is a great way to spend a day. There are several great restaurants within walking distance of Waikiki Beach as well.
One of the most popular attractions in Oahu is undoubtedly Pearl Harbor, the sight of the infamous 1941 attack. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is just 15 minutes outside of Honolulu. It’s free to visit, though it’s recommended to make a reservation to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.
For a unique experience in Honolulu, consider taking a Hawaiian Style Cooking Class. During the class, you’ll learn how to make a variety of traditional Hawaiian foods. At the end of the class, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor at dinner along with your classmates. As a solo traveler, this is a great way to make friends!
You can’t visit Oahu without checking out one of the island’s amazing hikes. Diamond Head is the most popular hike on Oahu, and is also one of the easiest to access from Honolulu. Wake up early to beat the crowds, and treat yourself to a delicious Dole Whip or Hawaiian Shave Ice when you’re finished!
Honolulu is home to a few different hostels that are perfect for solo travelers. The Beach Waikiki is the best in town. It’s located just a short walk from the beach, and the rooftop is a great spot to make new friends.
Contributed by: Sydney | Blog: A World in Reach
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These are just a few of the solo beach travel destinations in the USA. With so many great places to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong! Whether you’re looking for a laid-back spot to relax or an action-packed adventure, you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of these wonderful solo beach destinations.
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