It once was unthinkable to dine alone, let alone travel by yourself. While it’s no surprise that the majority of American single travelers are doing so for business, it is surprising that 2017 figures provided by HotelsCombined.com show solo traveling has increased by over 57% in the last 12 months.
Perhaps travel plans with companions were cancelled or they may have never existed. Thankfully, lacking a traveling companion is not stopping solos from getting away for rest, relaxation, and adventure.
“More importantly, solo travelers aren’t held to anyone else’s standards or schedules,” says travel expert at HotelsCombined.com, Chris Rivett. “They get to be independent in their exploration.” US destinations are welcoming solo travelers and rolling out the red carpet for them as easily as they do for group travelers.
Think that once you have seen one city you have seen them all? Maybe not. Here are five destinations frequented by solo travelers. You will discover that each city has something unique about it.
Chicago is a Midwestern gem, with the average cost per night being slightly less than $200. It’s nicknamed The Windy City, not so much for its chilly, windy weather, but, according to legend, for its hot-aired politicians. While there, take in a sight or two. There are literally hundreds of things to do in Chicago, whether you are a sports nut, theater buff, nature enthusiast or cultural explorer.
Theater goers much check out Second City Improv and Steppenwolf Theater. Both are circuits where many well-known celebrities got their start.
Chicago is a sports town and home to all major professional sports. Teams include the South Side Chicago White Sox and the 2016 National League Championship Series Chicago Cubs, based on the North Side of town.
Did you know the Art Institute of Chicago is the among the oldest and largest art museums in the United States? You may be traveling alone, but you will be among 1.5 million annual visitors greeted at the main entrance by the Art Institute’s signature pair of lion statues.
Make your way northward on Michigan Avenue and pose for pictures at the Bean, an unusually shaped mirrored sculpture at Millennium Park or go to Navy Pier and reserve a dinner boat cruise around the Lake Michigan harbor. Or, you might opt to indulge in a Chicago deep dish pizza or eat a Chicago style hot dog.
Want to get a feel of local life? Visit on your own or take a guided tour through any ethnic community from Chinatown to Little Italy to Greek Town.
Get away from it all on the East coast and visit Boston where much of early American history unfolded. Remember studying about the Boston Tea Party in school? Boston’s roots date to 1630, making it one of America’s oldest cities.
This Massachusetts capital city, Boston, offers a 2.5-mile Freedom Trail walking tour which guides visitors through Boston’s role in the American Revolution.
If you are up for off-the-ground adventure, the skywalk tour of the Prudential will let you experience breathtaking views of Boston up to 100 miles.
Alternatively, compare Boston’s colonial past to its modern splendor with a Hop-on-Hop-off trolley tour the city. Sightseeing can conjure up an appetite for good food and drink. Boston is home of an abundance of wine and food tastings, as well as many After Hours brewery tours. Scavenger hunts and even a witch city day tour to Salem, Massachusetts are on many agendas, including booking a private tour to the world-renowned Ivy League institution, Harvard University.
Boston has a high regard for classical music. Get dressed up and attend a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra which is among the “Big Five” group of greatest American orchestras. The Boston Pops orchestra also awaits your presence.
The Boston Ballet is worth its recognition. So is the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra which is the largest youth orchestra in the nation.
Most visitors probably don’t care that the Las Vegas strip is located just outside the city limits.
What is important is that the 4.2 mile stretch of land known as “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” has over 40 casinos and an abundance of hotels and nightlife that has grown immensely since its humble beginning in 1905 to its mega resort status of today.
The opening of the Mirage hotel started the Las Vegas tourism boom. Book your stay at the 3,000 plus room resort and be a part of Las Vegas tourism history.
In addition to the casinos and live stage shows, Las Vegas has a vibrant Arts District, featuring an area of the city which grew from an 18-block zone, known as “18 b” and has always been devoted to the promotion of the works of local and visiting artists.
The present Arts District area has expanded further than the original 18 blocks. Every month the “First Friday” Art Walk attracts up to 30,000 visitors to the District to experience the works of artists, artisans and craftspeople.
An average night’s stay in Las Vegas is a bargain $94.
Orlando has the distinction of being one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. Walt Disney World attracts millions of visitors each year who go there to see their favorite Disney characters.
Orlando’s moderate temperatures make it a year-round treat for visitors who also flock to the city to relax at any of its numerous themed water parks or golf courses.
To those only expecting to run into Mickey Mouse and friends, it may come as a surprise that the Orlando Metropolitan Area has a substantial theater population.
Among them, the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and Orlando Repertory make their home in “The City Beautiful.” Visit Orlando International Fringe Theater festival, which hosts many touring companies from the United States and around the world. Here visitors get a glimpse into new and unknown plays presented by local artists.
Unlike a lot of large cities which have tons of skyscrapers, Orlando sparks uniqueness with its total of 19. However, like most major cities priding themselves on sports, Orlando openly welcomes out of towners to their arenas to see an Orlando Magic basketball game and/or an Orlando City SC soccer team.
Orlando is also big when it comes to television and film production. Both Universal Studios and Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomes visitors. These production studios, however, are not even scratching the surface of the immense media production that happens in Orlando. Haul over to Full Sail University to find out what else is happening in the world of production and gaming. Despite its huge popularity, Orlando has an average night stay of $91.
The Big Apple is a dream destination for solo travelers. Think New York City and visitors who have never been can almost immediately name a multitude of things to do. That’s because New York has that name recognition that is repeated everywhere you turn. Without a travel guide many New York City visitors know they want to take in a Broadway show or stroll through Times Square and make their way to other well-known places.
What is a visit to New York without a least getting a glimpse of The Statue of Liberty?
The backstory of Lady Liberty being gifted to the United States in 1886, and being a welcoming sign of freedom to immigrants as they arrived in America never gets old. Visits to the Statute of Liberty are limited to 240 people a day under strict security measures. This is a trip many plan up to a year in advance to ensure getting a ticket when they visit.
The Empire State building is also a familiar favorite spot, dating to the 1930’s. It has the distinction of not only being climbed by King Kong in the early years of black and white movies, but the Empire State Building was also the leader of world’s tallest buildings for four decades. Due to steady stream of traffic to the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, it is sometimes hard to remember that the Empire State Building is an actual functioning office building.
You cannot help but enjoy your stay in the “City that Never Sleeps.” You know why? Name it and New York has it. Your only job on your solo trek is to go out and immerse yourself in the sites, the food, the sports, the people.
An average night’s stay in New York City is $178.
Hotelscombined.com determined that solo travelers prefer staying in mid-range three star hotels, with 41% of all solo bookings at these hotels averaging 2.4 nights in the past twelve months. Two star hotels are the second most popular, followed by four star hotels with 26% and 15% of all solo bookings made for these hotels respectively.
They noted that while only 4% of solo travelers stayed in five star hotels, those travelers tended to stay at five star hotels longer of 2.8 nights.