Whether you’ve been trapped in the house with your family and roommates for the last year or you just want to take a break from the whole world, we can all identify with wanting to just set off on a solo road trip and being alone for a while. A solo road trip can be one of the most liberating experiences of your life. In fact, you may have to make it a recurring thing once you’ve experienced it for the first time.
Some of the best parts of being off on a road trip by yourself are setting your own schedule, seeing only what you want to see, picking all the music on the radio, packing only your favorite snacks, and being able to just be without explanation. If you don’t know what you enjoy in the times you spend alone, how do you truly know if you enjoy your time with other people?
Are you starting to see the merits of this solitary journey? Let’s explore our favorite solo road trip ideas. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration to pack your bags and snack, and you’ll be ready to take your own road trip as a solo traveler.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Most people would probably not put Las Vegas in their top ten guesses of where to take a solo vacation, but it’s actually kind of perfect. Just because you want to travel alone doesn’t mean you don’t want to see another person or have conversations at all.
Traveling is a beautiful way to meet new people, and the atmosphere of Las Vegas makes it a great place to meet people. Everyone is in such a fun mood, and they’re happy to meet new people.
You don’t have to beg anyone to see your favorite shows, and the lights make it a beautiful place at night. There are plenty of places to bounce around to enjoy and enjoy. You can go from the casino to the club to a bowling alley to a movie theater.
If you still find yourself wanting to incorporate some serene quiet time or some fresh air. You can leave the nightlife behind and enjoy one of the luxurious spas they offer in Las Vegas. You can also take advantage of the desert location and drive your rental car from Las Vegas airport to Red Rock Canyon National Park in about 20 minutes.
Suppose you’re determined enough to do it all. In that case, you can hike around in the desert canyons in the morning, see desert wildlife by lunchtime, enjoy a massage before dinner, see your favorite residency performer, and enjoy a cocktail and dancing all in one day. If you have the energy to do all of this, you won’t hear any complaints about the busy itinerary you set.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia – North Carolina
If you’ve ever heard of the iconic country music singer Dolly Parton, you may have heard her describe the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. When you’re ready for your solo road trip, you can make your own “Appalachian Mountain Memories” with a solo trip along the 469-mile route known as the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This winding road has been called the most beautiful drive in the United States by many, and there aren’t many roads that can stretch over 450 miles and still be one of the safest places to drive. The parkway has a speed limit of 45 miles per hour, and it’s free of big trucks.
Adding to the features of this long stretch of road you can take to find yourself, there are many beautiful places to stop. As it takes you through the Great Smoky Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to go the whole road without feeling compelled to pull over for a view or two.
Nature, the fresh air, the foliage, and the breathtaking views put it squarely on our list of favorite places to take a solo road trip. Rent a convertible, grab your camera and snacks, and have a journey you’ll look back on with fondness for the rest of your life.
Chicago, Illinois to Mackinac Island, Michigan
Road trips are about the journey as much as the destination, in this case, the destinations. The Windy City is a great place to start your road trip. From professional sports teams to architecture to one of the largest art museums in the United States, it won’t take long for you to find something to do in this multicultural hub.
While you’re in Chicago, there’s so much good food to try, Chicago style, of course. After you’ve seen enough of the city life and filled your stomach with good food, you’re ready for the next leg of this solo road trip. Leave Chicago heading north on Highway 131 North, and make your way to Lake Michigan.
This is approximately a two-hour road trip from Chicago to Lake Michigan. Along the route are historic towns and the famous Neil’s Dutch Village to take you from the busyness of city life to the relaxed atmosphere of lake living. The final stop on your road trip is, of course, Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island is known as the Jewel of the Great Lakes. It offers splendid views and a rare getaway experience. There’s more delicious food, so hopefully, the trip gave you more of an appetite. There are restaurants and pubs to enjoy, but there are also picnic spots to enjoy and take in nature.
Mackinac Island has hiking, biking around the whole island, and kayaking, but you can also take a ferry under the Mackinac Bridge or enjoy a piece of fudge while you ride along in a horse-drawn carriage.
It’s crazy to think you can go from enjoying the hustle and bustle of the Windy City to gathering spring lilacs and watching the horses of Mackinac Island in just a short two-hour drive. Each destination is worthy of its own vacation, but combining the memories of these two unique experiences makes for one incredible journey.
The Florida Keys
From Key Largo to Key West, you can find beautiful views and yourself. The highway that stretches across the keys is aptly named the Overseas Highway. Its other name is fitting too.
The Overseas Highway is also US Hwy 1, and it’s a number one hit in our solo road trip book.
The road is 125 miles long, and it starts in the Everglades and continues across the water all the way through the Florida Keys. Taking your time to travel this road is an incredible road trip experience.
You can see alligators and dolphins, and if you feel the ocean calling to you, you can soak in the view of the blues and greens of the ocean water surrounding the highway. You won’t need your sea legs to feel like you’re floating across the water on the highway suspended above the ocean.
As you travel along, you’ll find stops to enjoy motorbikes, boating, art, snorkeling, dolphin encounters, fishing, golf, spas, theatres, and of course, beaches. You can enjoy seafood, Cuban cuisine, cocktails, and a piece of Key West Key lime pie. There’s plenty to choose from, so you can have the kind of waterfront vacation you want to have for yourself.
Finding the right person who wants to go to the same places you want to visit can be a real challenge. If you go with someone who is compromising making the stops you wish to make, you’ll feel obligated to return the favor. Taking a solo trip means that you can fill your trip with the things you really want to do.
Dallas has a lot to offer a solo traveler. In Dallas, you can go to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, visit the Dallas Zoo, make a stop at the George Bush Presidential Library, or take a walk through the Dallas Arboretum. Even if you didn’t do anything else, you’d have so much to see and do with just these options.
However, Dallas has a pretty exciting nightlife, too. There are live outdoor concerts in the garden of the Nasher called ‘til Midnight at the Nasher on the third Friday of every month. You can have a night of music and art by visiting the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. All of these locations are open until midnight, and there’s just something about viewing art at night that gives it an entirely different meaning.
As with other solo trip destinations, there’s so much good food, and you can get the solo road trip must-have massage at the luxurious Bliss Spa. You can do some shopping at the original luxury department store Neiman Marcus or peruse the consignment shops. There are professional sports like hockey and football if the season is right, and you can see the beautiful Dallas skyline from the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge. Take the perfect selfie to capture yourself living your best experience on a solo road trip.
Taking a solo road trip can reinvigorate you and put you in a better frame of mind to enjoy the life you have or give you the confidence to make the changes you need to make. If you can rent a car, set off on a journey all by yourself, and come back in one piece with special memories to cherish, there’s not much you can’t do.
Give yourself the break you’ve been needing and get away to one of these destinations. Or use the inspiration found here to choose the place that’s right for you and your solo travels.
Blue Ridge Parkway | Blueridgeparkway.org
Downtown Chicago’s #1 Museum | The Art Institute of Chicago
’til Midnight at the Nasher – Free Admission / 6 pm – Midnight | Nasher Sculpture Center