Traveling solo is a very different experience than traveling with small children. Likewise, traveling as a couple is quite a bit different than road tripping with teens. Afar Media recently broke down their recommendations for their top spots for every traveling situation, and you can catch their segment on “Wake up with Al” in the video above.
For singles, their top spot was New Mexico near Santa Fe. Highlighted for its natural beauty, as well as its historical, architectural and cultural advantages, Santa Fe is definitely a place to add to your travel list. The argument could be made that it works equally well for singles as it does for couples, and it’s great when you can find a destination that has that kind of broad appeal.
Solo travel is becoming more and more accepted and encouraged — and not just for “singles” scenes meant to fix you up on a very extended blind date. Exploring on your own gives you the freedom to see the things that you want to see, when you want to see them. It also gives you the freedom to put aside the schedules for a day, if you choose, and just lounge by a pool, or on a beach somewhere.
From trips around the world to road trips close to home, single explorers are exercising their imaginations. If you are California-based, and cannot afford to set a course for Santa Fe, consider some of these options within the state:
- Cambria: Understated, cozy and inexpensive are three words that come to mind when considering this seaside town. Gorgeous views, tantalizing restaurants and a proximity to not only the ocean, but Hearst Castle, make Cambria an ideal getaway for a weekend (or even longer).
- Carmel: Surprisingly affordable, Carmel is liberally dotted with unique boutique hotels. It’s perfect for foodies, and beckons wine lovers from around the globe. The beaches are pristine, and it is close natural wonders, as well as the bigger city life. Its low crime rate makes this a particularly welcoming spot for the single female traveler.
- Monterey: It’s a bigger city destination, but still manages to retain a small town feel — probably due to its easy “walkability.” You can go full tourist and wander through Cannery Row and the Wharf, or take the historic walking tour of the downtown area. Foodies can hit Alvarado Street in the downtown area and find something to appeal to nearly every taste and budget.
- Julian: In October, you would swear that you are back on the east coast. Julian brings changing leaves, fresh apple pies and a crisp chill to the air due to its elevation. As romantic as it can be for couples, it’s also a fun solo (or even girls’ weekend) destination. The town is entirely walking friendly, and there are ample restaurants to taste test.
- Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara appeals to a wide variety of travelers, but it’s a great destination for solo travelers. Head for the Funk Zone and enjoy a walk between innovative and tasty winery offerings, or enjoy strolling down State Street (shopping and nibbling as you go). While a bit pricier than the others, deals can still be had on lodgings (even those close to the water).
Those are just some of the spots in California that appeal to the solo explorer. What are your favorite spots to visit on your own?