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Solo travel is one of those concepts with the perfect ratio of risk and reward to earn a spot on everyone’s bucket list—and sometimes stay there forever. If you’ve been searching for a final push of motivation to get up and do it, this is it. It’s time to pick a spot, fill up your tank, and tell your friends and family you're going off the grid for the weekend—solo travel in California awaits.
Regardless of the route you choose to take, the Golden State’s freeways will lead you to some of the most iconic destinations in the world. Whether you seek solitude or want to get lost in a crowd of strangers, you’ll find a solo trip in California that fits your criteria.
The Golden State's best solo travel destinations
You can’t go wrong with a scenic one-day drive along the Big Sur coastline. Views, hikes, beautiful campgrounds, and charming small towns—the perfect long weekend in Big Sur is best enjoyed alone. While on this solo getaway in California, stop by Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for hikes that are short and sweet. Once the last bits of light start to dim, book a quaint room in the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea to unwind at night.
Want to feel like you’ve been transported to a whole different country on your solo trip in California? The charming small SoCal town of Solvang is the destination for you. Packed with unique Danish architecture, cool eateries, and quirky boutiques, exploring Solvang on a solo trip is a treat, to say the least. Spend your days biking around town and enjoying fresh pastries—and do it all with a Scandinavian flair.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is an incredible destination for a weekend road trip no matter the time and occasion. If you’re someone who enjoys spending time in nature and engaging in outdoor recreation, Yosemite will be your best solo trip in California. Hike to stunning waterfalls, camp under towering trees, and enjoy breathtaking panoramas at every turn. If you find yourself planning another solo vacation to Yosemite before you even leave, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Can't-Miss solo trips in Southern California
Architecture aficionados will love embarking on a solo getaway to Palm Springs. The mecca of mid-century modern architecture is abundant with cool free things to do that make it worth all the hype. Check in at a luxurious hotel, drive through iconic Palm Springs neighborhoods, unwind by the pool all day, every day. Treat yourself to the experience of solo travel in California you’ve always dreamed of.
Solo trips to Los Angeles
Venice Beach is always a good idea when choosing a beach destination for a summer road trip in the Golden State. A quintessential SoCal destination—if you’re unsure about where to go on your solo travel in Los Angeles, make Venice Beach your first stop. Have some fun in the sun, stroll along the boardwalk, and shop till you drop at the many boutique stores. The sheer amount of amenities alone make Venice one of the best places to travel alone in California.
Solo trips to San Diego
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
San Diego is a foolproof spot for a classic SoCal weekend getaway. Whether you’re in the mood to go splashing around the area or check out its incredible downtown, this solo getaway in California is a must-do. One of the top things to do on your solo trip in San Diego is checking out its historic Old Town State Park.
Not only is the park extremely beautiful, but it also boasts epic features that date back to the 19th century. Check out the museums, stroll through the pathways, and enjoy a picnic al fresco for a quintessential San Diego experience.
Bay Area solo weekend getaways you'll always remember
The Presidio of San Francisco
An essential part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the 15,000-acre Presidio of San Francisco is full of history. 24 miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of biking paths are at your disposal. A solo trip to this NorCal destination offers plenty to explore—vast open spaces and lush green forests to name a few.
Don’t forget your camera on this solo vacation; you’re going to want to snap away. Stroll along the coast at Baker Beach and enjoy expansive views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
There are plenty of ways to go about spending a day in Sausalito. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, this scenic destination boasts miles of sunny coastlines, charming cafes, and trendy boutiques. Sausalito is so close to S.F. that you can combine the two to make one awesome solo getaway in California. Tour the artsy galleries, check out the main attractions, and embark on a houseboat tour for a solo vacation you’ll never forget.
Solo vacations in the rugged North
If relaxing is high up on your travel to-do list, then Napa Valley is a solo road trip in California you should strongly consider. Hike, bike, eat, and treat yourself to a spa day on the solo weekend getaway in California you’ll remember forever. Whether you’re heading there for just a day or a full weekend, you have enough things to do in Napa sans alcohol that’ll leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.
Avenue of Giants
If you haven’t done so already, the Avenue of Giants is a road trip you need to take—at least once. Drive through the towering redwoods, check out the landmarks along the way, and spend a day or two at family-owned hotels. Offering an unmatched experience you’ll cherish forever, this solo road trip is the one you’ve been waiting for. If you’ve been seeking solitude and looking to reconnect with nature, this is one of the best places to travel alone in California.
The rugged coasts of Northern California have the ability to enchant anyone who lays an eye on them for the first time. Hidden Beach in Klamath is no exception. This secluded coastal treasure is the ultimate destination for travelers who like photography, hiking, and beach exploration. The dark gray sands, lack of crowds, and piles of driftwood make your solo trip in California feel straight out of a fantasy novel.
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