Best places to explore solo

Who says you have to travel with company? Here are the best cities for flying solo.

Text by Emily H. Bratcher | Photo editing by Connie Ricca

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19Comments
Feb 11, 2013 4:42PM
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No offense KM705 but I spent a week in New Orleans during a convention I worked some years back (pre-katrina) and it was very dirty and frankly the French Quarter actually stunk very badly, Like garbage. I walked into a bar and the floor was so filthy that my feet actually stuck to the floor.

I lost a little wait that week, I was not comfortable eating there.
Jan 27, 2013 9:25AM
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I live in New Orleans. I generally agree with what the article said, but I'll add to it...

It's very easy to get into "other neighborhoods." It's funny actually, one block could be a very safe area, the next street over could be ghetto central. It's like that around the entire city. No way to escape that!

My favorite area of the French Quarter is Jackson Square. Very pretty, very safe. You can go to Cafe du Monde, walk along the Riverfront, listen to the steamboat. In fact, I like to stay on Decatur St the whole time. Walk down further and you'll be at the French Market. Very cool place. Safe too. You can also walk to the Aquarium of the Americas or Harrahs Casino on Canal St. 

Bourbon Street is okay, however, the further down you walk, you'll notice the neon signs and strip clubs disappear and it turns into a dark place. Although I've never experienced any scares, it might just be better to stick closer to Canal St. Lastly, while wandering around the FQ, don't go past Esplanade Ave. That turns into the Marigny neighborhood which can be a sketchy place! Go if you dare, I'll say that. 

This article didn't mention the streetcars! They're only $1.25 one-way. Take the red one up and down Canal St. Take it all the way down Canal to go to one of the cemeteries. However, go with a guided tour, don't go alone! It is widely known that you can get mugged while exploring the cemetery alone. 
You can also take the red one to City Park. It's a beautiful park!! And the streetcar will drop you off right in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art. You will be in the "Mid-City" neighborhood by now. Very cool neighborhood, lots of pride for this neighborhood. Not touristy either, if you want to get off the tourist path. There are some bad parts though, just stick to streetcar route area you'll be fine. 

Go across Canal to Carondelet St and hop on the green one. That will take you down St. Charles Ave where you can explore the Garden District and Uptown. (Article didn't mention  Uptown--it is one of the safest areas of the city!) Along that route is the World War II Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center. Take it down St Charles and see the beautiful mansions. Near the end you'll come to Audubon Park. Walk through the Park and you'll get to the Audubon Zoo. I love this zoo!

I try to tell people, there is more to New Orleans than the French Quarter. Explore Mid City, Uptown, and the Garden District. Walk down Magazine Street and explore all of the shops and antiques. You can pretty much get anywhere by bus and to important spots by streetcar. 
Jan 27, 2013 8:21AM
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Just about any place in Ireland is a great place to travel solo.  There is the Waterford factory, the Ring of Kerry,  the zoo in County Cork where animal are not locked in cages (giraffes and zebras roam a plain-like area that is large and let's them be free), County Kilkenney also has many old ruins and friendly people, the Cliffs of Mohre offers a view you can seldom find anywhere else, and Galway Bay has a view like no other (stay in a B&B up on the hilltop for the best views).  I also like the Giants Causeway up at the tip of Northern Ireland.  I would stay out of Belfast for now until the protestors stop whining about the British flag not being flown enough on a capitol building.  Last but not least, you have to visit Blarney Castle to kiss the blarney stone and don't forget to pick up a certificate outside the castle that says you kissed the blarney stone.  If you are into hand knit Irish wool sweaters, the place to go is O'Maille's in downtown Galway (hopefully it is still there).

 

There are also a lot of US Cities that are fun to visit and a lot of hotels provide rides to various museums or a car rental gives you the freedom to roam.  I love New Orleans and San Antonio - plenty to do and see.  And, of course, the mule ride down the Grand Canyon for the daredevils among us.  All of the US National Parks have a lot to see if you are into outdoor adventure.  I also like the Caribbean - staying at the Mariott in St. Thomas at the top of a high hill provides views of the surrounding waters and the facilities  on the premises are bar none.

Last but not least are the dolphin swims in various locations in the Caribbean.

Jan 27, 2013 3:45AM
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Chicago is safe everywhere any tourist would go. It's not like the gangs and murderers are hanging out downtown and along the lake, which is where tourists would go anyways. Stay away from the outskirts of the city where the boarded houses are and you're fine. Michigan Ave, the Lake front, Rush st., Navy Pier, Millenium Park, The Museums... all in safe areas. Overall crime in the city is supposedly down by 10% from 2011. Less car thefts, less robberies, less home invasions, less rape...etc... Just don't travel to the ghetto. Which you wouldn't want to do in any major city anyways. (Living in the Chicago suburbs).
Jan 17, 2013 11:18PM
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 I have been to the big easy, and its party time USA, stayed on Chartres in the French Quarter, I understand why people from all over the world go there, just to walk around the French Quarter is a thrill,good food and drinks, perfume shops to sweet, cafes,makes you want to live there.
Jan 17, 2013 1:31AM
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Didn't Chicago have like 600 murders last year beating out NYC I believe? Sounds safe to me.
Jan 16, 2013 9:18PM
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I spent a week in Paris, France alone and had a wonderful time.  The people were friendly, the cafes are awesome places to sit, sip wine and people watch.  There are lots of safe places to explore and the  Metro is the simplest 'subway' station to get around!  

Jan 16, 2013 8:21PM
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The solo world is a happy world. A person can RV and camp solo and go to all sorts of concerts and events alone because one is never really alone. There are always friendly people out there and experiences become adventures. With the Internet at hand, there is always somebody to communicate with if one wants to, and then, the scent of sea air at sunset cannot be improved by sharing , it is, like many things, magnificent on its own.

Jan 16, 2013 8:05PM
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I HAVE TAKEN SEVERAL TRIPS ON MY OWN

SAN FRANCISCO-NEW ORLEANS-KONA-BAHAMAS-LAS VEGAS-FLA KEYS- MEXICO-ITALY ETC

THE EASIEST PART OF THE TRIP IS MEETING PEOPLE-INTERESTING PEOPLE WHO ARE GLAD TO MEET ME.MY SCHEDULE IS MINE TO DO WHAT-WHEN AND WHERE AT EACH DESTINATION

I HAVE A GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT I WANT TO DO;IT IT NOT WRITTEN IN STONE.TAKE IT AS IT COMES

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