Sarah Downs finds five of the best places to travel solo in the United States
1. Austin, Texas
Nothing bonds strangers like music, and Austin, being the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, has endless opportunities to meet fellow music lovers. Nestled in the heart of Texas, Austin is one hell of a welcoming place with its charming laidback spirit. The city's tunes are matched by its finger-licking barbecues as well as booming hipster bars and food trucks in East Austin. The city has beautiful outdoors with a wide array of solo-friendly activities, from splashing in local swimming holes and strolling in sunny parks.
2. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is an outdoor lover's paradise. At the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, this lively town has 12,000ha of unspoiled land open to the public. Grab your boots and spend your days solo hiking, biking and walking. Get the adrenaline pumping by biking the Flatirons trail, trail running Red Rocks, or hiking through Chautauqua and Eldorado Canyon State Park. Or stroll round Pearl St for a day of shopping and dining. After dark, the fun continues with Boulder's buzzing nightlife.
3. Key West, Florida
If hot sun, palm trees and salty water are what's needed, Key West in Florida should do the trick. The southernmost point in the US is famous for its beaches along with its playful and quirky spirit. Spend your days snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing, dining at restaurants with the freshest fish in town and watching the breath-taking sunsets. Solo travellers are more than welcome, with all kinds of inclusive events from concerts, street parades and beach bars where, after a few cocktails, everyone knows your name.
4. New York City, New York
Take a bite out of the big apple and join aspiring artists, dreamers and explorers who make the solo trek to one of the most exciting cities every year. After all, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Yes New York is loud, bright and busy but with endless attractions you are likely to have some memorable solo experiences. Head to Brooklyn Bridge for views of the Manhattan skyline, people watch in Central Park and spend hours exploring the iconic Met and MoMA museums.
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a city that embraces solo travellers with its easy and cheap transport system. Pedal around the city grabbing a bike from the Bay Area Bike Share or hop on, hang on and see this beautiful city aboard its famous cable cars. Vibrant and friendly, San Francisco has an abundance of natural beauty and is home to some of California's most iconic landmarks. Plus, many of San Francisco's great restaurants have plenty of bar seating, perfect for dining for one.