Solo Travel USA: Charleston Edition
Travel and Leisure recently posted its annual list of the best places for solo travel in the U.S.
Were we surprised that Charleston made the list? Absolutely not!
Though T&L’s main reason for traveling to Charleston solo was gazing at all the art (we love art, but there’s so much more for solo travelers in the Holy City, too!), we can’t help but agree that this city is the ideal spot for a table or tour for one.
Reasons Why Charleston is Perfect for Solo Travel in the USA
If you’re planning a solo trip within the USA this year, why not add Charleston to the top of your list?
When it comes to solo travel, Charleston ticks off all the boxes for safety, hospitality, selection of solo activities, and budget-friendly accommodations.
Charleston Is Safe
Charleston is considered a safe city — so much so that Travel and Leisure named it one of the safest in the U.S. in 2009. While That was over a decade ago, the Holy City is considered safe (especially if you stick to the touristy areas).
Of course, it’s always best to take a few safety precautions, too (especially if you’re traveling solo). While Charleston may be considered a safe city, it’s still a city.
Don’t wander down Charleston’s alleyways by yourself at night. In fact, don’t walk down deserted streets at all after dark. Take advantage of rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, or take a taxi if you’re worried about safety.
There’s Nowhere More Hospitable
Did you know one of the city’s most Instagramable spots is a pineapple fountain in Joe Riley Waterfront Park? This pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, showing off the city’s famous reputation for being one of the most welcoming in the South.
While the South is known for being welcoming and warm, Charleston goes above and beyond to make visitors feel welcome.
You’ll never feel lonely in a city where pedestrians welcome you with “Good mornings,” “good afternoons,” and “good evenings,” throughout the day.
Transportation Is a Breeze
If you’re planning on staying in the historic City Center, you won’t need to rent a car (though, you may want to if you’re planning on heading to any of the beaches). There are plenty of things to do in Charleston without a car within a one-mile radius of the city’s center, and rideshares and taxis will take you to places that are too far to reach on foot.
While Charleston is known for its ultra-luxe hotels, there are plenty of places to stay that are a little easier on a solo traveler’s wallet, too.
If you’re looking for a budget hotel in Charleston, you may want to travel here during the off-season (weekdays from January through March or September through November).
Or, stay at the Not So Hostel to meet other solo travelers.
Best Activities for Solo Travelers in Charleston
Whether you’re visiting Charleston to enjoy some time to yourself or hoping to meet new friends, this city offers the best of both worlds.
Our favorite activities for solo travelers include guided walking tours, food crawls, boat rides, and some of Charleston’s iconic city sites.
Guided Walking Tour
Want to enjoy some time to yourself while getting a little human interaction? A guided walking tour is one of the best ways to see the city while meeting new people.
Didn’t jive with anyone else on the tour? Bid your fellow travelers adieu at the end and strike off on your own!
If you’re hoping to get a glimpse of Charleston’s famous back alleys but don’t feel comfortable exploring them on your own, sign up for our Alleys and Hidden Passageways tour. This tour will take you through the city’s most overlooked hidden spots.
After the tour, our guides can help you find your next adventure (including the hottest spots for eating and drinking!).
Self-Guided Food Tour
If you’re feeling a little lonely, you can always book a food tour with one of the Culinary Tours. We recommend Charleston Culinary Tours
But if you’re totally embracing solo activities in the city, you can always take our self-guided Charleston food tour.
We’ve included some of the Holy City’s most iconic foods (and yes, locals consider food and drink to be just as holy of an experience as visiting the city’s many churches!).
Charleston’s boat tours are a great way to enjoy the water while soaking in the city’s history — and they’re a great way to get around, too!
When it comes to Charleston’s best boat tours, there are plenty of options, including ferries, private charters, and DIY kayaking and cycle party boats.
You can either choose to go totally solo (we’re talking kayak or canoe for one!) or paddle with a group. Your level of engagement is totally up to you.
And yes, there are also plenty of museums in Charleston if you’re a solo traveler that loves art and history (we can’t argue with you there, Travel and Leisure!).
Where are your favorite solo activities in Charleston? Are you planning a solo trip within the U.S. this year? Let us know!