Traveling alone as an outdoor lover has its own unique set of requirements. Whether you are traveling to an isolated location to quiet your soul or plan to join in outdoor activities with others, the key to a successful solo vacation is knowing what you want to experience and finding the spot that comfortably meets those needs. Do you want to get away from snowflakes and freezing temperatures or get the most out of winter? Do you long for a beach and margarita poolside while the rest of your friends are bundled up? Find your ultimate alone-time escape with these 10 spots. --Robin Enright
The vibrant lush green scenery of Kauai might be the result of a wet climate, but don't let the rain scare you away from this little piece of heaven. The South Shore has lodging minutes from the airport and if you're looking to make a resort your solo adventure home base, check into the Kauai Marriott Resort. Those who long for some isolation and beautiful scenery might enjoy the wetter North Shore. Regardless of where you stay, a rental car is necessary to explore and take advantage of the island's microclimates. Plan to explore Waimea Canyon and Hanalei's beautiful beaches. Hikers won't want to miss the extraordinary views along the Na Pali Coast and should be prepared for slick mud (bring a hiking pole and waterproof shoes). Plan to go stand-up paddleboarding on the Hanalei River in Hanalei. Book a whale watching or sea kayaking tour through Outfitters Kauai. Get your fill of fresh seafood in Hanalei at The Dolphin, or enjoy a lively happy hour at Keoki's Paradise in Poipu has a lively "Aloha hour."
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Kauai Guide
If your idea of a winter escape is to soak up some rays and relax for hours, then Tulum is the spot for you. With miles of serene oceanfront to stroll, this Caribbean ocean vacation might be the ultimate solo R&R destination. Turn off your cell phone, leave your computer behind and set your inner clock to match the rise and fall of some extraordinary sunrises and sunsets. The cabanas at Maya Tulum will lull you into a zen state of mind the moment you arrive. Take a yoga class with ocean views, meditate while walking the labyrinth, or treat yourself to a salt scrub massage before heading out to dinner at Hartwood Tulum.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Tulum Guide
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Powder-lovers will be dazzled by the winter wonderland of New Hampshire's White Mountains. An impressive 100 km Nordic ski trail network and 464 acres of alpine skiing will keep skiers occupied for days. Or earn bragging rights by doing a 3-day guided winter hike up the 6,288 feet Mt. Washington with REI Adventures. Ice climbers will enjoy some of New England's best at nearby Frankenstein Cliff. Visit Franconia Notch for a variety of trails and hikes best done on snowshoes. Stay at the historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel and relax with a drink at the end of the day with other adventurous souls inside the renovated Cave, a former speakeasy.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's White Mountains Guide
A historic gold-mining town founded in 1859, Breckenridge is the perfect spot to experience the quintessential Colorado ski town. With 187 trails, 33 lifts, and a summit elevation of 12,998 feet, there is enough terrain diversity for any skiing level. Beginners should check out Breckenridge's First Time Discovery Series, which includes lessons, lift tickets and rentals for three days. When you aren't gliding the slopes shop 'til you drop at the 200 shops on Main Street, or sit down at Angel's Hollow to order one of their famous margaritas. Ullr Fest, an event celebrating the mythological Norse God of snow, is held the second week in January and festivities include a frying pan toss, ski boot relay, and parade. Singles looking for fun should consider applying to be a bachelor or bachelorette at Breckenridge's version of the Dating Game on January 8.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Breckenridge Guide
Escape winter and treat yourself to a solo adventurer's dream in Costa Rica to experience volcanoes, rain forests, waterfalls, rivers, and the ocean. Sign up for a horseback riding tour on the beach or get your adrenaline racing by exploring Manuel Antonio National Park via zip line or on a canopy tour through the rainforest. For the water sports enthusiast, there are countless spots to surf and stand-up paddleboard depending on your level. For land-based outings enjoy a round of golf at Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort in Playa Tamarindo or visit the Osa Peninsula for a rainforest adventure. For a secluded and tranquil lodging book a luxurious room at the Hotel Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo and enjoy mingling during their weekly Friday night beach barbeque with live marimba music.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Costa Rica Guide
Taos, New Mexico
Outdoorsy travelers looking for a side of culture might consider Taos as their next destination. Writers and artists will find their creative mojo just by being in the space that inspired Georgia O'Keefe, D.H. Lawrence and Thomas Wolfe among others. Enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoe adventures in the Enchanted Forest Cross-country Ski Area in the Carson National Forest with over 33 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing and 15 km of snowshoe trails. Alpine skiers have a number of resorts to choose from with those seeking a challenge best served by Taos Ski Valley. Enjoy fantastic mountain views and privacy at Adobe & Pines Inn, a 170 year-old adobe hacienda with country charm.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Taos Guide
Best known for its luscious white sand beaches, Providenciales offers a great blend of natural wonders and modernity as the most developed island in Turks and Caicos. The island will soothe tired souls, and offers plenty of aquatic activity options once you're reenergized. Stroll on the sand at the 12-mile Grace Bay Beach and look for the rare West Indian Whistling-Duck and countless other species of birds on the tidal flats on the south side of the island. If you want to experience the island in the company of others, take advantage of an adventure with one of the islands many outfitters who offer fishing expeditions and kayaking tours, or dive and snorkel with Provo Turtle Divers. Don't forget to explore the shipwrecks at Chalk Sound. Fronting Grace Bay Beach, the Seven Stars resort has awesome beach access with complimentary kayaks, surfboards, and snorkeling equipment. Wander down from your room to their deck bar by the beach, which becomes the hot spot on Thursday and Saturday nights with live music.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Providenciales Guide
Head to Belize not only to escape from winter but also to slow down and reconnect with nature. Stay in a thatched roof cottage or treetop suite on a 365-acre nature reserve at Chaa Creek, located on the banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, and you'll wake to the sounds of the rainforest. Float away your days in the pool or a canoe. Snorkel and scuba dive in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world with over 500 species of fish. Or stay in the simple tent-walled cabanas at Glovers Reef basecamp located on Glover's Reef Atoll and wake to the sounds of waves right outside your door.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Belize Guide
Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Bordered by France and Switzerland, Valle d'Aosta is also known as the heart of the Alps. Indulge in a European ski adventure in this magical location that has a charming village to suit every ski personality. Stay and ski at the quieter Pila, a car-free resort known for it's extraordinary snow and weekend atmosphere, and a 20 minute gondola ride to Aosta below. Or experience the livelier ski town of Courmayeur with shops and fun après-ski culture. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will want to check out Cogne. When your legs are worn out from skiing, get your culture on by exploring the rich history in Valle d'Aosta's Roman ruins, castles, historical churches, and museums.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Valle d'Aosta Guide
Active solo travelers heading to New Zealand will find their biggest problem is choosing what to do. New Zealand is an outdoor adventure heaven with cycling, caving, bungee and rafting adventures. Best of all, the ideal time to visit is during their summer which happens to be our winter. Plan to spend at least three weeks and be wowed by extraordinary sights at every turn. Cyclists will enjoy the New Zealand Cycle Trail, which stretches across the North and South Islands and includes breathtaking views of beaches, lakes, mountains, lush rain forests, and wetlands. Walk or cruise through North Island's magical Waitomo Caves, featuring a "starry" glowworm illuminate ceiling. Maximize a visit to South Island's Abel Tasman National Park, known for its golden beaches and cliffs, with a multi-day stay at Wilsons Abel Tasman beachfront lodge with guides ready to help you explore.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's New Zealand Guide