Bustling beaches where someone nearby is blasting music, towering skyscrapers that make you feel lost in a fishbowl, and sprawling city streets full of people. These scenes probably aren’t your thing if you identify as an introvert. Instead, you probably prefer a quiet night on the couch, perfectly content watching Netflix under a cozy blanket.
Extroverts should know that not all introverts live in a bubble surrounded by a rigid environment. They view the world through a different prism, one that doesn’t rely on outward energy. When it comes to travel, this means that supersized cities and tourist destinations full of rowdy parties can be exhausting both mentally and physically.
If you relate to this, take a look at some of these top destinations that will help you recharge the way you want to, steering clear of overwhelming situations. This is a guide detailing vacations for introverts, including solo travel tips, secluded vacation spots, and lone beach vacation ideas.
Traveling as an Introvert
Extroverts, who make up 50-74% of the population, direct their energy outward as a way to gain excitement and stimulation. Extroverts are typically assertive multi-taskers and they use social situations as fuel. Conversely, introverts use their alone time to refuel, and often feel drained and exhausted when they haven’t had enough of it. This can make traveling a challenge for many introverts because unfamiliar destinations and packed travel itineraries leave little time for relaxation.
At their core, introverts need time to recharge. They don’t get a high from their surroundings, so a nightclub with ear-shattering beats or a lively pool party with foam sprayers won’t produce the same response in an introvert as it would an extrovert. Minimally stimulating environments are where introverts feel safe and comfortable. But that doesn’t mean vacationing in the Stone Ages. Quiet and laid-back travel doesn’t have to be boring.
Solo Travel Tips
Ever get back from a group vacation only to feel like you need another vacation? Your feet may hurt and your joints may ache. Your wallet is likely hurting too. Vacations can be exhausting, especially when you go, go, go, and hit up as many spots as possible.
The best way to control this next time is to take a trip by yourself. Enjoy the personal freedom of traveling solo by choosing what you like. We recently put together our best tips for traveling solo. For starters, go at your own pace and try new activities. It also helps to create a pre-trip list.
Travel companies are starting to catch on to solo travel with more tours and packages to lure guests in. The popularity has led to travel sites whose singular focus is to help plan solo-friendly trips. Many of these tours are international excursions to places such as Vietnam, Peru, Morocco, and Mexico. In the U.S., plan a trip to California Yosemite for a hiking adventure or whitewater rafting for singles in Idaho’s Salmon River.
Even if you’re traveling solo, don’t be afraid to join a small group tour. Introverts will shy away from situations where they feel overstimulated. But small groups of five to 10 can give you the best of both worlds—alone time mixed with companionship and shared experiences with others.
Secluded Vacation Spots
Redwood National and State Parks
California is home to popular cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento, all of which sit in the central and southern portions of the state. But northern California is home to a vast land of forests, namely Redwood National and State Parks. This is a prime location to recharge without distractions. There’s a good chance you’ll catch horseback riders on certain trails. You can further explore by hiking to backcountry campsites. For lodging, you’ll have to hit up a nearby town, like the Holiday Inn Express in Klamath.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park sits in Montana’s section of the Rocky Mountains. The mountains you’ll see here were formed by glaciers of the last ice age. You’ll have to choose your itinerary wisely since the park features more than one million acres. It’s also a popular destination for both day travelers and overnight campers, so prepare for crowds in the summer. Red Jammers, a collection of restored buses, offers tours of the main roads if you are unable to or choose not to set out on the trails by foot. For lodging, the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins is close by and offers guests an old-time feel with modern amenities.
White Sands National Monument
Whereas other parts of the southwestern United States center around red sandstone, White Sands in New Mexico holds true to its name with pearly white sands made of gypsum and calcium sulfate. White Sands National Monument and its 224 square miles of dunefields—including 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand—produce remarkable views. With the highest point registering 4,116 feet, this area is popular for hiking. A scenic tour of Dunes Drive (16 miles round trip) is an easy way to explore the
Great Smoky Mountains
This expansive mountain range stretches from southeast Tennessee to parts of North Carolina. The name originates from the fog that peers over the mountains, giving the visual appearance of smoke. Gatlinburg and nearby Pigeon Forge in Tennessee, are popular destinations where you’ll find lodging. Stay in Gatlinburg at the Bluegreen Vacations Mountain Loft, which rests 2,200 feet above sea level to provide sweeping views of the mountain range. The real attraction comes at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which ranks #1 as the most visited park in the country. This is a sightseer’s paradise. Hit up the Roaring Fort Motor Trail, where you’ll hop in your car to navigate a 5.5-mile road that features two selfie stick-worthy waterfalls. Bring your hiking shoes for a 5.4-mile adventure to Rainbow Falls.
Vacation Ideas for Introverts
If you don’t want to take a direct plunge into a rugged vacation, Sedona offers something between eating canned beans around the campfire and a city with millions of people. This desert town has a population of around 10,000 and has three million annual visitors, but don’t let that overwhelm you. There are plenty of relaxing activities too.
Visit any of the red sandstones, especially at sunrise or sunset when they make for ideal Instagram posts (assuming you bring your phone). Red Rock State Park is a good choice for these views. Plus, you’ll be able to see Cathedral Rock, one of the most photographed sights in Arizona. Spend a night, or two, at the Arabella Hotel Sedona to catch a private view of Sunset Vista and its hiking trail.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas? For an introvert? Hear us out. In Vegas, your vision is likely hindered by massive casinos—full of bright neon lights—lining the Strip. Take a look off into the distance, and you’ll find red sandstones at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Hop in your car and cruise the auto trail. You have the option to stop wherever you’d like to explore on foot. Stay away from the Strip and head west to Element Las Vegas Summerlin. It’s just a 15-minute drive to Red Rock Canyon.
For more sightseeing, check out Mount Charleston, which is ideal for summer hiking or winter skiing. The best part is that the location provides serenity without having to camp in the middle of nowhere.
Head northeast to Valley of Fire State Park, home of petrified trees and petroglyphs that are more than 2,000 years old. Since you’re already in the area, you might as well make a stop at Zion National Park, the Utah oasis known for scenic cliffs and waterfalls. Then extend your trip with a detour to Page, Arizona, to cross Antelope Canyon off your list. You’ll need to book a guided tour ahead of time to see this landmark that was created by
Finger Lakes, New York
We’ve given you predominantly outdoorsy destinations in secluded areas, but this next option combines outdoor exploration with food and wine activities. All the East Coast wine lovers who can’t make it to the trendy California wineries can look to a group of 11 narrow lakes in central New York.
Life is simple here, as you can hike to waterfalls and swim in a lake or dabble in three wine trails and eat your way through several notable restaurants. For the history buffs, travel to the Harriet Tubman House, the historic home of the famous abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad. There are too many lodging options to name in this vast region, but we recommend
Lake Placid, New York
Located between Albany and the Canadian border, Lake Placid is a winter paradise for skiers and climbers. Lake Placid earned its reputation as a sporting hub by hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. There’s even a Lake Placid Olympic Museum for you to learn how this small village earned its charm.
You’ll find the best skiing at Whiteface Mountain, located less than 15 miles from Lake Placid. High Falls Gorge provides a unique nature walk experience with frozen waterfalls and large ice formations. In the warmer months, this area transforms from snow and ice to a green backdrop with the relaxing sound of flowing waterfalls.
Resorts may not always call an introvert’s name, but try and book a room at The Whiteface Lodge, considered one of the nicest lodges in the country. You’ll still have time alone with canoeing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
Beach Destinations for Introverts
Roque Bluffs, Maine
Coastal vacationing in the Northeast is quite different than what most of us are used to in Florida or the Caribbean. If you want something more simple, head north to Roque Bluffs, which has a population of less than 500. Roque Bluffs State Park is ideal for spotting wildlife and bird watching. A six-mile trail navigates through rustic orchards and woods. This area is so secluded that a 90-minute trek to Bar Harbor is the closest cluster of hotels.
Dry Tortugas, Florida
How do you experience the beauty of south Florida and its Caribbean waters as an introvert? Avoid the masses at South Beach and head to Dry Tortugas, a small group of islands near the Florida Keys. This is home to Dry Tortugas National Park, which features secluded beaches, snorkeling, diving, and camping. Oh, and there are turtles. Lots and lots of them.
One important note: You’ll need to take a boat or ferry to experience this remote destination. Dry Tortugas doesn’t have hotels, leaving Key West as your destination for lodging.
Big Sur, California
Let’s switch over to the West Coast beaches, where you’ll find stunning ocean views full of seaside cliffs in this quaint part of central California. Hike, camp, and explore the coastline of Big Sur via Highway 1. This is a paradise for photographers, both amateurs and professionals. But even if you’re not equipped with fancy equipment, take your trusty iPhone and head to Pfeiffer Beach to see purple sand. Not all introverts are minimalists, so feel free to splurge at the Post Ranch Inn, a luxury hotel that sits on a cliff.
Shelter Cove, California
This area is named the Lost Coast for a reason. Most of the northern coastline here is undeveloped and isolated from society. Humboldt County, home to small towns such as Shelter Cove, became a landing spot for no-frills travelers. With a population of 700, you won’t have to worry about avoiding bodies to find a peaceful setting.
The true eye-catching experience comes from Black Sands Beach, located at the south end of a 20-mile stretch of dark sands and pebbly beaches. Head inland for a hike, a backpacking adventure, or to set up camp along the Lost Coast Trail. For a less minimalist lodging experience, drive 30 miles inland to stay at the Benbow Historic Inn.
If any of these introvert destinations created an itch to explore, let us help you book your next hotel stay. We compare low loyalty rates from our hotel partners around the globe and make it easy for you to find everything you need in one place. If you see something you like, we’ll take you right to the hotel’s website to complete the booking process. It’s as easy as that.
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