10 Best U.S. Cities for Female Travelers

October 7, 2017

I compiled this list of popular cities for female travelers based on data from Trip.com and published it under my byline there. As such, this post first appeared on Trip.com – but it’s too appropriate not to share here as well!

Last year, Trip.com ran the numbers and compared the ratings and reviews of women to those of their male counterparts to see which US cities were most heavily favored by the ladies. 2017 saw a whole new slew of up-and-coming cities, all popular with women traveling either solo, with their friends, or even with the family. Add these to your bucket list!

1. San Francisco, California

Photo: San Francisco by: Rodrigo – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: Clanging cable cars, Victorian row houses, quirky neighborhoods and gorgeous waterfront make “SanFran” a beloved big city that feels small. Not to mention the local, sustainable cuisine (at sit-down restaurants and food trucks alike), the late-night cafes where one can sit and talk politics, and the general air of liberal, forward-thinking equality…it’s an independent woman’s paradise.

2. Portland, Oregon

Photo: Portland by: Keith Skelton – Chiaroscuro Photo Workshops flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: From its rose gardens, vinyl record shops, microbrews and coffee (all done to perfection), to its green, organic, free-range/sustainably-sourced everything, it’s a perennial favorite among free spirits.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo: New Orleans by: Mark Mayhew – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: The Big Easy is arguably the most unique of America’s cities, where visitors spend most of their time in the charming French Quarter, a neighborhood that shines with its original colonial architecture intact. Legendary Bourbon Street is home to numerous bars and nightclubs, while the city’s culinary scene is full of distinctive dishes like muffuletta, jambalaya, and gumbo.

4. Tampa, Florida

Photo: Tampa by: chris bartnik photography flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: One of the liveliest cities on Florida’s west coasts, Tampa offers fine dining, lots of outdoor activities, and art museums and zoos by day, and an upbeat bar/club scene at night.

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo: Philadelphia by: littleli1985 flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: Whether they’re embracing the masses at the historic spots, tucking into favorite foods like cheesesteaks or anything at Italian markets, or straying off the cobbled beaten path for a more small-town vibe, women are increasingly finding Philly a great stomping ground.

6. Austin, Texas

Photo: Austin by: jjwright85 flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: Austin’s eclectic and funky vibe makes it an essential addition to any itinerary, particularly for a backpacker. Hiking and biking are popular in the hills, food is consistently a highlight, and popular day trips outside Austin are to New Braunfels and historic Gruene.

7. Maui, Hawaii

Photo: Maui by: pochacco20 flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: While resort towns like Kanapali and Kapalua (with high-rise hotels stretching along perfect beaches) fit the bill for a couple’s/romantic getaway better, there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve honeymooning. The south Maui town of Kihei offers some of the nicest snorkeling options on the island, while other adventures await on the Hana Highway, or watching the sunrise from atop a volcano in Haleakala National Park.

8. San Antonio, Texas

Photo: San Antonio by: szeke flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: With one of the most vibrant Tex-Mex cultures in the States, there is plenty to do, see, and eat! Good food and rodeos aren’t all that make up San Antonio, though: the Riverwalk is the spine of the city, lined by restaurants and bars, while the Alamo is a must-visit.

9. Washington, D.C.

Photo: Washington, D.C. by: pictour_this flickr – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: Those with a healthy hunger for colonial history will especially enjoy the impressive monuments and museums, imposing government buildings, stately mansions, and world-class museums. But you could potentially love D.C. even if history bores you: a long time foodie black hole, the city’s food scene has picked up in recent years. Ethnic fare is the big draw, with outstanding Ethiopian, Salvadorian, Vietnamese, and Korean Korean cuisine, but much of it is situated in the suburbs.

10. Nashville, Tennessee

Photo: Nashville by: Travel + Leisure – Courtesy: Trip.com

Why female travelers love it: “Music City” is a hodge-podge of conservative and liberal, from world-famous record labels and rock n’ roll musicians to its reputation as the “Protestant Vatican” for its many churches and Christian publishing industry. Nevertheless, its reputable restaurant scene, hipster-driven coffee culture, and endless festivals and concerts make it an energetic and rewarding city to call home for a few days.

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