If you’re a solo traveler looking for a taste of history and luxury, you’re in luck. The United States has plenty of historic homes and estates that will transport you back in time and dazzle you with their beauty and charm. From the opulent and extravagant Biltmore Estate in North Carolina to the mysterious and haunting Whaley House in California, there is something for every type of traveler. In this guide, we will take a closer look at some must-see destinations for any solo traveler interested in American history, architecture, design, and more.
Experience the Charm of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate is more than just a mansion. It is a tribute to the grandeur and luxury of America’s Gilded Age, with 250 rooms, stunning gardens, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, the estate is a masterpiece of architecture and design, featuring a bowling alley, a swimming pool, and even its own railway spur. Solo travelers can take a self-guided tour of the house, explore the gardens and grounds, and even sample local wines at the estate’s own winery.
Explore the JFK Hyannis Museum in Massachusetts
The JFK Hyannis Museum is a unique and fascinating destination for history buffs and fans of the Kennedy family. The museum is located in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and features exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of John F. Kennedy’s time on Cape Cod, including his love for sailing and his political career. Visitors can explore the life of one of America’s most beloved presidents and learn about the history and culture of the Cape Cod region. The museum also features rotating exhibits and special events, so be sure to check the schedule before you visit.
Step Back in Time at the Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island, is known for its magnificent historic homes, and the Preservation Society of Newport County manages 11 of the most impressive of them all. From the opulent Marble House to the sprawling Breakers, these homes are a testament to the wealth and power of America’s Gilded Age. Solo travelers can take a tour of the houses and gardens, explore the art and antiques collections, and learn about the history of Newport and the families that built these impressive estates.
Visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is an iconic monument to one of America’s founding fathers and principal authors of the Declaration of Independence. Located in Washington D.C., the memorial is a must-see for anyone interested in American history and architecture. The monument features a 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson, as well as powerful and inspiring quotes from his writings. Solo travelers can take a self-guided tour, attend special events and ceremonies, and explore the surrounding National Mall.
Discover the Beauty of the Monticello Estate in Virginia
The Monticello Estate, located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, and is a masterpiece of American architecture and horticulture. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, take guided tours, and learn about the life and legacy of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence. The gardens at Monticello are particularly impressive, featuring over 330 varieties of vegetables and fruits, as well as intricate flower beds, and stunning water features. Solo travelers can also take part in special events and workshops, such as cooking demonstrations and garden tours.
Experience the Mystery of the Winchester Mystery House in California
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is a sprawling Victorian mansion that is rumored to have been built to confuse and ward off the ghosts of those killed by the Winchester Rifle. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, take guided tours, and learn about the strange and mysterious history of this unique estate. Highlights include the bizarre staircases and doors that lead nowhere, the seance room, and the ghostly sightings that have been reported by visitors since the house was built in the late 19th century.
See the Beauty of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Illinois
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, located in Oak Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture and design. Wright worked and lived in this historic home for the first 20 years of his career, and many of his most famous buildings were designed and created here. Visitors can take guided tours of the house and studio, explore the gardens and grounds, and learn about Wright’s life and legacy. Special events and workshops, such as architecture and design classes, are also available for solo travelers.
Experience the Haunting Beauty of the Whaley House in California
The Whaley House in San Diego, California, is said to be one of the most haunted houses in the country, and is a popular destination for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts. This historic home was built by a prominent San Diego family in the mid-19th century and has since been the site of numerous reported sightings of ghosts and other paranormal activity. Visitors can take guided tours of the house and grounds, learn about the history of the Whaley family, and possibly even have their own close encounter with the spirit world.
Step into the World of Mark Twain at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Missouri
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, is a must-see destination for fans of one of America’s most beloved authors. Visitors can step into the world of Mark Twain, explore his boyhood home, and learn about his life and legacy through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. The museum also features a bookstore and gift shop, where solo travelers can pick up a copy of their favorite Twain novel or souvenir of their visit.
Explore the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia, is a powerful tribute to the life and legacy of this civil rights icon. Visitors can tour King’s childhood home, visit his tomb, and explore exhibits that tell the story of his life and work. Solo travelers can also take part in special events and programs, such as lectures, film screenings, and civil rights history tours. A visit to this site is a chance to honor the memory of one of America’s most inspiring and influential leaders.