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Solo, Coast to Coast: One Week, 8 Flights, and 3 Incredible Destinations

Solo travel can be an exciting and liberating experience, and this was definitely the case for me on my recent trip across America. Over the course of one week, I took 8 flights and visited three incredible destinations: Las Vegas, Cannon Beach Oregon, and San Francisco California.

Las Vegas, Nevada

My adventure began in Las Vegas, the city of lights and excitement. I stayed at a luxurious hotel on the famous strip and spent my days exploring the city’s vibrant atmosphere and stunning architecture. From the iconic Bellagio fountains to the thrilling roller coasters at the top of the Stratosphere, Las Vegas had no shortage of incredible sights and experiences to offer.

On one of the days I spent in Vegas, I woke up early and headed to Mandalay Bay to visit the aquarium. Before it opened, I decided to gamble a little bit, since it’s Vegas after all. I picked a random slot machine, put in $30, and won $2,000 in just a few minutes! I was so surprised that I walked away from the machine immediately. Later, I found a nice outdoor bar and had a delicious meal of tamales and chips, and salsa. The bartender, Cojo, was really friendly. I also had a chance to talk to some other people at the bar who had both been to Maine before. They were all in town for a big pharmaceutical conference. Everyone I met in Vegas was so friendly!

After parting ways with Gina and Rob, I headed to the Strat and had plans to go to the top for some photos and dinner. I arrived and made my way through security and purchased my ticket. I stood at the elevator doors and panicked. I just couldn’t do it. Elevators and I do not mix well sometimes, so I walked away and ate dinner there at the bottom. I do not regret walking away and choosing to not go up The Strat.


Cannon Beach, Oregon

The next morning, I drove to the car rental drop-off location and took an uber to the airport to head to my next destination. I made it through TSA and waited at my gate to head to San Francisco, California for a layover before flying to Portland, Oregon. On this flight, I sat next to a wonderful couple who had spent time in Costa Rica and Vegas as well. Her name was Gigi and we talked the whole 2-hour flight we decided to add each other on Facebook and stay friends for life. This was the only time on my trip that I made a new Facebook friend or talked to the people sitting next to me on a flight. Gigi and her husband are from northern Idaho and had 3 feet of snow to go home to. After landing in San Francisco for a layover, I then boarded my flight to Portland, Oregon. After flying 8 flights this week, I learned how much extra flying I did than what was necessary, but that’s because I booked this whole trip myself without the guidance of any travel agent. I could have done my San Francisco part of my trip first then Oregon, but I am very pleased and happy with how everything went anyways, no regrets!

After landing in Portland, Oregon, I picked up my rental car and drove right to Cannon Beach, Oregon which was an hour and 40 min drive. Driving through Portland, I saw a lot of homeless people and camps set up along the roadways. It really opened my eyes to what some people’s lives are like there. I headed to Cannon Beach, a beautiful coastal town known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. I spent my days here relaxing on the sandy beach, hiking through nearby forests, and exploring the quaint shops and restaurants along the town’s main street. I drove through some snowy roads with tons of moss-covered trees and lots of ferns on the grounds. It was really cool to be in a moderate rainforest. I got to my hotel after driving for over an hour through no service and no houses along the road, and then BAM Cannon Beach town. It was the sweetest little town! The highlight of my time in Cannon Beach was definitely the sunset I watched from Haystack Rock, a towering sea stack that is one of the area’s most iconic landmarks.

I checked into my hotel and was bumped from a regular room to a beachfront room! I thought I booked a beachfront room, so I was pretty happy it worked out that way. After getting to my room, which was hard to find for some reason, I opened the door to my beachfront balcony. This was where I saw the sun setting. My first EVER WEST COAST ocean sunset in my life! I snapped a few photos from my balcony, but that wasn’t enough. I decided to go out on the beach itself and watch the sun go down. I TOUCHED the pacific ocean for the first time in my life! I also saw Haystack rock too! Afterward, I ate at Seasons Cafe and had the most delicious Chicken salad and Chicken Sandwich! I loved that they had gluten-free bread! The chef even came out and talked to me. While eating my dinner there, a man and his child came in and bought 2 carrots from the chef. It really gave me that small-town vibe. We discussed the elk who wander the streets as well, and I had hopes that I might be able to see them.

After I late lunch there, I went back to my room and relaxed, and fell asleep by the fireplace listening to the ocean roar outside my room. It was a wild feeling being so far from home and being alone. It literally felt like I reached the end of the road where my wildest dreams brought me. It was life-changing and empowering. The next morning, I got up and went to Ecola State Park, another location where they filmed a part of the movie, The Goonies. It was soft sprinkling and a bit windy, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from seeing this place. From Ecola State Park, you can see Cannon Beach and Haystack rock. It was empty there, just a few visitors, and so quiet and peaceful. I really never thought I’d see this place in person in my lifetime. Cannon Beach, Oregon was as beautiful and serene as I could have ever expected it to be.

After this, I went back down to Haystack Rock and stood on the beach directly in front of it, where I just stood there and took it all in. A monumental location I had forever dreamed of seeing in person. I then went to dinner at The Wayfarer Restaurant directly staring at Haystack Rock. I was so thankful the woman working at the Antique shop suggested this location. The food was delicious with gluten-free options as well! My time in Oregon was amazing and an experience I will never forget!

San Francisco, Califonia

After visiting Cannon Beach, I was on my way to San Francisco, California. And I headed to the airport at 4 AM. The beach is an hour and 40 minutes from Portland, Oregon. My first flight took me to a layover in Pheonix, Arizona before finally arriving in San Francisco, California around 5 PM PST. Finally, I saw a vibrant and diverse city with so much to see and do. I spent my time here exploring the city’s many neighborhoods, from the colorful houses of the Haight-Ashbury district to the bustling shops where my hotel was located, in the Fisherman’s wharf.

I picked up my rental car with no issues and had a 15 miles drive to make across the city to make it to the Fishermans Warf, my hotel was The Argonaut Hotel. This drive took an entire hour due to heavy traffic hour. However long it took, I found driving in San Francisco very easy to navigate. I made it to my hotel, where I was greeted by very kind people and had my car parked by valet. I ordered Uber Eats from the greatest place I could think of called Gluten-Free Pizza Garden. The delivery was super fast as well, and it was by far the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had! I also visited some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods National Monument, where some Redwood Trees are located in a protected park. I stopped to see the Painted Ladies and Mrs. Doubtfire’s house as well.

The following day, I woke up and walked to the top of Lombard Street. I looked at the GPS and noted it was only .6 miles from my hotel. It was not until I was walking up a 45-degree road, that I realized what a wild idea I had to walk straight up these hills for .6 miles. I wanted to take a trolly but figured I’d have to pay attention to the schedule and time it right, and I was a woman on a mission. So I just trekked on and made it to the top. I caught my breath and walked down the stairs as slowly as I could looking at the entire street from every viewpoint possible. When I got to the bottom, I looked up and saw the iconic view I had always dreamed of seeing.

Overall, my trip across America was an unforgettable experience. I loved the freedom and flexibility of traveling solo, and the three destinations I visited offered a perfect mix of excitement, relaxation, and adventure. I highly recommend solo travel to anyone who is looking for a unique and rewarding experience.


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