Miami is a city full of exciting nightlife, hot beaches and tasty food. Activities abound for the solo traveler. Read on for some ideas on how to stay entertained even without a buddy.
A solo traveler can travel through Miami alone--especially in the Miami Beach area--but caution is always important. Areas where a lot of tourists are present, like shopping areas, museums and beaches, are perfectly safe for the solo traveler. Don't do anything alone in Miami that would be unsafe where you live. Good examples include not hitchhiking, not walking alone in areas without a lot of people around, leaving your valuables at home and staying in neighborhoods where you feel comfortable. If you have any doubts, ask your concierge, cab driver or someone else at your hotel. A local is always a good source of information for people traveling alone.
South Beach is the biggest tourist hot spot in the city of Miami. People watching is at its finest here, and Ocean Drive--where Gianni Versace once lived--is the main hub of activity. Tourists can walk through his extravagant home and eat a meal in his garden. A fabled Miami restaurant, News Cafe, is a pleasant place to eat alone. Grab a seat on the patio and take in the view of the strolling crowds and the ocean in the distance. News Cafe is vegetarian-friendly, as are many restaurants all over Miami. Restaurants line Ocean Drive, and many offer nightly drink and food specials, so if a deal is eye-catching, check it out. For those who want a more inexpensive lunch or brunch, check out Jerry's Famous Deli, which serves great sandwiches for a reasonable tab.
Shopping in this area is a pleasure. There are both national chain stores and local boutiques, so no matter what you're looking for, you can probably find it. The Intermix and Barney's Co-Op locations in South Beach are a fashion lover's mecca, and the local outpost of international chain Zara is also fun for ladies. Men can find clothing at Diesel and Armani stores, among others. Sunglasses, hats and other Miami-branded merchandise is available everywhere for those looking to bring home an inexpensive souvenir.
Of course the solo traveler will want to grab a chair and spend some time on the beach. Many South Beach hotels have private beaches, and these are the ones to hang out on. Pools also are common, and for those who would like to sit under a shady umbrella and sip a fruity drink, poolside might be the best place.
This charming Miami neighborhood is a welcome respite from the sexy hustle of South Beach. Annexed by Miami in 1920, Coconut Grove still has retro charm. Restaurants abound, and the cuisine is varied. Jaguar Bar offers delicious ceviche. Bertoni has brick oven pizza and Akashi has sushi. Lots of local shops give tourists enough stores to visit for at least one afternoon and evening; and maybe even a whole weekend.
For those who enjoy vintage and antique shopping, Miami has a few must-stops. Miami Twice is one of the country's biggest retro stores, and vintage enthusiasts could spend hours here alone. For the fashionista, C. Madeline's is the place, where racks of vintage Chanel and loads of vintage shoes and handbags are beautiful investment pieces. On the weekends, antique sales in the Coconut Grove neighborhood are full of vintage home decor, jewelry and other hidden gems.