Solo Girl’s Guide to Miami
Y’all my first solo trip is officially in the books! Inspired by NatyMichelle who has gone to several different countries alone, I’ve really wanted to take a trip by myself to see what it would be like. At home I have no problem going to things by myself but you never really know how you’ll react in a situation until you’re in it. With my job making me take a week off for the 4th of July and my mom preoccupied with her new grandson, who could blame her, I decided what better time than the present to go on a solo vacation.
I chose Miami for a few reasons: it is on a lot of female solo travel lists as a safe place to go, I’ve been a few times before with family and friends so I wouldn’t be going somewhere entirely new and flights to Miami Beach are crazy cheap. Seriously tickets are under $200 direct to Miami Beach and under $100 into Fort Lauderdale! Also with the holiday and potential hurricane I knew there wouldn’t be huge crowds of people. Even though I’m vaccinated I’ve never enjoyed walking through crowded streets plus less people around made it easier to take pics with my tripod and Sony A5100! I thought about staying a whole week but didn’t want to comeback to rush straight into work so I settled for a 3 day getaway. If you’ve been wanting to travel to Miami on your own but weren’t quite sure what to expect this guide on where to stay, places to eat, fun things to do, outfits to pack and of course tips on traveling alone is for you!
Where to Stay in Miami Beach
Miami beach is made up of 3 different locations: North Beach, Mid Beach and South Beach. For a quieter location that’s a little more upscale you’ll want to stay in North Beach. Mid Beach is a great central location that puts you in walking distance of Ocean Drive and the Lincoln mall where a lot of the action is. If you’re looking for party central then South Beach is the place for you. I personally stayed in South Beach at the Kimpton Angler Hotel. I cannot say enough amazing things about it’s location. It’s less than a 10 minute walk to the beach but also has a rooftop pool. They also have one restaurant on site and a bar. About a block away is a 24hr CVS, right on the corner was a dispensary and a fresh fruit market.
Getting Around Miami Beach
Personally I love wandering the streets. I enjoy looking at the store fronts and stumbling across coffee shop, bakeries and walking into any place that catches my eye. It’s nothing for me to walk several miles in a day while on vacation somewhere new. During the day in Miami Beach I felt totally safe enough but I did get cat-called. I get that not everyone wants to walk especially in the Miami heat so here are a few other options to get around:
- Citi Bikes– for $8 an hour this is the best option for getting around quickly. There’s no sitting in traffic and you wont have to worry about dudes trying to holla at you as you walk by.
- Miami Trolly/Bus-the trolleys are a free and stop at all the major places. While you do have to wear a mask at this time, they can take you from South Beach all the way up to North Beach with just a few transfers. They usually come every 10 minutes but you will have to sit in traffic on busier days.
- Rent a Moped/Golf Cart/Spider-depending on what you rent it can run you $35-$100 to have your own ride for the day. The downside to this option is you’ll have to look and pay for parking and most places require you to return by 7pm. This could be a less expensive option getting around especially if you plan to do a lot of back and forth in one day.
- Lyft/Uber– I was really surprised how inexpensive the Lyft rides seemed. It was under $20 to get a ride from the airport and during the day only $7-$10 to get a ride over the downtown Miami. I used Lyft over Uber during my trip since they had lower rates.
What to Do in Miami Beach
The great thing about Miami is there’s truly something to do for every kind of vacationer. If your style is laying back and relaxing there’s tons of space to do that or for the explorer there’s lots of unique things to see. Here’s some of the things that I recommend:
- Soak up the Sun on the Beach. An obvious choice but hands down my favorite thing to do. Honestly the beach was the main reason I chose to go to Miami over some of my other choices. Even on the cloudy days the sound of the waves and the water on my skin felt amazing! Be warned in July there is a fair amount of seaweed but if you head towards the southern most point the water was really clear.
- Check out Showfields and Lincoln Mall. If you like to shop until you drop Lincoln mall is the place to be. While I really don’t like to spend my vacation shopping I recommend checking out Showfields. To me it’s the future of shopping from the interactive displays, unique brands, a slide there’s quite a lot to do. They also sell fresh pressed juices and cocktails! There’s tons of shops you can’t find elsewhere and places to eat so it’s a great place to spend the afternoon.
- Go to the Botanical Garden. For only $5 it’s fun way to get outside away from the beach is walking through gardens. I didn’t personally go but heard really great things!
- Walk around Miami’s Design District. Looking for a little more luxury then take a Lyft over to the design district to check out all the designer brands. I was lucky enough to make it to Fendi’s pop up caffe to enjoy a late lunch. Dior also has a cafe experience as well. There’s also unique structures and even swings to relax on. Plus there’s some really delicious restaurants out that way like the Swan which I talk about below.
- See the Murals at Wynwood. A walk or short bike ride away from the design district is the colorful town of Wynwood. It’s know for all it’s amazing murals and even has an outdoor mural gallery called Wynwood Walls. It’s even got a few great places to grab a snack like the Salty Donut and Taiyaki NYC.
Where to Eat in Miami Beach
If you cant tell the theme of this solo trip was to treat myself and I splurged the most on food. Not every meal was over the top and I nibbled on leftovers for lunch most days, but every place on this list is delicious. Just a heads up that most restaurants have started adding a minimum 18% gratuity to bills even with just one person so don’t be surprised when places seem more expensive. Here’s where you should eat in Miami:
- The Carlton Room Cafe at the Betsy: I stopped at their cafe twice on my trip because they serve Panther coffee which was so yummy. I also got their D3+ fresh pressed juice to sip on the beach.
- Prana Coffee: If you’re looking for lighter options like juices, smoothie bowls, and breakfast sandwhichs then this is a solid choice! You can also get a fresh coconut water from the coconut here too.
- Fendi Caffe: This was unique experience that was only open through July 6th so I had to got! An equally fun option in the same place is the Dior Cafe which has similar food choices!
- Watr at the Rooftop 1 Hotel: The food here was absolutely delicious, so were the drinks and dessert plus they had a live DJ who just did not miss that night. I recommend the octopus for dinner then treating yourself to the Lucumas tres leches mousse for dessert. If you’re dirnking definitely try the Shiso Fancy! This is also the perfect place to hang after dinner, have a drink, dance then catch a Lyft home.
- Swan: I won’t even lie to you, I saw the Birthday Party dessert on @marcherobinson’s IG and instantly booked my reservation. They had the cutest pink interior and a beautiful leafy exterior that’s perfect for pictures. In terms of actual food I suggest the crispy artichokes and the lobster cavatelli. Also you have to try their Purple Reign cocktail, so good!
- Casa Tau: Down the street from the Lincoln Mall this fine italian restaurant is worth going to. This place was definitely a splurge. The Golden Kiwi cocktail was delicious as well as the lobster farro risotto. Don’t skip dessert, make sure you get the Italian donuts!
What to Pack for Miami Beach
In July Miami is hot, humid and it will also probably rain. The good thing is that if it does rain, it’s usually only for an hour or two. When it comes to packing besides the weather keep in mind what activities you plan to do. Here’s what I suggest you pack:
- Swim suits– I recommend bringing at least 2, one that you can wear for any water activities and another with the tan lines you want.
- Cover ups– Think kaftans, oversized button ups or high waist pants because they can also double as your outfit for the day to grab breakfast or lunch.
- Cute Shorts– If you’re prone to chaffing like me I suggest you pack shorts to wear when you want to be out and explore.
- Dresses- You want something that will be breathable but also turn heads as you go out to grab dinner.
- Hats- I don’t recommend the oversized beach hats because they’re more work than they’re worth, instead reach for a bucket hat that will stay in place all day.
- Sport Sandals- Trust me on this, if you plan to walk you want some comfortable sandals you can explore in but will also protect your feet on the hot sand.
- Rain Coat/Umbrella– No need to let the rain stop your shine, a coat will protect you while checking out the sites.
- Sunscreen- While not a clothing item it is equally as important as anything else you pack so be sure to bring some.
If you want some outfit ideas to inspire your packing list for Miami, then check out my post on everything I wore in Miami!
Shop My Packing List
My Tips On Traveling Solo as a Woman
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of my first solo vacation but I gotta say it was lit! That being said here are a couple tips for you if you’re planning to travel solo:
- Get familiar with your destination– one way to feel comfortable in a new place is to learn about it. Spend some time researching before hand and part of the first day exploring by your hotel.
- Act like you’re from there– while outfits can give you away, having a “woman on a mission” walk will make it seem like you could be a local so most people won’t bother you. Don’t have your head down or on your phone. If you need directions use one bluetooth earbud to listen but keep your other ear free to hear what’s going on around you.
- Ride a bike to avoid being harassed by guys– when you’re walking guys can easily walk right in your path to try to stop you but a bike in the bike lane you can ride right by.
- I hate to say it but don’t go out at night alone- during the day I felt pretty safe aside from a few creepy comments but even on crowded streets I don’t recommend being out at night by yourself. If you do want to go out to see the night life take a Lyft.
- Bring a portable charger– one mistake I made was bringing a charger but not the right cord. Luckily I picked one up at a local CVS. Make sure your phone is charged so you don’t have to worry about being stranded somewhere.
Like most people I was always waiting for friends and family to travel and see places but what I learned is you really can go yourself! You can meet tons of cool people, enjoy your vacation exactly the way you want on your own schedule and connect even deeper with yourself. If you want to learn more then watch my Miami Solo Travel Vlog on YouTube. For even more amazing getaway ideas, check out my travel guides.
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