Slow, Solo Travel in Miami Beach

By Bonnie Culbertson of 101 Ways to Save The Planet Podcast

As an introvert, spending time on my own is how I recharge. Throw in a sun-drenched lounge chair, the sound of waves rolling onto shore and one great book and I might never be social again...

For a city with a hard-partying reputation, you may not consider Miami Beach as an ideal solo travel destination. Yet for me the combination of pristine beaches, bikeable boardwalks and open-air eateries make it ideal for a weekend of wandering - and lounging - at my own pace. And as someone who prioritizes eco-friendly hotels and restaurants, this recently plastic-free city has a lot to offer.

If you’re currently sitting shoeless at your desk, waiting for damp socks to dry before you have to walk to your next meeting - it might be time to consider a weekend getaway to Miami Beach. The only person you have to convince to go, is you. Here’s what you can look forward to:


The Miami Beach boardwalk is easily accessible from most hotels in the area, and puts the entire area at your fingertips. Rent a ride from Citi Bike Miami and cruise around town emission-free. It’s also the perfect place for a sunrise or sunset run overlooking the ocean. Not in the mood to power your own transport? The Miami Beach Trolley is another easy and reliable way to get around. Best part? It’s totally free!


Thanks to its sunny climate and proximity to the Pacific, Miami Beach restaurants have access to fresh, local ingredients all year round. Some favorites include the rooftop restaurant, Watr, atop the 1Hotel South Beach (open to non-guests after 6pm), which serves seafood with Japanese and Peruvian influences, paired with a breathtaking ocean view. Next door, the wok-charred salmon dish at Traymore by Michael Schwartz lived up to its James Beard awarded chef-creator. I washed it down with a glass of rose while listening to a live jazz trio - a special treat on Thursday nights. On Sundays, head to the Lincoln Road Farmers Market to taste everything from tropical fruits to authentic empanadas and fresh ceviche from top local purveyors. There are also plenty of sidewalk cafes and eateries nearby that make for some excellent people watching.


You could easily spend most of your days here relaxing at the beach, feeling the velvety warm sand on your feet as you walk toward the sea and wade into bath-like waves. But if you feel moved to take in a little culture during your time here, you won’t have to look very far. Miami Beach is renowned for its art scene, and hosts one of the most internationally recognized art fairs, Art Basel, annually. Art museums are my favorite places to tune into myself, what I’m drawn to and what brings me joy (I talk about that a bit more on my own blog, here). I enjoyed spending an afternoon getting to know myself more at The Bass Contemporary Art Museum, which hosts some seriously thought-provoking modern art exhibits.


I stayed at Kind Traveler hotel, The Palms Hotel & Spa, located steps from the beach with private access to the boardwalk. More importantly, The Palms Hotel & Spa prioritizes sustainability and is committed to protecting the local ecosystem. The Palms hosts quarterly beach clean-ups, has an on-property organic garden and feeds excess food waste to animals, among other initiatives.  I don’t know if it’s all the sunshine, or the joy that comes from doing good, but I had some of the friendliest service I’ve ever experienced at both of its restaurants - something that means even more when traveling solo.


When booking through Kind Traveler, you'll find exclusive rates and special perks when you make a $10 donation to Surfrider Foundation Miami Beach, or to your charity of choice. When you support Surfrider Foundation Miami Beach, you'll help to keep Miami’s oceans and beaches healthy and clean for all to enjoy.


Author Bio:  Bonnie Culbertson is an Ohio-based freelance writer focused on sustainable and ethical travel. Through her podcast and blog, 101 Ways to Save The Planet, Culbertson seeks to empower people to make more eco-friendly choices while traveling and help them feel more hopeful about the state of our planet by connecting them to the people and places across the globe working to create positive change. She received her bachelor's in strategic communications from Miami University.