Traveling alone can be a challenging proposition for many people. But for the adventurous, South Florida offers a myriad of wonderful activities including exploring the art scene, culinary tours of different neighborhoods or an escape to a first-rate spa. So go on and pack the selfie stick and head south!
Rise and shine! It is time to kick start the day with an order of French toast or a Spanish omelette for breakfast at Buena Vista Bistro, a quaint, charming French neighborhood spot north of Miami's Design District. Reminiscent of a Parisienne sidewalk café, it offers hearty dishes that won’t break the bank—prices range from $8 for pancakes to $12 for eggs benedict.
Next, head to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, a new venue inside the Moore Building, with a focus on contemporary art offering thought-provoking exhibitions and multimedia presentations. Here, you'll find works by artists such as American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, pop artist Ed Ruscha and Puerto Rican modernist painter Enoc Pérez. Opened to the public free of charge, ICA Miami is near Miami's Wynwood Arts District making it the perfect opportunity to enjoy a morning of art.
Once in the neighborhood, you can visit the Wynwood Walls, an international destination considered the largest outdoor museum of street art and murals. Located along 25th Street and N.W. 2nd Avenue, you can see works in progress from the artist studios in the area, or stop in at the Go! Shop and pick up a memento from the store's assortment of limited edition t-shirts, books and prints inspired and created by the artists of Wynwood Walls.
During lunchtime what better way to socialize and make friends than on a food tour from Miami Culinary Tours. Enjoy this 2.5-hour tour of Little Havana, a Miami neighborhood considered the epicenter of Cuban culture and heritage. With five stops along the famed, main thoroughfare Calle Ocho (Eight Street), you'll sample authentic Cuban cuisine from the hottest restaurants of this vibrant neighborhood including a Cuban sandwich, guava pastry, Cuban coffee and "guarapo" juice made from sugarcane. The tour also offers the opportunity to explore the local traditions and watch cigars hand-rolled, a game of dominoes at Maximo Gomez Park, called by the locals "Domino Park," and stops at religious stores to learn about Afro-Cuban religious practices.
One of the best ways to re-energize from a day of being out-and-about is with first-class pampering at the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. Considered one of the best spas because of their exceptional staff and amenities, central location in downtown Miami/Brickell and late-night hours (8:30 am-9:30 pm daily), a massage and stay in the steam room is the perfect way to unwind from the day.
Once the sun has set, it's time to soak up the nightlife in downtown Coral Gables' Miracle Mile. This area is very pedestrian-friendly and offers plenty of restaurants of various types of cuisine. You can order drinks and appetizers at the hip and trendy Tarpon Bend and people-watch from the open-air seating. After a few minutes at the bar, you'll talk the night away with the new friends you'll make.
If you are a night owl, get ready to take in a late-night (11:30 pm) movie cult classic at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, just two blocks from Miracle Mile on Aragon Avenue. See films like "The Fly," "The Invisible Man" or "The Thing." General admission tickets are $7 and include free popcorn!