These days, when I run into the tourism marketing people, I always say the same thing: "Nice destination, but is there a way for solo travelers to meet other travelers or local people while there? After a spell, we can get tired of traveling and touring on our own."
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau came through with flying colors recently. Jennifer Haz, the assistant media relations manager, sent me a list of ideas, three of which would serve well as "isolation breakers" during, say, a week-long trip that includes Miami, Florida. I've included the other two in case they're of interest.
1. Find an "ecoadventure" through Miami-Dade Parks.
Naturalists will guide you through parks, wilderness areas and historic sites. You can go snorkeling and kayaking in Biscayne Bay, canoeing through mangrove creeks "teeming with native wildlife," or biking along the barrier island.
Also offered are "wilder" activities, including marine wading tours and hiking trips into wilderness areas of the Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve and coastal parks. If there are others on the tours, you will have people to talk to. If not, there's always your friend, the guide.
2. Swim with dolphins.
The Miami Seaquarium is the place to interact with the "Flippers" of the world. The program brings you to a classroom for an interactive presentation. Then you suit up and head out for dolphin encounters. Surely, people in the "class" will be giddy and share their excitement with everyone in the room. Including you.
Here's the Web site patter: "As a ‘Dolphin Odyssey’ participant, you’ll have the opportunity to kiss, hug, dance, rub and get up-close to these friendly mammals."
(Don't you drink the ocean if you try to kiss a dolphin?)
3. South Beach bike tour
Since so much of what's unique and cool about Miami is the South Beach art deco area, a bike tour would be a great activity. I've walked around the funky area but biking would be so much more efficient and fun.
South Beach Bike Tours offers a half-day bike rental (on one of those cruiser bikes), a helmet and "refreshments." Bike and Roll offers a two-hour tour for $39. Again, there will people on the tour to chat with, or if not, a guide.
These next two don't seem as conducive to mixing and mingling but could be fun things to do while you're there.