As I gear up for the launch of Astrid Solo Travel Advisor, a website that provides affordable luxury tips and tricks for solo travelers, I decided to look back at some of my favorite moments spent traveling alone in 2015.
One of the most memorable solo trips was my Miami to Maine solo driving adventure, which took nearly seven weeks to complete, with a quick break for a flight home to attend a wedding in between. In late April, I took off on the lengthy driving trip beginning in the Miami area and working my way up the coast to Maine.
Over the course of the trip, I visited 12 solo friendly cities. My destinations included Palm Beach, Miami, St. Augustine, Jekyll Island, Savannah, Charleston, The Hamptons, Newport, Provincetown, Salem, Portsmouth and Kennebunkport.
In a previous blog post I wrote before the solo trip, I wrote, “Countless hours have been put into the research for this trip. My media team has gathered input from various tourist bureaus and I have scoured hundreds of websites and YouTube videos deciding on what to do, where to eat and stay, where to shop and, bottomline, how to experience what makes each place special.”
While each location is noticeable unique, I kept an eye out for a few main themes throughout my trip. Culture and history, art and architecture, and shopping, among others, were key elements I paid close attention to in the various locations.
And special it certainly was. Some highlights include the Miami Design District, Kennebunkport, Savannah, and The Hamptons. I’ve recapped key moments and memories below:
Miami Design District
I was impressed by the overall concept of the revitalization of this formerly rundown area of Miami. The area is an ultra-modern, multicultural center for people from all walks of life with a focus on top designer brands, cutting edge art galleries and interior design concepts. My Miami Design District blog post will help provide a feel for the area. Some of the most internationally renowned architects are designing wonderful new living spaces here. The District is a happening, international place for those who want to live, work and play there.
“Happy place, happy people,” is the feeling I got from Kennebunkport because everyone was friendly, laid back, and the environment felt safe. Nobody seemed to lock the doors of their small town homes with beautifully manicured yard and gardens full of flowers. The weather was crisp and the air was extremely fresh, and the breezes off of the Atlantic were delightful as well as the memorable sunsets. Kennebunkport had a feeling of the Ozzie and Harriet days of the 1960’s when American life was still simple and wholesome. The town is different from the ultra-cool vibe of Miami but just as wonderful in its own way.
The third trip highlight is the sultry, mysterious charm of Savannah. For starters, the many beautiful town squares throughout historic downtown make it a fabulous place to walk around, especially as a solo traveler. The city has a rich history to explore, beautiful gardens to tour, and delicious Southern food to savor.
Savannah is both a relaxing and charming destination with some outstanding architecture and restored properties to view. The transformative catalyst of the Savannah School of Art and Design is impressive. The school is credited with starting the saving of all of the historic architecture here and is directly involved with its restoration. It trains some of the leading historic architectural restores in the country; it’s all about saving Savannah’s unique southern culture through historic renovation.
Lastly, The Hamptons, which was my favorite of the 12 solo friendly cities I visited. I l loved everything about the area; it is earthy, sophisticated, and has a focus on eating and drinking well because the organic food movement had its beginnings there. There are so many farms and vineyards still alive and well in The Hamptons that compliment the fantastic restaurants in the area. I even had the best sandwich I’d ever eaten, a lobster club, at the historic and elegant American Hotel in Sag Harbor.
Beyond the food, The Hamptons is special because each village has its own unique flair. From clothing boutiques to bookstores, Southampton and East Hampton had the best shopping. The Hamptons personifies everything I love: classy, sophisticated, earthy, good food, good wine, good books, posh, and fun-loving. The best of the best is here and can be had in the small, unique, special place.
Additional highlights and takeaways from the Miami to Maine solo trip can be found here.