Slip into the Scene Solo: Bars, restaurants, festivals…

Sports Bar in Orlando Florida

Sports Bar in Orlando Florida. I was here for lunch and had a great time chatting with people at the bar.

What to do in the evenings is often a challenge for Solo Travelers. Nightlife can be intimidating but my experience says that it needn’t be. Here are some tips to help you slip into the bar, restaurant or festival scene, solo.

Great choices for an evening out.

  • Bar with live music.
  • Festival whether it be cultural, food, music…
  • Pub where the locals hang out.
  • Restaurants with communal tables.
  • The theater, opera, symphony, ballet.

How to find the right place.
I start looking for the right place for the evening before I get into town by reading recommendations on blogs and guides. But I don’t assume that I’ve found it.  I think that more than half the time I change my mind after talking to a taxi driver, bartender or server in a restaurant. In other words, I find the best places by talking to locals.

Go and be safe.
Here are a few tips to go out in the evening and be safe:

  • Arrive early.
  • Don’t carry a purse – leave most valuables in a safe at your hotel or hostel.
  • Take a seat at the bar or other location where you have a good view of the room.
  • Be friendly with your server – they’ll watch out for you.
  • Notice the exits.
  • Don’t drink too much.
  • Watch the vibe of the room as people arrive. If you’re not comfortable, leave.
  • Be cautious of people who choose to talk with you. It’s usually better to choose people yourself.
  • Go home by taxi.
Flight of beer

Flight of beer at Orlando Brewing Company

A great time out in Florida.
When I went to Florida last year, I went to Orlando Brewing. I wasn’t really alone on this occasion as I met up with  another travel blogger, Rachelle Lucas of Inn the Kitchen. I have tested all the tips above on other trips but I want to tell you about this one because it is a great evening destination for solo travelers. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take a taxi – Orlando Brewing is in an industrial area and you will be nervous driving there yourself. Transit is not really an option.
  • Go on a Friday night as they have a free brewery tour between 4 and 6pm.
  • Alternatively, go on a Sunday afternoon and participate in their Orlando Brewing Choir.
  • Order a flight and taste a variety of their fabulous beers.
  • Study the faces that are on some of their beer labels. You may be able to meet one of the characters behind the faces while you’re there.
  • Chat with the people. It’s a very friendly environment.


  • Mariepierre Maingon

    I’ve used this successfully after not showing much interest in the person in question : “oh, excuse me. I see a seat closer to the music” and with that I slip away without a look back.

  • Iza Sanchez

    Hi Janice,

    Yeah, it is a tough one, haha.. That’s why I avoid going to bars solo on my trips. I think I’ll just try to be direct next time. Thanks a lot for the tips! Cheers

  • Janice Waugh

    Hi Iza,

    That’s a tough one. If subtle hints don’t work (like focusing your eyes on the stage rather than him) you may have to ask your server for help or be direct and say you were looking forward to an evening alone with the music.


  • Iza Sanchez

    Hi Janice, thanks for the tips! and you are right, it can be intimidating walking into a bar for a pleasant night-out when you are travelling solo. Do you have any suggestions on how to politely excuse yourself from someone who might want to join you in a bar without you having to leave the bar? This has happened to me a couple of times and often I just end up leaving when I still wanted to watch the live show?

  • Hotels Wala

    We often forget about the local rules and do things that
    causes trouble…Excessive drinking should be avoided.

  • River rafting

    We often forget about the local rules and do things that causes trouble…Excessive drinking should be avoided.

  • Hotelswala

    The safety tips are great…My best choice during evening is to get out and taste some local cuisine…I am a food addict.

  • solotraveler

    There are many women over 50 traveling alone. I’m one of them and I meet others on the road. Some participate in tours. Others go independently like I do. I know women in their 70s traveling solo. So… it can be done. Take the day trips and small steps like you plan. And build from there as you feel comfortable. Please update me on how things go.

  • happytotravel

    I really like leelaurino’s theme ideas! I am enjoying your website for inspiration and look forward to traveling solo in a year or so. I am 50+ and love traveling, but have never ventured out alone. For many reasons, I NEED to do this, and the more I think about it, the more it feels right. I am going to test the waters by doing day trips to NYC, Philly, etc for a trial run! Luckily I am located between two great cities!Do you find many 50+ ladies traveling alone? Great website! Happytotravel (twitter me!)

  • solotraveler

    Lee, this trip sounds absolutely fantastic! When do you leave? How long will you be gone for?

  • leelaurino

    once again this shows how good you are at this. still not something i look forward to. am working on my “theme idea” for my next trip. i will try to study something or learn about something I have never tried through out the country I select:

    china: i will take noodle making lessons, each area has a different specialty
    australia: shall try to find a volunteer group that needs help to recover from teh cyclone
    Italy: so much to see, so much to do, but think i shall try painting. already ahve met an artist in spello and from there shall see.

    so far in italy i can go to the coffee bar alone…….