Florida : Safety by City
- Amelia Island
- Boca Raton
- Boynton Beach
- Cape Coral
- Cocoa Beach
- Coral Springs
- Daytona Beach
- Deerfield Beach
- Delray Beach
- Everglades City
- Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Fort Pierce
- Fort Walton Beach
- Key Largo
- Key West
- Lake Buena Vista
- Lake City
- Lake Worth Beach
- Marco Island
- Miami Beach
- Miami Gardens
- Mount Dora
- New Smyrna Beach
- North Port
- Ormond Beach
- Palm Beach Gardens
- Palm Harbor
- Panama City Beach
- Pembroke Pines
- Pompano Beach
- Port St. Lucie
- Punta Gorda
- St. Augustine
- St. Petersburg
- Vero Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Winter Park
Delray Beach, Florida, was honored as the Most Fun Small Town in America and it shows in the tourism, economy, and crime numbers.
With Boca Raton to the south and Boyton Beach to the north, Delray Beach can still hold its own even as a smaller town than its sibling cities.
There’s a lot packed into just 16 miles of land.
This small town downtown is so big, it has its districts.
Two miles of beautiful beaches with adventures to be found at sea, including a shipwreck from 1903.
You can even go to Japan for a few hours through an immersive museum or go back to a simple time exploring the history of Delray Beach.
If that’s not enough bouncing around for you, how about going retro at the Silverball Retro Arcade, where you can play everything from pinball to Ms. Pac-Man.
This is a part of Palm Beach County (PBC) you don’t want to miss, but let’s get you through the town safely.
Warnings & Dangers in Delray Beach
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here, mostly just in comparison to other Palm Beach County locations, some of the crime statistics jump a little higher and a LOT is going on here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Buckle up. You've got a lot of options that aren't traditional cabs and rideshares. You can rent an electric golf cart. Grab an eco-friendly ride in a Freebee (download the app). Hop on a PalmTram bus to explore the county. There's parking too, but if you don't get the hint above, the city wants to make it so you don't need a car. There's a low risk in any of those options.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here. While other PBC counties count pickpockets on one hand, Delray Beach had 28 of them in 2020. While that's not an overwhelming number, it's enough to make you think a little more about safety.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Any Florida community, especially on the coast, gets a medium risk due to hurricanes and severe thunderstorm potential. Hurricane season runs June through November, with the tropics getting active in August and September.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
Of the 67 robberies in 2020, 46 of them were highway robbery, which is a crime that happens near a major road against a traveler. Again, this is the highest highway robbery county in most of the PBC cities, so it's medium risk.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Terrorists love targets that would have a high population impact and could distress our economy. Palm Beach County has both of those with tourists and ports. It's a medium risk that should just make you more vigilant, not scared.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There are plenty of scams in this area, but they mostly target locals with the debt threats or "you have a warrant and need to pay me to get out of it" type stuff. The biggest concern for tourists is rental scams. Just be sure to ask for proof of a rental license when you book and never wire money. Always pay deposits with a bank-backed credit card. If you do that, you have a low risk otherwise.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
Let's go with a medium risk, even if it's just to make you use some extra caution in this casual but busy beach town. There were 31 rapes in 2020, and over the past decade less than half of the rape cases each year have been solved. Never accept a drink you didn't see poured and don't walk alone at night if you've been drinking. If you meet someone you met online, be sure to stay in a public place. Just use a little extra caution while enjoying everything Delray Beach has to offer.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water is safe by all state and national standards. The last water quality report shows no violations.
Safest Places to Visit in Delray Beach
The downtown corridor stretches along Atlantic Avenue from the water all the way to I-95, and two blocks north and south.
A little further north is the eclectic Pineapple Grove Arts District.
Throughout the downtown area, you have so many boutiques, souvenir shops, dining options, beauty salons, and fruity drink bars, you could spend a whole day (or two) just visiting each one.
The Silverball Retro Arcade Museum has some of the best video and pinball games from the 80s.
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are a nice respite from the busy street crowds.
Stroll through the Delray Beach Historical Society sites.
The Sandoway Discovery Center sits right on the beach with a look at marine life in unique and educational ways.
Here at the beach, you can rest your feet or get back on them by renting a standup paddleboard.
You can book a scuba trip to the SS Inchulva, which went down in a 1903 hurricane and sits just 150 yards from the beach.
If fishing is more your thing, book a fishing charter where many of the rides offer “No fish, no pay” deals.
Surfers want to head south from Atlantic Avenue for some of the best beach waves in PBC.
Places to Avoid in Delray Beach
Delray Beach has changed a lot since the 90s and is a lot “younger” these days.
At the time of writing this, the most dangerous area in Delray Beach is east of I-95.
Delray Beach has a long history with high crime rates, but still is a vibrant city full of life.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Delray Beach
- To cut down on smash and grab robberies, the Delray Police Department started a “No Cash Here” program that businesses can sign up for. It means the business won’t accept cash and doesn’t keep a cash register, hopefully deterring thieves from trying to grab a quick score. Tourists should also be aware of this if they prefer using cash to pay, as not every place will accept it.
- Florida requires a fishing license for saltwater and freshwater. You can also get a combo license. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission makes this process very easy. Just go to the website and you can start the process now.
- Florida does not require a scuba license, but it’s tricky to scuba around a shipwreck, so the best advice is to get certified before you arrive or book a class when you get here. The safer you are, the more fun you’ll have.
- Florida is in the midst of an opioid crisis and Delray Beach at one time was the focal point. Drug dealers lace the product with highly dangerous fentanyl which leads to deadly consequences. If you see someone overdosing, call immediately for help as police are trained with Narcan to stop the overdose and save lives.
- There’s plenty of parking in Delray Beach but it’s spread out and each area comes with different rules and costs. Public garages are free until 4:00 p.m., then, go to a $5 flat rate. Download the ParkMobile app and you can learn about the different parking options and pay right from your mobile device.
- While you’re on your mobile device, download the CodeRED emergency notification so you can stay alert of any weather or civil emergency that happens. This will also give you a heads up if there are any water quality issues during your visit.
- Check the beach conditions before you go in the water. The colored flag system tells you what the water is like on any given today. For example, as I write this, the flags are yellow/purple. Just because I’ve spent so much time at the beach, I know that means there’s moderate surf (yellow) and a dangerous marine life warning (purple). The purple flag could be sharks, jellyfish, sea lice, etc., so ask a lifeguard just what dangers are out there if you see a purple flag. Unless there’s a green flag, use caution, and if there’s a double red flag, the water is closed to swimmers.
- What are sea lice, you ask, after reading that last tip? This is an icky problem. Sea lice are the larvae of jellyfish. You can’t even see them. So when you go swimming, they get in your hair and bathing suit and nestle right in. As you move, the friction causes small stings in some of the most delicate areas. You won’t even notice the painful rash for a few hours. It’s critical that you shower immediately after leaving the water and don’t walk around in a wet bathing suit after swimming.
- If you use a standup paddleboard while you are there, you only have two entry points — the north end or south end of the beach and you have to go 150 yards into the water, away from the swimmers. This is for the safety of everyone in the water.
- Of all the things you can do at the beach, there are a few things you cannot do. Don’t take any sand or plants. Don’t go on or near the dunes. Don’t take a seashell that has a live animal inside. Don’t mess with sea turtle nests you’ll see from May through October.
So... How Safe Is Delray Beach Really?
It’s not quite as safe, by crime statistics, as other Palm Beach County cities.
It’s also a lot more compact and busy than other cities.
This is a “tourist draw around every corner” kind of city where other communities are more residential.
Your chances of being a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 165.
That’s 40% higher than the Florida average.
Property crimes are double the Florida average.
It’s important to emphasize this doesn’t mean Delray Beach is dangerous.
If you follow even the most basic safety protocol, you should be fine.
I’ve spoken to several friends who live in this area and they feel Delray Beach is a laid-back, fun part of PBC.
You just need to lock the car doors without leaving anything in plain sight, keep your purse or wallet close to your body or use a secured backpack to carry belongings.
Don’t carry around large amounts of cash and control how much you drink so you keep all your senses on point.
How Does Delray Beach Compare?
|Belize City (Belize)
|La Paz (Bolivia)
|Sao Paulo (Brazil)
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)
All Visas are handled at the airport or port of entry. You don't need anything else in Delray Beach except for that fishing license if that's in your plans.
You'll use the U.S. Dollar as currency, but remember there are plenty of places downtown that don't take cash. Simply bring a credit card or pay for items through your mobile device. You'll be safer and more compact in what you carry with you.
The weather is so nice it's almost a crime year-round. The coldest winter days get into the mid-70s, only dropping to the 50s at night, but it's enough to need a jacket or shawl. The hottest parts of summer hit the 90s for highs and mid-70s for lows. There's a lot of humidity in the summer, so plan to sweat a lot. Rain gear is also needed as quick storms pop up during the summer rainy season, but it can also happen in the dry season.
Palm Beach International Airport is just 20 minutes north of I-95. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is about 30 minutes south. Miami International Airport is an hour south.
The weather can get crazy here, and whether it's a slowly approaching tropical system or a wicked sudden thunderstorm, it can cause cancellations and delays. Travel insurance is a great idea.
Delray Beach Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month