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
As the southeasternmost U.S. state, Florida has the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast with hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches.
Visitors are attracted to the state because of its comfortable winter weather and beach communities.
Miami is known for its Latin American culture, renowned arts scene, and nightlife, especially in the South Beach neighborhood.
Orlando is world-famous for its theme parks, such as Walt Disney World.
Travelers from across the globe bring their families to Disney for a chance to meet Mickey Mouse.
With 21.48 million inhabitants, Florida continues to experience a population boom with many transplants coming from the northeast section of the U.S.
In addition to the weather, there is no personal income tax in Florida, which makes it even more appealing to potential residents.
Warnings & Dangers in Florida
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
Florida cities are not the safest in the United States with some being safer than others. There are nice areas and crime-ridden deprived areas of all major Florida cities. The smaller towns are generally safe to visit as well. Whenever going to any new area, follow the usual precautions and you will have a comfortable trip to Florida without any issues.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
Public transportation has a medium risk especially during rush hour when the vehicles are crowded. The main risk is related to pickpockets, not violent crimes. If this makes you uncomfortable then it is best to take a water taxi or regular taxi. Both are plentiful and licensed; however, unlicensed cabs exist so ensure you are ordering from a ridesharing app or reputable service.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
Tourists and their belongings always attract pickpockets in crowded places and on mass transit. Therefore, watch your bags and pockets, never flash money or expensive items in crowded areas, and leave all valuables in a hotel safe.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Depending on where you are in the state will dictate exposure to natural disasters. The east coast of Florida is most vulnerable to floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes because of its direct exposure to the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors to Florida must study the weather conditions and know what to do in the instance of a natural disaster.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
With crime being worse in some cities than others, armed robberies on tourists occur. The most common place for these robberies to occur is in empty parking lots at night or disadvantaged sections of cities. Therefore, don’t walk around alone late at night and never display valuable items in public. If attacked, do what the criminals say and immediately contact the police.
TERRORISM RISK: HIGH
Unfortunately, the United States is always subject to terrorist attacks, so large touristy cities, like those in Florida are targeted. Attempt to avoid mass demonstrations and gatherings and take heed of all government warnings. Also, it will behoove you to learn the political environment of different Florida cities before arriving.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
Most fraud in Florida is to trick an individual into giving them your sensitive data. That means travelers could be subjected to different scam types. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to always keep your sensitive documents on you or in the hotel room safe and credit cards in your bag. Never give any information to those you don’t know.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women traveling solo to Florida can be safe if they don’t walk around cities alone at night, don’t get drunk in bars, and never attract too much attention with decorations or outfits. Drink drugging does occur in bars and clubs so never leave your drink unattended.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Like the rest of the United States, the tap water risk is low, especially in major cities. Always pay attention to the water advisories to ensure you are safe, but water issues are uncommon.
Safest Places to Visit in Florida
All cities in Florida have safe areas and attractions to visit.
Close to Jacksonville is the world-famous Daytona Beach.
Orlando has Disney and Epcot Center, which are incredibly safe, as well as a vibrant downtown.
A safe and interesting destination in Tampa in Ybor City, which is home to countless retailers, bars, and restaurants.
Miami is the most cultural and diverse city in Florida, with a heavy Latin and South American vibe.
Miami is a relatively safe city with plenty of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, world-class shopping, and pristine beaches.
St. Augustine is one of the most historic towns in the United States and incredibly safe, which makes it a do-not-miss destination.
All the coastal towns boast something unique with beaches generally being safe to visit alone.
Places to Avoid in Florida
In addition to the bad neighborhoods in major cities, some suburban and rural towns are consistently plagued by high crime.
Florida City, a small city south of Miami had the highest violent crime rate per 100,000 citizens.
Marianna, a city on the Florida Panhandle, also had high violent and property crime percentages.
Lake City, which is situated between Orlando and Tampa in the middle of the state also had high violent and property crimes in 2020.
Other cities to avoid include Riviera Beach, Starke, Cocoa, Palm Springs, Lake Worth, and Chattahoochee round out the list with a high percentage of crime.
Many of these areas are not heavily touristy due to a lack of attractions, so there is no reason to visit in the first place.
However, if you find yourself at one of these destinations, simply keep your wits and never flash money or valuables as this is just asking for trouble.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Florida
- Avoid unsafe areas. Never wander into unsafe-looking neighborhoods in major cities. Do some research before your trip to find out where to go and where to avoid.
- Check the weather everyday. During the severe weather season, you’ll want to check the weather so you can plan properly. You will be able to see hurricanes coming but, due to the tropical nature of the state, severe thunderstorms can appear out of nowhere.
- Don’t feed wild animals. If you see a gator, stay away. They have been known to attack humans, especially when hungry. If you want to touch an alligator, go to a gator farm where trained professionals will assist with the interaction.
- Don’t leave valuables in parked cars. Never leave any valuables in sight where a passerby could break the window and steal your belongings. Put these items in the trunk or leave them in your hotel lockbox to guarantee they remain safe.
- Don’t go into the Everglades alone. Never wander into the Everglades alone. There are many bugs and animals that can be harmful to humans. That doesn’t mean you should skip the Everglades but book a tour with a reputable company to escort you.
- Never leave drinks unattended. The nightlife in Florida is outstanding, especially in Miami. However, there are shady characters who wish to ruin the fun, especially for female visitors. Therefore, never leave your drink unattended in bars and nightclubs to ensure drugs aren’t slopped into the cup.
- Never leave belongings on the beach unattended. Leaving belongings sitting on the beach while you go for a dip in the ocean is never a promising idea. Thieves are looking for this exact opportunity to steal items from your bag or take your belongings altogether.
- Stick to campsites. Camping in Florida is plentiful but it’s not advisable to go off-the-beaten-path since there are many dangers in the wilderness. Register with the park ranger before going hiking or camping in one of the many parks.
- Pack accordingly. Always pack extra clothing and rain gear regardless of when you are visiting. Bring a lot of sunscreens and reapply regularly to remain protected from the hot sun.
- Wear sunscreen. The summer months can be brutally hot with the sun beating down on unsuspecting beachgoers. Severe sunburns are common and easy to get so always wear sunscreen. This includes wearing it during the milder winter months as the sun can be hot.
So... How Safe Is Florida Really?
Florida is a relatively safe state, especially in rural areas.
However, there are good and bad neighborhoods in all major cities.
Most crime is related to robberies, theft, and some violent, drug-related crimes.
One major issue in the large cities is drug trafficking, especially in Miami due to its location in the Caribbean.
Drugs come into Miami on boats in the middle of the night, and while this doesn’t impact tourists, the related crime could.
In the bad areas of the cities, tourists should avoid the area at all costs.
Do some research on the high crime areas of the places you’ll be visiting before travel.
Tourist areas, like along the beach, in shops, or downtown sections are safe, even at night.
Rental cars are always targets for thieves to leave valuables at home or in the trunk and always lock the car doors.
Take taxis or water taxis when returning to your hotel late at night to avoid any issues.
All major cities have prostitutes and drug dealers, both of which are illegal so stay away.
Finally, never walk into low-lit areas or remote sections of cities, and don’t get involved in street showdowns with anyone.
Florida can be a wonderful family or personal vacation due to its pristine beauty, exciting nightlife, incredible shopping, and excellent weather.
Most travelers won’t have an issue when visiting so it is a good and safe place to visit if you use common sense.
How Does Florida Compare?
The United States visa policy for foreign nationals wishing to enter the U.S. varies based on the origin country. For those that require a visa, visitors must acquire the documentation through the government. Regardless of the origin country, all travelers must have a valid passport to enter. U.S. residents don’t need a visa or passport to travel to Florida, just valid identification.
The official currency in all states is the United States dollar.
The best time to visit Florida for the best weather is between December and April when the temperatures are milder with hot days and comfortable nights. While average temperatures vary across the state, the weather is extremely hot in the summer with high humidity. Florida is right in the middle of the hurricane zone is therefore subject to severe weather.
All major cities – Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale - have at least one international airport. Additionally, there are smaller regional airports scattered across the state for access to more rural areas.
It is always advisable to purchase travel insurance, especially during these uncertain times of delays, cancellations, and other travel issues, even if you are coming from another state. For foreign visitors, travel insurance is especially important when entering the United States.
Florida Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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