Florida : Safety by City
- Amelia Island
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- North Port
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- Pembroke Pines
- Pompano Beach
- Port St. Lucie
- Punta Gorda
- St. Augustine
- St. Petersburg
- Vero Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Winter Park
Kissimmee, Florida, is part of the greater Orlando area, filled with neighborhoods, nature, shopping, and dining.
It’s bordered on the south by beautiful Lake Tohopekaliga.
Kissimmee is a mix of residential, business, and outdoors, giving the perfect blend for a work-life balance without the chaos of the Orlando traffic or huge crowds at Walt Disney World Resort.
Plus, you’ll have a theme park of its special flair right in your backyard.
A few housekeeping notes for this article:
- Kissimmee: (kiss-IM-ee)
- Tohopekaliga: (Tuh-hope-uh-kuh-lag-uh) Known locally as “Lake Toho” or just “Toho”
Throughout the article, we’ll touch a bit on some of the biggest destinations in the area, but we’re going to keep it mostly focused on Kissimmee and what you can do within the city limits.
Warnings & Dangers in Kissimmee
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low to medium overall risk here, depending on several factors. Crime rates are pretty in line with national averages. There are some surprises along the way that we'll dive into.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There's low risk with a lot of options. Kissimme has its SunRail system that takes you around town, with the most expensive ticket being $9.50. You can also grab one of the many regulated taxi cabs or rideshare. Traffic in the Orlando area is notoriously heavy just about all hours of the day, so if you rent a car, just be patient. There are a lot of tourists trying to figure out their way around.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were 22 reports of purse snatching, but what I found interesting was the average amount a purse snatcher got away with was $25. A great reminder to not carry around large amounts of money. There's a low risk this will happen to you.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Many might assume since Kissimmee is inland it won't get a hurricane impact. That's not true. Even if a hurricane weakens when it hits land, it can still drop insane amounts of rain inland, causing flooding and damage. Funny, while researching this, I saw a report that read "(In Kissimmee) Only 76 hurricanes have been reported since 1930." Well, that's nearly one per year. While there are other parts of the state more prone to hurricanes, Kissimmee and the Orlando area still get the sloppy leftovers of the big storms. In fact, since 1999, Disney World has closed 5 times due to approaching hurricanes. Plus, inland Florida gets some pretty gnarly thunderstorms too and can have short-lived tornadoes. All that said, it's medium risk.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were only 32 robberies reported in Kissimmee in 2020. That's half the national average. That's a low risk.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here just because it's so close to Orlando where a lot of hard targets could be ideal for terror groups. It's also just 60 miles from Cape Canaveral, another possible target.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk of a rental scam here. This has been a growing trend in many tourist areas. The scammer gets photos of a home, any home, and lists it for rent. The tourist makes a deposit on the property. When the renter arrives in town, there's no vacation home, and the person who took the money is long gone. Make sure you are dealing with a licensed rental company, or it might be smarter to stay in an established hotel. Other scams in town are mostly focused on residents.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
It's safe for women to travel here and there's low risk. While the rape report average is in line with the national average, there isn't anything in the crime data otherwise that shows a woman is at a higher risk. There are dangers anywhere of walking around at night, and if you are going into one of the many nature spots alone be sure to have a buddy who knows where you are going and when you plan to be back.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
While there has been a history of tap water problems in the Orlando area, the public works departments have spent years getting everything up to standards. There's now a low risk as it meets or exceeds all standards. It might taste a little funny due to its high mineral content, but it's perfectly safe to drink.
Safest Places to Visit in Kissimmee
Kissimmee Lakefront Park is a beautiful way to start or end the day with sunrise or sunset on the horizon.
There’s a small lighthouse and a fishing pier.
The Kissimmee Historic Downtown District, right next door to the park, is a throwback to the past with an edge of modernism.
Peruse through antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and unique dining.
A must-see in this area is the Monument of States.
It’s a tower built with a rock from each state with an eagle on top and it was inspired after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.
A local man wanted to create a unique memorial of American solidarity.
Not to be confused with the historic downtown, is Old Town Kissimmee.
This is a throwback to the amusement park of simpler times.
Grab an A&W Root Beer float while you walk through dozens of shops.
Maybe wait to eat at the family-favorite Shoney’s until after you’ve gone on the Hurricane roller coaster.
Celebration is another community worth visiting.
Initially designed as the “Perfect Upton City” by the Disney Corporation, it’s now not connected to Disney at all, but you can see its fingerprints everywhere in the beautiful designs.
Unfortunately, a brutal murder happened here in 2020, putting safety concerns at the forefront, but that was a domestic situation and as sad as the tragedy was, it doesn’t reflect the aura of the city.
Then there’s stunning Lake Tohopakaliga on the south side of the city.
There’s a smaller lake on the east side of the turnpike known as “East Toho.”
There are airboat tours around the lake’s border.
It’s also a great spot for some freshwater fishing.
Places to Avoid in Kissimmee
There aren’t any habitual bad parts of town in Kissimmee.
Crime maps show the central area of town from north to south has the highest crime rates.
As much as this city is away from the big tourist areas of Orlando, there is still an overflow of tourists looking for the same thing others are — a less crowded area.
Little but little, it’s becoming harder to come by as the city grows and more tourists hear of Kissimmee.
Being a tourist in a place that’s so busy can cause people to put their guard down or get distracted.
Always lock a car if you have one and keep your belongings out of plain sight.
Leave them in the trunk if you can, or better yet, leave whatever you don’t need at the hotel.
Always park in well-lit areas, and keep a close eye on the purse or wallet, especially when you are in a crowded area.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Kissimmee
- If you want to go fishing in Kissimmee, you’ll need a freshwater fishing license. You can get this ahead of time by contacting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, commonly known as FWC, online.
- Lake Tohopekaliga is a great spot for outdoor activities, but it’s probably best if you don’t go swimming in it. Assume all freshwater lakes have alligators. There have been sightings of alligators in these waters. While it’s not a certainty you’ll see one, it is better to be safe. Enjoy the lake from a boat, or more than 20 yards from the shore.
- You know that murder we mentioned in Celebration earlier? Don’t ask people about it. It was a horrendous crime that devastated the community. A man is accused of killing his wife and three children, plus the family dog. The cause of death was some kind of combination of Benadryl and an “unspecified means” plus the bodies had stab wounds. The suspect was heavily in debt at the time and facing fraud charges, but it’s unclear how that was connected to the murders. There. That’s all you need to know. Just don’t talk about it there.
- If you have a rental car, know you are being watched when driving through intersections. The city has a series of red light cameras at the busiest and most dangerous intersections. I’ve lived in Florida and I can tell you they have red-light cameras down to perfect science. Not only will they send you a $158 ticket, but they’ll also send a link to the picture of you running the red light and a video showing your movements. They don’t issue the ticket unless you fully blow right through a red light. There’s little room to argue about the ticket.
- If you want to get emergency messages while you are there, text the word KISSIMMEE to 888777. You’ll get weather alerts and major public safety concern texts. The city also sends out emergency messages quickly on Twitter, so it might be a good idea to follow them now @CityofKissimmee.
- To keep up with the weather, you can follow the National Weather Service in the Orlando area. The handle is @NWSMelbourne. They also love to get storm pictures sent to them, if you can safely do so when wicked weather kicks up.
- Flooding is a big concern of 52 inches of rain that falls each year. When choosing a hotel or rental home, check out the interactive flood map to see where your location is and if it’s in a flood zone.
- If you plan to hike in Kissimmee or the surrounding area, there are a few must-haves. Bring twice as much water as you think you’ll need. Bring good bug spray and sunscreen as you’ll need a lot of both. A hat is good to have and bring a towel because you’ll sweat a lot.
- Spring and fall bring the “love bug” season to this part of Florida. Lovebugs are insects that have no purpose but to reproduce and then die. They are called love bugs because during mating they connect together. The male dies and stays connected to the female. These bugs are not dangerous, but they are a notorious nuisance. They love white cars and heat and can ruin an outdoor barbecue in minutes as they flock to the meat and overwhelm visitors. There is nothing to love about love bugs.
- There is always a lot of road construction going on in Florida year-round. Just wrap your head around it. I would drive across the state via Lake Okeechobee to avoid the nightmare of the “I-4 Corridor.” I’ve visited Las Vegas, southern California, Miami, and St. Louis, and I’ve NEVER seen traffic like the Orlando area. Just brace for it.
So... How Safe Is Kissimmee Really?
It’s as safe as an average American city.
The crime rates show nothing that stands out as super concerning.
Theft is the only crime that goes higher than the national average.
Being such a family-friendly destination, it’s likely you’ll be bringing the kids with you.
This is a great time to talk about stranger danger, how to get in touch if they get lost, and any other important safety steps.
If you notice a lost child, contact the police immediately.
The natural areas come with the risks of drownings and alligator attacks or getting caught in a storm with dangerous lightning.
These are all things you can avoid by wearing a life vest, avoiding swimming in the water for extended periods (if at all), and keeping a close eye on the weather.
A sunny day in Kissimmee can quickly turn stormy.
It storms most days in the summer for a brief period in the afternoon.
The closest beach to Kissimmee is Cocoa Beach and that’s 60 miles away.
Disney World is 13 miles away.
Universal Studios Orlando is 18 miles away.
How Does Kissimmee Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
- Visas - Your airport of choice handles all the Visa checks and validation. You just need a legal ID for some of the activities in Kissimmee.
- Currency - You'll use the U.S. Dollar as currency. Credit cards are a great payment method due to their simplicity of use and protection in case of identity theft. Keep all receipts so you can shred them later. Never dispose of them intact.
- Weather - The inland areas of Florida get a little more humid than the coastlines, or at least it feels more humid because there isn't a breeze coming in. The winters are mild, but temperatures can still get into the 80s. Summers are hot with highs in the 90s. November and April are the "sweet spot" months where the crowds aren't too big and the weather is warm and sunny without the risk of a hurricane. Plus, the humidity eases up a bit.
- Airports - There is an airport in Kissimmee, but unless you've got a private jet you'll likely want to use Orlando International Airport. Melbourne Orlando International Airport is 55 miles away near the coast. Tampa International Airport is 80 miles west. It's 17 miles away.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is recommended for a trip to Kissimmee, Florida, due to the year-round potential for storm delays.
Kissimmee Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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1 Review on Kissimmee
So many fun opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones
The main safety risks in Kissimmee are the scams and pickpockets. But both are not major risks from my experience. There don’t seem to be many pickpockets operating here and I think most people should be aware of the rental scam by now, no? Or are they? It’s surprising to learn this scam is still making so many victims. It’s been clear for years now that if it sounds too good to be true when it comes to rentals and if they ask for money upfront without you having seen the house beforehand then you are looking at a scam.
I understand why the article would give it a medium ranking for terrorism risk but I disagree. I would say it’s low for this particular place. Muggings won’t happen if you don’t place yourself in a dangerous situation (example: at night, alone, on a dark street or in a dangerous area). If you avoid these instances then everything will be fine.
One of the first things you should consider doing is going on the Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures. You’ll go through wetlands and swamps, see alligators, turtles and birds. This is probably the best way to experience wildlife in Kissimmee.
Then maybe a trip to the Museum of Military History to see weapons, uniforms and everything relating to the Vietnam War, WW1 and WW2, Afghanistan, Iraq or the Korean War. Plenty to see here.
Lake Tohopekaliga is a well known lake that offers the chance for fishing, hiking, biking, or just looking at otters, waterfowls or gators.
I have also enjoyed the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek from where you can go on a paddle trail of 7 miles which goes all the way into Lake Toho. Guided tours and rentals are available or you can go at it solo.
Don’t miss out on Fun Spot America. This place is packed with rides, sky coasters (for kids and adults) and many attractions that will keep you busy for almost a day.