How Safe Is Miami Gardens for Travel?

Miami Gardens, United States
Safety Index:
52

Miami Gardens, Florida, is home to Hard Rock Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins play.

It has hosted six Super Bowls since 1988 and many music festivals.

It’s one of the top sporting and entertainment venues in the Miami metropolitan area.

The Sunshine State Arch, a historical landmark built to replicate St. Louis Arch, sits in the southwest part of the city.

There’s the Calder Casino for those who love table games or slots.

90% of the businesses in Miami Gardens are minority-owned.

This is a diverse community of 112,000 people and is 71% African American, 26% Hispanic/Latino, and 3% Caucasian.

The city is named after the main thoroughfare — Miami Gardens Drive.

There aren’t any gardens in Miami Gardens.

We looked.

There’s one thing you need to know before traveling to Miami Gardens.

The crime rate is higher than in almost every other city in the country.

Warnings & Dangers in Miami Gardens

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : HIGH

There's no way to get around this. There's a high overall risk. If you are visiting friends and family in Miami Gardens, that probably goes down to a medium rate. There are neighbors in Miami Gardens who would say the crime rate isn't as bad as the statistics suggest. Those FBI crime rates do show that Miami Gardens shatters the national average exponentially. Even if you aren't a victim of a crime, there's a good chance you'll see some kind of criminal activity.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Miami is an area where having your own rental car is a bonus since there are a lot of things to see across the metro area. There's the Miami Gardens shuttle that served 62,000 people in 2021. It has stops all over the city. Taxis are regulated by Miami-Dade County and drivers need a permit. Rideshares are also available. Based on regulations and oversight, there is a low risk, but factor in the crime rates and we have to go with medium risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

There were 34 reports of pickpocketing and purse snatching and there's a one in 52 chance of being a theft victim. This is medium risk. Leave all valuables behind when you visit this area and keep purses small and wallets out of sight.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Hurricanes are a big concern in the Miami area from June through November. You'll have plenty of warning that a storm is approaching, and get out of town if it is. Don't wait until the last minute. Summer thunderstorms can also get intense. We'll give it a medium risk.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

There's a one in 237 chance of being a robbery victim. That's 2 1/2 times larger than the national average. The highest percentage of robberies happened in homes. We're going to give this a medium risk day-to-day, but there's a higher chance if you are attending a big event, like a football game or concert.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Any city in the Miami metro area is going to come with a medium risk as to the major ports and big sporting events always draw concerns.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

There's a high risk of scams in general in Miami Gardens, but most are centered on people who live there scamming others outside the area via phone, or people within the community scamming or defrauding each other. However, a medium risk exists for tourists just because there's a high crime rate, and during big events, there are a lot of people to be possible targets. If something sounds too good to be true, it is. Walk away.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

This isn't a place a woman should be traveling alone. There's a high risk just based on crime statistics alone. 14 rapes were reported last year, which is half of the national rate, but just don't take any chances. Always travel with a friend or a group of people if you're attending an event here. Never walk alone at night.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Miami Gardens tap water has a low risk, for now. Rising sea levels, battles over water rights, and pollution from communities are always testing the boundaries of the water meeting the right standards at a reasonable price.

Safest Places to Visit in Miami Gardens

There’s a good chance that if you are coming to Miami Gardens, it’s because of an event at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Miami Dolphins play here and the stadium hosts the Orange Bowl each winter.

During your visit, be sure to look for the 19 murals designed by artists from 10 different countries.

Caulder Casino offers the excitement of Las Vegas gambling without a trip across the country.

Table games and slot machines fill the casino, and there’s a backyard casino where smoking is allowed.

Several restaurants offer dining options as well.

There’s a Top Golf location in the southeast part of town.

For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s a massive golf setting made of several floors with tee areas throughout and you can see just how far you can drive while enjoying a beverage or food.

The closest beach is nine miles east and South Beach is 18 miles southeast.

Places to Avoid in Miami Gardens

You should avoid any area that isn’t your direct destination, such as the stadium or casino.

There is a good chunk of low-income housing in this area, while that doesn’t make it bad itself, it’s just not a part of any city tourists should be driving around.

There is a large chunk of crime that happens domestically in low-income housing due to overcrowding and health issues.

There is a concern about gangs, drugs, guns, and violent crime in different Miami Gardens neighborhoods.

Crime maps show the most dangerous areas of the city are southeast, far central west, central north, and to the west of Hard Rock Stadium.

Don’t hang out in any part of the city outside of the venues after dark, and make sure you’ve got a GPS so you can easily navigate your way out of the city.

There are some streets, especially southeast of Top Golf, where you can easily get turned around and end up in a dark warehouse district.

The neighborhood with the highest number of people living below the poverty rate is immediately east of the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Miami Gardens

  1. The city of Miami Gardens has red light cameras, meaning if you run a red light it will get caught on camera and you’ll get sent a ticket. They will be able to track down who was in a rental car on a certain day and time, so even being a visitor won’t help you escape the eyes in the sky.
  2. If you are going to an event at Hard Rock Stadium, it’s advised to purchase tickets in advance. Some events don’t allow day-of-parking purchases. You can still get rideshare to and from the stadium if you haven’t made parking reservations.
  3. To get into the stadium, you’ll need to have a clear plastic bag with your belongings in it. One small purse, about the size of your hand, is allowed.
  4. Caulder Casino has free parking. If you go to the casino and happen to win a lot of money, ask a security officer to walk you to your car for safety.
  5. Through the Miami Gardens city website, you can sign up for emergency alerts in the community during your visit. You’ll get emails and texts of weather warnings, active shooter situations, a hazmat threat, or any other kind of major emergency.
  6. There are more than 3000 homeless or housing-challenged people in Miami Gardens. You are likely to see panhandlers or someone trying to wash your windows at an intersection for a few bucks. Window washing at intersections is illegal, as is aggressive panhandling. Your money is better served by going to a homeless shelter to provide supplies.
  7. The aggravated assault rate here is 60% higher than the national average. The Miami Gardens Police Department asks if a citizen or tourist sees a crime in action for them to report it immediately. Even if something “just doesn’t feel right”, it’s better to be safe than sorry and let the police decide if it’s worth pursuing.
  8. Alligators are a risk in any South Florida neighborhood. If you see freshwater lakes or ponds, assume there is an alligator in it. Back in 2018, an alligator made its way right into a Miami Gardens gas station vending area. If you see a nuisance gator, call Florida Fish and Wildlife and they’ll come to corral it.
  9. Put this number on your phone now. If you see something suspicious, say something. Call 1-855-FLA-SAFE (352-7233).
  10. If you have a complaint or compliment about a police officer, the Miami Gardens supervisors want to hear about it. There are easy-to-follow forms on the police department website. It’s important to hold people and the police accountable as warranted.

So... How Safe Is Miami Gardens Really?

Miami Gardens is an underserved community.

Just beyond the modern amenities of the Miami Dolphins home base, there are people living in poverty, or in overcrowded public housing.

Daily life is a grind and safety is a big concern.

I find that when a police department dedicates entire units to a specific focus, that means it’s a concern in that community.

Some of the Miami Gardens units are:

  • Gang Resistance and Education
  • Golf Instead of Guns (teaches children grades 3-5 on how to play golf, hoping to avoid early exposure to guns)
  • Pre-Arrest Division (for first-time offenders)
  • Citizens Police Academy (to teach community members about policing)
  • SafeCam (businesses are asked to provide access to their surveillance cameras to help catch criminals)
  • Teen Court (helping break teens from the cycle of crime into adulthood)

The violent crime here is twice the national average, as is robbery.

Theft is 25% higher, and some of that might be attributed to the large crowds that attend events at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Miami Gardens Police Department is working with the city and community to clean up crime and provide better housing options.

This isn’t the place for tourists outside of the big venues.

For many tourists, this is just a city you drive through to get from one end to the other of the metro area.

Don’t be here if you don’t need to be.

How Does Miami Gardens Compare?

CitySafety Index
Miami Gardens52
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Detroit56
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61

Useful Information

  • Visas - All the Visa requirements are handled at the airport and you are free and clear to travel in the Miami area and into Miami Gardens.
  • Currency - You'll use the American Dollar as your currency here. This is not a part of town where you want to use an ATM or flash around large amounts of money. Use a credit card or pre-pay for what you can so you don't risk getting robbed.
  • Weather - Winters are going to be beautiful. Warm weather, but mild enough to enjoy it with lots of sunshine. Summers get very hot and humid. Bring a couple more changes of clothing to account for sweating. I lived in Florida for five years and whenever I was going to buy new clothing I had to feel the fabric and wonder "How will this absorb sweat? How visible will it be when I do sweat through this?" I suggest you do the same. You can't control the summer sweating here.
  • Airports - Miami International Airport is 18 miles away and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport is 19 miles away, so there are two good options just about the same distance apart.
  • Travel Insurance - Weather can be very unpredictable in this part of the country, so travel insurance is always a good idea.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Miami Gardens Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 20° C
Feb 21° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 24° C
May 26° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 26° C
Nov 24° C
Dec 22° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
232425262830313130282624
Low
°C
171819212325262625242119
High
°F
737577798286888886827975
Low
°F
636466707377797977757066

Where to Next?

Share Your Experience