Florida : Safety by City
- Amelia Island
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- Everglades City
- Fort Lauderdale
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- Fort Pierce
- Fort Walton Beach
- Key Largo
- Key West
- Lake Buena Vista
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- 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
North Port sits in a prime spot in Southwest Florida.
Looking north, there’s Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area. Looking south, Port Charlotte and the beautiful island of Boca Grande.
To the west, the beautiful beaches and downtown charm of Venice, and it’s immediately surrounded by Myakka State Park and Myakka State Forest.
(FYI: Pronounced “My-YAK-uh”)
The Atlanta Braves call North Port home during Spring Training and a new state-of-the-art facility was built to infuse the local economy and bring baseball fans from all over the world to this small town with big dreams.
North Port is mostly a bedroom community for people needing relief from the high cost of Florida housing.
The population has boomed 25% since 2010.
Tourists have been drawn to this area for its natural wonders, like the Warm Springs Mineral Park where saber-tooth tigers once roamed but now has a mineral-infused hot spring that draws 100,000 people a year to get therapeutic relief.
Warnings & Dangers in North Port
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk in North Port. Crime numbers are low, police are actively involved in community events and crime prevention, and it's a city that wants to keep growing as a premier destination.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
North Port is definitely a "rent a car" kind of place, but if you don't, there's low risk when getting a rideshare or taxi. Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) has buses that go through the North Port/Venice area and up to Sarasota. Many people who live in North Port work in Sarasota or Tampa and they've built a great commuter program to share the price of gas and wear and tear on cars. It's a very trusting town like that.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's low risk. No pickpocket or purse snatching was reported in 2020, the last year data was provided to the FBI.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
North Port is prone to hurricanes and severe thunderstorms just like much of the Florida coastline. There's a medium risk because of this. Several hurricanes this century have caused flooding and structure damage, like Hurricane Irma in 2017. Even Hurricane Elsa in 2021 caused major flooding problems. Even a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm in the summer has ripped roofs off homes.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk. No reports of robberies impacting tourists were reported in 2020. I've spent a lot of time in North Port myself (as a baseball fan) and never had any issues.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Port cities always consider themselves possible targets of terrorism, but there's a low risk here with busier ports along this coast. The City of North Port does have a detailed plan on its website to educate people about terrorism.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of a tourist being scammed here as many of the reported ones target locals. The one time to be wary is after a storm hits. That's when scammers pop up claiming to be raising money to fix their homes or help donate to a fake charity. If you want to help after a disaster, donate to the Red Cross or a local organization.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's low risk. I'm a single woman who ventured from the depths of Myakka State Park to the middle of a packed Braves/Cardinals game and never had a concern for my safety.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in the tap water as it meets or exceeds the safety standards required by law. The only pause I give in that statement is if you are visiting during or after a flood, check the city's website for any water boil orders or contamination concerns as flooding can quickly cause problems in the tap water supply.
Safest Places to Visit in North Port
We’re going to talk about North Port and a few of the surrounding cities.
North Port itself is a residential city that didn’t quite keep up with the commercial demands of its residents.
There’s not much nightlife in North Port, one big complaint among residents.
As a tourist, you’ll be so spent from a day outdoors you won’t even notice.
In February and March, CoolToday Park comes to life with Atlanta Braves Spring Training.
This ballpark is one of the finest in all of Major League Ball (MLB).
The park also hosts activities throughout the year, like classic car shows and community cookouts.
Warm Mineral Springs Park brings you back to the Florida lifestyle of the 60s, with a hot spring pool at 85° year-round.
The water is loaded with nutrients to soak aching muscles and infuse their bodies with nourishment.
Don’t just get lost in the water, look around at this park, which’s one on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
There’s evidence that pre-historical man once roamed here.
There’s an extensive plan in place to grow this area to make it an even bigger tourist draw.
Myakka River State Park is just to the north.
There are 58 miles to explore here, whether fishing, hiking, kayaking, or climbing high above the trees on a canopy trail.
This is a perfect place to set up camp for days and just live in nature.
There’s no WiFi or television here to distract you, offering a real unplugged experience.
Myakka State Forest is a different place, located just southwest of North Port.
Here you marvel at the trees and marshes while getting some good wildlife viewing done.
You can unplug a little bit more here with campsites you can only get to by paddling.
There are 40 miles of trails here with some designed for horseback riding.
Venice is nearby, and the two cities have a little bit of a rivalry.
If you talk with a local you’ll hear arguments about what’s in Venice vs. North Port, with some Venice residents claiming that gem of a ballpark is technically in Venice, even though it’s a North Port property.
It’s a friendly rivalry.
Venice is known as the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World, so it’s worth some beachcombing before or after wandering the charming downtown streets.
Venice holds several festivals throughout the year as well.
Port Charlotte is to the south, a busier and more commercialized port district.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time there because I got so caught in Venice and North Port, but Port Charlotte is worth exploring as well.
Places to Avoid in North Port
There aren’t bad parts of North Port as much of the community is new and housing is always being developed.
It’s a middle-class community with some of the nicest people you can meet.
Certainly, the Atlanta Braves wouldn’t have moved from Disney World to North Port if it was a dangerous community.
*Another point of contention in the boundary argument over CoolToday Park is that it’s listed in the master-planned community of West Villages, Florida.
Regardless of anything you read, the city of North Port did the leg work to move the team here and it’s always going to be called a North Port location by city, county, and state leaders.
Traffic can get a little congested in some areas, but nothing like you’d see in the greater Tampa/St. Pete area.
During “Season” (the annual snowbird flock of retirees looking to escape the cold winters), everything in and around North Port gets much busier.
Some communities double or triple in size during Season.
There are only two hotels in North Port, but there are home rentals.
Especially from April to November, look for rentals that are snowbird homes during the off-season.
You can get some pretty great deals.
Just make sure you get proof of ownership and residency and never put a rental deposit down by wiring money.
Safety Tips for Traveling to North Port
- There’s a lot of fishing or hunting to be done here, but you’ll need a license from Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC). Make sure you get the right license for what you want to do. A freshwater license doesn’t cover saltwater fishing and vice versa. You can get a hunting/fishing combo license if you are looking for a game on land and in water.
- There are alligators in just about all freshwater sources in Florida, but anything with the name “Myakka” in it is sure to get you an alligator sighting. They are not predatory toward humans, but it’s always good to be cautious where you know they are around. No more than 12 people have been bitten each year by alligators in all of Florida since 2014. If you leave them alone, they’ll probably leave you alone.
- With all the outdoor activities, bring extra bug spray. Mosquitos and the Florida “Noseeums” can leave nasty sting marks behind and ruin a perfectly beautiful day.
- Pack sunscreen too. This area gets 252 days of sunshine, and the sun is intense here. Apply often because you’ll likely be sweating a lot in the humidity only Florida can bring.
- If you are camping near water and there has been heavy rain, move further inland. Floods can come in quickly. Check the city website for any flood watches or warnings, or check your favorite weather app.
- Download the City of North Port app to stay up on events, local emergencies, and to have a direct line of contact if you have questions.
- This is a big cycling community with bike trails and roadway bike lanes. If you want to ride with a group, contact the Coastal Cruisers about events happening during your visit. There are plenty of places to rent bikes in North Port, Port Charlotte, and Venice.
- I’m a fan of full transparency, so let me dive a little deeper into those waters of Warm Mineral Springs. Let this soak in before you soak in the water. A diver went into the warm waters about half a century ago and found several humans remain. The fossilized skulls were initially written off as fake by archaeological experts. As it turns out, the find was legit and changed the timestamp of when humans first arrived in this area. It is also believed the walls of the Warm Springs were a sacred place for Native Americans to bury the dead. So there’s much more than minerals soaking in and around you during a visit. It’s a pre-historic treasure trove and a final resting place for Native American loved ones.
- “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.” That’s the mantra along the Suncoast as storms bring dangerous lightning. Some areas of North Port have a lightning warning sound, letting people know when the lighting was detected within eight miles and sounding again when the coast is clear, but check that weather app before you go hiking, fishing, or hunting. Storms can build quickly in this area and stop as quickly as they start.
- I highly recommend the ride to Boca Grande (it’s pronounced “Grand” but some people will say “Grahn-day” and nobody gets too upset about it). If you do visit here, keep to that speed limit. I never knew such a small island could have so many police waiting to pull you over. I saw 5 people pulled over during my time here. This is a great quiet beach with a quaint downtown area if you’re looking for a more traditional beach experience.
So... How Safe Is North Port Really?
Again, the World Champion Atlanta Braves left the Happiest Place on Earth to come to a community that wasn’t safe.
Annual crime breaks down to 11 per 100,000 people.
The violent crime rate is half the Florida average.
Property crime is 40% less than the Florida average.
Burglary and theft rates are 40-60% lower than the national average.
This is a city that takes care of its town, and once you visit you’re officially part of the North Port family.
In a region that has some more affluent communities, this is a more casual community that accepts you as you are.
I spent a lot of time visiting North Port and the worst thing I had was someone who talked my ear off about the ballpark wasn’t in North Port, it was in Venice and then another man got involved and then a group of women came up and demanded it was West Villages.
I slowly backed my way out of the conversation.
You’ll never meet a stranger in North Port, that’s for sure.
How Does North Port Compare?
|Santiago de Chile (Chile)
|Hong Kong (China)
The Visa will be handled at the airport or port of entry. The only additional thing you'll need in North Port is a Florida hunting or fishing license if you plan on doing either of those here.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. You can use a credit card for most purchases, so there isn't a need to carry a lot of cash. There are plenty of banks in and around the area if you need to do currency exchange.
North Port is warm much of the year, with a mild break for a bit of Florida's "Winter." December through March you have highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Spring brings the 80s for highs and 60s for lows. Summer gets hot and humid with highs in the 90s and lows in the mid-70s. It doesn't "cool down" again until October when the average highs drop into the upper-80s. Bring lots of bug spray, sunscreen, and rain gear.
The smaller Punta Gorda Airport is 30 miles south across Charlotte Harbor. The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is an hour north. Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers is about 90 minutes south.
With all the trouble weather can bring to this region and impact airports, it's a good idea to get travel insurance.
North Port Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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