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
Quiet, please! We’re about to take you to the kingdom of golf in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
This is the home of the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA).
Slightly inland but still close enough to feel the sea breeze, this is the perfect place for some nature, nurture, and nosh with a good deal of shopping options to go on top.
The city sits just northwest of West Palm Beach with Palm Beach to the east and Jupiter to the north.
The central location makes it a great, safe place to stay while you explore as far up and down the South Florida Coast as you’d like.
Warnings & Dangers in Palm Beach Gardens
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in the city of Palm Beach Gardens itself (we won't speak here to the neighboring communities, but be sure to read through them on this website if you are exploring outside the city). This is a city so dedicated to safety that even police work with developers to make sure homes, businesses, and schools are designed with crime prevention in mind.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There are plenty of safe options here, giving it a low risk, but a car would be a plus. Palm Tran is the bus system through The Palm Beaches and there are several Palm Beach Gardens stops near golfing, shopping, and dining. Taxis and rideshares are also plentiful in this area.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
The theft rates in 2020 (which is the last year we have official data as of this writing) show a dramatic drop, and I'm thinking the pandemic had something to do with that, as there were only two pickpockets reported. While theft rates were about 30% higher the year before, there were no pickpocketing cases reported. So your risk is low.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
It's Florida, so you're going to have hurricanes to worry about mostly in August and September, but the season runs from June through November. There are also severe thunderstorms habitually in this area, especially during the summer rainy season. Lightning and golf are a terrible mix, so we'll call it a medium risk.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were seven cases of highway robbery, which were most likely to include a traveler, and 14 robberies total. That's a low risk, but still worth noting that half of the crimes that did happen were against tourists or people in tourist areas. Never fight for your wallet or purse, it's not worth your life.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
This whole stretch of coastline gets a medium risk because of the large population, critical ports, and sporting venues. Those are all hard targets for terrorists. It's not something to overly worry about, but it should keep you vigilant and follow the guidelines of "See something, say something."
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Rental scams are all the rage right now and we're going to give this a medium risk because it's happening up and down the Florida coastlines. This is when someone posts a fake ad, generally on a Craigslist-type website, with a fantastic deal that should scream "I'm too good to be true!" The scammers ask the renter to secure the deal with a deposit via wire transfer. When the renter arrives, there's no home to go to or the home is owned by someone else and they lose the money and have no place to stay. Make sure you're dealing with a licensed rental company or ask a homeowner to show proof of a license to rent their home. A true renter won't give you any grief for asking.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. This is a city partially catering to women with upscale shopping, fine dining, and spas.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2020 Annual Water Report shows there is a low risk. The report states, in part, "We are pleased to report that Seacoast’s drinking water meets all federal, state and local standards as well as the rigorous water quality objectives established by Seacoast’s engineering and operations professionals." This area is served by the Seacoast Utility Authority and if there are any water issues they send out notices but also post on their website, so it's a good idea for you to check when you arrive.
Safest Places to Visit in Palm Beach Gardens
We have to start at the gemstone of the community, which is the PGA National Resort.
There are six golf courses here at varying difficulty levels and a newly-renovated spa.
There are 17 other golf courses in town, but just one of them is a municipal course.
I’ll be honest, you probably know more about golf than I do, but Frenchman’s Creek, Sandhill Crane, Ballen Isles, and Mirasol seem to be the most popular ones outside of PGA National Resort.
Now my favorite topic.
It’s all in one prime location in Palm Beach Gardens.
Along PGA Boulevard with State Road A1A on the west side and Kew Gardens Avenue on the east side, you’ll find just about every shop you can imagine.
There’s the downtown area with a laid-back vibe in an open-air mall and The Gardens Mall with a more upscale shopping environment (Hello, Tiffany’s!) anchored by Saks and Nordstrom.
I have to add in a personal preference here as I am a bargain shopper.
Just nine miles down I-95 in Palm Beach Lakes is the Palm Beach Outlet Mall.
It’s another open-air mall with popular stores at a discount price.
There’s a marina in Palm Beach Gardens right where the city lines turn over to Palm Beach, and there are a few open-air dining restaurants to enjoy the weather while watching the boats come in and out.
Now, let’s head to the beach.
The closest beach areas to Palm Beach Gardens include:
- John D. MacArthur Beach Nature State Park: 5 miles
- Juno Beach: 7 miles
- Jupiter Beach: 9 miles
- Palm Beach: 13 miles (You’ll drive right by the outlet mall!)
If you do make it down to Palm Beach, don’t miss the luxurious tour of the Flagler Museum, a Gilded Age mansion-turned-museum that will take your breath away.
Places to Avoid in Palm Beach Gardens
Crime maps show the most dangerous parts of town are the places I just told you to go visit.
However, in a city where the violent crime rate is 2/3 less than the state average, I’m not sending you into certain danger.
This is an upscale community designed to keep the rich and famous happy while still making the average golf fan feel like the king or queen of the course.
You want to avoid going to private property if you don’t have a membership or a right to be there, and you should avoid trying to drive through the neighborhood gated communities just to look at homes.
That might get the HOA police after you, especially if you sneak through the gate.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Palm Beach Gardens
- When you are searching for hotels, make sure it’s a Palm Beach GARDENS address if that’s where you want to say. Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Lake, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens — Whew! There are a lot of cities with the words “Palm” and “Beach” in them. Even researching this article, it was maddening trying to keep them all straight. Most of them are grouped right at I-95 and PGA Boulevard. For example, however, if you book a golf date at the Palm Beach Par-3 Golf Course, you’re in for a 30-minute drive. The Palm Beaches are in the same region, but not always a quick drive.
- Many of the golf clubs in Palm Beach Gardens are members-only. I tried to get a nice list together for you to detail it out, but even I couldn’t get consistent answers from some of the resorts. The best bet is to stay at the resort of the golf course you want to play so you can get access. If you don’t want to spend that much, then call ahead and ask. You might get a stern “No” from a customer service agent, as I did, but at least you tried.
- There are alligators in the freshwater in Palm Beach Gardens (and all over Florida). A quick YouTube search should bring up dozens of videos of wayward alligators sauntering through a golf course (membership or not!). If you see freshwater, assume an alligator is in it and avoid swimming. Certainly, don’t tease or entice the alligator with food.
- Another predator to worry about in Palm Beach Gardens is coyotes. It’s a situation so real the city put together a safety campaign of “Be Coyote Smart”. I’ve lived around coyotes in many places in my life, and they rarely want anything to do with humans. The main concern with them is eating neighborhood garbage, which makes them stick around and possibly grab an unwatched family pet.
- While we’re on things that bite, let’s talk about the Florida “Noseeums.” These are biting insects, kinda like a mosquito on steroids. They get that nickname because you don’t see them until after you’ve been bitten. They have a scissor-like mouth that tears into the skin and they travel by the dozens so you can get bit many times. Regular bug spray will repel them. They leave behind a painful, itchy rash that is usually soothed with at-home treatments of calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream.
- Palm Beach Gardens realizes the transportation challenges of a city that is growing fast without a hyper-local system to lower traffic numbers on the roads. They have developed an extensive set of bike lanes, but just use basic bicycle safety while riding. Too many people in Florida are involved in accidents with cars because of either not paying attention or assuming they have the right of way.
- If you go to the beach and want to bring back souvenirs, you can only take shells that don’t have a live creature in them. You can’t take sand, seagrass, or anything growing on the dunes (stay away from the dunes altogether or you could get stopped by the police or a lifeguard. It’s illegal to be on the dunes.)
- If you plan on doing any fishing while you’re here, you’ll need a license. Florida Fish and Wildlife offer freshwater and saltwater licenses, and there is a combo option. Go to their website for information and you can start that process now if you wish.
- If you drive in a residential area, the speed limit is 25mph and it’s strongly enforced. There’s a police program called “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25.”
- Rush hour in Palm Beach Gardens is blooming with traffic, especially if there’s a big golf tournament in town or it’s during the snowbird season. Leave yourself plenty of time for the tee time or dinner reservation so you don’t rush through traffic and end up in an accident or loaded with Florida road rage. Those drivers in Florida are an aggressive class all themselves.
So... How Safe Is Palm Beach Gardens Really?
It’s extraordinarily safe, especially for a city that’s part of such a large metropolitan area.
The elite status in the golfing world gives it an edge of safety and a community that wants to protect that personal safety sanctity.
The chance of being a theft victim is 14 in 1000, but shoplifting is the biggest theft category, so the chance even goes down when you factor that in.
There is a one in 870 chance of being a violent crime victim.
The overall crime rate is 18 per 100 people.
I’ve traveled a lot in this area and with all the Palms and Beaches, it’s easy to end up in a different neighborhood or even say “To heck with it!
I’m driving to South Beach for the day!” (a less than 2-hour drive) which comes with its own set of safety recommendations you can read right here on this website.
How Does Palm Beach Gardens Compare?
|Palm Beach Gardens||82|
|New York City||67|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
- Visas - The Visa requirements are addressed when you enter the country, whether that's the airport or port of entry. No additional ID is needed to be in Palm Beach Gardens.
- Currency - You'll use U.S. Dollar currency here and, honestly, there's little need for cash unless you're going to be tipping various service workers along the way. Almost everything else can be purchased on credit cards.
- Weather - Palm Beach Gardens has amazing winter weather. Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s, and the humidity isn't too bad. The temperature heats up until a peak in summer where the highs hit 90°(F) and lows barely make it out of the mid-70s with a load of humidity on top of it. Pack sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear, and a jacket for the winter. In summer, I recommend packing a little extra, or else you might need to do laundry while you're there from all the sweating.
- Airports - Palm Beach International Airport is 13 miles down I-95 and that's the closest option. The Miami International Airport is going to be about 2 hours south in traffic.
- Travel Insurance - Yeah, you're going to need travel insurance. The weather is just too unpredictable here to take a chance, especially in the middle of the year during hurricane season.
Palm Beach Gardens Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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