How Safe Is Pompano Beach for Travel?

Pompano Beach, United States
Safety Index:
72

I blushed while researching Pompano Beach, Florida, so I can tell you about all the best safety advice.

There’s a naughty side to this beautiful beachfront town, nestled in Broward County between Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, and Coral Springs.

That’s not to say there aren’t a whole bunch of family-friendly things to do.

There are just some areas you don’t want to take the kids to and some explanations adults need about certain entertainment venues.

Pompano Beach is home to the Good Year Blimp.

It’s named after the Pompano fish, found in the Atlantic waters, and a foreshadowing of one of the best activities to do in this city.

Like many beachfront cities, the bulk of the city lies inland, with a quick drive over a waterway to the barrier island.

We’re going to talk about a lot in this area, but we’ll dive into inland options as well.

Fair warning—the crime numbers are a little unsettling.

Warnings & Dangers in Pompano Beach

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

There's a medium overall risk in Pompano Beach. Crime rates bust through the ceiling of national averages, but the crime maps are going to make the average tourist feel a little better about that. Weather is always a risk at an outdoor attraction, especially one that is prone to storms.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

One of my favorite parts of Pompano Beach is the Water Taxi. It starts south of Pompano Beach in Fort Lauderdale and goes all the way up to the Hillsborough Lighthouse with nine stops total. Road taxis are licensed and regulated by Broward County. Rideshares are also available. There's a low risk of anything bad happening on a ride.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

There's a one in 6200 chance of being a pickpocket or purse snatching victim as only 18 were reported in 2020. That would normally lead me to give a low-risk ranking, but we're gonna be safe and call it medium just because it's a tourist area and the other crime rates are so high.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

There's a medium risk here. Hurricanes are possible anytime from June to November. Even a small tropical storm can leave a lot of rain and flooding concerns behind. Summer thunderstorms bring a lot of lightning. The good news is, those storms are usually short-lived.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

40% of the robberies in Pompano Beach in 2020 were "highway robbery", which means a stranger was a victim. That, combined with the local rate being about 35% higher than the national rate, gives this a medium risk. Even doing the math of robbery rates JUST using highway robbery numbers, Pompano Beach is still slightly over the national average.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area is always going to be on a shortlist of possible terror attack sites, just because of how large it is, how many people would be impacted, the high-value targets, and the critical ports. We'll call it a medium risk. Just be vigilant and if you see something odd, tell law enforcement.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

There are a lot of scams in South Florida and we have to give this a medium risk. Tourist corridors are notorious for bringing out scammers and fraudsters. While many of the scams we found involved directly targeting locals, there are a few tourists who should keep an eye out for as well. Before you pump gas, make sure there isn't a skimmer on the card reader. Don't let anyone try to read your fortune. One woman was able to bilk 17 million dollars out of victims. Rental scams can leave a tourist broke and homeless when the renter turns out to be a fraud. Check the license of any person or business you rent from when looking for a place to stay.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

There's a medium risk for women in Pompano Beach. Many of the beach activities are fine to do solo or in groups of women traveling together, so don't worry there too much as from keeping an eye on your purse. There were 62 rapes in this community in 2020, 40% higher than the national average. We'll go into more detail on this in a bit, but inland Pompano Beach is where you need to be very careful, or avoid it altogether.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Drink away! The tap water in Pompano Beach has a low risk and meets all necessary requirements. You can learn more if you'd like by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Safest Places to Visit in Pompano Beach

If I can take a little creative liberty, I’m going to start at the lighthouse and the pier because I am obsessed with lighthouses.

Even as I sit in my Nebraska home writing this, I’ve got no less than 30 pictures or models of lighthouses looking at me.

The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is just north of Pompano Beach and is the end of the line for one way of the water taxi.

If you are touring the lighthouse you need closed-toed shoes and you can’t go wearing wet clothing.

Hear the story of the Barefoot Mailmen who once upon a tide delivered mail via a mix of boating and walking on the beaches.

One of the mailmen disappeared and was presumed drowned or eaten by either a shark or alligator.

A statue stands in his memory.

The next stop is the Pompano Beach Pier and Fishing Village.

The pier is new.

After years of wear and tear, and then two hits by hurricanes, it’s now strong and wide for plenty of tourists to walk on.

One benefit of this pier is it’s one of the only places in Florida I’ve ever seen where you don’t need a fishing license.

You will need one elsewhere, but not if you are fishing directly off the pier.

There are great restaurants here right by the water if you want to eat other locally caught seafood or feast on a burger as big as your head.

Scuba divers will love to check out the SS Copenhagen, an underwater shipwreck just south of Pompano Beach that has been transformed into an artificial reef.

The Pompano Beach Historical Society can show you life before the population boom in Pompano Beach, complete with the Kester Cottages that lured newcomers and tourists alike.

If you want to gamble and you are over 21, you can go to Isle Casino Pompano Park.

This is Caesar’s property, so you know it’s going to be a real casino experience even though Vegas is far away.

Places to Avoid in Pompano Beach

In Pompano Beach, you will want to avoid being between the Dixie Highway and I-95.

That’s where the highest pockets of crime rates are.

While there are a lot of neighborhoods in this area, there are the typical strip malls and shopping centers you see all across Florida.

The general area of Sample Road and south down Powerline Road and the surrounding side streets have a lot of gentleman’s clubs or strip clubs, whichever you prefer to call them.

There are more strip clubs in Pompano Beach than in any other city in Broward County.

You can decide if this should be in the places to go or places to avoid, but you need to be aware that they are there.

This is where my blushing comes in.

As I was doing research, I thought I had found a unique restaurant and the location said it was in a meat market area.

Turns out, it was a Swingers club, where couples or single people come to explore their fantasies.

Blushing again.

The good news is, so privacy or safety depending on how you look at it, you can’t accidentally walk into a swingers club thinking you’re at Chipotle.

Most require membership and have very hidden or bland entrances.

You probably won’t know where these clubs are if you don’t go looking for them.

I’m a little worried about the internet ad algorithm on my computer after stumbling upon this in my research.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Pompano Beach

  1. The city of Pompano Beach contracts out its law enforcement to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. It’s a little confusing, but should you need a police officer, just don’t be surprised if a Sheriff’s Deputy shows up instead.
  2. There is a motorcycle unit of the Sheriff’s Office and I thought this fun fact was worth sharing with my hog lovers out there. The motorcycle fleet is made entirely of Harley Davidson Police Road Kings with twin-cam engines.
  3. Before you head to Pompano Beach, call for daily beach conditions. That number is 954-786-4005. You’ll also see colored flags at the beach to alert you to warnings. One red flag is bad, two red flags mean the beach is closed, generally due to strong currents or storms. A purple flag means dangerous marine life is near. I used to laugh when I saw the purple flag, wondering, “Marine life could be anything from a jellyfish to a Kraken, what does it mean?” Here’s what it means — jellyfish, stingrays, Man-O-War, Sea Lice and other dangerous fish are in the water.
  4. That last one might have you wondering, “What is Sea Lice?”. OK, this is kinda gross, BUT, Sea Lice is when you get a red itchy rash after swimming in the ocean water. OK, it is getting really gross now. The rash comes from jellyfish larvae that are impossible to see but get trapped in your bathing suit. Yes, even the very delicate parts. When you get out of the water, you dry off, but the larvae remain. As you move around, this prompts them to sting you repeatedly, even in those delicate areas. Make sure you bring hydrocortisone or calamine lotion, just in case, and wash that swimsuit in the hottest water you can find.
  5. The Pompano Beach Pier is open around the clock, but you might want to avoid going there after sunset, just to be safe. Certainly don’t go alone.
  6. There are 18 shipwreck sites off the coast of Pompano Beach, including the Lady Luck, where it’s set up like an underwater casino with Octopus dealing cards and such. If you are going to try any of these adventures out, we strongly recommend you get a scuba lesson before you go. I’ve never understood this, but there is no Florida law requiring a scuba license. There are plenty of schools to train you in each beach town. It is going to cost you between $250 – $500 to get certified.
  7. If it’s a rainy day or maybe you forgot to wear sunscreen and need an “inside day”, check out Butterfly World. It’s a surreal experience of butterflies and birds everywhere.
  8. If you are inland and see a freshwater pond or lake, don’t go in it. A rule of thumb in Florida is that if you see freshwater, you must assume there is an alligator in it. They can’t live in saltwater, so you won’t see them in the ocean. While alligators are generally not aggressive toward humans, they can be caught by surprise if someone gets in or near the water. Don’t risk it.
  9. South Florida has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country. While you’re on vacation, others are just going about their normal way of life, and don’t always slow down at crosswalks. Never cross a street without using a crosswalk, and even then, don’t be distracted on your phone. Pay attention so you can safely cross the road.
  10. If a hurricane is approaching, don’t listen to locals. I say that as a former local. We don’t really evacuate, even when told to during hurricanes. Don’t be like us. Get out at the first sign there’s a storm coming your way. If the storm doesn’t get you, being without clean water or power will. Also, during hurricanes, police and fire departments don’t come out to do rescues until afterward for their safety. This part of Florida is particularly vulnerable to a passing hurricane.

So... How Safe Is Pompano Beach Really?

There are parts with very low crime rates and parts you don’t want to be in at lunchtime alone.

A good rule of thumb is that if it wasn’t designed for tourists or on the beach, it’s not very safe.

Crime maps back this us.

The central and western parts of the city have the highest crime rates, aside from better pockets near the city hall and the Isle Casino.

Here’s how the statistics break down as far as your chance of being a crime victim in the city as a whole (again, knowing the beach area is safer):

  • Violent Crime: 1 in 133 (almost twice the national average)
  • Robbery: 1 in 459 (more than twice the national average and 40% of those crimes were “highway robbery”)
  • Aggravated Assault: 1 in 218 (60% higher than the national average)
  • Theft: 1 in 50 (almost half were stolen cars or items stolen from cars. Lock it up!)
  • Rape: 1 in 1807 (30% higher than the national average)

I can’t stress this enough.

If you don’t have a reason to be in a particular part of town, especially the residential and strip mall areas, just don’t go there.

If you choose to check out one of the many strip clubs, you know that comes with an inherent risk of robbery, scams, and violence.

I would strongly suggest never using an ATM at a strip club.

The fees will be sky high and too many people will see your fresh stash of cash.

How Does Pompano Beach Compare?

CitySafety Index
Pompano Beach72
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

Useful Information

  • Visas - Visas are taken care of at the port of entry or airport. You'll just need a legal ID to be able to drink, get a rental car, or rent boats here.
  • Currency - You'll use U.S. Dollar currency and no other forms are accepted. I strenuously suggest you pre-pay for whatever you can so you can leave cash behind and just bring one well-hidden credit card. Don't ever leave your bag or backpack unattended at the beach.
  • Weather - The summers are mild with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. The summers are very hot and humid with highs into the 90s and lows sometimes barely breaking into the 70s. Bring extra clothes because you are going to sweat through much of what you bring and won't be able to wear them again unless you do laundry. Always bring rain gear and have a weather app handy while you're in Pompano Beach.
  • Airports - The Fort Lauderdale Airport is 17 miles south. The West Palm Beach Airport is 35 miles north. The Miami International Airport is 37 miles south. All of the airports are off a major interstate and you should watch for traffic delays as South Florida traffic is habitually bad.
  • Travel Insurance - You'll want travel insurance because the fluctuations in weather can quickly shut down or divert a lot of flights to Pompano Beach, Florida.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Pompano Beach Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 20° C
Feb 20° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 24° C
May 26° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 26° C
Nov 23° C
Dec 21° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
252527293032333332302826
Low
°C
141517192123232423211816
High
°F
777781848690919190868279
Low
°F
575963667073737573706461

Where to Next?

Share Your Experience