Florida : Safety by City
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- Port St. Lucie
- Punta Gorda
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- St. Petersburg
- Vero Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Winter Park
Port St. Lucie is a fascinating city snuggled up next to the eastern Florida coastline, halfway between Miami and Orlando.
The city itself isn’t on the beach, but we’ll look into the nearby beach attractions because there’s a lot to do there and they are in Port St. Lucie county.
The city itself is filled with extensive shopping and dining activities, interesting slices of Florida history, and wayward peacocks that were once pets of the rich and famous but left to fend for themselves.
The New York Mets have their Spring Training here, and the city is home to several big sports names.
Megan Fox and Vanilla Ice have both lived here at one time or another.
There are stellar golf courses in Port St. Lucie and you can get a lesson from a PGA pro.
You can tour the Navy Seal Museum and get a look at how the Frogmen are trained and the history of how they came to be.
The one thing you won’t find in Port St. Lucie?
That’s just the name, not a description of any feature in the area.
Nearby Fort Pierce (where there isn’t an actual fort, but at least there used to be one) is part of Port St. Lucie County and offers a variety of attractions there too.
On top of all that?
Port St. Lucie is ranked #11 in Safest Places to Live by U.S. News and World Report.
Warnings & Dangers in Port St. Lucie
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in Port St. Lucie. For a city of more than 200,000 people, crime rates are surprisingly low. It's also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 best places to live in Florida, so it suggests visiting there would be a good experience as well.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of using public transportation or taxis here, but you're probably going to want to have a car. The Area Regional Transit offers rides along 8 fixed routes. Taxi services are available and drivers are required to undergo background testing and get a license before being able to work.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low chance of getting pickpocketed or having a purse snatched. One purse snatching was reported last year at a value of $980. A good reminder to not carry around large amounts of cash and leave the name-brand bags at home while you are on vacation so you aren't a target.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Hurricanes are the biggest natural disaster risk here, and there's a medium risk in any given year. Thunderstorms kick up in the summertime and can be intense but generally don't last long.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's a one in 5121 chance of being a robbery victim, so that's a low risk. Many of the robberies that did happen were in cars, so lock vehicles up and keep belongings in the trunk. Leave nothing in plain sight.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There are no hard targets in this area, so there's a low risk.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk for scams. The Port St. Lucie Police Department has a pamphlet on scam warnings, but none stand out as specific to the area and most are easy to spot a mile away. The old adage "If it seems too good to be true, it usually is" stands true.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
In a medium-sized city, you want to keep your wits about you, but overall there's a low risk for women. Carrying multiple shopping bags or bringing along your Birkin bag might make you stand out, so keep valuables at home and store shopping bags in the trunk until you get safely back to your hotel.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The latest annual report of water supply in the Port St. Lucie area states, "All of Port St. Lucie’s water supply facilities are regulated, and operate under stringent construction and maintenance standards to protect both human health and the environment." The water is safe and meets all standards, so there's a low risk.
Safest Places to Visit in Port St. Lucie
Considering it’s ranked one of the safest places to live, you’re pretty smart going to any of the tourist destinations in the area.
There are 33 neighborhoods in the Port St. Lucie area.
For shopping, you’ll head to St. Lucie West, Tradition, or Downtown Fort Pierce.
For the most traditional shopping mall experience, like its namesake, head to Tradition.
The other two offer more unique bounties and art galleries.
If it’s in late February or March, catch a New York Mets Spring Training game.
This is big-league fun in a more intimate setting.
Golf fans will love the 20 courses around town and don’t miss the PGA Village that’s open to the public.
This is one of the only Florida communities where you can go horseback riding on the beach (ok, technically in Fort Piece, but it’s REALLY close).
While you’re at the beach, you can snorkel, scuba dive, beach comb, and kayak to your heart’s content.
Places to Avoid in Port St. Lucie
There isn’t a bad part of town in Port St. Lucie.
Even looking at the crime maps, what little crime there is gets spread out pretty evenly.
There is one little pocket of crime that stands out east of Florida’s Turnpike between Archer Avenue and Midway.
What the city doesn’t have is a central location where everyone gathers, or the long street loaded with bars and nightclubs.
This helps the crime numbers as it’s not a nightlife destination, so there are fewer dangers from excessive drinking or a congested downtown area with people letting loose.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Port St. Lucie
- No bridge goes to the beach from the city of Port St. Lucie. You have to leave the city and head to either Jensen Beach to the south or Fort Pierce to the north. This could be a pricey cab ride, so maybe it’s a good idea to rent a car.
- If you visit the former site of Fort Pierce, now known as Old Fort Park, there’s a huge mound there. That mound is an Indian burial ground. That’s right, there are human remains in that park. Please treat it with proper courtesy and respect. There is no Fort left because it burned down in 1843.
- You can bike around Port St. Lucie, but you have to follow the laws. Anyone under 16 is required to wear a helmet. You must ride with the flow of traffic. You can ride on the sidewalk but give right-of-way to pedestrians and audibly tell them when you are about to pass. I can’t tell you how many times I was walking in Florida when I heard someone behind me shout “BEHIND YOU ON THE LEFT!”
- Don’t be surprised if you get a message on your car from the police that isn’t a ticket. They are known to issue report cards on how safe your vehicle is against burglars. If you left a door unlocked, a window open, or valuables in plain sight, you are going to get a bad report card.
- Download the Alert St. Lucie app when you arrive in town. You’ll get notifications about severe weather, road closures, missing people, or evacuations. Let the safety information come to you.
- If you just want to get away from it all but don’t want to worry about nickel and diming everything, Sandpiper Bay is an all-inclusive resort in Port St. Lucie. You can get a room, meals, water sports, and fitness activities for one price.
- A common complaint among locals could be a navigation nightmare for tourists. Many street names aren’t spelled the way they are in the English language and it can get confusing. For example; Twylite Terrance, Kail Street, Calender Street, Saphire Terrance. Heck, even my spellchecker is arguing with me as I type those!
- The Shell Bazaar is a place where she sells seashells by the seashore (say it three times fast). You’ll notice it by the 5,000 giant conch shell sitting out front. It’s not real, of course, it’s a big replica meant to get attention. It works.
- Peacocks might be seen wandering around this town, and no, they aren’t escaped from a local zoo or are dangerous to you. They are the descendants of peacocks once brought to this area by some of the rich-and-famous residents in the area back in the 1980s. Since they were set free (or wandered away), they’ve been a staple of this part of Florida since.
- To fish in Florida, you need a license for each kind of water. Fresh water and saltwater fishing licenses are available online from Florida Fish and Wildlife.
So... How Safe Is Port St. Lucie Really?
All crime rates are lower than the national average and Port St. Lucie Police Department reports two years of crime percentages being down 15% through 2021.
Here are the chances of being a crime victim in the city:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 775
- Robbery: 1 in 5121
- Theft: 1 in 148
- Aggravated Assault: 1 in 1113
It’s hard to find numbers that low outside of a Midwestern city with more cows than people.
There are inherent dangers in the water.
Riptides can quickly pull a person underwater.
Sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays share the same waters where people swim.
Boating accidents can happen.
You should always be careful and practice recommended safety steps when near the water.
Also, in Florida, if you are near a freshwater area, you need to assume there is an alligator or two there.
How Does Port St. Lucie Compare?
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|Hong Kong (China)||70|
- Visas - All the Visa requirements get handled when you arrive at your port or airport. You don't need anything additional to get into or stay in Port St. Lucie.
- Currency - You'll only use the U.S. Dollar while staying here. Most events, attractions, and retail districts take credit cards. You might want some walking-around cash, but remember that $980-value purse that was stolen? Maybe keep the cash and the designer bags to a minimum.
- Weather - The winters are going to be perfectly mild, with highs in the 60s or 70s and lows into the 50s, maybe the occasional 40s. Bring a jacket or hoodie to be safe. Spring gets warmer and summer gets downright hot and muggy. More rain falls in the summer, but rainfall can happen year-round, so it's always a good idea to bring rain gear. Always watch the tropics from June to November to see if a hurricane or tropical storm is forming. You can look at the weather spaghetti models to see a possible path of the storm.
- Airports - The closest commercial airport is in West Palm Beach, about an hour away. Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airports are each 2 hours away, albeit in opposite directions.
- Travel Insurance - Busy airports, a long drive, and unpredictable weather make a great forecast for getting travel insurance on your trip to Port St. Lucie.
Port St. Lucie Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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