Florida : Safety by City
- Amelia Island
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- Pompano Beach
- Port St. Lucie
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- West Palm Beach
- Winter Park
Thank you for joining us for this safety discussion about Winter Park, Florida.
If you are here for the discussion on Winter Park, Colorado, you are in the wrong place.
For the record, Winter Park, Florida was here first by almost a century.
You are welcome to stay, but you won’t hear a thing about snowfall, skiing, or elevation.
What you will hear about is luxury shopping, fine dining, and an abundance of outdoor space.
The family-friendly atmosphere and small-town vibe make you forget you’re in one of the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the country.
Yet the convenience of the big city and all the attractions that make Orlando special are just minutes away.
In between, parks are blooming with beautiful flowers and a little bit of humor (looking at you, Dinky Dock Park).
Whether you want a big city or small-town America, it’s all right here in Winter Park.
It’s more than surpassing the founders’ dreams of a wonderful place to “park” in the winter and all year-round.
Warnings & Dangers in Winter Park
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk. This is a suburban oasis more than a tourist destination. Neighbors look out for each other and there is strong community pride for Winter Park and the Orlando metro area.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There aren't a lot of options for getting around Winter Park. Most of the public transportation gets you around the Orlando area, not around Winter Park specifically. You can take the Sunrail commuter train or the Lynx bus service. You can also call a taxi or rideshare. All come with low risk, but with public transportation, the risk level is dependent on how you protect your belongings and pay attention.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There were four pickpocket reports in Winter Park in 2020, which isn't much, but it's more than even some tourist beach areas of Florida. While it's still a low risk, and thieves got away with less than $800 total, it's still a reminder to keep a close eye on your belongings when out shopping or exploring.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
The Orlando area doesn't take a direct hit from hurricanes, but can still get a pretty powerful storm after it hits the coast. A small hurricane or strong tropical storm can make it to Orlando, causing wind damage and flash flooding. Powerful summer storms also build in this area, so due to the severity of those storms, we'll call it a medium risk.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There were only 25 robberies in Winter Park in 2020, and about half were residence robberies. Cars are the most likely thing to be stolen (so lock it up) but otherwise you'll have low risk in Winter Park.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Unfortunately, this is a medium risk because terrorists like to target places that bring Americans joy and pride, and there are a lot of those spots in the Orlando area.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
As a visitor, there's a low risk of being scammed. Many scams in this area target residents.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk for women here. It's suburbia and coffee shops and nature walks at their finest. The only caution I'd give is walking alone in park areas early morning or late night, as those tend to always bring out risks in any city.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Winter Park issued several notices about contaminant levels above drinking water standards, but it wasn't severe enough to warrant a boil order. The city took proactive action to fix the problem. There are currently no active violations. The 2021 Water Quality Report hasn't been issued as of this writing, but aside from those glitches, there is a low risk. If you want to drink bottled water out of an abundance of caution, I wouldn't blame you.
Safest Places to Visit in Winter Park
Let’s start with the parks and outdoor options.
Winter Park was first named Lakeview, and it’s not a surprise due to the dozen lakes that are in or surround this area.
A fun and safe option is to take a pontoon boat tour of three lakes.
Mead Botanical Garden covers nearly 50 acres and has a butterfly garden in addition to beautiful blooms.
You can walk or bike through this area.
This is a location on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Howell Branch Preserve is a wetland park where you can view wildlife in its natural setting.
Central Park is the place to be for many Winter Park residents and it’s where many of the town gatherings and festivals are held.
Don’t miss the rose garden when you visit here.
Central Park is right next to Park Avenue, the shopping and socializing mecca of Winter Park.
This is the place to see and be seen.
The Winter Park History Museum is in this part of town, along with the Morse Museum of American Art.
If you’re looking for a more low-key shopping experience, visit Hannibal Square.
Dinky Dock is on the shore of Lake Virginia.
This park used to be a stop on a delicate rail line from Winter Park to Orlando and its nickname was “The Dinky Line”, so that’s how the name Dinky Dock came to be.
Places to Avoid in Winter Park
There are no dangerous places in Winter Park with disturbing crime rates.
What you should know about Winter Park is that there aren’t a lot of hotel options.
The ones that do exist, especially in the Park Avenue area, are upscale, beautiful, and pricey.
There are a couple of hotels along Orlando Avenue near Lee Road, but it seems like just having “Winter Park” in the name of the hotel causes prices to double or triple.
There are more affordable places to stay nearby, but outside the city limits.
I also can’t vouch for the safety of those neighborhoods, but it’s just a point for the cost-conscious consumer.
A lot of Winter Park is residential communities, and many of those are gated.
You should avoid going into a gated community just to “look around”.
Most times you’ll have to get by a security guard or gate box anyway.
The residents here are very active in crime prevention and someone just driving around randomly might make them suspicious.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Winter Park
- The city of Winter Park takes pride in the fishing options through the Chain of Lakes. There’s a highly interactive map where you can find boat ramps, fishing spots, and the depth of water in each lake. It’s very intricate. You will need a freshwater fishing license from the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife (FWC) if you want to drop bait here, and be sure you don’t accidentally get a saltwater license.
- With the Chain of Lakes comes families of alligators. Heed the “No Swimming” signs at the lakes due to the risk of being bitten by an alligator. Floridians are used to living with alligators, but tourists find them either fascinating or terrifying. Never feed an alligator, so it doesn’t connect people with food sources. On average, there are five alligator bites a year across the whole state, so it’s not a huge risk, but it’s definitely possible.
- You can call in a nuisance alligator to the FWC at 866-FWC-GATOR. A gator is considered a nuisance if it is more than four feet long and is threatening people, pets, or property. It’s not uncommon to see an alligator get turned around and end up in a family pool.
- There are insects to worry about when you walk through the beautiful areas of Winter Park, but it’s nothing some bug spray can’t handle. Be sure to apply often and after any intense activity as sweat can remove bug spray from your skin.
- Wear sunscreen all year long. Just because you aren’t at a Florida beach doesn’t mean you won’t get sunburn. One of the worst burns I ever got was going for a run around Sea World in the morning when I didn’t think the sun would be too harsh. I was wrong. Don’t be me.
- Bicycling is popular in Winter Park and the city has certain roads and paths that are bicycle-friendly. Stick to these routes for the safest ride.
- Download the Winter Park Outreach app to get instant alerts of emergencies in the area. This is a great way to find out about weather warnings, water quality issues, and any other civil emergency. There are also tornado sirens throughout the city to let people know a tornado warning has been issued.
- Downtown Winter Park has several options for parking. Some parking areas are free all day, others are free just for a few hours, and others cost to park. Be sure you know which parking area you are in before leaving your vehicle.
- The Alford Inn is a luxury boutique hotel near the center of action in Winter Park. Even if you aren’t staying there, you are still safe to walk around the lobby and gardens. There’s an art collection for the public as well.
- Bring water with you wherever you go. This part of Florida is humid much of the year and you’ll lose a lot of fluids to sweat. It’s important to stay hydrated and take in some extra electrolytes so you don’t get dehydrated.
So... How Safe Is Winter Park Really?
The violent crime rate is lower than the national average, while the property crime rate is higher.
That makes sense since there is a lot of higher-end property in this area.
Car thefts lead the way in crime losses.
The chances of being a victim of violent crime are one in 342.
That’s lower than the Florida average of one in 258.
Only 25 robberies were reported in 2020 and aggravated assaults totaled 51.
When you do the math, that’s still almost half the national rate.
This community is as safe as you make it.
It’s a suburban area built with accommodations for the neighborhoods and a handful of tourist lures.
This isn’t the “go-to” place when people think of Orlando travel, but it is a nice place to feel at home when you are away from home.
How Does Winter Park Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
Visa information is handled at the airport or port of entry. No other process is required to get to Winter Park, Florida.
You'll use U.S. Dollar currency here, and people in this town have money. If there is a thief in the area, they assume they can get a good score. Don't carry a lot of money with you and back all purchases with a credit card for the best protection against fraud.
If you like warm weather, Winter Park will be a dream come true. Even in the winter, temperatures are in the 70s for highs and 50s for lows. The temperatures gradually heat up until the summer months when highs get into the 90s with a lot of humidity. It can be a very swampy feeling, so pack accordingly. I always needed extra clothes when I went to Florida just because of all the sweating. Rain is common here, and while it doesn't last long, it can be intense. Bring a raincoat and waterproof shoes.
Orlando International Airport is 15 miles south and about a 30-minute drive. The traffic here can be intense and it seems like there's always a major construction project going on, so always give yourself plenty of time to head to the airport.
You'll need travel insurance for your trip since weather can quickly alter plans, and a pending tropical storm or hurricane can shut down air travel altogether.
Winter Park Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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