Editorial credit: sdf_qwe / Shutterstock.com
Miami Beach is a melting pot of people from different cultures. The famed sands of “America’s Riviera” are enjoyed by a diverse range of individuals, including waifish models, amateur architecture critics, distinguished elders, and sun-seeking families. However, when it comes to Miami Beach’s safety standards, families and visitors might be curious about Miami Beach’s degree of safety.
In general, tourists may feel comfortable visiting Miami Beach. However, like other popular tourist sites, property crime and pickpocketing are the primary worries. Still, similar to any big city, Miami Beach visitors should use some caution but not frantic hypervigilance.
Most of us enjoy warm friends and hot meals. But, it turns out that we also enjoy warm weather as well. Miami routinely ranks among the best travel destinations in the United States because of this, among other things. However, being pushed out of our comfort zone and into a risky environment is something most of us detest. In light of that, let’s take a closer look into the safety concerns in Miami Beach.
How Safe Is Miami Beach?
Miami is recognized as the ninth most popular tourist destination in the US by Tripadvisor, a global platform for travel information sharing. According to the Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022, that is.
But, of course, the weather cannot be the only factor. Many people would die for the spectacular vistas on the beautiful beaches of Miami. One of them is Miami Beach, renowned for its breathtaking views, lively atmosphere, and a variety of exhilarating water sports.
However, Miami has a questionable history of being a hub for crime and drug use. Whether this reputation is warranted or not, it spreads to Miami’s other tourist attractions, such as Miami Beach. But does this depict the situation?
Travelers’ Safety Statistics For Miami Beach
Miami Beach might have a secure feeling, but this is not always the case. Undoubtedly, a purse thief or a pickpocket will never approach you directly. But, according to studies, Miami Beach swings the pendulum more in favor of danger. According to NeighborhoodScouts, an American web platform that offers thorough security analytics, such is the case.
Miami Beach’s Crime Index, according to NeighborhoodScouts, is 1—the lowest possible score on a safety and security scale ranging from 1 to 100. For reference, Miami City proper has a Crime Index of 10. So, even though it’s still relatively low, Miami Beach is ten times better.
In Miami Beach, there are 69.80 crimes committed per 1,000 people. On the other hand, Miami City has a 35.7 per 1,000 crime rate. However, based on the statistics, property crimes account for 88 percent of crimes in Miami Beach.
These include offenses like stealing a car, breaking and entering, and larceny – which is described as unlawfully taking property from the custody of another (except motor vehicles). In addition, about 12% of all Miami Beach crimes are violent, which amounts to 8 violent crimes for every 1,000 inhabitants (or one violent crime per 124 instances). So, does it mean that it is still “safe?”
The violent crime rate in the Sunshine State is 3.87 per 1,000 people, which is around one in 258. The average rate in the country is 3.96 per 1,000 or 1 in 252. As a result, Miami Beach has a similar risk of experiencing violent crime as the rest of Florida but nearly twice the national rate.
So how do we interpret all of these? When visiting Miami Beach, we advise exercising modest care rather than hypervigilance.
Consider The Safer Areas In Miami Beach
There are 29 neighborhoods in Miami Beach. NeighborhoodScouts rates La Gorce as the safest, followed by Fisher Island in second.
La Gorce, for instance, is a gated neighborhood near Miami Beach’s North Beach, a more sedate and bohemian area. Security-conscious tourists won’t find anything here to cause them to get alarmed. It is north of Indian Creek and hugs the immaculate Biscayne Bay shoreline. La Gorce is only four miles away if you like South Beach’s rowdier, livelier atmosphere.
However, if one wants to stay a night or two in Miami’s haunted tourist jewel, Collins Avenue offers a wide variety of dining and lodging alternatives. The Fontainebleau, long frequented by stars like Elvis Presley and Bob Hope, offers a luxurious dining and lodging experience situated on Collins Avenue with breathtaking vistas.
However, if you are looking to tour further South, Fisher Island also fits within more of the safer side of Miami Beach’s safety radar since it can only be accessed by a ferry.
In addition to a hotel and resort, deep-water marina, immaculate beaches, swimming pools, championship seaside golf, tennis facilities (including all four Grand Slam surfaces), a world-class spa, and several restaurants and bars, Fisher Island Club provides many more first-rate amenities.
Other than La Gorce and Fisher Island, there is still so much Miami Beach has to offer. That said, the following areas round up Miami Beach’s top 10 safest neighborhoods:
- La Groce
- Fisher Island
- Oceanfront North
- Oceanfront South
- Belle Isle
- Oceanfront Northeast
- Biscayne Point
- Isle of Normandy
Transportation And Taxi Risks
South Beach is home to several taxis, all subject to Miami-Dade government regulation. For instance, a three-mile journey to the Art Deco neighborhood from mid-beach will cost around $13. (before tip).
The Miami Beach Trolley is a free public transportation system that runs around every half-hour and travels across all Miami Beach communities. In addition, there are other ride-sharing options. Although there is little risk because these choices are regulated and essential to Miami Beach’s tourism sector, you should always be cautious in a bustling city.
Miami Beach Safety Tips
Miami’s North Beach, which is distinct from the more well-known South Beach, and her lower counterpart, a renowned tourist destination, are locations that one should enjoy without continuously scanning their surroundings.
Because of this, a few pointers may be helpful. For instance, it is best to avoid Ocean Drive after sunset. Similarly, Washington Avenue. Lincoln Road, on the other hand, is often safer. While admiring the surroundings is OK, one must be aware of and careful of one’s immediate surroundings.
In light of that, the following are some safety tips to keep in check to maximize your visit to Miami Beach. Do residents hack? Say “Hialeah” if the taxi driver asks where you’re from while you’re in it. When they don’t believe they are overcharging a tourist, you might be amazed at how fast your journey goes.
Get To Know The City
Take some time to get to know Miami Beach as soon as you are there, or even before. Online research might help you identify any spots you would not want to visit at particular times in the neighborhood. Then, to further understand your area’s idiosyncrasies, stroll about your neighborhood after driving along your new preferred route using an offline map app like Google Maps or Maps.Me.
You should plan your route, move quickly, and be vigilant as you start to move about Miami Beach since predators don’t want to be noticed before they commit a crime. When exploring, stay away from dark alleys and empty streets, and think about bringing a friend or family member along.
If you can’t bring someone along, let them know where you’re going and when you plan to return. That said, keep the following two tips in mind:
- Miami Beach has its share of busy spots. It is constantly congested at South Beach, especially if you spend a lot of time there. It moves at a frenetic or exhilarating speed day and night, depending on how you look at it.
Nevertheless, there will be plenty of people around you. During these times would be ideal to consider how to safeguard your money and scale back huge designer bags for security.
- The majority of bars and restaurants automatically add a tip to each drink. Since it is now widely known, this nevertheless shocks a lot of visitors and encourages double dipping. So before leaving, make sure to review your receipts carefully.
Download A Safety App
If you’re concerned or feel threatened, you may use these applications to check in with or notify a list of pre-selected contacts. But, of course, calling 911 should be your top priority if you ever feel instantly in danger.
Say No To Strangers
If you feel that your safety is endangered, resist the urge to give directions, lend out your phone, or even be polite to a stranger. Turn off the politeness and leave any compromising situations right once, even if you’re from a tiny town where talking to strangers is commonplace. You probably won’t ever see that individual again; therefore, it’s crucial to remember that your safety should always come first.
In addition, there is considerable potential for danger for female travelers, including being exploited and becoming a victim of crime. Avoid taking a drink you didn’t witness being poured, wandering around alone, and anybody who offers you free or quick entry to a popular nightclub. With a party scene and catcalling, the beach close to 8th Street may be particularly heated.
Keep Your Property Safe
Ensure that you are traveling safely outside your home or hotel to protect your personal belongings. Your valuables should, wherever feasible, be kept in your inner pockets and never in your back pocket. Additionally, keep your luggage zipped up and out of sight. You may do this by maintaining your hands over the clasps while securely tucking your luggage under your arm.
Finally, the roads in Miami Beach may also be dangerous, with several near-misses. So simply use caution when crossing the roadway.
Understand The Beach Rules
Alcohol use is prohibited on all of Miami Beach’s beaches. Stay close to a lifeguard station and watch the flags when swimming; this system is consistent throughout all of the state’s beaches. While yellow denotes fairly significant surf, green denotes calm sea (i.e., riptides may be present).
The color purple denotes the presence of aquatic creatures like jellyfish. Note that when a red flag is hoisted, swimming is not permitted.
Is Miami Beach safe From Natural Disasters?
The greatest significant dangers to Miami Beach from natural catastrophes come from sporadic storms in Florida. With that in mind, tropical storms leave nothing but horrific devastation in their wake, as well-known storms like Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey have demonstrated.
In addition, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if sea levels continue to rise at an increasing rate due to global warming, the damage from violent storm floods will only worsen over time. In addition, due to global warming, powerful hurricanes like Category 4 and 5 will occur more frequently.
According to statistics from the NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, Miami, Florida, tops the list as the most vulnerable city in danger of being struck by a hurricane, which is not surprising given that coastal states in the south are susceptible to getting slammed hard by storms.
As a result, Miami Beach, right next to mainland Miami, may have a similar fate. Hurricanes pass within 50 miles of Miami every six to eight years, based on statistics from the previous 126 years. According to research, Miami has a 16 percent probability of being affected by a hurricane in any given year.
Overall, there is a day with a weather risk for each picture-perfect beach day Miami Beach delivers. June through November is hurricane season, with August and September being the most active months. Miami Beach has experienced its share of hurricane damage, and the entire island will be evacuated if a storm is on the way.
Florida is also well-known for its sporadic summer storms. They may produce deadly lightning, severe gusts, and enormous amounts of rain. Therefore, a medium danger is present, and Florida weather is nothing to play with. Go indoors if a storm is coming.
Beyond sun and sand, Miami Beach provides a wide range of activities, including world-famous nightlife, world-famous art galleries, family-friendly activities, first-rate lodging, unmatched cuisine, designer shopping, and one of the most distinctive architectural styles in the world.
In general, tourists may feel comfortable visiting Miami Beach. However, pickpocketing is the primary worry, as it is in most popular tourist locations, especially late at night and along Washington Street. When out at night, stick to well-traveled paths.
However, a few safety precautions may ring-fence a trip against any potential disaster, even if Miami Beach’s safety standards are not very high.