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Is Florida Safe to Visit in 2024? (Expert Opinion)

Is Florida Safe to Visit in 2024? (Expert Opinion)

Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States for both domestic and international visitors. In 2022, the state received a whopping 137 million visitors.

Florida’s main tourist draws are its world-famous amusement parks, such as Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, and SeaWorld. However, the state has so much more than just roller coasters to offer!

You can explore the pristine shores of the Florida coastline, visit the multicultural metropolis of Miami, explore a unique landscape in the Everglades, and check out a more laid-back pace of life in the Florida Keys.

With so many things to see and do, it’s no wonder that so many people visit the Sunshine State. But while it’s extremely popular to visit, is Florida safe? Here’s our take.

Is Florida Safe to Visit in 2024?

Teal lifeguard stand in Miami pictured under a deep blue sky


Yes. The good news is that Florida is very safe to visit! Millions of people wouldn’t visit Florida otherwise.

However, you should take precautions as, like any place in the United States, it does have crime. Make sure that you protect your valuables. You should also be aware of other risks, such as natural disasters.

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Florida has a moderate crime rate, and crime sometimes affects tourists. Common crimes include:

  • Theft
  • Mugging
  • Robbery
  • Break-ins
  • Assault

Basic precautions and being mindful about where you visit are usually enough to prevent crime. According to the state’s official tourist board, Florida is currently safe to visit, and there are no advisories in place that could affect a visitor’s safety.

Many people are afraid of visiting due to the political situation. Within the United States, Florida has some of the most conservative laws regarding LGBTQ individuals, gun safety, and other current issues.

These laws have led some civil rights groups to issue travel advisories for Florida, advising people to reconsider travel or relocating if they would be affected by the state’s laws.

This warning is sometimes echoed by foreign governments. The Australian government warns its citizens that some parts of the United States have laws that negatively affect LGBTQIA travelers who are used to more freedom at home. Florida is included in these parts of the United States with restrictive laws.

However, if you are planning a short trip to Florida, it is unlikely that you will be affected by local laws. Most Floridians are open and welcoming to visitors, regardless of their identity.

A more pressing danger for locals and visitors alike is the risk of natural disasters. The Canadian government lists Florida as a location where there is a high risk of natural disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes, and tropical storms.

Make sure that you follow the news to see if there are any weather alerts while you are in town.

Every year, Florida is one of the states that is most affected by hurricane season. Hurricane season lasts from June to November, but it peaks between August and October, according to Florida State University.

Avoid traveling to Florida during this time because there is a high likelihood of dangerous hurricanes. Even if there isn’t a deadly storm, your trip will probably be affected by heavy rain and humidity.

Crime in Florida

Crowded beach in Miami pictured on a clear summer day with people mulling about and enjoying the water

Miami Beach, Florida, US – May 17, 2015 – People at the beach in south Miami/Alexey Rotanov/Shutterstock

Crime is a primary concern for most people when traveling someplace new, and Florida is no different. Looking at concrete crime statistics may help you figure out what the real risks of traveling to Florida are for you.

The state’s overall crime rate is moderate. The violent crime rate for the state overall is 150.6 incidents per 100,000 people. That puts it towards the middle of the pack compared to the national violent crime rate, coming in as the state with the 25th highest violent crime rate.

The most common violent crime rate is assault, which makes up about 73% of the overall violent crime rate. Florida’s property crime rate is also moderate.

The property crime rate is about 17.46 incidents per 1,000 people, which is slightly below the national median. The most common property crime rate is theft, which makes up about 77% of total property crimes. Burglaries and motor vehicle theft are also common forms of property crimes.

There has been some controversy over Florida’s recent crime statistics. According to official Florida law enforcement sources, Florida’s overall crime rate fell to a 50-year low in 2022.

This would suggest that the state’s law enforcement has been doing an amazing job at fighting crime and that residents and visitors are safer than ever. However, journalists have called these crime statistics into question when reporting on Florida’s true crime rate.

They pointed out that law enforcement agencies changed how they counted crime between 2021 and 2022, which skewed the reported data, and that just under 50% of local law enforcement agencies hadn’t submitted their data at all before the state agency calculated that crime was at an all-time low.

Florida’s crime may not really be at a 50-year low, but it is clear that the state isn’t very dangerous to visitors. The crime rate is moderate compared to national United States nationwide trends and sometimes even lower than the national average.

You should take common-sense precautions in Florida, the same way that you would anywhere else, but you don’t have to be constantly on your guard.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the crime rate in Florida tends to be highest in impoverished areas far away from tourist hotspots. Law enforcement tends to be most heavily concentrated around places where visitors come.

Petty Theft

As in any other tourist destination around the world, it is likely to encounter incidents of petty theft in Florida. Thieves operate in any place where there are big crowds of people that provide cover for potential theft to go unnoticed and where people are distracted by activities such as sightseeing.

There have been incidents of pickpocketing in Florida destinations that are popular with tourists, such as Miami or popular music festivals.

Theft is less of a problem in theme parks because it is impossible to get in without paying admission but may occur in parking lots or on the way to the parks. Pickpockets can also operate in unpredictable locations, such as grocery stores.

Basic precautions can help you prevent being the victim of theft while you are in Florida. When you are in a crowded area, make sure that your belongings are in a safe location.

Place wallets and phones in cross-body bags, front pockets, or fanny packs. Never place them in a back pants pocket, backpack, or open tote bag, where a thief can easily take your things without you noticing.

Most thefts occur due to carelessness. Don’t put your bag down somewhere, even just for a few seconds, or leave your things unattended. You never know who could be watching, hoping to catch you at a moment when you are unaware of your surroundings.

If you can, try to leave most of your valuables in your hotel safe. Only take what you know you will need for the day. Most reputable hotels in Florida have secure room safes for guests.


Like many parts of the United States, Florida has a problem with violent crime. There are high rates of gun violence in the state, and many violent crimes involve some kind of weapon.

The most common violent crime is assault, which may also be the crime you are most worried about when visiting the state. However, violent crime in Florida rarely affects visitors.

In a pamphlet it made for its citizens visiting Florida, the United Kingdom mentions that violent crime rarely affects visitors. If assault is something that you are worried about, some common-sense precautions can help you put your mind at ease.

Avoid traveling to unfamiliar areas before researching them or checking with a local if they are safe, especially at night. The crime rate in Florida is concentrated in certain parts of the state, and in most popular tourist areas, you are not likely to get assaulted.

Disputes can sometimes escalate into violent conflict, especially when drinking is involved. Watch your intake so that you can monitor a situation.

Avoid getting drawn into disputes in bars and nightclubs, as those can become dangerous due to high rates of gun ownership. Finally, trust your instincts. If a situation feels dangerous, figure out a safe place to leave first, then ask questions later.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Picturesque view of the brick road running down the middle of the town in Gainesville, one of the places to avoid in Florida

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Cities in Florida with high crime rates include:

  • Daytona Beach
  • Homestead
  • Melbourne
  • Panama City
  • Gainesville

With the exception of Daytona Beach, most of these cities are not popular destinations for tourists, so they’re fairly easy to avoid.

Daytona Beach is a popular spring break destination, and the crime that occurs during the surges of population each year unfairly skews its crime statistics, according to locals. Still, it’s a good idea to be careful when visiting the city.

Miami is the most popular big city in Florida for tourists. Like any big city in the United States, it has some areas that have higher crime rates, and tourists should avoid them. These areas include:

  • Liberty City
  • Opa-Locka
  • Downtown Miami (only at night)
  • Biscayne Boulevard

Ask locals for tips on which areas are best to avoid.

Things to Consider

Yellow crocodile sign pictured above an alligator sunning himself


Here are some additional safety tips for visiting Florida:

  • Crime is highest during peak tourist times. Spring break is one of the rowdiest times in Florida. Not only does crime increase, but it may not be very fun if you aren’t a college student on break. Try to time your trip for another period.
  • Be careful in the Florida sunshine. Make sure that you apply plenty of sunscreen whenever you are out and about. Stick to the shade during the hottest times of the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Make sure to follow beach safety when you go swimming. Obey posted warnings, flag signals, and instructions from lifeguards. If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you can get out of the current.
  • Florida has some dangerous wildlife, including alligators. Always stay away from wild animals. Don’t swim in murky areas where these animals could be lurking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Idyllic photo of the empty streets of West Palm Beach, one of the safest cities in Florida, pictured on a blue sky day for a piece titled Is Florida Safe to Visit


Here are some common questions people often ask before visiting Florida:

Is there a travel warning for Florida?

Florida is not under any travel warnings right now. However, some civil rights groups have warned about traveling to the state due to the risk of unfair laws.

Is Miami a safe place to visit?

It is possible to visit Miami safely. However, keep in mind that it is a big city first, a tourist destination second, and you should be on your guard against typical big city problems such as crime.

What is the safest city in Florida?

The safest cities in Florida are Naples, West Palm Beach, and Weston. Many smaller cities in Florida have quite low crime rates.

Is Orlando in Florida safe?

Orlando is one of Florida’s safer big cities, and its crime rate is below the national average. The areas close to the theme parks, which is where tourists tend to congregate, are some of the safer parts of the city.

Is tourism down in Florida in 2023?

Tourism towards the middle of 2023 did go down compared to the previous year. However, this decline is all relative. 2022 was a record year for Florida tourism, and the tourism numbers are still very high despite the dip.

So, Should You Travel to Florida?

Florida is a very popular tourist destination, and it is reasonable to think that this many people wouldn’t visit the state if it was dangerous. The biggest problem visitors should look out for is the risk of natural disasters, so avoid traveling during hurricane season.

Outside of that, keep a close eye on your valuables in crowded places, and you should be safe. So, with so much to see an do and a relatively safe environment, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Florida today!