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Miami is an energetic and exciting city that attracts millions of visitors each year. With its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination.
However, with a city the size and reputation of Miami, people – be they tourists, families new to the city, or business travelers – might wonder, is Miami safe?
Miami is my husband’s hometown, and he has many friends and family members still in the city. We visit with our young kids at least twice a year.
Thus, in this post, we’ll take a look at the current safety situation in Miami. We’ll also provide some tips and advice for tourists and families based on our experiences. Learn how you can stay safe while enjoying all that this iconic city has to offer.
Driving to Miami from Orlando? Be sure to get the ultimate Orlando to Miami road trip guide.
Is Miami safe?
On the whole, Miami is a safe place for tourists and residents alike. Over the past 10 years being married to a local Miamian, I’ve been to Miami approximately two dozen times. Likewise, my preschoolers have visited approximately a dozen times.
During our visits, we have not experienced any troubles, nor have heard of any family members or friends involved in any. However, like any major city, it is important to be aware of potential safety concerns and take precautions to stay secure.
A big factor in staying safe in Miami, as in any large metropolitan area, is your actions. By staying aware of your surroundings and taking some basic precautions, you can have an amazing, worry-free time!
Read on to learn where to go and what to do to have the time of your life in Miami. Safely.
Is Miami safe for tourists?
Another major factor that affects a tourist’s safety is the distraction factor. Miami is full of color, music, and sunshine. It’s so easy to get distracted when you’re soaking it all in.
And as we all know, exploring new sights and keeping track of kids can be distracting!
So it can be a real effort to reign in your awareness. Work on focusing on your surroundings with safety in mind. And you know what, it takes no time at all for this to become second nature.
A major concern in Miami is theft, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching. This is especially true if you’re in crowded areas and aren’t paying attention. Your best defense is awareness.
You’ll also want to take basic precautions, like wearing a purse and camera straps crossbody and leaving your bling at home.
There are also a few scams that have been seen in popular cities like Miami. Tourist Information booths that you’ll see on the street may claim that they are selling you the best tour at the best price. Those tours may simply pay them the best commission, regardless of the quality of the tour.
But it’s easy to avoid being disappointed. Before purchasing, ask for the name of the tour company. Read their reviews online and be aware of what the rough price should be. This way you can be sure to get what you’re paying for.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your credit card activity. Miami has had issues with credit card fraud, particularly in the more touristy areas. This could include additional charges added to your tab at a bar or dishes you never ordered appearing on your restaurant bill.
Again, instead of feeling anxious about this, just scan your bills before paying. Also, make it a daily practice to skim through your credit card activity online to ensure everything looks good.
But, when logging into personal info anywhere outside your home, be sure to use a secure connection.
Is Miami safe for families?
Miami is a great destination for families, with plenty of safe and kid-friendly activities to enjoy. A list of the best ones includes:
- Visiting the Miami Children’s Museum – exhibits and installations are not only fun and colorful, they’re also educational, and you’ll love them as much as the kids do.
- Exploring the exhibits at the Frost Science Museum Aquarium, and Planetarium, many of which are hands-on and interactive.
- Spending a day at Miami Zoo, of course, to see more than 2500 animals, representing over 400 different species. Rent a safari cycle to tour around!
- Getting tickets to the Miami Theater Center for their many shows performed just for kids.
- Go to FunDimension! Doesn’t the name just say it all? Considered the “ultimate game center”, there is a 3-story playground, illuminated bumper cars, a virtual reality machine, and much more.
- Experience the allure of the Superblue Miami Immersive Art Experience. This is a unique and fun way to experience art, flowers, and more in a relaxing atmosphere. Perfect for all ages.
And of course, because this is Miami, there are parks, beaches, and outdoor attractions galore! You can make it easy by visiting areas that are known to be safe and family-friendly.
Parks and Beaches for Families in Miami
There are many parks and beaches around Miami with facilities and activities designed with your family’s safety in mind. Be sure to check at least one of these out! Those with a ‘’ have a lifeguard on duty.
- Crandon Park is only 12 miles, or 19 km from downtown Miami in Miami Beach, and is well worth the drive. Your kids can choose between the playground or the beach, and there are lots of restaurants nearby to fuel up at.
- Amelia Earhart Park is a favorite for families in Miami. There are unbelievably fun attractions and activities for everyone in this 515-acre park.
You’ll find a tree fort-style island playground in one of the 5 lakes, soccer fields, wakeboarding with coaches, and so much more. There is even a petting zoo and a dog park if you’ve brought the whole family with you. Be sure to schedule a luxury picnic experience in advance.
Coaches in the Watersports Complex even have lifeguard training and first aid certification.
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is on the tip of Key Biscayne, only 9.5 miles, or 15 km from downtown Miami. Not yet discovered by many tourists, it’s quiet, peaceful nature at its best.
This park is the site of the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Take a lighthouse tour, enjoy the biking trails, or jet ski to see manatees, eagle rays, and other amazing marine life.
Then sit back and enjoy authentic Cuban food along with the stunning views.
- One of the top beach parks in the city is Matheson Hammock Park and Marina, with a calm, man-made atoll pool that’s perfect for the little ones.
It also has a restaurant, grills, picnic areas, and nature trails. Plus, there is kiteboarding for the older kids off the beach in Biscayne Bay.
Families can also enjoy kayaking in Biscayne Bay, taking a bike ride along the Venetian Causeway, or exploring the nature trails at the Deering Estate. No matter the length of your time in Miami, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Other Outdoor Tours and Attractions
If you’ve had your fill of sand and sunshine, you’ll still never want for great activities. Choose from one of these fantastic tours in the Miami area.
- The Miami Duck Tour – so called because the tour vehicle is amphibious – a duck boat! Spend 90 minutes being entertained by your guides, who all have acting and comedy backgrounds.
All ages love this tour. You’ll get to see many of Miami’s famous landmarks before the boat dives into Biscayne Bay. It cruises along the shoreline and past the waterfront homes of the rich and famous.
- Everglades Nature Tours – a surprisingly short distance west of the city are the Everglades. Just a 40-minute drive and you can have your choice of private and semi-private tours of this iconic area.
You can tour by airboat, in a buggy, or on foot. These are all adventurous and safe ways to explore North America’s Amazon. See Florida’s wildlife in its natural habitat – alligators, dolphins, turtles and more.
- Wynwood Art Walk Golf Buggy Tour – get off your feet, and spend an hour with the spectacular street art and murals in this famous Miami neighborhood. Your guide will fill you in on everything there is to know about the pieces. And they know where to find all the best ones.
Wynwood is terrific to explore on your own, too. Plus you can do more than just look. The area is full of interactive art displays, swings, and climbing areas that the kids will love.
- Bike and Roll Miami – if your youngsters are 12 and over, they’ll love this Segway city tour. You can choose which part of the city you’d like to see, and enjoy this unique way of getting around! You’ll be touring with local guides who can tell you about the real Miami.
Safest Places in Miami
Like other large cities throughout the world, Miami has its safe spots and less-safe spots. When you’re visiting, especially for the first time, it can seem impossible to know where you should and shouldn’t take your family.
Here’s a list of the 5 safest areas to help you out. Keep in mind that no matter where you are, always use extra caution at night. Try not to walk alone or in isolated areas after dark.
- South Beach: Known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and colorful Art Deco architecture. South Beach is one of the most popular neighborhoods for tourists. Lots of activities are within walking distance from here.
This tends to be the priciest area in Miami. And while the area is generally safe, it can be crowded and noisy.
- Downtown Miami: As the financial and commercial center of Miami, Downtown Miami is a busy neighborhood with plenty of hotels and tourist attractions.
It’s home to several family-friendly museums, such as the Miami Children’s Museum and the Perez Art Museum Miami.
The area is safe overall, but it’s important to take precautions when walking around at night. It tends to be busy any time of day.
- Brickell: Located just south of downtown Miami, Brickell is a newly modernized, trendy neighborhood with a variety of upscale hotels, restaurants, and shops. It’s known for its nightlife, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Known for its business center and its luxury, the area is generally safe but expensive.
- Coral Gables: This is a safe and upscale neighborhood southwest of downtown Miami. It provides easy access to Matheson Hammock Park, and is full of Spanish-influenced mansions.
It’s also known for its historic architecture, tree-lined streets, and high-end shops and restaurants. If we would ever move to Miami, this would be my dream location to live 🤑
- Coconut Grove: South of Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove is a quiet but bohemian neighborhood – a village inside the city. The waterfront area is known especially for the Cocowalk, where the selection of independent boutiques, bookstores, and pubs will keep your whole group happy.
It’s known, too, for its lush parks and gardens, as well as its lively nightlife scene. The area is safe as a rule, but it’s important to take precautions when walking around at night.
Is it safe to take kids to South Beach?
Yes! We take our own kids to South Beach, and they love the wonderful beachfront playground. It also has sports fields, water parks, the boardwalk, and a museum where touching the displays is not only allowed but encouraged!
There are even movie nights every Wednesday at Soundscape Park. As well, Jungle Island is only a few miles away, and you can even watch the cruise ships!
We do always visit the beach during the day, and I recommend that you do the same.
Is Miami dangerous to walk at night?
Walking through any city at night, especially one you’re unfamiliar with, calls for some extra awareness. Miami is a high-spirited city at night. It’s important to take precautions to stay safe, and avoid the areas mentioned below.
Wherever you are, it’s recommended to stay in well-lit and populated areas and avoid walking alone. Jump in a cab or call an Uber if you feel uneasy. And of course, leave the fancy jewelry at home.
In other words, with the right precautions and awareness Miami can be a safe and enjoyable destination for you to walk through at night.
Crime in Miami
Miami’s crime rate was an estimated 41% higher than the national average in 2022. However, it’s important to be aware that a large portion of that number is due to gang-related crimes. Crimes rarely have any effect on visitors to the city.
Property crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, are the ones that visitors to Miami have to watch out for.
Unfortunately, this is the case in most major cities worldwide. These sorts of crimes are everywhere, and it’s important to use basic precautions to avoid trouble.
Is Miami or New York safer?
Although the average crime rate is higher in Miami than in New York, both cities have areas that are safe for families and tourists. They both have areas that should be avoided, as well.
Similarly, both cities can be safe if visitors take proper, common sense precautions. These include, and I can’t say it enough, staying in well-lit and populated areas, avoiding walking alone at night, and being aware of your surroundings.
Simply put, the safety of each city depends a great deal on the neighborhood you’re in and your own actions.
Is downtown Miami safe?
Downtown Miami is a safe place to explore during the day, and there is a visible police presence here. Still, you should still take basic precautions, particularly at night. Some neighborhoods, discussed below, are best avoided altogether after dark or when walking solo.
Stay in well-lit and populated areas, and avoid walking alone or carrying valuable items. Also, use a taxi or Uber instead of walking at night. It’s extra important here to keep a close eye on your possessions at any time, as pickpockets can be lurking in the crowded downtown streets.
But during the day, downtown Miami is full of safe and enjoyable activities, including parks and museums. Don’t miss out on these!
Is Little Havana Miami safe?
Little Havana should be avoided at night. Crime rates in this area are high, so it’s best to be very cautious. Daytime is much safer, but using transportation like a taxi or Uber is recommended to get around instead of walking.
The hub of activity here is Domino Park, at 8 St and 15 Ave. Try to stay close to this area and you can enjoy exploring exotic Little Havana.
Dangerous Neighborhoods to Avoid in Miami
Though safe overall, there are a few areas of Miami that tourists and families should avoid. Use a taxi or Uber instead of public transportation if going through them, too:
- Overtown, AKA Model City, next to Wynwood
- Allapattah, on the edge of downtown
- Liberty City is considered the most dangerous part of Miami
- Little Haiti, AKA Lemon City
The crime rates in these areas are high, in the forms of violent crimes, gun violence, drugs, and assaults. However, there is very little chance that you’ll find yourself venturing into these neighborhoods. There are no attractions or activities here that might interest a visitor.
South Coconut Grove is another area to stay away from. I mention this one separately because its neighbor, known simply as Coconut Grove, is listed above as one of the safest areas of Miami.
This is definitely a case of a neighborhood having a right side and a wrong side. Don’t get these two areas confused – stay north of McDonald Street.
The Best Times to NOT Visit Miami
Miami is a stunning destination at most times of the year, but there are a couple of times that are best avoided.
Spring Break means an annual influx of college students, as does Memorial Day weekend. They come to party the way only college students can.
During these times Miami becomes crowded and loud, and all this craziness can affect the safety – and sanity – of hapless tourists.
Weatherwise, you may also want to avoid August in Miami. During the height of hurricane season, August can be hot, rainy, and humid.
Miami Safety Tips
A few basic precautions are all it takes to have a safe and spectacular time in Miami. Most of them can be summarized under the heading of common sense:
- Wherever you are in the city, avoid dark and isolated areas.
- Don’t flash your bling. Even flashy costume bling might be tempting for a would-be thief.
- Walk confidently, like you know where you’re going.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and especially of the people around you.
- Wear your purse and camera straps crossbody, and invest in a bag with cut-proof materials and RFID blocking.
- Try to avoid overpasses, especially after dark as they often shelter homeless people at night.
- Use a taxi or Uber to get around at night instead of walking, especially for female
- Keep a close eye on your bags at the airport, as they can go missing here if you turn your head for just a second.
- Don’t skip travel insurance. Ever. If somebody does get ahold of your wallet or bag, it will make your life a whole lot easier.
While there are some safety concerns in Miami, it is no more dangerous than any other large city. Keep your eyes open, pay attention to what’s going on, and keep in mind everything that you’ve read here.
Then have a fantastic time in the Magic City!