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Here’s the truth: Most of us love warm friends and warm food. Well, it turns out that we also love warm weather. And that’s one of the reasons Miami is consistently among the top travel destinations in the United States. This is not some tired, overused cliche. According to Tripadvisor, the global travel exchange platform, Miami is ranked the eighth most popular travel destination in the US. That’s according to the 2022 Travelers Choice Awards.

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Of course, it can’t just be about the weather. Miami has some lovely beaches—with breathtaking views that many would die for. One of these is Miami Beach, known for its stunning vistas, entertainment vibe, and several thrilling water sports activities. Yet Miami has had a dubious reputation as a hotbed of drugs and crime. Justifiably or unjustifiably, this reputation rubs off on Miami’s other travel jewels, including Miami Beach. But does this really reflect the true picture?

Is Miami Beach Really Safe For Travelers?

This is the truth. While it can feel safe in Miami Beach, the perception and reality do not always align. Granted, one will almost always never come face-to-face with a purse snatcher or a pickpocket. However, going by statistics, Miami Beach tilts the pendulum on the side of unsafety. That’s according to NeighborhoodScouts, an American web-based platform that provides comprehensive security analytics. According to NeighborhoodScouts, Miami Beach’s Crime Index is 1—the lowest on a ranking system that moves from 1 to 100 on the scale of safety and security. For comparison, Miami City proper has a Crime Index of 10. Still way low—yet ten times better than Miami Beach. The crime rate in Miami Beach is 69.80 per 1,000 residents. On the flip side, the crime rate in Miami City is 35.7 per 1,000.

However, looking at the data, 88% of crimes in Miami Beach relate to property crimes. These are stuff like burglary, vehicle theft, or larceny, defined as “unlawful taking of property from the possession of another (excluding motor vehicles).” Violent crime, which is 8 per 1,000 residents (or 1 in 124 cases), constitutes about 12% of all Miami Beach crime statistics. How safe is this? Well, the Sunshine State’s violent crime statistics is 3.87 per 1,000. That’s about 1 in 258. The national average is 3.96 per 1,000—or 1 in 252. Therefore, the likelihood of falling victim to violent crime in Miami Beach is as anywhere else in Florida but about twice the national average. How do we make sense of all these? We say a visit to Miami Beach will require some caution, not frenetic hypervigilance.

Related: 10 Life-Saving Tips Travelers Need To Know About.

Safest Areas In Miami Beach

Miami Beach has 29 neighborhoods. Of these, NeighborhoodScouts ranks La Gorce as the safest. Located in North Beach, a quieter, more Bohemian section of Miami Beach, La Gorce is a gated community where travelers who are security conscious will find practically nothing to raise their risk antennae. It hugs the spotless shores of Biscayne Bay and is immediate to the North of Indian Creek. For those who prefer the rowdier, livelier vibe of South Beach, La Gorce is just about four miles away. Dining and accommodation options are in plenty, especially on Collins Avenue—if in case one will want to spend a night or two in Miami’s haunted travel gem. For an exclusive dining and accommodation experience right on Collins Avenue, the Fontainebleau, once patronized by such celebrities as Elvis Presley and Bob Hope— will provide fairy-tale luxury and breathtaking views.

Aside from La Gorce, the following neighborhoods close up the rank of the top ten safest neighborhoods in Miami Beach: Fisher Island, Bayshore, Nautilus, Oceanfront North, Oceanfront South, Belle Isle, Oceanfront Northeast, Biscayne Point, and the Isle of Normandy.

Related: How Safe Is Honolulu? Here Are Some First-Timer Safety Tips

Other Tips For Staying Safe In Miami Beach

Miami’s North Beach, different from the more popular South Beach, and her lower counterpart, a red-hot travel attraction—are both places where one should enjoy— without constantly looking over the shoulders. That’s the reason a few tips can come in handy. For instance, one should avoid Ocean Drive, that is, after dusk. The same goes for Washington Avenue. On the flip side, Lincoln Road is usually safer. And while it’s fine to admire the scenes around, it’s important to be conscious and mindful of one’s immediate environment. Also, visitors are better off not revealing the cash they have—when paying for stuff from vendors. Leaving personal effects like handbags or backpacks unattended is a no-no. Instead, valuables should be left in a safety box at the hotel’s front desk.

That’s not all. Visitors should refrain from accepting free stuff from strangers, even if it may appear rude. Also, the roads down there can be risky with many near-misses. So one should just be careful while crossing the streets.

While the safety levels in Miami Beach are not out of the charts, a few safety tips can ring-fence a vacation against any likelihood of danger.