Is Fort Lauderdale safe?

Is Fort Lauderdale safe?

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Fort Lauderdale is a popular beach town in South Florida just north of Miami that’s known for its wide sandy beaches, water activities like boating, snorkeling and diving and the Las Olas Boulevard were you can find plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Nicknamed “the Venice of America,” because of its many canals and waterways, Fort Lauderdale is a magnet for many tourists from all over the United States and overseas.

But how safe is Fort Lauderdale? While the city has become a popular alternative to Miami thanks to its smaller size, less crowded beaches and more relaxed atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at the safety aspect of visiting this city.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe?

While popular areas of Fort Lauderdale like Central Beach, Harbor Beach, downtown and Victoria Park are relatively safe for visitors, Fort Lauderdale has a higher crime than the average city in the United States and many parts of Florida.

Southwest part of Fort Lauderdale has low crime, many parts of Florida to the east of downtown have higher crime rate. The good news is that you are probably not going to stumble into these neighborhoods, as they are far from the tourist route, and don’t have any major points of interest.

According to statistics, the rate of crime in Fort Lauderdale is 204.1 per 1,000 residents per year on average, with the majority of crime in Fort Lauderdale occurring in the northwest part of the city.

What are the most common types of crime in Fort Lauderdale that affect tourists?

The most common types of crime on Fort Lauderdale that affect tourists are pickpocketing, petty theft and tourist scams. Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist town, and you should always keep an eye on your belongings and read reviews and ruefully vet tour operators before booking your activities.

Get insurance for your trip to Florida

While taking precautions while visiting Fort Lauderdale is necessary, it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Whether it’s a medical emergency, lost or stolen luggage or missed flights, there are plenty of things that could affect your dream trip. And that’s the last thing you want to happen.

I always recommend my readers to purchase a travel insurance for their trip, whether they are traveling within the United States, or overseas. When you are in a new places away from, you truly don’t know what might happen, and having insurance gives you peace of mind and saves you from losing thousands of dollars, in case something goes wrong.

Consider World Nomads insurance that will protect you in case of hospital visits, and many other unforeseen events. Another option is Safety Wing, which is perfect for long-term travelers who plan to stay in Florida for a couple of weeks.

I’ve used Safety Wing for several of my trips, and while I didn’t get to file any claims, I always had a pleasant experience and found their prices to be very reasonable.

What is crime like in Fort Lauderdale?

According to official statistics, the most common types of crime in Fort Lauderdale are assault, robbery and drug-related crimes. Fort Lauderdale also has seen an increase in vehicle thefts, according to police.

Fort Lauderdale safety tips

  • Swim only in designated areas: Swim in designated lifeguarded areas, and pay attention to any posted warnings or flags indicating adverse water conditions that could include strong rip currents.
  • Keep your distance from marine animals: If you go snorkeling or diving in Fort Lauderdale, there’s a chance you might spot some marine wildlife. Do not tough any animals, even if they are within close distance from you. Most incidents involving aquatic animals occur when people initiate the contact, which goes against the rules, and can lead to serious injuries, as animals can react unpredictably when they feel scared or threatened.
  • Plan your activities for day time: Fort Lauderdale Beach is typically safe during the daytime, with many tourists and locals enjoying the sun and water activities.
  • Exercise increased caution st the night: While Fort Lauderdale Beach is generally safe, be cautious when on the beach at night. Stick to well-lit areas and avoid dark, secluded places.
  • Watch your valuables: Keep an eye on your belongings, especially valuables like wallets, phones, and cameras. Use lockers in public places, if available or keep valuables in waterproof bags when at the beach.
  • Travel in groups: If you’re enjoying the beach in the evening, consider traveling in groups for more safety.
  • Check the weather: Be aware of weather conditions, especially during hurricane season which lasts from September through October. During this time, the city experiences adverse weather conditions with strong rip currents, wind gusts and rain, which makes it dangerous to swim.
  • Consider your accommodation:  Safety is a significant factor when choosing where to stay and visit, but you also want to know if the area is near popular tourist attractions, whether kid, pet, or family-friendly. Lauderdale-by-the-sea, for example, has the best beach rentals, while hotels near Fort Lauderdale Beach are great for families.

What areas of Fort Lauderdale to avoid?

As a rule of thumb, you should skip areas to the west of downtown Fort Lauderdale, as well as to the northwest. Some areas in central Fort Lauderdale, east of I-95, have also seen increased crime rates.

Here’s a closer look at some of worst neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale when it comes to crime.

  • Sunland Park / Dorsey-Riverbend: Located northwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale, this neighborhood has higher crime rates.
  • Sistrunk: Situated west of downtown, Sistrunk has had a history of socioeconomic challenges and crime. Like with other neighborhoods, check current conditions and community news.
  • Lauderhill: While technically a separate city, Lauderhill is adjacent to Fort Lauderdale and has experienced higher crime rates in some areas. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within Lauderhill.
  • Riverside Park: While Riverside Park is a generally well-regarded area, there have been occasional reports of property crime. As with any neighborhood, it’s advisable to stay informed about current conditions.
  • South Fort Lauderdale: Some neighborhoods south of downtown Fort Lauderdale have had higher crime rates in the past. It’s important to research specific areas and assess current conditions.

What are the safest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale?

Some of the more upscale and secure areas in Fort Lauderdale are often those located along the waterfront, such as Harbor Beach and Rio Vista. Additionally, popular tourists areas like Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale Beach, and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea are among the safest.

These neighborhoods are known for their higher-end residences and generally lower crime rates.

Here is a closer look at the safest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Harbor Beach: This waterfront community is known for its upscale residences and is often considered one of the more affluent and secure parts of Fort Lauderdale.
  • Rio Vista: A residential neighborhood located south of downtown, Rio Vista is known for its tree-lined streets and a mix of architectural styles. It is often perceived as a safe and family-friendly area.
  • Coral Ridge: This neighborhood is situated northeast of downtown and is known for its suburban feel, with a mix of single-family homes and waterfront properties. It is considered a desirable and safe area.
  • Victoria Park: Located just north of downtown, Victoria Park is a diverse and vibrant neighborhood with a mix of historic and modern homes. It is a safe and walkable community.
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea: While not technically part of Fort Lauderdale, this seaside community just north of the city is known for its relaxed atmosphere and amazing diving.
  • Weston: Although Weston is a separate city west of Fort Lauderdale, it is often mentioned for its safety. Weston is known for its family-friendly environment and well-maintained neighborhoods.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe to live?

Fort Lauderdale is relatively safe to live, but different parts of the city have varying levels of safety, due to their location and socio-economic characteristics. Some neighborhoods are known for being more affluent, while others may have higher crime rates.

Is Fort Lauderdale Beach safe?

Fort Lauderdale Beach is generally safe and popular with visitors. It’s a well-maintained area with plenty of police and lifeguards. However, like any public space, it’s essential to follow common-sense precautions to avoid petty theft and other types of crime that often occur in popular beach destinations.

Be aware that Fort Lauderdale Beach is technically closed after dark, even through you might spot a few people wandering around who are breaking the law.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe for solo travelers?

Fort Lauderdale is safe for solo travelers, but if you plan to visit by yourself, you should always stay on guard. Petty crime can occur Don’t leave your belongings unattended and always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded spaces like bars and restaurants.

I visited Fort Lauderdale as a solo traveler on my first trip, and had a lot of fun. The city felt safe and most locals were very friendly. I felt safe exploring downtown area and enjoying pizza at the beach during the sunset.

Hurricanes in Fort Lauderdale

One of the things you should be aware of when it comes to safety in Fort Lauderdale are hurricanes. The hurricane season in Fort Lauderdale, as well as for the entire Atlantic Basin, officially runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. This period encompasses the months when tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Ocean is most likely. The peak of the hurricane season typically occurs from August to October, during which the conditions for tropical storm and hurricane formation are most favorable.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe from hurricanes?

Fort Lauderdale, like many coastal areas in Florida, is not immune to the impacts of hurricanes. The city is located in a region that can be affected by tropical storms and hurricanes, especially during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th.

What’s the safest area in Fort Lauderdale to stay?

The area around Fort Lauderdale Boulevard is the best place for tourists to stay. It has plenty of amenities, a beautiful beach within walking distance and crime here is relatively low.

Here are a few places where you can spend your vacation:

1. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel (the Guitar Hotel)

Seminole is located inside the guitar-shaped building in Fort Lauderdale that you can spot from many miles away! It has shops, nightclubs, restaurants and plenty of amazing amenities.


2. Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

Lago Mar is a top-rated hotel option sitting right on the beach is the Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club, only steps from the sands, with a vast range of amenities situated about two miles from Las Olas Boulevard.


3. Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach

Maren is a popular beachfront hotel close to the city center is the Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach.

It boasts amazing views, beach access, an outdoor swimming pool and plenty of amenities along the beach in Fort Lauderdale


Safety in Fort Lauderdale: FAQ’s

Is Fort Lauderdale safe at night?

Fort Lauderdale is generally considered safe at night, particularly in well-populated and tourist-oriented areas. Some neighborhoods may have different safety profiles. Stay in areas frequented by travelers, avoid dark, poorly-lit streets and isolated areas and try to keep a low profile.

Is Fort Lauderdale safer than Miami?

While neither Miami nor Fort Lauderdale are perfectly safe, Fort Lauderdale has more crime than Miami, with a crime rate of 47 per one thousand residents.

What part of Fort Lauderdale is safest?

Neighborhoods like Coral Ridge, Rio Vista, and Victoria Park are among the safest in Fort Lauderdale. They are known for their relatively low crime rates and quiet atmosphere?

Is it worth it to go to Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale is one of the best cities in South Florida. If you explore the diverse culinary scene, want to relax on sun-kissed beaches framed by swaying palm trees and enjoy cool water activities like snorkeling, diving and sailing, you will enjoy Fort Lauderdale.

Is Fort Lauderdale a rich area?

Fort Lauderdale is a city with a diverse economic landscape, and its wealth distribution varies across different neighborhoods. While there are affluent areas with upscale homes, waterfront properties, and luxury amenities, there are also more economically diverse neighborhoods.

Some of the wealthier neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale include areas like Las Olas Isles, Harbor Beach, and Rio Vista, where you’ll find high-end real estate and a more upscale lifestyle. Additionally, Fort Lauderdale is known for its boating and yachting culture, attracting affluent residents and visitors.

However, like many cities, Fort Lauderdale also has neighborhoods with a range of income levels, and economic conditions can vary. It’s important to note that economic disparities exist, and not all parts of the city are equally affluent.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe for tourists: final word

Fort Lauderdale is generally safe, as long as you stick to popular parts of town like Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale Boulevard and downtown, where most tourists spend their time. Always keep an eye on your belongings, be aware of who’s around you, and swim only in designated areas when weather conditions are favorable.