Remaining in low-crime areas helps make safe first-time visit to Miami

Posted October 22, 2014


Miami and the surrounding areas all have their own appeals and attractions. Miami can be a great place for travelers to visit if they know which neighborhoods have minimal crime issues. The neighborhoods of Miami fit into one of three categories: safe, can be dangerous at times but still worth visiting, and those to avoid.

Safest neighborhoods

Merrick Park

Although this neighborhood is in Coral Gables, not Miami, it still draws visitors from around the world due to its great restaurants and shopping. Most of the people who live in this neighborhood are wealthy. This is fairly obvious from the abundance of fancy cars and large mansions.

According to Sarah Simmons, a resident of Merrick Park, “Occasionally you’ll hear about a house break-in and some jewelry stolen, but I always feel safe walking around day and night.”


Situated just south of downtown, Brickell is a draw for young professionals, both during the day for its unique cafes and views of the city and at night for its lively nightlife. In most of the hotels and apartments, the security is prevalent. In many of these buildings, you will need a key to go to any floor in the building, unless the person who lives there has notified the doorman that they permit you to come up to his or her apartment or hotel room.

Rachel Maroza, who lives in a building in downtown Brickell, said that she has never heard of anything really dangerous happening.

“Just the occasional drunk ex-girlfriend or boyfriend who wants to go upstairs to find his or her ex and the doorman has to send them away… nothing too crazy.”

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is mostly filled with tourists, so you are more likely to get ripped off at a bar or restaurant than be robbed at gunpoint. One of the reasons Miami Beach is safe, even at night, is because there are always people walking around. It has a popular nightclub and bar scene both on the weeknights and on the weekends, so as long as you stay on the main roads, you have little about which to worry.

Can be dangerous but still worth visiting


Midtown and Wynwood are must-sees for visitors to Miami because of their iconic art galleries and street art. However, if you get lost, it is easy to end up in a neighborhood with high crime rates. Midtown/Wynwood are comparable to an island; the area that attracts visitors is safe to walk around during the day, but if you walk too far in any direction, it becomes dangerous quickly.

Coconut Grove

The abundance of bars, shopping and restaurants make Coconut Grove a popular place for both tourists and locals. While this neighborhood is not as tourist friendly as South Beach or Brickell due to its close proximity to a high-crime area, you can still feel safe as long as you stay on Grand Avenue near Cocowalk and various bars and restaurants.

If you drive, you may be tempted to park in the nearby residential neighborhoods, but this is not a good idea, because robberies are common in this area, especially after dark.

“On Halloween last year, I had to park in a residential neighborhood of Coconut Grove, because the main roads were closed on Halloween. There were lots of sketchy people walking around, even when I left at 3 in the morning,” said Cameron Ridley, a former student at University of Miami.

Little Havana

One of the most unique and well-known spots in the Miami area, Little Havana attracts many travelers for its unique heritage and amazing food. However, don’t go off the main road (SW 8th Street), and only go during the day, unless you are going to a specific restaurant/bar and have reliable non-public transportation there and back in the evening.

During the day, it is safe to take the bus into Little Havana from the Brickell or Government Center train stations. Just make sure you plan your trip wisely in order to make it back before dark.



While this neighborhood, which is just north of downtown Miami, is not a place where tourists typically go, you may find yourself in this area on your way to and from the airport, especially if you decide to take the Metrorail.

As long as you don’t get off at this stop, you will be safe. Also be sure that if you are on the Green Line on the way to the airport, get off at Earlington Heights. Otherwise, you will have to get off at Brownsville, which is not a safe area either, and wait for a train going the other direction.


Although there are some historical sites, such as Lyric Theater, this area is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. According to, there is a 1 in 5 chance of becoming a victim in this neighborhood.  If you do find yourself here, it is best to stay in your car. You are more likely to become a victim if you walk around, especially by yourself.

Miami Gardens

Although this is a suburb of Miami, you may find yourself in this part of the Miami area because it is right by the Dolphin’s football stadium. If you do go to a game, make sure to avoid this neighborhood. It’s known as one of the Top 3 worst neighborhoods in Miami (Google Neighborhood-0-Meter of Miami-Dade County).

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