Is Naples, Florida Safe to Visit in 2024? A Comprehensive Guide
Naples, Florida, may not be the most popular tourist destination in the state, but it’s quickly catching on as a hip location to visit and relocate to. According to the local tourist board, Naples hosts around 265,000 visitors a month. Its main attraction is the beautiful stretch of sandy shore, right on the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can lounge on the beach, go out on the water and hope to spot dolphins, or walk the famous Naples Pier.
For luxury travelers, the city also has plenty of high-end shopping opportunities and golf courses, and in recent years, it’s become more of a hip destination with more microbreweries. But while there’s much to see and do, is Naples safe? Here’s our take.
Naples: A Safe Haven
Yes. One of the reasons why Naples is so popular as a destination, especially among retirees, is that it is incredibly safe to visit! The small city has a very low crime rate, both by Florida and by national standards. Naples, despite its allure, doesn’t present the same safety concerns as some other Florida cities might.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Naples has a crime rate of 108.1 incidents per 100,000 people. That puts it in the 90th percentile nationwide in terms of safety, making it one of the safest cities of its size in the nation. Its violent crime rate is also much lower than the national average.
Some crime does occur in the city. However, most incidents on record are petty incidents including shoplifting, theft, theft from vehicles, and assault. These common crimes are not unique to Naples and are typical in many cities across the United States.
Weathering the Storm: Hurricanes in Naples
Anywhere in Florida, you will have to be careful of hurricanes. According to the official Naples city website, hurricane season in the city lasts from June to November but peaks between late August and early October. Naples has been hit by devastating storms in the past.
The safest thing to do is to avoid Naples during hurricane season. In fact, that is what many “snowbirds,” or retirees who spend winter in Naples and summer in cooler climates, do. If you are visiting during hurricane season, follow local weather alerts or the official city website to see if there is a hurricane warning.
In case of a hurricane, prepare an evacuation plan, evacuate ahead of time if necessary, and stock up on food, potable water (flooding tends to affect the water supply), and batteries. Being aware and prepared is key during hurricane season.
Sea, Sand, and Safety: Swimming in Naples
Naples is a popular destination because of its beach, but make sure that you are following the right safety precautions when you go swimming. Dangerous wildlife, such as jellyfish, have been spotted off the coast of Naples before, as well as pollutants such as algae blooms and bacteria. The water is tested regularly, and safety warnings are updated. Make sure you follow all posted warnings before you go swimming.
Politics and People: A Note on Naples’ Political Landscape
Finally, the political situation is important to mention when planning a trip. Naples is in Florida, a state that has several conservative laws affecting LGBT people, immigrants, and others. Some foreign governments, such as Australia, warn their citizens that certain parts of the United States are not as tolerant as their home country towards LGBT people (this warning includes Florida).
Most people in Naples are very friendly, and you probably won’t experience any trouble on a short visit. However, if you are thinking about relocating to Naples, the local politics may be a factor in your decision. It’s crucial to be aware of the political climate to ensure a comfortable stay, especially for those considering a more extended visit or relocation.
Crime in Naples, Florida: The Numbers Speak
Crime is an important thing to be aware of when planning a trip to a new place. It’s especially important to know what the crime situation is like when you are planning a long-term visit or even a relocation after retirement. Naples, fortunately, has a below-average crime rate. Any way that you examine the crime rate, it is below both the national average and the average for cities of Naples’s size.
The overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and property crime rate are all much lower than the national and state average. According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Department, Collier County, under whose jurisdiction Naples falls, is the metropolitan county with the lowest crime rate in Florida!
That means that the only counties safer in the state are much smaller places without bigger cities. That is quite an achievement for the city of Naples. FBI data shows just how safe Naples is. In 2019, Naples experienced only 11 total violent crime incidents! Violent crime makes up just 3% of total crimes committed. It’s difficult to talk about which violent crime is the most common, given how low the overall total is, but the most common was assault, of which there were seven incidents.
When violent crimes occur in Naples, they tend to make the headlines because they are so rare. They are also usually the result of disputes or long-standing disagreements between people who know each other. Random attacks are very rare.
Property crimes are more common than violent crimes in Naples, but even these numbers are fairly tame. The most common property crime is larceny–theft, which makes up 82% of the overall crime rate. This category of crime also includes crimes that are extremely unlikely to affect visitors, such as shoplifting. Burglaries are somewhat common in Naples, making up 8.6% of total crimes committed.
Many instances of theft or robbery in Naples happen as a result of people getting a bit too careless with the low crime rate, such as forgetting to lock their doors. This crime is also one that is unlikely to affect visitors who are only in town for a short while. It’s very clear that Naples is a very safe city (quite unlike its namesake).
If you are, by some unlucky circumstance, the victim of a crime in Naples, it will most likely be a petty form of theft. There are several different types of theft that can occur in Naples, but vehicle-related crimes such as the theft of car carburetors, vehicle thefts, and break-ins are some of the most common.
Naples is a fairly car-centric place, so cars are common targets for potential thieves. If you’re only in town for a short period and don’t have a car with you, you don’t have to worry about this problem. However, if you drove to Naples or are thinking about relocating and bringing your car with you, you should take basic precautions to keep yourself safe.
The safety of Naples often lulls people into complacency, so many people who experience vehicle break-ins are those who forget basic precautions, such as locking their car doors. Make sure that you lock your car doors, roll up the windows, and close any sunroofs when you walk away.
You’d be surprised at how effective that is at putting off theft. Another quick tip is to avoid leaving your valuables in plain sight in your car. Take your purse or wallet with you, even when getting out to pay for gas. After you go shopping, go straight back to your accommodations to drop off your bags.
If you can’t do that, put them in the trunk and make sure to cover up the bags from view. Since Naples is a popular luxury shopping destination, many thieves target people leaving malls or those who have designer bags in their cars.
Burglary is not very common in Naples, but it does happen. You should be aware of this crime if you are planning on seasonally relocating to Naples, the way many retirees are. Burglars sometimes target empty residences when they know homeowners are away for the season.
Again, basic precautions are more than enough to deter thieves. Simply locking your doors and shutting windows when you are not at home goes a long way toward deterring burglars. If you are away for the season, make sure that you don’t advertise the fact that the house is empty. Temporarily stop mail service or ask a neighbor to check in on the house every once in a while. Burglaries are rare enough that you probably don’t need a security system, but you may invest in one for peace of mind if you really want to.
Naples, being so safe, doesn’t really have any bad areas around town. Even at night, the city is very safe. The downtown area stays lively until well after dark, and visitors feel perfectly safe walking around. Sun Terrace and Bear’s Paw have slightly higher crime rates than the rest of the city, but they are hardly considered dangerous.
Things to Consider
Not that you will need them since the city is so safe, but here are a few additional safety tips for visiting Naples, Florida:
- Be careful of the local wildlife. Florida is famous for its wild animals, and creatures such as panthers and crocodiles occasionally wander into Naples itself! Avoid walking in remote nature areas or going off the trail in parks so you don’t disturb local wildlife. If you do see an animal, make sure that you stay a generous distance away.
- Don’t drink on the beach. Drinking alcohol on the beach is illegal in Collier County, and police regularly patrol the area to issue tickets. Patrols increase around popular holidays such as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. It’s better to grab a beer at a bar after the beach than to risk getting a ticket.
- Keep your ID with you. You need an ID at all times in Naples, according to local regulations, including at the beach.
- Some activities require a permit. Many water-based activities, such as boating or fishing, require you to get a permit or a license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions people have asked about Naples:
Is Naples safe for families?
Yes, Naples is considered a family-friendly destination with its safe environment and numerous recreational activities.
What is the best time to visit Naples?
The winter months, from November to April, are the most popular due to milder temperatures and lower humidity.
Are there alligators in Naples?
While alligators can be found in Florida, they are not commonly seen in highly populated areas like Naples.
Is Naples expensive to visit?
Naples caters to luxury travelers, so expenses can add up, but there are also budget-friendly options available.
So, Is Naples, Florida, Safe to Visit? Absolutely. Naples is probably one of the safest destinations in the United States! As long as you avoid both hurricanes and alligators, you should have a safe visit. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!