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Safety on Ocean Drive

Bristol, United...
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Safety on Ocean Drive
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Hi, we are hopefully travelling to Miami in August from the UK with our 15 year old daughter. We are staying in apartments on Ocean Drive. My daughter is studying Photography and science so was really excited about all the photo opportunities and visiting the Science Museum. In the last week my husband has read an article in the Miami Herald about it not being safe on Ocean Drive, especially at night and now he is having second thoughts. He is also worried about her walking around with her camera round her neck when we go to places like Wynwood as she will stand out as a tourist. We don't intend to be out late at night, just go for a nice meal, a couple of drinks and then home. We have also read that you should not go on the beach at night, is this true? Any thoughts or previous experiences would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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8 posts
1. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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I am here right now with a 7 year old and 10 year old. We were out on the street directly parallel to the beach until about 9:30 cause my kids wanted ice cream. There is a large cop presence. We saw quite a few people in handcuffs. Lots of weed smoking on the sidewalks. Did i see any violence? No but there are a ton of people out late at night with no regard for anybody else by way of loud music with profanity and cussing in general from many, yelling, dancing inappropriatelyand being extremely loud and classless if that isnt your thing. As a young woman with 2 young kids, i felt safe where there were tons of people but would you catch me walking down a side street less populated? No way.

Miami Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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I would not be unduly concerned about personal safety. Those news stories are mainly about rowdy crowds during Spring Break, which is winding down. There are a handful of times during the year when it’s like that, but not in August.

Sure, you want to have some sense of awareness, avoid lonely spots late at night, watch your valuables on the beach etc. but the main personal danger you’re likely to face is traffic crossing the street.

Re. Wynwood, it’s not as safe as south beach at night, but during the day it’s very safe. I would not worry about looking like a tourist. Avoid going there after dark unless you have a specific reason (unlikely).

Re. the beach at night, the sandy part, yes it is closed after 10 pm. This is mainly to discourage people sleeping on the beach overnight (think homeless), but the result is the beach is quite empty, so it falls in the category of lonely spots to avoid at night. That said, it is not dangerous to visit as a family group, just to check out by moonlight, for example. You will find several other small groups doing the same. Once in a long while the park ranger may drive by and ask you to leave. I would not want your daughter doing that on her own at night.

Which part of Ocean Drive are you staying at?

The police presence the previous poster mentioned is just this weekend and next, due to spring break crowds, they are just about gone now.

Bristol, United...
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3. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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Thank you so much for your replies. We are staying between 14th and 15th Ocean Drive, very near the Front Porch Cafe and Starbucks. Our daughter will not be going anywhere on her own and we will only be going to Wynwood during the day so that’s all good. We will have a car and we’re thinking of popping over to the the Bayside Marketplace for a meal and look round the shops in the evening and just meals locally and home early the rest of the time.

United States
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4. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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Oh my Jamey B. You wrote, "There is a large cop presence. We saw quite a few people in handcuffs. Lots of weed smoking on the sidewalks. Did i see any violence? No but there are a ton of people out late at night with no regard for anybody else by way of loud music with profanity and cussing in general from many, yelling, dancing inappropriatelyand being extremely loud and classless if that isnt your thing. As a young woman with 2 young kids, i felt safe where there were tons of people but would you catch me walking down a side street less populated? No way."

I really feel badly that you decided on South Beach and experienced the foregoing with two young kids. North Beach would have been a better choice, in my opinion. In fact, take the L or S bus (all public transportation is free) to 65th and Collins and walk into oceanfront Allison Park. Kids love the playground there (especially the zip line), the beach, the Dominoes $7.99 for a three topping large pizza at 65th and Collins, etc.

No weed, no inappropriateness, no cussing, no loud music, etc. Just a beautiful beach area with many kids (from all over the world) and their parents.

8 posts
5. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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Thanks for the tip. We will head north tomorrow. With how much it costs to vacation here and even eat and park, i just expected a different class of people. This isn't how i remember it 20ish years ago when i last visited.

Miami Beach, Florida
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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The 1400 block is fine for your purpose. About 3 blocks north of the noisier section of Ocean Drive, and across street and park from the beach. Lincoln Rd mall is a 10 min walk.

There are always enough pedestrians on Ocean Drive and Collins Ave in the area so no worry about personal safety at any time.

Baltimore, Maryland
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7. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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Im sorry to say this, but dont go. It is very dangerous now. I have 3 black belts and studies martial arts over 40 years and felt unsafe. All of OD is a war zone now and smells like urine and pot smoke. I was there last year and it was nothing like this. In fact I have never seen anything like this and I was in Paris when the yellow jackets were trashing it. Nothing there is nice anymore. I live near Baltimore one of the most dangerous cities in the US and I feel safer there.

Edited: April 28, 2021, 12:14 am
New York City, New...
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8. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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Thanks for updating. Is it so bad only in the evening time or during the day time also? I was planning go in the middle of the May and now very worried about safety situation. Whoever is now in the South beach, please reply with more details. I just do not want to open one more question topic with the same issue. Thanks in advance!

Miami Beach, Florida
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9. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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No, it is not nearly as bad as that post implies. I walk or bike by Ocean Drive almost every day. Yes, there are certain blocks of Ocean Drive and Collins Ave that have become a hangout for a rowdy/rough element. These are primarily between 7 and 12 Streets. I think it’s an after effect of the pandemic, with normal tourism not quite back yet (no cruises, few flights from abroad etc.).

Even then there is no reason to feel unsafe. If you are concerned or sensitive, avoid those blocks after dark. The beach is big and very pleasant.

Where are you staying?

Baltimore, Maryland
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10. Re: Safety on Ocean Drive
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I was just there 4 days ago. Dont Go! Even the beaches although clean are inundated with pot smoke. I live near Baltimore and work in DC so not stranger to unique characters or pot smoke. This is different. You cannot go ANYWHERE without inhaling pot smoke. The daytime is fine, but part of the fun of Miami was the night time or nightlife. More than once I pushed my wife behind me and had to tell someone to back off.

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