Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach were the two areas where I took my first extended trip while working remotely.
And, since becoming location independent, I’ve spent well over a year living in and around Daytona Beach.
As a twenty-something-year-old dude, I also spent a lot of time out on the town at night, met all sorts of interesting people, and have spent a decent amount of time exploring everything Daytona Beach has to offer.
So, is Daytona Beach safe? And, what should you expect if you vacation or move here?
Let’s dive in!
Is Daytona Beach Safe – What The Crime Stats Say
Historically, Daytona Beach was one of the main party towns in the United States.
Whenever Spring Break or Bike Week would roll around, the city would fill with thousands upon thousands of tourists for days of partying and festivities.
These days, a lot of locals describe Daytona Beach as being more rundown and a bit of a husk of its former self.
You still have the Spring Break crew, two awesome bike weeks a year, and the famous Daytona 500.
But, there’s no denying that Daytona Beach has changed a lot over the years, and with that change comes some changes to safety and what living there is like.
So, first things first: what does FBI crime data say about how safe Daytona Beach is?
Well, according to the FBI, Daytona Beach has some of the highest violent crime, property crime, and larceny theft crime rates in all of Florida.
Based on FBI data, Daytona Beach is roughly 3 times more dangerous than your average Floridian city when it comes to violent crime.
It’s also about twice as bad in terms of property crime and theft as your average city in Florida.
However, after living in and around Daytona for more than one year, I never encountered crime of any sort.
And, I also want to stress that crime in Daytona Beach is very centralized to some of the rougher parts of town, particularly when you move farther away from being oceanside.
In my opinion, Daytona Beach is a generally safe city with some bad neighborhoods you should know about.
Best & Worst Neighborhoods In Daytona Beach
Since crime in Daytona Beach is very regionalized, it’s important to know what areas of Daytona Beach are dangerous and which ones are safe so you can stay in the right neighborhoods.
What Are The Safest Areas In Daytona Beach?
The safest areas and neighborhoods in Daytona Beach are mostly oceanside along the beach and Atlantic Boulevard. South Daytona also has safe neighborhoods and a lower crime rate.
This makes sense since oceanside is where many popular hotels and tourist attractions are, so there’s a more prominent police force and you’re usually in a crowd with people.
The area along Atlantic Boulevard still has panhandlers and some drunks, but many of them are friendly and none have ever come across as dangerous in my experience.
The area right outside Ormond Beach is also safe in Daytona, and generally, if you’re oceanside or in South Daytona, you’re safe.
What Are The Dangerous Areas In Daytona Beach?
The most dangerous areas in Daytona Beach are mostly riverside, so moving away from the ocean. Once you cross from Atlantic Avenue over to the riverside neighborhoods, that’s where more of the crime occurs.
This includes the area around:
- Emrby-Riddle Aeronautics University
- Williamson Boulevard
- Orange Avenue & Marion Street
- White Street & Daytona State College
- Ridgewood Avenue & Mason Avenue
When you travel around these parts, you sometimes find neighborhoods, shops, or streets that look pretty run-down or almost deserted.
These areas are where more theft and violent crime occur according to FBI data, but again, I’ve driven or walked around many of these areas and never felt unsafe.
However, if you’re vacationing or living in Daytona Beach, I would stick to South Daytona or stay oceanside if possible.
Beach Safety In Daytona Beach
Another factor to consider when deciding if Daytona Beach is safe or not is the beach safety.
The main thing to know about Daytona Beach is that there are powerful rip currents. There are signs that warn beachgoers of this, but it can still catch you off guard when you’re out swimming.
Now, Daytona Beach has fantastic lifeguards, and there are numerous lifeguard towers or stands along the beach.
I’ve seen the Daytona Beach lifeguards spring into action to rescue people who got pulled out by riptides, and let me tell you, it’s like something straight out of Bay Watch!
Other than rip currents, Daytona Beach is very safe, and it’s still safe with the currents in my opinion.
One other thing to note is that there’s a lot of wildlife in that ocean; dolphins, sharks, jellyfish to name just a few.
Daytona and New Smyrna Beach, which is nearby, actually have some of the highest incidents of shark bites in the world.
However, around Daytona Beach, sharks are usually small, and the vast majority of bites aren’t life-threatening or even bad from what I hear.
The bottom line: Daytona Beach is very safe in my opinion, just watch the rip currents!
Nightlife Safety In Daytona Beach
So, is Daytona Beach safe at night? And, what’s the nightlife scene like?
Well, I lived in Ormond and Daytona during my early twenties, some of this time with one of my best friends, so we definitely spent our fair share of time at bars, clubs, and even biker joints.
Much of this activity occurs around Seabreeze Avenue, which is where you’ll find iconic Daytona Beach bars and clubs like Razzles and like Coyote Ugly.
There’s also a club called 509 in this area, several pubs and biker bars, and a few strip clubs.
In my opinion, places like Coyote Ugly and 509 are a hoot, and they even dance on the bar at Coyote Ugly and wave the American Flag, it’s awesome!
However, like any downtown area that’s full of alcohol, you need to keep your wits about you.
I’ve seen fights outside these clubs, and if you’re leaving very late, I recommend Ubering home or having a DD rather than walking.
But, all in all, I partied a ton in Daytona and never felt unsafe. Just be smart and use common sense!
Safety Tips For Daytona Beach
If you’re wondering how to stay safe in Daytona Beach, here are my tips for you!
- Stay Oceanside: If you’re vacationing, keep life simple by booking accommodations near the ocean if possible. Otherwise, stick around South Daytona or Daytona Beach Shores.
- Party Responsibly: Daytona Beach is still a great party town, but the easiest way to get into dangerous situations is to drink too much and to look for trouble.
- Watch The Currents: Rip currents are strong, seriously! And, when waves are strong, they can actually buckle your knees if they hit you the wrong way, so pay attention while you’re out swimming.
- Lock Up Valuables: Again, this is true for any major city, but lock up your valuables and don’t leave valuable stuff in your car when you park. Theft is more prominent in some Daytona Beach areas, so take precautions to deter thieves.
Is Daytona Beach A Good Place To Live?
In my opinion, Daytona Beach is a great place to live if you want to live in a relaxed beach town that has a lower cost of living, awesome weather, and a very slow-paced vibe.
Daytona Beach isn’t as popular as it was in its glory day, and some parts of the town are in rough shape.
Additionally, the friends I made while living there all said the same thing: there isn’t a ton of opportunity for younger people in Daytona Beach.
In reality, many younger people move elsewhere, like Orlando or New Smyrna, and just come back to Daytona Beach to party.
I’ve lived there for months at a time and always enjoy my time there, but again, you have to enjoy the chill beach town vibe and not get annoyed if life moves a bit slower there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Safe To Walk In Daytona Beach At Night?
It’s not generally safe to walk in any city at night, and Daytona Beach isn’t an exception. That said, if you walk along Atlantic Boulevard or very populated areas, it’s probably safe. I’ve even walked from Daytona Beach to Ormond Beach along the beach at night and it was fine.
Just use common sense and avoid walking anywhere riverside when it’s super late.
Is It Safe To Vacation In Daytona Beach?
It is safe to vacation in Daytona Beach, and the town attracts thousands of visitors every year for the beach, bike week, and the Daytona 500.
There are plenty of hotels along the beach that are convenient, safe places to stay. As long as you behave and use common sense, it’s a very safe place to vacation.
Does Daytona Beach Have A Boardwalk?
Daytona Beach has a boardwalk and pier that’s a very popular tourist attraction. Along the boardwalk, you can find restaurants, an arcade, food vendors, and even some small amusement-park attractions like a slingshot ride.
The Daytona Beach boardwalk isn’t very long, but it leads out to a beautiful pier with two restaurants and a nice view of the Atlantic Ocean.
One of these restaurants is Joe’s Crab Shack, and I like grabbing a drink in the upstairs sections since you have a great view of the water and people fishing off the pier.
Are Sharks Bad In Daytona Beach?
The area between Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach is one of the worst for shark bites in the country. But many of the shark bites in this area are from small, confused sharks and are not life-threatening at all.
Personally, I swim in the ocean and have always felt safe, although I don’t go super deep because of rip currents (and I kinda suck at swimming.)
What Part Of Daytona Beach Is Safe?
The safest part of Daytona Beach is along Atlantic Boulevard by the ocean and the neighborhoods in South Daytona.
I hope this article helps solve the question of if Daytona Beach is a safe city or not.
Like any city, Daytona Beach has safe areas and some pretty sketchy ones. Just use common sense and stick to the popular areas and you won’t have any problems.
Have fun with your Daytona Beach adventures!
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