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10 Amazing Safest Small Towns in Florida

The Safest Small Towns in Florida to Retire or Live

Here are 10 of the safest small towns in Florida according to our experiences and crime rate statistics.

We have a slightly different metric for our safest small towns in Florida. We use crime statistics only. We make no subjective analysis of politics and advertiser influences. These towns have very little crime. Most are places we would live or we wouldn’t be highlighting them.

With 67 counties, 21 million people and the third largest state in the continental United States, Florida is a very safe state.

safest small towns in Florida Niceville
With a name like Niceville, it seems crime would be low. This is one of the many parks around Niceville.

Niceville

– Niceville, Florida most recent crime stats show you have only a .56 in 1000 being a victim of violent crime.

How could you not include a small town in Florida with the name “Niceville”? Perhaps the population of 13,000 believes in the name and acts accordingly. The small town has had one of the lowest crime rates in the state of Florida for many years. This is a very safe place to live. in Florida.

Niceville is all the way in the western panhandle in Okaloosa County. The town sits on Choctawhatchee Bay just across the Bay from Destin, Florida.

Nearby is the Fort Walton Beach/Destin Airport, the Northwest Florida State College, and just across the Bayou Bridge the Fred Gannon State Park.

Safest small towns in Florida satellite Beach
With the Space Force nearby, you can imagine the views Satellite Beach residents occasionally get from here and Cape Canaveral.

Satellite Beach

– Satellite Beach, Florida crime rate shows less than .53 in 1000 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. One of the safest cities in Florida.

Satellite Beach is an island community of nearly 13,000 just south of Cape Canaveral. This small town in Florida is one of the youngest safe cities in Florida since its incorporation in 1957.

Satellite Beach is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Indian River. The waterfront diversity gives the town many aquatic options that other oceanfront communities don’t have.

Patrick Space Force Base borders the northern part of town. Needless to say, this Florida small town gets to observe many space flights from Cape Canaveral just 15 miles north.

safest small towns in Florida Nocatee
One of the amenities for homeowners around Nocatee is this water park. One of many things in Nocatee for an easy lifestyle.

Nocatee

-Nocatee, Florida Crime Rate is .18 per 1000 chance of violent crime. The lowest of the 10 safest small towns in Florida amkes this one of the safest cities in Florida to live.

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Nocatee, Florida is a planned community situated about halfway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville about 15 miles inland from the coast. The crime rate here is low enough the FBI doesn’t even carry the statistics!

This is the only area in our safest small towns in Florida that we thought we had never been in. However, upon reflection and looking at the maps, we discovered we had taken the Nocatee Parkway from south Jacksonville to I-95 several years ago.

This town of about 14,000 serves as a bedroom community for both Jacksonville and St. Augustine. At one time it was the fastest growing community in America as the development filled.

This safest small town in Florida has the lowest crime rate of all our 10-plus safest cities in Florida. If golf, community spirit and safety is what you are looking for, don’t miss this safe city in Florida.

safest small towns in florida Marco Isalnd
A sunset at Marco Island from the Marriott Resort. Obviously, people come out for the nightly event.

Marco Island

-Marco Island’s crime rate is 1 per 1000 residents. For very popular tourist destination, this is a safe place to live in Florida.

Marco Island is admittedly one of our favorite destinations. The island is loaded with exclusive condominiums, nice homes, beautiful beachfront resorts and superb restaurants.

We never thought to look at the crime rate until the research was done here.

You have less than a 1 in 1000 chance of being a victim of violent crime. That compares to a place like Miami where it is almost 6 in 1000. We just know that on every visit to Marco Island, there was never any thought of crime in this magnificent setting.

Marco Island is a great place to relax, go fishing, sailing, kayaking or visit the above-average fine restaurants in both the hotels and the independent operators.

The only negative thing about Marco is it is expensive! Don’t leave your wallet at home! Over the years prices have skyrocketed. 10 years ago we were paying $300-400 per night at the Marriott Resort. Earlier this year room rates were over $1500 per night!

Oviedo Center Lake Park
Center Lake Park is the heart of Oviedo with an amphitheater, splash pad, and vendors. Exceptional community values.

Oviedo

-Oviedo, Florida’s crime rate is 1.39 per 1000 residents. That is much less than the 3.92 rate average for the state of Florida.

Oviedo is the largest of our safest small towns in Florida with almost 40,000 people. We were hesitant to include this community until a visit and research showed Oviedo has all the assets of much smaller towns.

Not only does everyone seem to know everyone else, but they also seem to get together quite often. Community events include the traditional pancake breakfasts, food truck Thursdays, and many fundraisers for local causes.

Driving through Oviedo you get the feel of a small town with churches, baseball fields, parks and retail shops scattered in a several-block area. This community is a upper-middle-class community about 20 miles northeast of Orlando.

Families seem to flock to Oviedo as the population grew by 26.7% from 2010 to 2020.

Aeriel view North palm Beach
Aerial view of North Palm Beach (left) and the John D Mac Arthur Park across the bay on the right.

North Palm Beach

– North Palm Beach, Florida crime rate shows that you have a .92 chance in 1000 residents of suffering a violent crime.

North Palm Beach, about 90 miles north of Miami is well known for its many famous residents and some exclusive surroundings. It is located along the Intracoastal waterway.

Famous residents have included Jack Nicklaus, one of the all-time greatest golfers, Larry Ellison, one of the richest men in America and founder of Oracle along with Elin Nordegren the ex-wife of Tiger Woods, and actors George Hamilton and Ellen Barkin.

It is no surprise that one of Florida’s best and most notable golf courses, Seminole Golf Club is just north of the city.

The nearly 14,000 residents get to enjoy the Intracoastal waterway and the John D. MacArthur State Park on the east side of the waterway along the Atlantic Ocean.

We would call this area upscale middle-class living.

safest small towns in Florida naples
A Naples sunrise on the Gordon River in downtown Naples.

Naples

-Naples, Florida crime rate is 1.19 violent crimes per 1000 people as compared to almost 4 per 1000 average in the state of Florida.

Naples is the gateway to the Florida Everglades and enjoys white sandy beaches along Florida’s southwest Gulf coast. Naples was, at one time, the winter home of wealthy northern businesspeople. Today the city has grown to almost 20,000 residents.

Naples has a reputation for its exclusive shopping along 5th Avenue, its system of waterways in the city, water sports of every kind, and numerous championship golf courses featuring many televised tournaments.

We enjoy the restaurants along the Gordon River in downtown Naples. Riverwalk, Pincher’s, Kelly’s Fish House and Southern Kitchen and Raw Bar. All of these are near Tin City, a collection of quirky shops.

Santa Rosa Beach surf fishing
One of the popular pastimes around Santa Rosa beaches is surf fishing. Night fishing for sharks has become a nightly sport for catch and release.

Santa Rosa Beach

-Santa Rosa Beach, Florida has a crime rate of .85 violent crimes per 1000 people.

This unincorporated community of about 12,000 spans a section of well-known beaches along the Emerald Coast of Florida about 18 miles east of Destin, Florida. The nearby beaches include Grayton Beach, Rosemary Beach and Miramar Beach – all destination beaches praised by locals and tourists.

If you are a nature lover you will find Grayton Beach State Park, Topsail Hill State Park, and Point Washington State Forest that literally surrounds Santa Rosa Beach.

This is north Florida and nothing should surprise you, but we have to note the names of some interesting places around Santa Rosa Beach. Names like Stink’s Fish Camp, Goatfeathers Seafood, Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar and Perfect Pig Grill and Fish House. Quite a collection of names – even for north Florida!

The whole 30A Scenic Highway area is an option for the safest towns in Florida to live in.

Venice beach shark tooth capital
One of three beaches around Venice where people find shark teeth. This is next to the Venice Fish Pier.

Venice

-Venice, Florida crime rate is a staggering low of .65 percent chance of a violent crime per 1000 residents.

Venice is a waterfront community on Florida’s southwest Gulf coast with about 26,000 people. Named after the Italian city of the same name, Venice has a series of fingers with water access similar to the canals in Italy.

Venice, Florida also considers itself the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”. It is true, for unknown reasons, shark teeth seem to wash up along Venice beaches more frequently than others.

The history of Venice dates back to the 1870s when the Roberts family established a homestead along what is now known as Roberts Bay.

We also consider Venice one of the best small towns for shopping. The recently renovated downtown district has shops and restaurants on both sides of a park-like median on the main street.

Venice has a rich economic vibe from watersports in both the Intracoastal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t miss the Venice Fishing Pier and Sharky’s at the base of the walkway.

If you want a safe Gulf Coast town in Florida, Venice must be high on your list of the safest cities in Florida to live.

safest small towns in Florida the villages
Sunset at the Villages at the huge boardwalk fronts Lake Sumter Landing one of the four hubs of activity. The Waterfront Inn hotel is in the distance.

The Villages

The Villages, Florida crime rate is .89% chance of a violent crime per 1000 residents. One of the lowest in Florida.

The Villages one of the 10 safest places in Florida
Carts are the preferred mode of travel in the Villages. This is a group of shops in Lake Sumter Landing one of the 4 hubs.

This 55-and-over community is going to be hard to explain. The Villages have 130,000 people – but that is spread over 3 counties and 4 (soon to be 5) hubs of activities. The Villages is a Census Designated Place as opposed to an actual city.

The Villages are known for two things. One is phenomenal growth. From 2010 to 2020 The Villages was the fastest-growing community in the country. We figure that status will continue with over 4000 new homes sold in 2021.

The second thing The Villages are known for is hospitality. Most people are retirees living there to have fun after working their entire life. Nightly entertainment at four different locations starts at 5 PM. Good bands, a lively crowd and golf carts everywhere is the scene seven nights a week. Each of the four locations seems to be a small town in itself.

If you haven’t experienced The Villages, it is hard to explain. We recently took a couple of friends for a weekend at the Waterfront Inn. The husband said he had never seen anything like The Villages in his life and it was “Disneyland for Adults”. His wife was ready to look for a home there before leaving!

Don’t believe anything you hear or read about The Villages – just spend a couple days there.

As far as crime goes, in the last 15 years of visiting there, we may have seen a half dozen police officers and absolutely no crime of any kind!

If we ever chose a place to move from our location near Clearwater Beach, The Villages would be our first choice for a safe and entertainment centric safe town in Florida.

Notes about our Safest Small Towns in Florida List

  • Sanibel, Florida would most definitely have been on our list. With one of the lowest crime rates in the whole state of Florida at .31 per 1000 residents, this island community matches beauty with almost no crime. Hurricane Ian in September of 2022 destroyed much of the island. It will be several years before new construction can recover what once was.
  • All of the crime data came from https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/
  • There are many other safe places in Florida, but we considered proximity to high crime rates a negative factor for some communities.

Based on our perspective, as a resident of Florida, if we were to choose our favorite safest small town in Florida, we would choose two – one on the water and one not. Our choices would be –

The Villages for affordability and a number of things to do near the Villages.

Our second choice would be Marco Island for year-round great boating weather and waterfront activities – certainly not for affordability!

The are our safest small towns in Florida to live in 2024.

 
For more information about Florida crime, population and facts visit 1000 Facts About Florida.
 
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