Tampa can be a wonderful place to unwind in its stunning beaches and nature, but Florida in general is also known to have its own set of dangers that every tourist should be aware of. You have probably come across the ludicrous news headlines that eventually circle the internet for being so bizarre, but the common dangers that you need to take precautions against will rarely go to such extreme lengths.
If you’re planning on visiting Tampa, here’s how to stay safe.
Limit Your Trips to Safe Regions
New neighborhoods in Tampa are generally considered safe to visit and stay in. Some of these areas include Citrus Park, which is located in the northwest of Tampa, boasting many tourist destinations that you may want to visit. Close to Citrus Park is also Westchase, which offers more conventional shopping communities. You’ll also find upscale shops and restaurants in the area, as well as friendly social circles to mingle with.
And while Channelside may have once had a high crime rate, recent developments have revamped the area, and have made it more tourist-friendly for visitors. The area has many modern property options to choose from, ranging from building complexes, where you can rent apartments on a short-term basis, to motels. This is where you’ll also find Florida Aquarium, which is another must-visit destination.
Call a Professional
Safe areas will not guarantee that you do not face a dangerous situation, where you could find yourself being robbed or assaulted. If you face a robbery, your first priority is to find a safe place to be before you can call for help. Professional attorneys from Brooks Law Group advise tourists to take photos of robbers discreetly if they can, and to call a lawyer as soon as possible when they’re in a safe space to do so. Even if you don’t have any evidence of who might have robbed you, lawyers can still help you get compensated for any money you lost, and can help you retrieve any needed documents such as national IDs or passports.
Know What Areas to Avoid
Even though you might be aware of what safe areas to visit, you may still find yourself lost, or you may need to be dropped off somewhere on your way to your chosen destination. Whatever you do, always avoid central Tampa, where areas such as College Jill are located. The crime rate there has recently been estimated to be twice as high as the national average, which makes tourists quite vulnerable there, especially if unaccompanied by a guide.
Another area you need to avoid is Tampa Heights, which is located on Tampa St. This region has been recorded to be one of the most dangerous areas in the nation, due its high violent crime rates. You’ll also need to steer clear from Walletpop, which has high rates of murder, robbery, rape and assault. If you decide to take a cab, or if you’re being driven to a location by a friend, make sure to ask them to take routes that avoid these areas.
Never Swim in Freshwater
Dangers in Florida are not just limited to the crime rate. You may find yourself running into equally daunting areas that you walk into yourself, and the criminals are not always people. Sometimes, they’re alligators. When you visit Tampa, you’ll likely run into stunning connected bodies of water, which may tempt you to go for a swim. However, you should know that Florida alone is home to more than one million alligators, and they’re usually found wandering about near streams. In some cases, some alligators are found in golf course ponds and swimming pools, and that’s just how abundant they are in the state.
Of course, alligator attacks are quite rare, and are unlikely to happen without provoking the animal to do so. If you go near a stream, keep your distance from fresh water, and always go with a companion that can provide help if needed. Otherwise, there are many popular beaches you can visit in Tampa if you fancy a swim, including Bent T Davis Beach, Cypress Point Park, and Davis Islands Beach. If you’re unsure where to go, consult a local, or your tourism agency.
Thanks to Tampa’s geographical location, it has become a popular tourist destination to visit. However, like any other metropolitan area, it’s also known to have a high rate of criminal activity that you need to be aware of. Before you go on your trip, you need to learn which neighborhoods to steer clear from, as well as what to do if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, especially as a tourist.