Alabama : Safety by City
- Gulf Shores
- Muscle Shoals
- Phenix City
Alabama is one of the biggest states in the southeastern part of the United States.
It’s immediately west of Georgia and is home to some of the most important cultural landmarks in the United States, centered around the American civil rights movement in the 1960s.
The state is also home to one of the greatest civil rights activists in US history, Martin Luther King Jr.
Alabama has a lot to offer tourists when it comes to natural beauty as well, which is why it is consistently ranked as one of the top 15 cities to visit in the United States by Business Insider.
A lot of this is driven by the fact that the state has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country on its southern border along the Gulf of Mexico.
Be sure to stop in Mobile, which has the second biggest Mardi Gras parade in the country after New Orleans, if you are looking for a place to party while you are in Alabama.
Warnings & Dangers in Alabama
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Overall the people in Alabama are very friendly and helpful to tourists. There is some violent and property crime, but nothing excessive compared to the rest of the United States. You can feel safe while you travel in and around Alabama without having to take extra precautions.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There is no real risk associated with using taxis, buses, or public transportation while you are in Alabama. Be sure to only use reputable companies if you have to get a taxi and never get in a taxi that is soliciting you for a ride. When you are traveling in Alabama and need a ride, it is a good idea to use a rideshare app to get around.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The chances of getting pickpocketed in Alabama are very low. It's not a common crime in the state for residents or people visiting. As long as you practice basic safety with your purse and wallet, there is an infinitesimal chance that you will have them stolen.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
The only real risk of experiencing natural disasters while you are in Alabama is hurricanes along the coast and tornadoes in the northern part of the state. The good news is that both of these things are extremely rare and only happen during certain seasons. There is almost no chance that you will experience a natural disaster while you are traveling in Alabama.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Unless you are in a dangerous neighborhood alone at night, you don't have a real chance of getting mugged. This is not a common crime at all for travelers in the state.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
There is basically zero risk of being in the middle of a terrorist attack in Alabama. There has never been an international terrorist incident in the state in history and there are no locations in the state that would even be considered a target for an international terrorist.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
If you have a basic knowledge of scams aimed at tourists, or tourist traps, you should be fine. The only real risk of being scammed while you are traveling in Alabama is online. Make sure you don't give your personal information or credit card number to any sites you don't trust when booking travel.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women are more at risk than men when traveling within Alabama. Even though this is true, the danger they are in is almost non-existent as long as they practice basic travel safety precautions.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Like the rest of the United States, you can drink tap water in Alabama without any legitimate risk to your health. The water in the state is filtered and treated so that it is safe to drink right out of the tap. There is no need to carry your filtered water.
Safest Places to Visit in Alabama
If you want to get the most out of what the coast of Alabama has to offer while staying as safe as possible, Orange Beach is a great place to visit.
The town is one of the most popular on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the United States.
On top of that, it is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the state of Alabama when it comes to crime rates and overall safety.
The city of Orange Beach is dedicated to keeping visitors as safe as possible.
If you want to spend time in the state’s biggest city, Birmingham, book your lodging in Helena.
This will give you great access to the city of Birmingham while staying in the town with the lowest crime rate in the state.
Birmingham has a lot to offer visitors when it comes to the arts, museums, and cultural history.
Alabama is a safe state in general, so there are a lot of safe areas you can choose from while visiting.
Places to Avoid in Alabama
It is a good idea to avoid Fairfield if you plan on visiting Birmingham during your trip.
Fairfield has had a recent economic downturn, leading to it having the highest crime rate of any Birmingham suburb.
It has the highest rates for violent and property crimes in the state.
Residents there have a 1 in 60 chance of being attacked in some way.
Anniston can seem like a popular destination because the rural town has access to a lot of hiking and other outdoor activities.
The city is located about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta.
Like other mid-sized towns, it has had problems with poverty and unemployment, which lead to increased crime.
If you are concerned with your safety, avoid staying in either of these places in Alabama during your vacation.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Alabama
- Learn how to swim. If you plan on visiting the Gulf Shores in Alabama, you should at least have some skill when it comes to swimming. You don’t want to get caught in the water in a dangerous situation without the ability to swim. This could lead to a disaster. Even if you stay in shallow waters, it’s a good idea to know the basics.
- Know local driving laws. Even if you are an experienced international driver, you should know the specific driving laws in Alabama. The laws are mostly the same from state to state, but each state does have its own set of laws with slight changes. It’s good to know about these to prevent getting a costly traffic ticket while you’re on vacation.
- Check the state department website. Each region of the country has its own set of challenges and advisories when it comes to your health. Be sure to check the state website regularly while you are on your trip to stay in the know about the current travel advisories being issued by the Alabama state department. This includes updates on COVID-19 protocols.
- Stay alert. If you are exploring or doing some sightseeing, make sure you are alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. You become a target if you have your face down looking at your phone or a map. Remember to seem confident and aware no matter what your situation is.
- Talk to locals. The people of Alabama are well-known to be friendly and helpful, just like the rest of the South. If you have a question or need a recommendation, don’t hesitate to ask a friendly local. They probably know about some secret spots you won’t find with a Google search.
- Don’t give up too much information. Don’t give up too much information when you talk to people on vacation. This includes not telling them where you are staying or what your plans are. If potential burglars know when you are going to be in your hotel, it makes you a target for a robbery.
- Stick together. Don’t wander off from your group alone when you are out and about on vacation. You could get lost or put yourself in danger of an attack of some kind. It is much easier to take advantage of someone alone. If you can, try to stick to the buddy system while you are on a day trip or an excursion.
- Tell people you are leaving. If there is an emergency back home and no one knows you went on vacation, they won’t know how to get ahold of you. Make sure you leave your contact information and your itinerary with at least one person before you head out for your trip. This has saved lives in the past.
- Keep your belongings on you. The most common way people get their stuff stolen on vacation is because they leave it sitting somewhere. Make sure you have your wallet or purse on you at all times. If you make something easy to steal, it will probably get stolen.
- Stay in a hotel with security. Try to stay in a hotel with some front desk security if you are traveling alone. Your hotel is where you are the most vulnerable. It’s also a good idea to avoid staying in a room that’s on the first floor, so your room isn’t accessible from the outside.
So... How Safe Is Alabama Really?
While some areas of Alabama have issues with crime and poverty, the state is relatively safe, especially for tourists.
This is because most of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the state are places that a traveler wouldn’t be interested in anyway.
You shouldn’t have any safety issues during your trip as long as you practice basic safety techniques and have some basic awareness about what you are doing.
Always check the ratings of your hotel before booking.
Google will usually have a rating that tells you about the safety of each one you are considering.
Some hotels near the airport or in bigger city centers could be in dangerous areas.
Overall, you can feel completely safe while traveling around the state.
If you do have any issues, Alabama has high-quality professional emergency response teams at the ready to help you.
Just make sure you have emergency numbers saved in your phone or on your person so you don’t have to look them up.
How Does Alabama Compare?
International travelers are not asked to carry a visa with them while they visit Alabama. The only time you need a visa in the United States is if you plan to stay for an extended period or if you are planning on working or conducting business. As long as you have a passport, you can freely travel anywhere in the United States.
The US dollar is the primary currency in the United States. This includes the state of Alabama. If you want to carry cash while you are traveling, there are a variety of locations where you can exchange your home currency. The best place to do so is at the airport because that's where the exchange rates are the most favorable.
Alabama is in the south. It has extremely hot and humid summers and mild winters. I would avoid visiting the state during the hottest parts of the summer because it can be quite uncomfortable.
If you are flying internationally to Birmingham, you are likely to fly to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. It's the only airport with international service in the state. You are likely to connect in Atlanta before you land in Birmingham.
You never know what is going to happen during your vacation and you don't want to lose money if your hotel, rental car, or airline tickets get canceled. This is why it's a good idea to protect yourself and your trip by purchasing travel insurance.
Alabama Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Alabama - Safety by City