Texas : Safety by City
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Amarillo is a city of 200,000 in the north Texas panhandle.
It was a key stop along historic Route 66 and remains a gateway to the old west.
Route 66 fans still flock to the area to enjoy the nostalgia and there are still many reminders.
It is often called the heart of Route 66.
Amarillo is cattle country and home to the Big Texan 72 ounce steak, which is free if you can eat it all.
Amarillo is at the edge of the prairie and the beginning of the western desert.
The city is less than half an hour from Palo Duro State Park, which is one of the biggest canyons in the country and home to many adventurous trails.
It is also home to the Cadillac Ranch, a series of half-buried cars that are covered with graffiti.
Amarillo is the headquarters of the wide-open spaces of the west where exploration begins and never ends.
Warnings & Dangers in Amarillo
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
Amarillo has a very high crime rate, but the tourist areas are pretty safe during the day at least. Texas is generally higher than the national crime rate, and Amarillo is higher than the Texas rate. There are a lot of natural areas around the town that are safe.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
We give this a medium designation because of the lack of transportation more than the actual danger of being a crime victim. There are taxis from the airport, and there is a bus system that does not have a lot of routes. Outside of town, there is very little public transportation.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
While theft is a common crime, pickpockets are not common. It is a crime that is fading as credit cards get harder to hack. There are not that many crowded places, which is where they tend to operate.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There can be tornadoes at times, but there have not been any in a long time. Drought is an issue in the area. Natural disasters are rare in this area.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
Violent crime is an issue, and there are parts of town where your risk would be high of getting mugged. In the tourist areas, and better parts of town, there would be very little risk. Where you are at any given time has a lot to do with how dangerous it is.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Terrorists like large crowds and dense populations, and there is none of that in Amarillo. Domestic violence from local extremist groups is a concern, but so far they have not created any problems.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams in this area are generally over the phone, or online, targeting senior citizens with schemes to steal their financial information. There are very few scam artists going on out in the streets or tourist areas.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women travelers are common, and even women traveling alone is fairly common. The rate of rapes is not above the national average as other violent crimes are. There is no indication it is any more dangerous for women than men.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Water from the city meets all state and national standards. Drought in the area has raised concerns at times about having enough water, but thus far there seems to be plenty for everyone.
Safest Places to Visit in Amarillo
The famed Route 66 remains a popular tourist destination, and it is very safe.
Many parts of the old road still exist and can be explored.
Route 66 is almost its own culture.
Palo Duro State Park is nearby and has lots of trails.
It is safe, but the heat of summer can make it dangerous, as snakes can too.
The northern part of the city goes for miles and is called Bishop Hills.
There are not a lot of people and there is not much crime or danger.
The south part of town is also a big wide open area with little danger.
Tourist attraction areas are very safe, as well as central shopping areas.
The southwest areas are also areas with little crime.
The good areas of Amarillo are very good.
There seems to be a good bit of contrast in the good and bad areas.
Places to Avoid in Amarillo
The very west part of town, along the Interstate 40 corridor, are the most dangerous areas of town from a crime perspective.
Route 66 goes near 40 all through town and it is safe, but it gets more dangerous near the Interstate.
The middle of town, north, and south, is a big stretch of area that has a high crime rate.
Broadway, from first to 10th Ave are also very violent areas that should be avoided.
Broadway goes north to south and has bad areas on the entire route.
The San Jacinto area has a lot of poverty and also has a high crime rate.
The bad areas of town should be avoided as that is not where the points of interest are in the city.
The area around the airport has a high crime rate as well, but it is hard to know if that is because few people live there, and a few crimes would raise the rate a lot.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Amarillo
- Drink plenty of water. The summers are very hot and dry. You can easily get dehydrated if you are outdoors a lot. If you go hiking, take at least a gallon of water. The heat could be the greatest danger in Amarillo, especially if you are not accustomed to the heat.
- Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. Both will dry you out and increase your risk of dehydration or heat stroke. It is important to stay hydrated and it is just as important to drink the right things to stay safe in the summer heat.
- Check out your car. Even if it is a rental car, it is good to check the tires, belts and hoses, wiper blades, and other things before you head out. This is particularly true if you are going to be exploring the countryside. Getting stranded in 100-degree heat could be dangerous.
- Don’t leave pets or children in cars. The heat is dangerous here, and it can be fatal inside a vehicle with the windows closed. Temperatures can get over 100 very fast. A dog or child could die in just a few minutes when left in a vehicle.
- Lock your car. Don’t leave it unattended even for a minute. The rate of car theft is high here, and some people will check to see if doors are locked. They will steal what they can if it is not locked. They will normally pass up a locked car.
- Park carefully. Park in well-lit lots where there are a lot of cars. In summer, look for shade, but avoid remote areas where a thief could break in and steal. Avoid having to go out to a remote area to get your car at night.
- Don’t go alone. Avoid going out at night alone in areas you are not familiar with. Many areas are safe but can get questionable at night. Criminals look for easy targets, and a person out alone is an easy target in most cases.
- Trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, you should get out of there immediately. Often, our instincts will tell us when there is danger near, and that voice should always be listened to. It is better to be wrong and safe than to be right and hurt.
- Protect your money. Don’t have your cash out in public, and try to keep anyone from seeing where you keep your cash. Wear a money belt. Keep your wallet somewhere other than your back pocket, and keep control of your purse.
- Know the area. Study crime maps before you go and get to know where the good and bad areas are. There are a lot of contrasts in Amarillo. The good areas are very good and the bad areas are very bad. Avoiding bad areas will keep you out of danger in most cases.
So... How Safe Is Amarillo Really?
Amarillo is a city of contrast, and a lot depends on where you are.
In some ways, it is a very safe city, but it does have a high crime rate.
Both are true at the same time.
The area along Route 66 is very safe, just like it was in the early days of road travel.
The inner city, as well as the southwest side, are high-crime areas that are dangerous any time of day.
Those areas should be avoided as there are no points of interest there.
There are some places where Route 66 is beside I-40, and those areas are questionable at times, but in general, the old route area is very safe.
The crime rate shot up in the United States in 2020, after having declined for 20 or so years.
Amarillo followed that trend.
In 2020, Amarillo was the 27th most dangerous city in the United States as far as violent crime.
Amarillo had 673 violent crimes per 100,000.
The national average is around 400.
The good news was that robbery and rapes declined, but murder and aggravated assault went up sharply to account for the 13 percent overall increase in 2020.
Property crime was worse.
There were 3,600 property crimes per 100,000 people last year in Amarillo.
The state average is 2,225 in Texas and 1,958 throughout the United States.
Vehicle theft was twice the national average, and petty theft was almost twice the national average.
On paper, it is not a safe city, with only five percent of U.S. cities considered more dangerous.
Even so, the tourist areas are safe for the most part, and there are many natural areas around the city to explore that are very safe.
Keep in mind that it gets very hot in Amarillo, and the summer sun can be a real danger if you do not stay hydrated.
The heat of summer could be as big of a danger as potential crime could be.
Forty-eight percent of Amarillo residents said they did not feel safe walking at night, but 29 percent said they did feel safe out alone at any time.
How Does Amarillo Compare?
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A visa is needed to enter the country, and you will need to get one in your own country. Once in the U.S., you will not need it, and you won't need it to come to Amarillo.
The standard currency is the U.S. Dollar. You may use credit cards from anywhere and currency exchange is part of the transaction. You may do currency exchange at any bank.
Summers are very hot and dry. Wear loose-fitting clothing. It can snow in winter and get cold. Summers are hot and dry. You can get dehydrated easily here so it is important to drink a lot of water.
Amarillo has an international airport that is six miles east of downtown. There are taxis available to your hotel, or anywhere in Amarillo. You may also rent a car at the airport.
Travel insurance is something you hope you don't have to use, but it is good to have peace of mind knowing you are protected if something goes wrong. This is especially true if you are visiting a country you don't live in.
Amarillo Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Texas - Safety by City