North Carolina : Safety by City
- Chapel Hill
- Elizabeth City
- High Point
- Hope Mills
- Kill Devil Hills
- Kitty Hawk
- Morehead City
- New Bern
- Rocky Mount
Apex, North Carolina, is part of the Research Triangle, which includes Raleigh and Durham.
I honestly can’t tell you how many people live in Apex because this city is shattering growth records.
As of July 1, 2022, the Census organization estimated the population at 71,000.
Even that was almost an 11% growth from the 2020 Census.
From 2010 to 2020, the city saw a 56% growth!
That’s good news for a traveler, too, because a larger population means more places to stay and things to do.
It has earned the moniker “The Peak of Good Living,” and that means it’s likely a good vacation spot, too.
What’s also incredible is that this was once a sleepy railroad town on the outskirts of Raleigh.
Apex’s history is steeped in the 19th-century charm that still echoes through its downtown streets.
The historic district boasts beautifully preserved buildings and a delightful small-town atmosphere.
What sets Apex apart is its rapid evolution into a dynamic community that values quality of life.
Families are drawn here for its excellent schools, while professionals appreciate its proximity to major tech hubs like Raleigh and Durham.
The town’s dedication to green spaces and recreational amenities has made it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Wall Street Journal has coined the phrase “Millennial Mayberry,” describing towns like this where people escape the high costs of the city for the amenities and affordability of the ‘burbs.
But what truly makes Apex worth visiting is its unique blend of history, modernity, and a strong sense of community.
Stroll through its tree-lined streets, and you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere, vibrant local businesses, and a lively cultural scene.
Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks, attending community events, or simply enjoying its picturesque parks, Apex offers a taste of authentic North Carolinian life.
Warnings & Dangers in Apex
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Crime rates are notoriously low here, even when using the lowest population in recent years compared to the crime data. With that comes not quite as many attractions, as the area is highly residential.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
GoApex is the name of the public transportation system to get around town and the Research Triangle. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find. Rental cars are widely available. Pick your best path and know it's a low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Over the past decade, there have been between 1-2 pickpockets or purse snatchings each year. The risk is low, and you should keep it that way by using standard safety practices of keeping your purse and wallet concealed with only the bare essentials.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You'll get a mix of potential weather threats throughout the year, so treat it as a medium risk. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, dangerous lightning, and winter weather can all happen. Extreme heat is more likely than extreme cold but be prepared for both in respective summer and winter.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Even at the peak of 12 robberies in a year over the past decade, the rate was still just 20% of the national average. This is a low risk.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Here's another low risk in this suburban haven, but in Raleigh there could be a higher risk. The most important part you can play is reporting any suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Most scams here are focused on residents and not tourists. You can expect a low risk but do due diligence by checking city and police websites and social media pages to look for updated scams.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Here's another low-risk, with no reason for a woman to think twice about visiting Apex or staying here overnight. You'll want to use personal safety standards, as no city is safe enough to lower your guard.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows all passing grades and some exceeding expectations, giving another low risk in Apex. You can read the entire report on the city's website and look for the most updated option after June of each year.
Safest Places to Visit in Apex
You have two main sources of information for things to do in Apex.
First, the Visit Raleigh website includes Apex and other surrounding cities like Cary.
The Apex city website has an “Explore” section with more things to do and hyper-local events.
It’s smart to start with a history lesson of any city to appreciate better all the other places you’ll see.
The Apex Historical Society’s Historic Downtown Apex has streets lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings and boutique shops.
The Apex Historical Society offers walking tours, while the Apex Sculpture Walk is one of several art options downtown.
The Apex Union Depot and Railroad Historical Center delves into the town’s railroad heritage, offering a fascinating glimpse into its past.
Meanwhile, the Apex Nature Park provides an ideal spot for picnics, birdwatching, and leisurely hikes through its scenic trails.
Apex Community Park beckons with its expansive green spaces, walking trails, and even a fishing pond.
Avid golfers can tee off at the pristine Knights Play Golf Center, offering a challenging 27-hole course and fun for players of all skill levels.
Don’t miss the Halle Cultural Arts Center, a hub for local art and cultural events that often hosts intriguing exhibitions and performances.
Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the variety of dining options in Apex.
The Salem Street Pub boasts a diverse menu and craft beer selection, perfect for a relaxing meal.
For something a bit sweeter, head to the Rustic Baking Company, known for its delectable pastries and aromatic coffee.
For a bit of retail therapy, Historic Downtown Apex is dotted with unique boutiques, like Moon and Lola, where you can find handmade jewelry and personalized accessories.
The Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is a great four-season destination, but fall visitors should definitely check out the foliage.
Places to Avoid in Apex
You won’t face bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town in Apex.
Of course, you should still stay out of neighborhoods unless you’re visiting a loved one and stick to main streets and highways.
One of the biggest safety questions asked about Apex is the proximity to the Harris Nuclear Plant and the APEX Nuclear Reactor Rail Transfer Station.
There is nothing inherently dangerous about being this close to a nuclear facility.
In the event of an accident, there’s a detailed safety and evacuation plan detailed on the Duke Energy website.
This is important information as most of Apex is in the 10-mile zone that could be immediately impacted.
While mentioning the nuclear facility is out of an abundance of caution, you should still not try to get on the property as it’s highly protected by local, state, and federal law enforcement.
If you want to learn more about Harris Nuclear Plant, text Harris at 71729.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Apex
- Apex does have its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @ApexPolice. For specific safety questions, call (919) 362-8661 or email email@example.com.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through Ready Wake, and that link is on the Apex city website. This will get you time-sensitive weather and public safety information on your mobile device, either as a text message or phone call.
- Apex has a “Notify Me” service for information and alerts, mostly focused on residents. However, tourists might want to subscribe to Public Notices, Parks & Rec, and Transit Plans.
- You can find a parking map with the exact locations of street parking and garages on the Parking & Transportation website section. It appears that parking is free, but check any signs near your preferred parking spot for time limits or new charges.
- This is a bicycle-friendly community, but not all the roads have kept up with the rapid growth. That means you might not have bicycle lands or could be sharing the road with a cyclist. You can find a map of the cycle routes on the city’s website, but honestly, that’s likely to change as the roads are improved to meet the size of the community.
- In that spirit, one of the biggest complaints from residents is the traffic. The roads just didn’t keep up with the growing population. That could mean more traffic, especially during rush hours. It also could mean more construction during your visit. Be patient and stick to the speed limit.
- Should you notice a problem on a street, use the Street Maintenance form on the city’s website to report it. This could be a downed street sign, large pothole, or streetlight out of service. Don’t assume someone else has reported it.
- The history of the railroad also arrives regularly in the present with a lot of railroad crossings in town. NEVER try to “beat the train” and be patient as a train approaches. Even if a train isn’t coming, never stop on the railroad tracks when in traffic.
- If train noise bothers you at night, be sure to check the railroad crossing locations in position to your hotel. I live in a railroad town, and at one home, I was woken daily by a 5:00 a.m. train’s horn. The trains are required to make that noise when going through crossings, so you can’t make a noise complaint about it.
- Anglers should head to the Go Outdoors North Carolina website to read the rules, fees, and restrictions for getting a fishing license. In this part of the state, you’ll want an inland fishing license.
So... How Safe Is Apex Really?
Apex is regularly ranked as one of the safest communities in North Carolina, and in 2022, it was THE safest across the state.
At the same time, I’ve still seen reports of mass car break-ins or violent crimes, so no community is immune to problems.
It’s just much less likely to happen in Apex.
Beyond that, it’s even less likely to happen to you.
What you sacrifice, however, is the amenities of a city like Raleigh or Durham.
You’ll get a charming suburb and great options, but it might feel like any suburban Southern town you’ve ever visited.
That might be what you’re looking for, but it’s worth noting that you won’t find a robust nightlife here.
I’ve seen a couple of reports about a nationwide trend happening in Apex, and that’s mass shoplifting.
It’s when a group of people rush into a store and take as much as possible before running off.
Don’t intervene if you see this happening.
Most times, even store employees won’t risk safety trying to stop the thieves.
I know I’m grasping at straws here to give you safety information, but I just don’t want you to think that the “safest city in North Carolina” has no crime, and you can be lax about your own personal safety.
I can tell you that as far as safety goes, it’s hard to beat Apex.
As for how fun Apex is?
Only you can decide that based on your travel expectations.
How Does Apex Compare?
|New York City||67|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
International visitors will need a visa, and there's more than one kind. Those coming just to visit need a tourist visa. If you're coming for college, that's a student visa. There's also a work visa. You can figure out the right one for you on the U.S. State Department website. Also, make sure your passport is valid and not within six months of expiring.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. The Raleigh-Durham Airport has currency exchange services through Travelex in Terminal 2. Some ATMs will also dispense currency through conversion, but be prepared to pay higher fees for that luxury.
You'll get four distinct seasons here, so pack accordingly. Outdoor lovers will want bug spray and should keep it with them at all times, especially in the summer. This is a humid part of the state, so fabrics like silk might not present best if you're sweating a lot. Linens and cottons are ideal.
Apex is less than 30 minutes from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is the closest and largest option in the region. If you are flying out of Charlotte, that's about 2.5 hours on the road to get there.
When booking trips where weather could impact your itinerary, purchasing travel insurance is advised. This region can face delays and cancelations when a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching the coast. Additionally, if your health insurance isn't valid in America, look into supplemental medical coverage. Also, confirm your rental car policy covers liability in the event of an accident or need for roadside assistance.
Apex Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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North Carolina - Safety by City
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