Oklahoma : Safety by City
- Broken Arrow
- Broken Bow
- El Reno
- Elk City
- Midwest City
- Oklahoma City
Ardmore, Oklahoma, is a multicultural city halfway between Oklahoma City and Dallas.
Originally founded as a railroad town in the late 1800s, Ardmore rapidly grew into a bustling hub, witnessing the rise of its economy through oil, agriculture, and commerce.
This growth, however, carries within it stories of resilience and evolution.
Ardmore’s history echoes tales of the early settlers, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Native American tribes, who cultivated the land long before the town emerged.
The region’s embrace of the railroad ushered in an era of prosperity, transforming it into a pivotal transportation junction, fostering trade and industry.
One of Ardmore’s unique treasures is the Greater Southwest Historical Museum, housing artifacts that chronicle the area’s heritage.
Visitors can explore exhibits detailing the town’s transition from frontier days to modern times.
Ardmore is also an outdoor paradise with plenty of adrenaline-filled options.
Lake Murray State Park was the first of its kind, and while it offers all the relaxation options, you can also ride the new mountain bike trails or ATV trails.
However, the town faces challenges, notably a higher crime rate and a complex interplay of socioeconomic factors and historical influences.
We’re going to discuss all the risks and rewards of visiting this south-central Oklahoma city.
Warnings & Dangers in Ardmore
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk in Ardmore, with concerning crime rates and some important safety tips to get before your trip.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The only public transportation here is for residents to get to school or work. It's not suitable for a tourist. Taxis and rideshares are available, but I'd feel much safer if you chose to get a rental car.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
About 2-3 pickpockets or purse snatchings are reported each year. Statistically, it's a low risk, but there are enough thefts going on in this city to consider it a medium risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This is another medium risk, with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes posing the biggest risk, especially in spring. Summer brings more storms, potentially dangerous temperatures, and wildfire risks. Winter can see snow or ice storms, and while they aren't usually big storms, they can still cause travel problems.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Surprisingly, robberies are the one category that falls below the national average - down 40%. The risk is low, especially for muggings, but this is the kind of town where a crime of opportunity will be seized. Stay in well-lit, public places.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, as it's a small town in between two major metropolitan areas. It's important to report any suspicious activity, as the highway that leads between OKC and Dallas can be a direct line for drug runners.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Most of the scams I've seen are focused on residents like someone demanding payment for a utility bill and threatening to shut the power off. You can learn the latest scams on the police department's Facebook page. They do a great job of keeping up with the latest scams.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
Women should also proceed as a medium risk anywhere in the city. Use personal protection steps as you would in a larger city. Don't go to a private place with someone you just met.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. You should have no reservations about using the water for drinking or bathing.
Safest Places to Visit in Ardmore
Explore Ardmore is the official tourism site for the city.
The tourism guide is front and center on the landing page, so at least you don’t have to give personal information to get that great resource.
The Greater Southwest Historical Museum is housed in a former National Guard Amory.
It features exhibits on the cultural, military, and economic history of South-Central Oklahoma.
Located just 20 minutes from Ardmore, the Gene Autry Museum of the American West beckons you to “Learn the Cowboy Way of Life.”
Through captivating exhibitions, educational programs, and community engagement initiatives, Autry fosters a deeper understanding of the region’s rich heritage and inspires a shared future for generations to come.
You can also explore The Adventure Road, which is a 130-mile scenic byway that winds its way through southern Oklahoma, connecting the Red River border to Oklahoma City.
The road is known for its beautiful scenery, historical landmarks, and charming towns (including Ardmore).
The Eliza Cruce Hall Doll Museum has a collection of 300 rare and antique dolls from the US and Europe.
It’s located inside the library.
Tucker Tower is located at Lake Murray and is named after state senator Fred Tucker.
The tower’s observation deck provides a vantage point for admiring the panoramic views of the region.
While you’re there, explore the largest state park in Oklahoma.
Lake Murray has more than 12,000 acres to explore, including ATV and mountain biking trails.
You’ll also find lodging, from campsites to cabins to a lodge, on the property.
Check the events at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum throughout the year.
Everything from rodeos to Christmas specials are held there.
Places to Avoid in Ardmore
The east side of Ardmore has the highest crime rates.
Luckily, that’s a good distance from the many hotels along I-35.
In Ardmore, it’s wise to stick to the GPS main routes to the places you want to visit.
Don’t cut through neighborhoods, and don’t stop to ask for directions from any random person on the street.
If a neighborhood looks rundown or makes you feel uncomfortable, leave.
I wouldn’t say there’s a neighborhood that is too dangerous to drive through, but with so much crime happening in private homes and the presence of gangs, just stay in well-lit, public areas.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Ardmore
- Ardmore has its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @ArdmorePoliceDept or call (580) 223-1212 to ask specific safety questions.
- Read the Hazard Mitigation Plan from the city to learn about severe weather risks and natural disasters. Each section details how to prepare for an issue, how to seek safety when one is happening, and what to do in the aftermath.
- If you have questions about the drug problems in Ardmore, call the Drug Enforcement Unit at (580) 226-9712. This is a good number to keep handy in case you suspect any drug-related activity during your visit.
- Look at the Request Tracker on the city’s website. This is a way you can report safety issues in the community. For example, if you see broken glass at a local park, fill out the form related to that location. You can also report graffiti or malfunctioning traffic lights.
- The city’s traffic department posts a weekly Traffic News online. Reviewing this can help you find detours around new construction zones before you’re stuck in traffic.
- Speaking of traffic, OK Traffic’s website offers real-time traffic data for the city and across the state. Check out live traffic cameras of your destination or look for weather conditions along your route.
- Fishing requires a license in Oklahoma. You can purchase them online through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Hunting licenses require a lot more safety training.
- With its position along I-35, I’ve seen a lot of drug busts and criminal apprehensions reported near Ardmore. It’s worth following them on Facebook @Oklahoma.Highway.Patrol to see the latest busts. You can also get contact information if you have suspicious activity to share.
- If you’re on the interstate or a highway, and you see law enforcement pulled over on the side of the road, you should put at least one lane’s distance between you and the emergency vehicle.
- You’ll be driving with a lot of semi-trucks on this major thoroughfare, so learn about semi-truck safety. They can’t go uphill fast, and they routinely switch positions on the road with other semi-trucks. If you can’t see the side mirrors of a semi-truck, you are following too closely.
So... How Safe Is Ardmore Really?
Ardmore has some of the highest crime rates in the state.
The average person has a one in 112 chance of being a violent crime victim.
By comparison, Ardmore has a crime rate that is 112% higher than the state average and 124% higher than the national average.
The only respite for a tourist is that just 1% of violent crimes happened against strangers in 2022.
64% of all crimes were also in private homes.
Theft is 32% higher than the national average, with 35% of those being car break-ins or accessory thefts.
While you should always lock your car doors when you park, it’s critical you do so in Ardmore.
There are several factors that contribute to Ardmore’s high crime rate.
One factor is the city’s poverty rate, which is 19%, significantly higher than the national average of 11.6%.
Poverty is often linked to crime, as people in poverty may have fewer opportunities and may be more likely to turn to crime as a way to make ends meet.
Another factor that contributes to Ardmore’s crime rates is the city’s gang activity.
Ardmore has a number of active gangs, and gang violence is a major problem in the city.
One positive sign is that violent crime, even with its high rate, is down 40% from a decade ago.
Ardmore isn’t the safest city, and even with fewer crimes against strangers, the presence of gangs means a higher risk.
Gangs are notoriously unaffected by innocent victims being in the way of their goals.
Use common sense and standard safety precautions, and don’t go looking for trouble.
How Does Ardmore Compare?
|New York City
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
You'll need a passport that isn't within six months of expiring and either a visa or visa waiver. Only certain people from certain countries are eligible for a waiver. Start your process on the U.S. State Department website.
The U.S. Dollar is the currency of the land. If you're flying in from Dallas, you can find foreign currency exchange there, but OKC's airport doesn't offer that. Get cash before you get to the small town of Ardmore.
Plan for the season in which you're visiting since Oklahoma gets a good version of all four. Temperatures can fluctuate, meaning warm spells in the winter and some cool nights in the summer. Plan for summers to be very humid.
This is a great location as you're halfway between Will Roger World Airport in Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth Area Airports. Those include DFW and Love Field. I'd definitely choose Dallas-area airports since they are larger with more flight options.
Where weather may impede travel, comprehensive insurance gives peace of mind. Also, get health coverage if lacking internationally. Even just emergency care will go a long way since no health benefits are free in the U.S.
Ardmore Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Oklahoma - Safety by City