How Safe Is Arkansas for Travel?

Arkansas, United States
Safety Index:
74

Arkansas is one of the most diverse states in the United States when it comes to natural beauty.

The state sits in the Southeastern corner of the Ozarks, providing rolling hills, sparkling lakes, and dense forests.

Over 2% of the state is covered in water, making it a great destination for those that love to get out on a boat or enjoy water sports.

The smaller southeastern state’s most popular city for travelers is Fayetteville, a smaller artsy community that is the home of the University of Arkansas.

The total population in Arkansas is just over 3 million, putting it at the bottom of half of the United States population.
 
This makes it a great destination for travelers looking for a more rural and scenic trip.
 
This is also why it is a great destination for those traveling with their families.
 
If you like sports, go during the football season to check out the state’s pride and joy, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

Warnings & Dangers in Arkansas

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Most of the state is extremely safe for travelers. The only reason I give Arkansas a rating of "Medium" is because of the relatively high crime rate the state has nationally. Most of this crime is not something tourists have to worry about.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

As long as you practice common sense while traveling and only use known and verified companies, you should have zero safety or crime issues while using transport in Arkansas. You may want to consider renting a car, though, because Arkansas isn't known for its public transportation.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

The risk of getting your wallet or purse stolen is very low in Arkansas. Of course, don't leave it lying around in public as there are opportunists out there. Pickpocketing usually happens in more crowded areas which aren't very prevalent in the state of Arkansas.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

You are not at any serious risk of experiencing a natural disaster while you are in Arkansas, especially if you avoid the summer tornado season. Tornadoes are the only natural disaster the state experiences besides the extremely rare and mild earthquake. Arkansas was ranked 13th in 2021 when it comes to total tornadoes for the year.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

Outside of a few more dangerous neighborhoods that dot the state, your chances of getting mugged are very low. The good news is most of the more dangerous areas in Arkansas are in areas where tourists don't typically go.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There is basically zero terrorism risk when you travel in Arkansas. The state has never recorded a terrorist attack outside of a few domestic incidents in the past. Arkansas is not a state with a lot of religious conflict or conflict in general, so you should not be concerned with terrorism at all while you travel there.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Some of the travel scams that you see while traveling around the world, like fake taxis, are not something you will find in Arkansas. You're only real risk of getting scammed would be by getting hacked when booking the trip or maybe booking a third-party vacation rental that isn't verified online or using an untrustworthy transport company.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

While Arkansas is safe compared to other locations around the world, it is still a good idea for women traveling there to be alert and aware. This is especially true if they are traveling alone. Arkansas is one of the safer states in the union, but women always need to be more vigilant than men while traveling.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

The state of Arkansas has a high standard for its drinking water. Because of the state's constant attention to the quality and purity of its water, it is extremely safe to drink for both residents and people traveling there. You should have no fears when drinking tap water in Arkansas.

Safest Places to Visit in Arkansas

If you are looking to visit the safest area in Arkansas, look no further than Cave Springs.

The city has a crime rate over 80% lower than the national average, making it the safest city in the state.

On top of this, it’s located in the northwest part of Arkansas, so it’s just a short drive to most of the natural beauty you will want to see while you are there.

Another popular destination for tourists with an extremely low crime rate in the state is Eureka Springs, AR.

Eureka Springs is in the heart of the Ozarks and is in the 22nd percentile nationwide when it comes to crime.

The area is extremely safe and is loaded with things to do for you and your family, like visiting its famous hot springs.

Placess to Avoid in Arkansas

On the whole, Arkansas is a very safe place to visit for those wishing to travel to the United States.

While this is true, there are some places to avoid while you are there.

According to the FBI, the two worst cities in the state for crime rates are Little Rock and Pine Bluff.

They are also the two most populous cities in the state.

Even though these are the two worst cities, you would have to go out of your way to find a crime.

Two neighborhoods to avoid if you are staying in the capital city, Little Rock, are the South End and Oak Forest.

These neighborhoods have high violent crime rates but aren’t known as popular tourist destinations anyway.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Arkansas

  1. Check the Arkansas.com website. Before you travel to Arkansas, check the state department’s website. The site has a travel advisory section where they will list the most current threats to tourists in the area. This is a good way to familiarize yourself with what to look out for while you are in Arkansas.
  2. Talk to locals. Don’t be afraid to ask locals at your hotel, state park, or restaurant for advice. The people of Arkansas are known to be very friendly and helpful. Nothing beats the advice of a local when learning what and who to avoid in the area.
  3. Don’t overshare personal information. When you talk to strangers, don’t overshare personal information about yourself or your plans in the area. Most people are trustworthy, but it only takes one bad one to ruin your trip or cause you harm.
  4. Respect nature. Arkansas has a lot of natural beauty, but this natural beauty does come with some danger. Make sure you are extra safe and don’t do anything risky while you are in the Ozarks enjoying the outdoors. You don’t want to get hurt while trying to get the perfect Instagram picture. If you aren’t sure about something, don’t do it.
  5. Don’t carry too much cash. It’s unlikely that you will be robbed or have your cash stolen while you are traveling in Arkansas, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you do get robbed, you don’t want them to get all your money. Only carry as much cash as you need while traveling.
  6. Stick together. Stick with your traveling party. Those who look lost and alone are more likely to end up in a dangerous situation while they are on vacation. This is especially true for women and children. Use the buddy system if you are out and about.
  7. Don’t get too drunk. You don’t have to be completely sober, but don’t drink so much that you become disoriented. This will make you a target for scams and thieves. Drink in moderation.
  8. Lock up valuable. If you are staying in a cabin or a hotel room, lock up your valuables in a safe while you are gone. Unattended valuables can be a target for thieves.
  9. Send your itinerary to a friend. Plan your itinerary ahead of time and send that schedule to a family member or friend. This way, someone back home will have a good idea of where you were supposed to be if something happens to you.
  10. Project. If you look lost or unaware, you are more of a target. Even when you are unsure, project the image of being confident and sure of what you are doing. If you look lost, you put a bullseye on your back.

So... How Safe Is Arkansas Really?

While Arkansas is relatively safe for those traveling in the area, it does have the fourth highest violent crime rating in the United States.

This could be alarming, but you have to consider that a lot of this crime is localized in Pine Bluff and Little Rock, not typically areas where tourists go.

The more rural areas tourists typically visit in Arkansas are much safer than the state average.

The two most common types of crime in Arkansas are violent crime and property crime.

It should be noted that the state has lowered property crime by 12% since 2019.

The safest places to visit in Arkansas are tourist towns like Hot Springs.

The best thing is Hot Springs still has all the amenities a tourist wants, like spas and shopping, without the danger of traveling in a big city.

Overall, I believe Arkansas is a safe state for tourists as long as they are responsible and stick to locations that don’t have a history of crime issues.

While Arkansas is relatively safe for those traveling in the area, it does have the fourth highest violent crime rating in the United States.

This could be alarming, but you have to consider that a lot of this crime is localized in Pine Bluff and Little Rock, not typically areas where tourists go.

The more rural areas tourists typically visit in Arkansas are much safer than the state average.

The two most common types of crime in Arkansas are violent crime and property crime.

It should be noted that the state has lowered property crime by 12% since 2019.

The safest places to visit in Arkansas are tourist towns like Hot Springs.

The best thing is Hot Springs still has all the amenities a tourist wants, like spas and shopping, without the danger of traveling in a big city.

Overall, I believe Arkansas is a safe state for tourists as long as they are responsible and stick to locations that don’t have a history of crime issues.

How Does Arkansas Compare?

StateSafety Index
Arkansas74
Kansas81
Iowa82
Idaho85
Illinois77
Indiana61
Alaska65

Useful Information

  • Visas - A tourist visa is required to travel to the United States from most countries. You need to check the specific information for the country you are a citizen of. If you wish to reside or work while you are in Arkansas, you will need a proper visa that you obtain in your home country before traveling. As for U.S. citizens, You don't need a passport to travel within the United States.
  • Currency - Arkansas uses the US dollar, like the rest of the United States. There are currency exchange locations around the state where you can switch your home currency for USD. The best place to do this is at the airport when you land.
  • Weather - Arkansas is in the southern part of the United States, so the state has relatively mild winters and hot summers. This makes the state a very popular destination for those that enjoy water sports in the hot summer months.
  • Airports - When you fly to Arkansas, you will likely fly into one of the state's two biggest airports in Little Rock or Fayetteville. Both airports are relatively small, so they are very easy to get in and out of.
  • Travel Insurance - When you travel to Arkansas, you should get travel insurance. This will ensure that you get your money back if any aspect of your trip has to be canceled because of weather or other emergency situations. It is always a good idea to get travel insurance when traveling internationally.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Arkansas Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 12° C
Apr 17° C
May 22° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 18° C
Nov 12° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
101318232732343330241712
Low
°C
0261116202322181161
High
°F
505564738190939186756354
Low
°F
323643526168737264524334

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on Arkansas

  1. B
    Bryndon J Ráschaul-Dunn says:

    Pretty Accurate Honestly

    I’m a native Arkansan. I’ve traveled a decent amount throughout my state.

    The northwestern/ Fayetteville area is awesome! I’m from the northeastern region of the delta (Mississippi county). As far as living here, it’s decent. More populated areas of course probably cost a bit of change, but it is pretty low in general. We are the 2nd poorest state in the Union. The roads are a hit or miss. I’m currently living in Conway for school and in the lower-income areas, the roads are poor and narrow. They just repaired and improved the main road by the college campus.

    Though it’ll always be home, Arkansas is kinda humdrum. Unless you live in like Little Rock, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, or Fort Smith—y’know the cities. As far as jobs, we are an agri state so near the delta region where I’m from we have a lot of factories especially next to the Mississippi River.

    One of my favorite cities is Fayetteville, Hot Springs, and Rogers, AR. Very nice cities and modern. Keep in mind Arkansas is within the tornado valley so those during the summer are to be aware of. Heck, during December we had one in my county in the northeastern region. So, I could only imagine the weather during the season there.

    Being next to Oklahoma and all. Hot Springs is a small place, but lovely for tourists in my opinion. There’s this breakfast joint one should travel to there down the main road of Hot Springs north of the tourist area. I never got the chance to but I’m sure it’s great. The hot water there literally is from the springs too! You can spot steam outside certain areas where water may flow. It’s really neat.
    Next, the people. It’s sorta diverse. Nothing I’m not used to of course, but I noticed a lot of indigenous Americans (not sure Mexican or American) but they were present. Oklahoma borders that side of the state, and that region of Oklahoma is “Indian” territory, especially of the Cherokee nation so they could’ve been Americans.

    But I thought it was an interesting find. Where I’m from it’s mostly Afro and Euro descendants, few Asians and the only indigenous being Mexicans and occasionally other Americana (particularly Hispanic). But never any indigenous US-Americans back home, unfortunately. Due to events like the Trail of Tears, natives haven’t been present in the state for almost two centuries—I t’d be nice if they could come back home.
    We speak mainly English of course, but Spanish is known by some and many citizens themselves here are Hispanic. Quite a fair amount of Mexican descendants. But there are others. Though we used to be a part of the French colonial territory of “Louisiana” we do not speak French here commonly. Since the arrival of Hispanic immigrants from other parts of the Americas, French in the U.S. has dwindled in usage since the black & white days. We do have a lot of places with French names and even some Spanish (Louisiana was owned by Spain temporarily during the olden days but the French gained it back then shortly became a part of the Union).

    Religious toleration: I’m atheist, but we are a Christian-dominated state, but we do have synagogues and I think even a mosque as well here. Mainly in the cities. Not really in the smaller populated areas. A lot of churches, a lot. In Conway, there’s one every few blocks lol. There are two Sikh temples in Little Rock.

    As far as any other beliefs, I don’t have any knowledge of places of worship present. Most people keep to themselves so as far as religious prosecution or anything of that nature it’s not present or at least not common, this is the South though.
    The culture: music is common here. We’re really big on Blues, Country, Rock-n-Roll, and Rock music here. We have festivals in Little Rock and near the delta, especially West Memphis, the Blues culture runs deep. We have a lot more African-Americans on the east side of Arkansas.

    I haven’t been to Western Arkansas yet, especially Fort Smith, AR. But, I’m currently in college in Conway (Central Arkansas), from Mississippi county (Northeast Arkansas), driven through Magnolia (South Arkansas), traveled to Texarkana (Southwest Arkansas/ Texas-Arkansas border). So I’ve traveled a fair amount amongst my state.

    Also, I know everyone’s different but for non-white travelers. I’m Afro-American. This is the south and Arkansas is a red state. It is 2022 and in my opinion, the state isn’t the same as it were in 1822 lol, but there’s racism everywhere.

    The state does have a shadowed notorious history of racism, from the Little Rock 9, Elaine massacre, redlining in Little Rock, et al. Here I’d avoid places near the Ozark (excluding the Fayetteville region), particularly the top middle portion of Arkansas (in between the areas of Fayetteville and Jonesboro); any “Appalachian”-esque environments honestly. Like: Pocahontas, Mountain View, and HARRISON, Arkansas. As far as that, Arkansans in general are good ole ordinary folk.

    Compared to other southern states I’d say we’re better, in terms of racism and living environment. Every day we grow and become over time a nice state. If you’re a good person, about your business, and willing to benefit your neighbors and society, you’ll have a normal life here.

    P.S. if you’re looking to try the food, go to Little Rock or West Memphis. If ya go to West Memphis, just remember it’s in the delta region and is literally across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee. I’ve traveled to both cities a lot during my youth and are nice places to travel and enjoy the cuisine.

    1. B
      Bryndon J Ráschaul-Dunn says:

      [Jan. 17, 2022] Edit:

      My earlier comment about the indigenous American demographic was about my time in Fayetteville.
      And also, Jonesboro, AR is home to many churches. My comment about the mosques and synagogues directs to there. That’s where I saw a mosque. So, for people of differing religions, I’d suggest looking into Jonesboro.
      Lastly, while typing I seemed to have misplaced my paragraph. My apologies for the occasional poor syntax as well, I was getting caught up in wanting to give as much info possible for newcomers/ foreigners.

  2. B
    Bryndon J Ráschaul-Dunn says:

    It's not called "Ar-Kansas".

    And for foreigners (both other American and non-American) it’s pronounced “ar-KAN-saw” not “AR-kan-zas”, we became a state before Kansas. If you research the etymologic history you’ll know why—blame the French. Lol.

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