Georgia : Safety by City
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- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
If you’ve ever had a vision of the south as two people sitting on a big porch, sipping sweet tea while Spanish moss hangs from trees, you were probably thinking of Augusta, Georgia.
This is Southern hospitality at its finest.
It’s also the home of the Master’s Golf Tournament, which makes it perfect for year-round golfing at some of the finest courses in the south.
It might also catch you off guard how many people drive golf carts on the streets throughout the year.
The city sits along the Savannah River, which also marks the state line with South Carolina being on the other side.
North Augusta is actually in South Carolina, not Georgia.
Augusta doesn’t have its own police department, as the entire area is consolidated as a city-county government.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement for the region of 202,000 people.
While Augusta still has a small-town feel, it’s the largest metro area in Georgia outside of Atlanta.
Augusta is also home to Fort Gordon, the national headquarters for cyber security at the Cyber Center of Excellence and the United States Army Cyber Command.
This is also the childhood home of James Brown, a globally known singer, and you can get a free picture taken with a life-sized statue downtown.
Plenty of James Brown artifacts are scattered throughout the city.
This is also a popular spot for Hollywood movies and television shows to be shot, so don’t be surprised if you see a camera crew during your visit.
Whether you’re planning a trip for a weekend or a week, sit a spell, and let’s talk about visiting Augusta Georgia.
Maybe grab a glass of sweet tea while reading to make it more authentic.
Warnings & Dangers in Augusta
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk here. You'll meet friendly people of all demographics and find plenty to do with crime rates that won't scare you away.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Augusta Transit offers fixed route and reserve-in-advance rides throughout the area. You can also get a taxi or rideshare. You can rent a golf cart, but you must have a valid driver's license. There's a low risk in any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Unfortunately, the Richmond County Sheriff's Office isn't as forthcoming with specific crime details as other cities are when reporting to the FBI, so I can only tell you there is a one in 73 chance of being a theft victim. Generally, thefts are more focused on auto break-ins and shoplifting. There's a low risk, but be especially vigilant if you are there during the Masters when crowds are large.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
The local emergency management plan includes thunderstorms, windstorms, flooding/flash flooding, tornadoes, tropical storms, winter storms, and nuclear disasters (Plant Vogtle is a nuclear power plant just 30 minutes south of Augusta). There's a medium risk because there is just so much that can happen here.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The robbery rate is lower than the national average. There isn't a specific breakdown from the sheriff about how many of the robberies were in public, but with a lower than average rate and a low violent crime rate, there's a low risk of getting mugged.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
There's medium risk. With the center of cyber security here and a nuclear power plant just down the road, these are two hard targets for terrorists. I believe any terrorist act on the military cyber center would most likely be a cyberattack, not a bombing or other violent act.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There are a lot of scams in this area, especially targeting senior citizens (it's a popular retirement area), but none that stick out to only impact tourists. Closer to Masters time, be sure if you're renting a room the landlord has a permit to do so. Some people who live there will literally just rent out part of their own home because the city gets so filled up. You don't want to risk reserving a room that doesn't exist.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel safe here. The sexual assault level is a fraction of the national average. There are a lot of shopping and dining options or outdoor activities to enjoy. Practice basic safety standards, like always telling someone where you are going and when you'll be back, not carrying valuables with you, and never accepting a drink that you didn't see opened or poured by the bartender.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The director of water quality in Augusta said in the 2020 Annual Water Quality Report the water is in full compliance with state and federal standards.
Safest Places to Visit in Augusta
Augusta can be split into several different tourist areas or areas of interest:
- Golf courses – There are at least half a dozen public courses, but call ahead first to make sure your choice isn’t a private course.
- Downtown Augusta – History, dining, and shopping galore. Broad Street is the main street in downtown Augusta.
- River Activities – The riverwalk is right by downtown, and fishing, rafting, kayaking, and inner-tube floating options on the Savannah River
- Augusta Canal – Canal and trail that runs the length of the river throughout this area. Boat tours are available along the canal.
In Downtown Augusta, there’s a lot of modern food and historical flair.
Don’t miss the childhood home of President Woodrow Wilson and the replica of James Brown.
The Augusta Museum of History celebrates the history of golf, the impressive medical footprint Augusta has in this region, James Brown, and the transportation timeline of the city – just to name a few!
A stroll on the Riverwalk might get you itching to do some rafting down the river or the canal and there are several places along the river to rent equipment to enjoy the water.
For a more exciting ride, choose the river.
The canal is more low-key and floatable on calm waters.
Outdoor lovers have plenty of options here, including Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.
(I can’t help but hear Shrek bellow “What are you doing in my swamp???”) Boardwalks lead you through incredible wildlife views above and below.
Careful of those alligators!
Just 20 minutes south, you can see the Redcliffe Plantation.
This is a renovated plantation home where you can learn about the posh life of aristocrats and the injustices suffered by the slaves on the plantations.
There are two replicas of the slave quarters from the 1850s era.
There’s also a hiking trail and campsites here.
Places to Avoid in Augusta
The closer you get to the river, the higher the crime rates go, according to the crime maps from 2020.
The areas of higher crime are also higher in population, so don’t take that previous statement the wrong way.
There are hotels scattered throughout town, not just along a certain highway corridor, so the farther west you go, the lower the crime rates go.
Don’t try to get into Augusta National Golf Club unless your last name is Trump or Musk.
It’s a private club and strictly adheres to members-only rules.
There aren’t even tours available.
The public is only allowed in during the Masters.
There might be clubs that your friend from high school could get you into, but Augusta National is not one of them.
Sundays are God’s day in the South, so avoid planning big activities on Sundays.
There are a lot of businesses closed or open for limited hours.
Choose Sundays as the day to explore wilderness areas or float down the river.
Avoid making jokes about the South, including the tea with an incredible amount of sugar, the accents, and the slower pace of life.
You will never get the South to go at your speed.
You must accommodate slow walkers, slow drivers, and slow talkers.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Augusta
- Don’t try to cross a road in Augusta without using a crosswalk. Make sure the driver sees you before you walk, even if the signal tells you to go. People here have a tendency to run red lights due to slower speed limits and increased traffic. You might have the right-of-way, but not all drivers respect that.
- If you are bicycling, you have the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle. The only exception is you must stay as far right as possible. Stop at stoplights and come to a full stop at stop signs. It’s the law.
- You’ll be surprised at the number of people using golf carts to get around. Augusta’s businesses make the majority of golf carts in the world, so they are readily available here. There are places you can and can’t drive the golf cart. If the speed limit is over 35 mph, golf carts are banned. There’s a full detailed listing of where carts can and can’t go on the city’s website.
- If you are renting a car, ask for one with a key fob instead of a traditional key. This will make the car less likely to be stolen since the thief can’t wire the car to start. Always keep windows rolled up and doors locked when you park the car.
- If you are on the water, it’s Georgia law that everyone under 10 years old wears a personal floatation device. You should have a life vest for everyone, even if you are just kayaking down the river.
- If you are going to spend time in the waters in and around Augusta, check the water quality report each day. Text “SRKSWIMGUIDE” to #84483 to get updates to your phone each week when results are in. You can also call (706)510-0036. You don’t want to risk swimming in a body of water that has high E. coli levels.
- There are a lot of bugs in Augusta, and I don’t just mean those sweet lightning bugs. There are palmetto bugs, which is a fancy name for a giant cockroach. If you see one in your home rental or hotel room, it doesn’t mean the place is dirty. Palmetto bugs are everywhere. Notify the front desk for an exterminator to come out, but know this is completely normal. There are also a lot of mosquitoes and ticks in the wilderness areas. Both can carry diseases. Wear bug spray and do a full-body scan for ticks after spending time outdoors.
- If you want to enjoy the many fishing holes in Augusta, you’ll need a license from the Georgia Department of Wildlife. You can easily get those online ahead of time or when you arrive in town. It’s up to you. Just don’t go fishing without one. The license from your home state or country will not suffice.
- If you get information about a crime or drug activity and it’s not an emergency, you can fill out a crime tip on the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office website.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through the city’s Everbridge website. This will get weather and civil emergency information right to your phone or email.
So... How Safe Is Augusta Really?
Although Augusta is unique and definitely not an average city, its crime rates are pretty average compared to the national level.
The violent crime rate is lower than the national average, but just a slight bit above the Georgia average.
Property crime is higher than the national and state average, but not by a lot.
This is also due to the number of thefts from car break-ins and shoplifting that happen in busy tourist areas.
There are gangs and drug violence here, so that feeds into some of the crime statistics.
It’s not a city where those seedy elements are in your face, but you should still be aware those issues exist.
Walking around town at night by yourself probably isn’t the best idea.
Always go in a group.
Here are the actual risks of being a victim of a crime, looking at the broad categories:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 385
- Robbery: 1 in 1508
- Theft: 1 in 73
Augusta is a place where you probably won’t find trouble unless you’re looking for it, and if you’re looking for it you’ll have no trouble finding it.
How Does Augusta Compare?
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You will show your Visa and get access to the United States when you arrive at the first stop within the borders. You don't need additional processing as you go through the states and cities.
You'll use the U.S. Dollar here and it's the only currency option. There are a few currency exchange options, but if you fly in through ATL, it's best to exchange currency there.
Dress for comfort as this is a casual town (aside from during The Masters when people get a little dressier). It does get very humid here, so you'll sweat a lot. Pack accordingly, especially if you won't have access to a washer and dryer.
Augusta Regional Airport is on the south side of town. It is served by Delta and American Airlines. I flew to Augusta in the early 00s, and I swear if I didn't know better I'd think I was landing in someone's backyard. Even the front of the airport looks more like a stately home than an airport. It's a small airport, but it saves the 2 1/2 hour drive to Atlanta's airport.
Travel insurance is ideal for a trip to Augusta to protect you from any delays or risks along the way.
Augusta Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Georgia - Safety by City