Missouri : Safety by City
- Blue Springs
- Cape Girardeau
- Creve Coeur
- Jefferson City
- Kansas City
- Lee’s Summit
- Maryland Heights
- New Madrid
- Poplar Bluff
- St. Charles
- St. Joseph
- St. Louis
- Ste. Genevieve
Nestled in the heart of Missouri, Boonville is a charming small town surrounded by nature but close to two major cities.
Boonville is along the busy I-70 interstate, about halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City.
Boonville has a global presence as it’s home to the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales breeding grounds, with tours available seasonally.
It’s also just 30 minutes from Columbia, which is home to the University of Missouri (also known as Mizzou).
One of the main draws of Boonville is its fascinating history.
Founded in the early 19th century, the town played a significant role in the Civil War.
Visitors can explore the battlefield where the Battle of Boonville took place in 1861, gaining insight into the town’s pivotal role in American history.
Boonville also boasts several historic homes and buildings that transport visitors back in time, such as the Katy Depot, which is the oldest surviving train station in the state.
The town sits on the Missouri River, providing ample opportunities for water activities such as fishing and boating.
The Katy Trail, a 240-mile hiking and biking trail, runs through Boonville and offers visitors breathtaking views of the Missouri River Valley.
Another great benefit is that Boonville is close to the interstate but set back from the traffic and noise of this major east/west thoroughfare.
Visitors have hotel options near the interstate or back along the river.
Warnings & Dangers in Boonville
OVERALL RISK: LOW
This is a low-risk town with crime rates below the national average and a welcoming small-town charm. The small-town aspect might seem somewhat boring at times, but there's plenty to see and do nearby if you're looking for a livelier city.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You'll need a car here, but the main part of the city is walkable. Public transportation is limited to on-demand services for people in the community, mostly used for doctor's appointments or trips to the grocery store.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of being pickpocketed or having a purse snatched. The town is so small (8,000 people), and it's more likely someone here would tell you that you dropped your wallet than have them take it.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
Weather risks run the gamut here, from severe thunderstorm risks to potential tornadoes starting in spring. Winter weather is also common but not guaranteed. Flooding along the Missouri River is another thing to keep an eye out for.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Boonville averages about two robberies per year, and there were none reported in 2022, so the risk is low.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Yet another low risk here with a small town that doesn't have any potential targets. Even the Clydesdale breeding farm isn't operating year-round, and the animals go on tours, so there's little risk there. You can find a link to the Are You Ready guide from Homeland Security on the Public Safety website for Boonville to learn about terrorism safety in general.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Another low risk since Boonville isn't a tourist destination, and most scams are garden variety and target the residents. You can always check with the Missouri Attorney General's office to see common scams happening statewide.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel safe visiting Boonville and recognize that low risk doesn't mean all the nearby cities are as safe. Standard safety precautions still apply.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report is a little complicated to read, but you can rest assured no violations were reported, and all water met the required standards. That report won't account for issues throughout the year, so check the city website or social media pages, especially after storms or during extremely cold weather.
Safest Places to Visit in Boonville
Go Boonville is the tourism website for the city.
VisitColumbiamo.com offers information about the larger city nearby.
Visitmo.com is a state tourism site.
If you’re planning to visit the area for one of the big annual events, like the Big Muddy Folk Festival, get reservations early, or else you’ll be staying in a nearby town since rooms fill up quickly.
The Katy Depot is one entrance to the Katy Trail system, which spans 237 miles and goes through several cities along the way.
The Boonville section does go to the state capital in Jefferson City (aka Jeff City).
The trail is open year-round, but services like water and restrooms are limited in the winter.
Warm Springs Ranch is where the Budweiser breeding grounds are, and this is truly a must-see.
The massive Clydesdales horses are iconic for their size, stature, and sweetness.
I had an opportunity to hang out with a few of the horses and the famous dalmatian dog, and I can attest that even with their massive size, they aren’t intimidating at all.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be there while a new foal is being raised.
Several tour options cover walking tours to VIP tours, and the costs can rack up quickly.
Antique car lovers need to see the largest collection of Mitchell vehicles on display.
Remember where Rose and Jack consummated their relationship in the movie Titanic?
A bunch of cars like that are located here and restored to their original glory.
Missouri is a railroad and river state, and that spirit is alive in the River, Rails, and Trails Museum.
It’s located in the visitor’s center, making a trip well worth it to get more information about new attractions while knocking out one of the top things to do.
Boonville also has the only casino on the I-70 corridor outside of St. Louis and Kansas City.
The legal gambling age is 21, so age-appropriate adults can go to the casino.
Kids are welcome at the restaurants and hotel.
As a Caesars property, it’s one of the most well-known names in gaming.
The Friends of Historic Boonville have a website with local attractions connected to major moments in history, like the jail where the last hanging in Missouri was held.
Another historical hall, house, and garden are also available for tours.
Downtown Boonville is historic in its own right, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes open in period-specific architecture throughout the city’s growth.
Also known as the Boonslick area, this town was once an important leg of the westward expansion as it was a trail carved by the Boone brothers, who found a salt lick nearby.
Places to Avoid in Boonville
You don’t need to worry about dangerous parts of Boonville or high-crime areas.
Most of the tourist attractions are near the river, and once you’re outside the city you’re in a rural area until you hit the interstate.
If you’re interested in kayaking or floating the Missouri River, use the Missouri River Water Trail organization’s website and social media sites to find safe entry points and check river levels.
The Missouri River is muddy, and the current can be intense, especially after heavy rain.
MoDOT is the website and app you can use to check roads and traffic in the state.
As someone who grew up in Missouri, I can tell you that near Columbia/Boonville, there are a lot of highway patrol troopers looking for speeders.
The flow of traffic can also be heavy at times.
If you’re visiting during the weekend or a holiday, be prepared for a lot of traffic on I-70.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Boonville
- Boonville has its own police department and teamed with the Fire Department and Animal Shelter, they make up the Public Safety group. You can call (660)882-2727 if you have specific safety questions. You can also find the police department on Facebook @policeboonvillemo.
- Sign up for Nixle alerts to get updated weather, crime, and civil emergency information. The system is also how the local media outlets get their information, so you’ll be getting information in real-time. The Cooper County Emergency Management website has a quick sign-up form.
- The Missouri Department of Conservation issues fishing licenses. You can get a daily permit or a seasonal one. The fishing permits only cover certain species, but all that information is laid out on the MDC website. You can also purchase the license online.
- You can find @KatyTrailStatePark on Facebook to get updates on trail conditions, closures, or construction. Missouri State Parks also offers an interactive map on its website. Since the trail is so large, it’s important to set your starting and stopping points, so you don’t go beyond your physical abilities.
- The trails in this area are open to hikers, bikers, and horses. Since horses “go” as they walk, keep an eye out for horse poop.
- If you notice anything suspicious at the park or see vandalism or criminal activity, call the Missouri State Park hotline at 800-334-6946.
- In winter, ice jams on the Missouri River can be cool to see but also dangerous. Those jams either stop water from flowing downtown to critical areas or can cause flooding at the site of the jam. Never try to walk on ice from a jam or on a seemingly frozen river. Ice fishing is allowed in Missouri but is usually reserved for smaller bodies of water sure to freeze over. Missouri isn’t as cold in the winter as northern states like Minnesota, where ice fishing is a winter staple.
- Lock your car doors here (and literally anywhere in the US). I’ve researched hundreds of cities, and I can tell you that one of the top problems that take up police officers’ time is car break-ins due to unlocked vehicles. Boonville had a rash of thieves going car to car pulling door handles and rummaging through all the unlocked vehicles.
- One of the main reasons I wanted to leave Missouri when I was fresh out of college was the humidity. Especially along the many rivers, like the Missouri River in Boonville, it can be oppressive in the summer and filled with mosquitoes. Bug spray should just be part of your day, like brushing your teeth. Check your body for ticks after spending time in the woods. I learned before I was 10 years old how to pull a tick out of my shoulder with tweezers.
- Less than 90 minutes south is the very popular Lake of the Ozarks (yes, home of the show Ozark). If you want to visit during the summer, be prepared for large crowds. There are parts of the lake more known for a rowdy environment and those that are more family-friendly. You can call 1-800-386-5253 to reach the tourism bureau there to get the best location for your group.
So... How Safe Is Boonville Really?
Boonville has dodged the increased violent crime rate that plagues many American cities, with a 13% drop in crime from 2021 to 2022.
The city has averaged about 20 violent crimes per year since 2014, with some years being as low as seven crimes.
Theft has been on a gradual decrease since 2014 when a record-high 276 thefts happened.
In 2022, that number was down to 141, with motor vehicle thefts or stolen car parts making up 25% of all thefts.
Boonville is the kind of safe town where even a national trend in jogger attacks leads to more patrols, despite there being no attacks in Boonville.
Main Street is a popular jogging site in the mornings if you want to have safety in numbers.
Severe weather risks here shouldn’t be overlooked, as storms can be quite intense.
If you don’t know the difference between a tornado watch and a warning, review the National Weather Service information to be weather aware.
You can also take a storm spotting class to learn more about how storms form and provide photos and information to the weather service while you’re here.
It’s free and a great educational experience.
How Does Boonville Compare?
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International travelers need a U.S. Visa that is designated for the purpose of the trip, like tourism, work, or education. You'll also need a passport that isn't within six months of expiring. You can review all the requirements and banned items through the Border Patrol and Customs website.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here, and don't wait to get to Boonville to exchange that currency. The lowest fees and best exchange rates will be found in your home country, but otherwise, use the duty-free shop at the airport.
The saying goes in Missouri, "If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes, it will change." Sometimes you can get three seasonal temperatures in one day. A hot couple of days can be followed by severe storms that cool off the region, so bring plenty of layers of clothing. Summers will be hot and humid, with occasional cold days, so again - layers are great. Bring bug spray and sunscreen.
Boonville's closest airports are Columbia Regional Airport (COU)., about 30 minutes east, and Kansas City International Airport (MCI)around 1 hour and 45 minutes away.
Travel insurance is a smart idea since severe weather can cause delays or cancelations, and weather in the Western U.S. can also cause a ripple effect of delays.
Boonville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Missouri - Safety by City