How Safe Is Bowling Green for Travel?

Updated On November 27, 2022
Bowling Green, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

With a metropolitan population of around 180,000 residents, Bowling Green, Kentucky is a city situated in the southern part of the state.

This small city is home to the National Corvette Museum which features a variety of prototype and class cars from over the year, the Beech Bend Raceway, and the Kentucky Museum, which exhibits many artifacts from the Civil War.

The Lost River Cave is another popular attraction with a large cavern that is only accessible by boat and the Riverview at Hobson Grove highlights life in the 1800s.

Founded by pioneers in 1798, Bowling Green was the provisional Confederate Kentucky capital during the Civil War.

Fast forward to the 21st century where Bowling Green is now the location for multiple manufacturers such as Fruit of the Loom, General Motors, and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which has manufactured Chevrolet Corvettes since 1981.

If you are interested in visiting Bowling Green, Kentucky, you may be wondering if it’s a safe destination.

Keep reading to find out!

Warnings & Dangers in Bowling Green

Overall Risk


While Bowling Green is generally a safe place to visit, most crimes that occur are against property. That means for the city's size, there are many thefts and robberies compared to the overall population, most of which are not violent. Per Neighborhood Scout, the property crime comparison per 1,000 residents is 45.88 compared to a national median of 19.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Given that Bowling Green State University brings in a large college population for most of the year, taxis and ridesharing options are readily available in the area, as is a bus system. Both transportation methods are safe, but you should always be on guard for pickpockets when taking the bus.

Pickpockets Risk


Given the small size of the city, pickpocketing is generally not a problem. If a situation were to occur, it would happen on a crowded bus where you might not even notice the crime is occurring.

Natural Disasters Risk


The greatest natural disaster risk occurs during tornado season. Historically, Bowling Green Kentucky is #308 in the United States for tornados. While this may seem like a high number, the statistic encompasses every town and city in the U.S. Severe thunderstorms can also cause flooding, which is another risk.

Mugging Risk


Mugging is not a risk in Bowling Green, but there is a chance of occurrence. Follow the same rules as anywhere else: know your surroundings, don’t wander into dark areas alone at night, and always keep your wits about you. These golden rules will ensure your safety wherever you go in the world.

Terrorism Risk


Although shootings and other terrorist attacks occur on college campuses, the risk is low since the college is one of the safest in the U.S. Otherwise, the City of Bowling Green has never had a terrorist attack.

Scams Risk


Scams are uncommon in Bowling Green other than on the Internet, which could happen anywhere.

Women Travelers Risk


The risk of solo female travelers to this charming southern town is low. However, when out at bars, never leave your drink unattended or wear overly revealing clothing that could attract unwanted attention.

Tap Water Risk


Bowling Green’s tap water is safe for consumption since the city has no active health violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency regularly reviews the water for any contamination or particles that could make humans sick.

Safest Places to Visit in Bowling Green

Your chance of becoming the victim of a crime could be as high as 1 in 22 when walking around the central neighborhoods, but as low as 1 in 53 in the eastern areas of the city.

Numerous places around Bowling Green are safe to visit during the day or night.

The top 10 include:

  • Nashville and Elrod Roads
  • Barren River and Greencastle
  • Western Kentucky University and Big Red Way Street
  • Cemetery and Cumberland Trace Roads
  • Greenwood and Three Springs
  • Rockfield and Blue Level
  • Bristow and Sand Hill
  • Scottsville Road and Three Springs Road
  • Briarwood Manor and Indian Hills
  • Barren River Road and Glen Lily Road

Many of these areas are around the two colleges in town:

Bowling Green State University and Western Kentucky University, so police and campus police are present and readily available if you have any issues.

Also, the museums, manufacturing plants, and raceway areas are incredibly safe for tourists to visit, with beefed-up hired security and an excellent police presence during operating hours.

Places to Avoid in Bowling Green

The western and central neighborhoods are the highest safety risk areas of Bowling Green.

The most dangerous include the area around Kentucky Mansion, Morgantown Road, Springhill, parts of Lost River, the area around Western Kentucky University, Eastland Park, parts of Greenwood, the Medical Center at Bowling Green, and Fort Webb Park.

While violent crime in these areas is unlikely to occur, avoid wandering around alone at night as this is asking for trouble.

The greatest crimes experienced in these sections of the city are property crimes to always lock your car, never leave items on the seat or in plain view, always leave your vehicle in a secure location, and never leave valuables inside.

Criminals in these areas are often looking in cars to see if there are any items worth stealing.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Bowling Green

While Bowling Green is generally a safe destination, these tips can ensure you minimize risk in the city and the wild including:

  1. Always lock your car. With property crime being the greatest risk in Bowling Green, always lock your car and leave it in a secure location when leaving for any amount of time. Also, never leave anything visible on the seat as this could entice criminals to break the window and steal your belongings.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Like anywhere you visit, always be aware of your surroundings. While pickpocketing and muggings are uncommon, you don’t want to put yourself in an unpleasant situation by not knowing where you are or where you’re headed. Know the places to avoid before traveling to Bowling Green to ensure your visit is as safe as possible.
  3. Bring and wear sunscreen. Summers in Southern Kentucky can be brutally hot, so pack your clothing accordingly and always bring and wear sunscreen while out for the day. Crime is not the only damage to your health and safety; severe sunburns could cause you to end up in the hospital so wear high SPF sunscreen when exploring the area.
  4. Do not wander into unfamiliar neighborhoods. Knowing where the safe and unsafe neighborhoods are will go a long way wherever you travel, and Bowling Green is no different. When walking around at any hour, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, and you should leave. Simply use a ridesharing app to get a car quickly, so you can return to more familiar surroundings.
  5. Locate the nearest shelter to your accommodations. Tornadoes and flooding are common seasonal weather events, so you want to know where the nearest shelter is located compared to your hotel or Airbnb. If you cannot find any information online, ask the hotel staff or Airbnb host for the closest location and mark it on your electronic map.
  6. Know what to do if a tornado hits. If you’re from an area where tornadoes are uncommon then you must read up on what to do if a tornado hits. A few immediate tips: always go to the basement or storm shelter on the property and never go near the windows. You must also know where the closest shelter is in case you need to evacuate the current accommodations.
  7. Know where the nearest police station is at all times. Whenever you’re out exploring for the day, know where the closest police station is in the city or the closest ranger station in the wild. While you are unlikely to have an issue, if an event occurs, you want to be prepared and know how to quickly seek help.
  8. Never leave drinks unattended at bars. Bowling Green is a college and manufacturing town, so visitors and locals have been known to get drugs slipped in their drinks. Take precautions by never leaving a drink unattended even for a moment.
  9. Never leave valuables in your car. If you have any valuables, never bring them out of your hotel room or Airbnb and never leave them in the car. Your best bet is to leave them in a hotel room safe or safe location at an Airbnb. In the situation of electronics, always keep them on you and never flash them in public.
  10. Register with the local rangers office when hiking or camping. There are countless hiking trails outside of Bowling Green since the city is situated in the hills. If you plan to go camping or even hiking for a day, always register with the local ranger’s office in case an incident occurs. There are dangerous animals in the forest and heat can impact your safety, so contacting the ranger’s office will add another layer of protection.

So... How Safe Is Bowling Green Really?

Statistically speaking, Bowling Green is a safe place to visit with many interesting historical and modern attractions, two major universities, and great outdoor year-round activities.

However, property crime is the biggest risk you will face.

That means always securing valuables in your hotel room, locking your vehicle, and never keeping items in plain sight as criminals will attempt to burglarize your automobile.

Bowling Green has many excellent and safe neighborhoods to explore with a few areas that you should avoid.

According to, Bowling Green has an overall crime index of C, which is skewed based on the high property crime.

According to the site’s data, Bowling Green receives a B+ for violent crime, a D+ for property crime, and a B- for other crimes.

A C rating means the city is slightly higher than the U.S. average with 56% of cities being safer and 44% being more dangerous.

The central and western neighborhoods see a higher number of crime incidences than the eastern parts, so you want to stick to the east at night.

How Does Bowling Green Compare?

CitySafety Index
Bowling Green76
Washington DC56
New York City67
San Diego67
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81

Useful Information



Since Bowling Green is in the United States, government-issued identification cards are required when driving, taking the train, taking a bus, or any other form of transportation between states. For U.S. citizens, a visa or passport is not required to visit Kentucky. However, if you are from another country, check with your state department on travel requirements to the U.S.



The U.S. dollar is the currency used in Bowling Green and the entire United States. ATMs are plentiful around Bowling Green with most locations accepting Mastercard, AMEX, Discover, and Visa. Most locations are moving toward cashless payments, especially in college towns, so Android and Apple Pay are becoming common.



Bowling Green experiences incredibly hot and humid summers and mild winters with some snow. The area receives some form of precipitation 114 days per year. If you don’t like the heat, the best time to visit is in the fall or winter when the air is dry. Spring also has mild temperatures but there is a high probability of rain.



Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport is the only local airport servicing the area. However, Nashville International Airport is 61 miles away and Louisville International Airport is 92 miles away, both of which are best for longer journeys.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Although travel insurance is not required in the U.S. for citizens, with the uncertainty of the world, it is always advised. You never know what situations could occur so having this extra protection layer will give you peace of mind.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Bowling Green Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 2° C
Feb 4° C
Mar 9° C
Apr 15° C
May 19° C
Jun 24° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 9° C
Dec 4° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Kentucky - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bowling Green76
Cave City84
Cumberland Falls83
Harlan Tri-Cities89
La Grange87
St. Matthews82

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