North Carolina : Safety by City
- Chapel Hill
- Elizabeth City
- High Point
- Hope Mills
- Kill Devil Hills
- Kitty Hawk
- Morehead City
- New Bern
- Rocky Mount
Cary, North Carolina, a gem nestled in the embrace of the Tar Heel State, boasts its own distinct charm that sets it apart from the bustling neighboring metropolis of Raleigh.
Just a stone’s throw from the state capital, Cary’s allure lies in its seamless blend of history, innovation, and Southern hospitality.
Cary’s origins date back to the 18th century when settlers first established their roots in this fertile land.
Over time, it evolved from a small agricultural community into a thriving suburb known for its affluence and quality of life.
The town’s historic downtown area preserves the essence of Cary’s past, with quaint shops and charming streets that whisper tales of bygone eras.
Cary is a hotspot for technology companies and a hub for research, earning it the moniker of “Technology Town of North Carolina.”
This juxtaposition of tradition and innovation creates a dynamic energy that’s palpable in every corner.
As you explore Cary, you’ll encounter a vibrant arts scene, lush green spaces, and a culinary landscape that caters to diverse tastes.
Whether it’s enjoying a play at the Cary Arts Center, picnicking in the Fred G. Bond Metro Park, or savoring global flavors in downtown eateries, Cary offers a delightful blend of experiences that reflect its diverse community.
So, when you venture into Cary, remember that it’s not just a suburb; it’s a tapestry of history and progress, a place where the past and future converge, creating a truly special destination in the heart of North Carolina.
Warnings & Dangers in Cary
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Cary is ranked as one of the best places to live in America, which is paired with the low crime rates to get a low risk. That said, it's not a huge tourism destination compared to Raleigh and Durham. While it's a highly residential area, there are groupings of hotels on all sides.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
GoCary is the name of the public transportation system. Once you get to its website, you'll see that Raleigh, Durham, and other big locations have transit lines as well. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find here. Rental cars are widely available. All options have a low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
With an average of four pickpockets a year and low theft rates otherwise, this is a low risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Cary gets four seasons of weather with winter that isn't too intense. However, any ice storm or snow event can have harsh impacts on this region that isn't used to it. Spring brings the risk of severe storms, flooding, and dangerous lightning. Summers can be hot and humid with extreme heat indexes. Treat this as a medium risk to stay weather-aware.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The robbery rate is 80% lower than the national average, which is a low risk. While you should never let your guard down, this is a safe community when it comes to muggings.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This is a low risk, but given that it's so close to the larger city of Raleigh, stick with the "See Something, Say Something" mantra and report anything suspicious you see.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Scams here are mostly focused on residents, but you can always check the police department's social media sites for new scams.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The risk is low here, with low crime rates across the board and one of the safer parts of the Raleigh region to visit.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Cary really goes the distance in its water quality testing, with one of the longest and most detailed reports I've seen nationwide. The 2022 Annual Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations.
Safest Places to Visit in Cary
One of the best tourism websites for Cary is the cities and towns section of the VisitRaleigh.com website.
You can also review the city’s website section called “Get to Know Cary.”
Durham does have its own separate website for visitors called “Discover Durham.”
Here’s one more website for you – downtowncarypark.com – to cover the seven-acre expanse in the heart of the city.
This place just opened in 2023 and includes a botanical garden, elaborate playgrounds, water features, and a skywalk above the park.
For those traveling with pets, there’s also a dog park and a “Bark Bar.”
To get a taste of history here, visit the Page-Walker Arts and History Center.
That’s where the Cary Heritage Museum is located, and local events are planned throughout the year at the art galleries.
Gardens also surround the grounds.
Cary also borders Lake Crabtree County Park, with a lake, observation tower, and trails for hikers and bicyclists.
For my outdoor adventure dollar, I’d choose the Historic Yates Mill County Park.
The Grist Mill is the only one of its kind still operating and is open for tours seasonally.
Several trails go through the woods and wetlands, then around Yates Mill Pond.
This is an especially mesmerizing place in the fall.
In the summer, head a few miles west to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area for beaches and water views on the lake.
You can also paddle the day away in a rental canoe.
Places to Avoid in Cary
Cary doesn’t have bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods.
You can freely travel throughout any part of the town without worry.
The only thing I can even think to suggest is not driving through gated communities unless you know someone who lives there.
This is an affluent community with an average income of $113,000.
The places to visit are spread out, and it’s about as upper-class suburbia as you’ll find in the South.
All that said, if you’re looking for the urban vibe of Raleigh-Durham, you won’t find it here.
Heck, even the drivers are ranked as some of the best in the nation.
Cary is safe, but it’s not very exciting.
This would be a great place for families or people considering moving to this area.
It’s just not a place where you’re going to find a lot of nightlife and adult activities.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Cary
- Cary does have its own police department, and you can follow them on Facebook @CaryPolice. The phone number is (919) 469-4012.
- Ready Wake is the name of the emergency notification system in Gary. Sign up to get weather and civic alerts throughout the community and county. You can also sign up for email alerts if you’d prefer.
- The ReadyNC app is a great tool to get checklists for safety when it comes to weather, disasters, or terrorism issues. You’ll be able to find out the different types of weather watches and warnings.
- There is a nuclear plant about 10 miles outside of Cary. While this isn’t a safety threat or a reason to reconsider a trip, I understand why it might make you think twice. Look up the safety plan for the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant online to get emergency information. Also note the siren testing dates, which might catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared.
- This is a bicycle-friendly community. You should know that riding a bicycle is treated as if you are a vehicle when you’re on the road. That means stopping at stop signs and stoplights. The city’s website offers a downloadable hike and bike map with safety steps.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state of North Carolina. You’ll want to choose an inland fishing license here. Visit Go Outdoors North Carolina for pricing and requirements.
- The downtown park in Cary opened in late 2023. It’s a huge new attraction for the city after 20 years of diligent work. However, it will put more people in cars and crosswalks in that area. Always be aware of pedestrians when you’re driving, and never cross the street as a pedestrian without being certain the approaching cars see you. The statewide program “Watch for Me NC” offers great tips for all visitors.
- Cary is a hub of sports activity, and that can lead to traffic jams and road closures. The police department lists the current events and how roads will be impacted. Always give yourself 15 extra minutes when traveling around to avoid speeding or becoming distracted.
- If you’re relying on the public bus system here, you should consider buying a pass to cover multiple days instead of paying for each ride. You’ll likely save money. For those transferring between Cary and Raleigh or Durham, you’ll need a Regional Pass. More details are available on the GoCary website.
- Even with the low crime rates here, you should still lock your car each time you park and never leave your personal items inside. Thieves will often go through parking lots just pulling on door handles, looking for an easy score.
So... How Safe Is Cary Really?
Cary ranks as one of the top 10 safest cities in America, and I can’t find a single reason that the ranking doesn’t hold.
Crime rates are incredibly low.
Even with car theft rates rising in 2020 and 2021, the rate is still 80% lower than the national average.
In fact, Cary has the essence of being so safe that it might cause people to let their guard down.
No matter what crime rates show, you still need to use standard safety precautions wherever you go.
The information is especially important in Cary because very few cities have this exceptionally low crime risk in the state.
Then there are the weather risks, which won’t catch you by surprise if you’re used to severe weather.
The shocking part might be how challenging the roads and access to places become with even just a few inches of snow.
The summers are also quite humid, and you need to be careful of ticks when spending time in the woods.
The insects can carry disease and need to be safely removed.
Black bears also roam this area and have been seen in Cary from time to time.
Before you enjoy the outdoor activities of this region, be sure you know about lake, boating, hiking, bear, and weather safety for the different environments.
For example, if you’re hiking and a severe thunderstorm approaches, do you know how to shelter safely?
If you choose to go under a tree, you really need to review safety advice.
For the most part, Cary is a very safe, if not somewhat boring, place to visit.
However, you might just be looking for that peaceful visit anyway.
Just remember that the other places you visit might have much higher risk levels, but we’ve covered most of them on our website so you can review the individual neighboring cities.
How Does Cary Compare?
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- Visas - All international visitors need a visa that is designated for the purpose of the trip. For example, students have a visa separate from a tourist visa. Some international travelers might be from countries that qualify for a visa waiver. You'll also need a passport.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted anywhere in America. Use credit cards as much as possible for the best fraud protection. Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) does have currency exchange options.
- Weather - With weather that can change frequently, it's smart to bring a rain jacket and umbrella paired with layers of clothing for days when the weather goes from cold to warm within a few hours. Comfortable walking shoes and casual clothing will suit most activities. Get bug spray for outdoor activities, and don't forget sunscreen.
- Airports - Staying in Cary gives you close access to RDU, which is just nine miles from downtown. This is the closest and largest option.
- Travel Insurance - Even in a safe community, travel insurance can help cover the costs of weather delays and cancelations. You'll want a supplement health insurance policy if you don't have coverage in the U.S.
Cary Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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