Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
There’s a good chance you’re standing on part of Dalton, Georgia right now.
The “Carpet Capital of the World” provides 90% of the world’s carpeting through 150 carpet mills in the city.
The textile industry put this northern Georgia city on the manufacturing map.
You’re going to find an abundance of Civil War history here.
Dalton is home to more intact Civil War memorabilia and artifacts than anywhere else in the country.
You can even take a tour through the tunnel which was part of the “Great Locomotive Chase of 1862.”
The city is diverse with 48% of the city being Hispanic/Latino.
This is due to the recruitment of Mexican workers to the carpet mills here starting in the 1980s.
5% of the city is African American.
You’re going to need a love of the outdoors to get excited about Dalton, as most of the adventures happen in the parks and trails that are part of the Appalachian Mountains foothills.
Hikes here are rewarded with stunning views from rocky ridges.
The exercise removes the guilt of indulging in a variety of local restaurants.
This isn’t a fancy dining town, but you can sure get a full belly with different ethnic varieties of food and some of the best barbecue food you’ll ever taste.
A great bonus of Dalton is that it’s located right along I-75, which runs the length of the state.
This means you’re a direct 35 minutes to Chattanooga and 90 minutes to Atlanta in a straight shot south.
All of the Dalton hotels are located right along I-75.
There aren’t any in the city.
Warnings & Dangers in Dalton
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in this city with lower than average crime rates for the state and the nation. One caveat here - in 2020, Dalton appears to all but have closed the city borders. The crime rates were anomalies and incredibly low compared to prior years. To make sure you're getting the best safety information, we're not going off just 2020 numbers, we'll give the context of what it's really like based on previous years. I mean, it was safe in 2019, it just got incredibly safer in 2020 when everything shut down.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You're going to need a car in Dalton. There isn't a public bus system and while you can call a taxi or rideshare, they might not be as abundant as you'd like. The city isn't very bicycle-friendly either. You can ride on the roads, but you won't have any bike lanes. There's low risk if you hop in a taxi or rideshare, but get a car if you can.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of being pickpocketed. 2020 had none, but that was during the pandemic shutdown. Previous years showed 5-10 pickpockets or purse snatchings a year.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
You're going to get severe weather here in the form of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Winter averages less than two inches of snow a year, but since this city is in the foothills there are a lot of hilly roads which can make driving treacherous. Ice storms aren't uncommon either. In 2004, an ice storm froze activity in a large part of the state. With all that potentially dangerous weather, there's a medium risk here.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were two robberies in 2020, but the average is more like 20 robberies per year looking back to 2015. About 40% of the robberies happen in public places, but that's only around 7-8. There's a low risk, but it's not unheard of in Dalton.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. Dalton is far enough away from bigger cities that might have a higher risk. This is an outdoorsy area and there's not a whole lot for terrorists to destroy.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are phone and email scams reported in Dalton, but that's only going to affect the locals. Tourists don't have to worry about common scams here. If you do find someone trying to scam you, report them to the police.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should feel safe here. There's an average of 15 sexual assaults per year, which is slightly higher than the national average. There's not a whole lot of nightlife here, but the places that do ramp up at night have a lot of alcohol being offered. Just use caution if you're out for a night on the town. Don't walk home alone and keep an eye on your drink to avoid a drug being slipped in.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Annual Water Quality Report shows no violations of contaminants in the drinking water and it's safe for consumption.
Safest Places to Visit in Dalton
Start at the Historic Downtown Train Depot.
This is where you’ll find the visitor center and the maps of all the great historical places to visit in town.
The Whitfield Murray Historical Society is the perfect place to learn the history of the area.
One great thing about these Southern towns is that the historical societies offer research facilities where you can see if your family dates back through any era of the town.
There are 300 businesses downtown and it’s a great place for an afternoon stroll to do some unique shopping or experience a taste of the town.
Parking can be hard to come by, so take the first spot you see, especially on busy days like Saturdays or when a festival is happening.
It’s worth the 15-minute drive northwest to Tunnel Hill, where you can tour the heritage center and walk through the tunnel carved out of the rock.
The tunnel is the first of its kind to be built right through the Appalachian mountains.
You’ll hear the story of the Great Locomotive Chase when a Union General took control of the train, causing mayhem along the ride during the Civil War.
There are 14 local parks in Dalton, each offering a little something special.
The Raisin Woods Mountain Bike Park offers an exciting thrill ride via mountain bike with seven routes catering to all skill levels.
Haig Mill Park is a new addition to the family and offers water and ground activities.
Bring your fishing pole!
Burr Performing Arts Park is where you’ll find all kinds of entertainment throughout the year.
Check the city’s website for the schedule.
Places to Avoid in Dalton
The highest crime rates run right through the center of the city, starting at I-75 and going east until the city limits.
There are still low overall crime rates, so you don’t need to avoid that area.
Just be aware.
It will be interesting to see if Dalton will go back to its pre-2020 crime levels in the next release of data.
In 2020, there was hardly any crime.
This is a very conservative town, or at least the loudest people are very conservative.
I saw a social media post asking what it was like to live in Dalton and a fierce political debate broke out.
Don’t argue about politics here, even when it’s right in your face on a shocking billboard of some kind.
People here are very outspoken.
On the flip side, there’s almost a 50/50 split between Caucasians vs Latinos/Hispanics here.
Some Hispanics don’t speak English as a first language or might speak very little English.
42% of people speak a language other than English at home.
Knowing conversational Spanish will help here.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Dalton
- Dalton Police strictly enforce speed limits as part of their strategic plan. 12% of all crashes that happened here in 2019 were because of speed. The top reason for crashes was following too close, or as most people call it – tailgating.
- You will need to get a fishing or hunting license if you plan to do those activities. The Georgia Department of Wildlife can provide you with one and it’s good across the state. If you cross over into Tennessee, you’ll need a separate license to fish there.
- People here can speak with a really thick Southern accent. Don’t treat that as an attraction and ask people to say certain words or laugh at them. Respect the traditions and accents of this unique part of the country. I once interviewed a woman near this area and she kept telling me about a B!tch she once saw and that b!tch was strong and pretty. I finally realized she was saying “Bench.” The interview suddenly made much more sense.
- Sign up for CodeRED notifications through the city website. You can get notifications of developing weather or civil emergencies. You need to keep an eye on the weather here as storms can build quickly and cause a lot of damage.
- When you check into your hotel, ask where the safest location to go is in case of a tornado. You don’t want to be in your hotel room if one happens. Usually, there’s a map of the hotel with emergency guidelines. Check ahead of time and don’t wait until the sirens are going off.
- If you are visiting in the winter and you see an ice storm approaching, leave the city or delay the trip. Ice storms here can just literally freeze the entire community. I was about 2 hours west of here in an ice storm once. My office was on a hill. That hill got shut down because of dangerous driving and one of my colleagues left anyway. They called me 15 minutes later from a ditch. I was stuck there for two days, but I know it was safer than trying to drive on an ice rink.
- Georgia has a problem with not being very bicycle-friendly. Dalton has no bicycle lanes on the roads. You can still ride a bike, and Georgia law says bicycles are treated just the same as cars. Stay as far right as possible, obey traffic signals, and wear reflective clothing if driving at night. You cannot ride on the sidewalk.
- Bug spray is as important as putting on your pants here. The mosquitoes – or “skeeters” as some call them – can eat you alive before you even realize what is happening. Don’t worry about the bug spray smell, worry about protecting yourself from the plethora of diseases mosquitos carry and can transmit to humans.
- The great thing about having I-75 so close is that you can get to so many places quickly. The bad thing is, if an accident closes the interstate, you’re stuck waiting for hours. Visit ga511.org to get traffic updates and alternate routes before you head out.
- This is north Georgia and the foothills of the mountains, which means this is bear country. There are approximately 1200 bears that live in this region. If you see a bear, don’t approach it. Don’t feed it. Stay as far away as possible (yeah, go ahead and take a picture). The good news is there has never been a bear attack in Georgia. Let’s keep it that way.
So... How Safe Is Dalton Really?
It’s a small Southern town that mainly exists because of the incredible presence of carpet-making.
The factories are owned by wealthy businesspeople, but it’s the hard work of the factory workers that keeps the business going.
Many of those workers are Hispanic, having been recruited four decades ago and establishing a new home here.
This is a working-class town, so people don’t really mess around.
If you start something, they’ll finish it.
They’re adamant about their political beliefs and would argue with you all day about it.
I dated a Southern man and I tell this as God’s honest truth – he could make any single issue we were having be about the Civil War.
I didn’t like the meal?
The meat would taste better if the South had won the war.
He’s driving too fast?
I’m a Yankee and we all drive terribly, so who was I to judge?
Don’t argue with a Southern person.
It’s exhausting and you’ll never win.
You’re lucky if you tie.
Diving into the 2020 anomaly of crime numbers.
Here’s an example:
- 2020 Violent Crime Numbers: 9
- 2019 Violent Crime Numbers: 66
- 2018 Violent Crime Numbers: 92
- 2017 Violent Crime Numbers: 108
- 2020 Thefts: 45
- 2019 Thefts: 504
- 2018 Thefts: 787
- 2017 Thefts: 782
It goes on like that for every category.
You cannot judge the crime risk here by the 2020 numbers as the pandemic had a misleading impact on how safe the community is.
I know those lower numbers are legit, but it was also during a time when so many things were shut down and people were staying home.
In Dalton, you have to look at the overall trend.
The 5-year trend is that violent crime is lower than the national and state average and property crimes are just above the national and state average.
It has all the crime it can handle, but it’s not overrun with crime at all.
How Does Dalton Compare?
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
- Visas - Once you land in the United States, you can't leave the airport without providing proof of Visa. Once you get cleared, you can travel freely throughout states and cities.
- Currency - You'll use the U.S. Dollar here for all purchases. Most places take credit cards, but it's good to have a small amount of cash if you come across a roadside stand or something like that.
- Weather - It's still humid here when it's warm but not as intense as in the rest of the state. You'll want to have long sleeves and full-length pants to wear in the wilderness to avoid ticks and mosquitoes from getting to you. If it's too hot for that, just lather on the bug spray. Good hiking boots are needed too.
- Airports - You're about 30 minutes to the Chattanooga airport and 90 minutes to the much larger Atlanta airport, so you can take your pick. There isn't a commercial airport in Dalton.
- Travel Insurance - You should get travel insurance for a trip to Dalton to protect your travel arrangements and protect you from any issues along the way.
Dalton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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