Georgia : Safety by City
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I should let Ryan Seacrest write this article since Dunwoody, Georgia is his hometown.
Since he’s probably way too busy, allow me to tell you about all the goodies in Dunwoody.
We can’t talk about Dunwoody without talking about “The Perimeter.”
That’s the other name for I-285 that goes around the city of Atlanta.
People, places, and things are either outside or inside the perimeter.
Dunwoody is ON the perimeter in many ways.
The Perimeter Mall is actually in Dunwoody, but it shares borders with three other cities.
The mall is actually in an edge city called Perimeter Center, but no matter what it’s called, it is just two miles from the heart of Dunwoody.
Dunwoody is a city where you can connect with nature, city life, and fitness while doing a healthy amount of shopping and unique dining.
It’s such a great little town of 52,000 people you might miss your MARTA train and stay here.
Warnings & Dangers in Dunwoody
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk here, but the crime rates are a little all over the place. We're lucky the police department has issued the 2021 crime statistics here so we can talk about more than the latest official FBI report from the pandemic year of 2020.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There's a MARTA stop in Dunwoody to get you around the Atlanta area. Taxis and rideshares are also available. You'll need those to get around the city because Dunwoody doesn't have an inter-city bus system. There's a low risk for any way you choose to get around. If you have a car here, be prepared to deal with a lot of traffic.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
With 19 pickpockets or purse snatching in a city of 52,000 people, it's getting really close to being a medium risk. The real eye-opener is that each theft was a loss of $500 or more. That's one of the higher pickpocket rates in the northern Atlanta OTP cities.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes happen in the Atlanta area each year. There's a medium risk because these storms can be quite dangerous and there are a lot of trees in Dunwoody. One tree knocked down in a storm can block a major road and cause power outages for hours.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Dunwoody's polite reputation even shows in its robbery numbers. There were just nine robberies in 2021 and just two were in public. There's a low risk of being mugged.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Because of the large population of the Atlanta metro area, this is going to be a medium risk. There is a lot of disruption a physical or cyber attack could have on transportation and communication if Atlanta was attacked.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The scams are focused on the locals here. It's not much of a tourist town, but you'll get those annoying vendors at the mall trying to get you to smell their perfume or try their makeup.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women are going to freaking love it here. There are so many yoga, day spa, shopping, and dining options. It's really a safe place for women with low risk. Even the sexual assault rate is half the national average.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The water in Dunwoody comes from DeKalb County and is safe to drink. The 2021 Annual Water Quality Report has been posted and shows all standards were met or exceeded.
Safest Places to Visit in Dunwoody
Dunwoody has the Treetop Quest park which is an aerial attraction.
It’s a zipline course with obstacles.
It’s a self-guided tour but there are plenty of training options before you go up on the line.
There are four levels for adults and bigger kids and one line just for kids under the age of 7.
The Dunwoody Nature Center is another way to explore the town through its natural offerings.
This is a safe place for a hike and a lesson about trees, flowers, plants, and wildlife in the area.
Visit the Dunwoody Preservation Trust to get information about the historic properties throughout the city.
There are group tour options if you reserve in advance or you can go on the tours by yourself.
The self-guided brochure is available on the Trust website or you can get it when you arrive in town.
The restaurant scene is vibrant in Dunwoody.
There are a lot of local and regional restaurants and during nice weather, you’ll find patios packed with people.
I won’t say a lot of the restaurants are fancy, but you will find a lot of Charcuterie boards offered up here.
The bonus is that all the restaurants aren’t just in one location.
There are a lot by the Perimeter Mall, but also in Dunwoody Village, Georgetown, and Jett Ferry neighborhoods.
Places to Avoid in Dunwoody
The highest crime rates are right along the north side of I-285, which is not surprising.
That’s where the mall is, along with a lot of hotels, apartments, and businesses.
You do want to keep a close eye on your purse and put the wallet in your front pocket.
You’ll be in areas with a lot of people coming and going here.
North of that area, crime is extremely low.
There are a lot of gated communities in Dunwoody – homes, and apartments.
Don’t try to follow someone through a gate or drive in behind another car.
The people of Dunwoody love their safe suburban oasis and won’t let even one person slip through without calling security or the police.
If you can, I’d avoid the Perimeter Mall on a weekend because that’s when the most crowds will be there.
It’s not fun to shop when you are wall-to-wall with other people.
It also means a lot of people will see your bags and your wallet when you go to purchase something.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Dunwoody
- Sign up for Nixle.com alerts in Dunwoody. You’ll get traffic and weather information as well as any criminal activity. Many surrounding cities also use Nixle, so it’s a great way to get information as you travel throughout the area.
- Download a reliable weather app of your choosing. You need to be weather aware, especially in spring and summer. Severe weather is generally predicted well ahead of time, so you can avoid a rainstorm or change outdoor plans if storms are coming.
- Police have a mantra here of “Hide. Lock.Take.” This means to lock your car, hide all your stuff (or don’t bring it with you in the car), and take your keys with you when you park. 21% of all thefts here are from vehicles, according to 2021 data.
- The police always tell us to “See Something. Say Something.” What does that really mean? The Dunwoody Police have a pamphlet you can read online that clearly spells out “What Is Suspicious?” This can help you be vigilant when spending time in crowds of people.
- If you do see something, you can text 274-637 and start your message with DPD TIPS. This will send an encrypted message to the police so you don’t have to spend hours filing a report or talking with an officer. If you prefer to call, the number is (678)382-6872.
- The police update crime statistics monthly in a year-to-year comparison. A really cool tool beyond that is the crime map, where you can search for criminal activity in a specific area and date range.
- If you’ve never used public transportation before, the MARTA system might be a little intimidating. There are great safety rules on the MARTA website. There are also blue phones at every stop to use in case of an emergency and white phones if you just have general questions. You can bring food on the MARTA busses and rail cars, but you can’t eat or drink while the vehicle is in motion.
- Dunwoody is a very friendly city, so you can feel safe asking locals at the coffee shop or local park where to go and what to do. A lot of new businesses are opening throughout the next few years here, so you should find out the newest hot spots to add to your itinerary.
- If someone tells you to “Shoot the Hooch,” that isn’t a reason to call the police. That means riding an inner tube down the Chattahoochee River in one of the nearby cities. This is a Georgia tradition and you shouldn’t let a trip to Atlanta happen without “Shooting the Hooch” at least once.
- To punctuate that women have a lot of safe options to do here, check out the “Dunwoody Darlings” on the Discover Dunwoody website. There are several videos of local leaders talking about the benefits Dunwoody has for locals and visiting women.
So... How Safe Is Dunwoody Really?
As I was doing research for this, a video came up on YouTube called “Straight Outta Dunwoody” and it was hysterical.
It was a song to the rhythm of “Straight Outta Compton” but with lines that punctuate the city and its suburban safety.
This is a city where people take pride in their community and will report anything suspicious immediately.
The average income is nearly $100,000 a year and people dress nicely to go to the grocery store.
The crime statistics back up the satire of that video.
Violent crime is half the national and state average.
Property crime is higher than both averages, but when you whittle it down, 25% of the thefts in Dunwoody were shoplifting related and 21%, as I said earlier, were thefts from cars.
The hotels are conveniently located to get to shipping, dining, and MARTA.
You can easily get safe rideshares here for the parts of the city that are more residential.
You should have no reservations about making reservations in Dunwoody.
How Does Dunwoody Compare?
|New York City
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
You will take care of all the Visa processing when you enter the United States and no additional processing is needed between the cities.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and there are a lot of places to spend it. Keep purchases on one credit card if you can, and set daily limits for spending so you can stay on budget.
Summers are going to be hot and muggy, so prepare to sweat a lot. Even just walking from the mall to your car in the lot is going to make you sweat. You don't have to work out to perspire here. Winters are usually jacket and jeans weather, but the occasional winter storm or cold snap will happen. Check before you go to see what part of the weather roller coaster is happening before your visit. The temperature averages don't mean a thing in a Southern winter. It just changes too much day to day.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the biggest and best choice. It's about 30 miles away but that's going to take you an hour in any kind of traffic unless you are getting the really early or late flight.
It's a great idea to get travel insurance for a trip to Dunwoody in case any weather delays flights or hotels get overbooked.
Dunwoody Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Georgia - Safety by City