Arkansas : Safety by City
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Welcome to Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Fayetteville is Arkansas’ 3rd largest city (2021), located in the north and west corner of the state near the Ozark’s Boston Mountains.
The city was established in the 1830s, named after a sister-city in Tennessee, and recognized among the top places to live (US News) and ideal for those who wish to retire in the southern United States.
Fayetteville is home to Arkansas’ flagship institution of higher education – the University of Arkansas (UA), with a student enrollment that nears 30,000 students annually.
Fayetteville is also known as the Track Capital of the World – named for the success & prestige of UA’s track and field athletic programs.
UA Razorbacks have an impressive record that includes more than 40 national championships.
UA’s central campus is listed within the National Register of Historic Places – one of forty locales listed in Fayetteville.
Nearly 90,000 residents inhabit Fayetteville’s 54 square miles.
Fayetteville is considered a part of the larger Northwest Arkansas metro area for statistical purposes.
Nearby, Bentonville is home to Walmart – one of six Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Natural State – along with Tyson Foods, Dillard’s, Murphy Oil, Windstream, and JB Hunt.
Fayetteville’s diverse culture draws from its college-town influences and southern city charm.
The city is flush with what one would expect of a hip college town – music and a prominent art scene that begins on Dickson Street and extends beyond.
Warnings & Dangers in Fayetteville
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Fayetteville is a city with crime rates that exceed national averages in many categories. However, in some crime statistics, Fayetteville fares better than Arkansas overall. For instance, violent crime (per thousand residents) is lower in Fayetteville than in Arkansas. However, property crime is near twice the average for all of Arkansas.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Fayetteville is served by the State’s Highway & Transportation Dept – the Ozark Regional Transit, and Razorback Transit. Razorback Transit traverses the school’s campus but also offers stops at other Fayetteville destinations like the nearby mall and Dickson Street. When using mass transit, try to use a well-lighted stop if you are unable to travel during the day. If traveling at night, consider using Uber or Lift to safely navigate Fayetteville instead.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Like muggers, pickpockets tend to be opportunistic – on the hunt for those unsuspecting individuals aimlessly traveling without paying attention to their surroundings. There are several ways to mitigate the dangers posed by pickpockets – making eye contact, walking swiftly on the sidewalk that faces oncoming traffic, and purposefully. Pay attention to local Fayetteville alerts and warnings from officials.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Fayetteville has little to no risk in terms of volcanos or earthquakes. However, Fayetteville’s tornado risk is above the US average but below Arkansas’ overall risk. Learn how to prepare! Note, though; there is a history of floods and severe thunderstorms, which wreak havoc to parts of Fayetteville and the state in general. Arkansas averages more than 800,000 cloud-to-ground strikes of lightning each year. Caution is advised in severe thunderstorms as Arkansas has the tenth most deaths in the US caused by lightning.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Areas of Fayetteville should be avoided at night and if traveling, try to go with a travel buddy or family member. Because Fayetteville has a crime index that is 1.3 higher than the nation’s average, visitors should heed caution and stay prepared because muggers tend to be opportunistic.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Domestic and international terrorism has been rising in recent years. The Arkansas State Homeland Security Program is the state agency tasked with the responsibility of responding to suspicious activities in Fayetteville and other Arkansas locations.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams are a capitalistic byproduct and challenging to identify and control as they pop up in limitless ways from the four corners of the globe – including Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Police department has issued SCAM warnings to address emerging and existing concerns.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women travelers, especially at night, should use caution when traveling in and around Fayetteville. When venturing out to new locations, be sure to research the area and understand the dangers of the destination. Stay alert and trust your intuition.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Water for businesses and residents in Fayetteville is sourced by the Beaver Water District – a quasi-governmental division created in the late 1950s. The city’s tap water is considered safe for drinking. A copy of the Water Quality Report for 2020 is available online.
Safest Places to Visit in Fayetteville
Fayetteville is defined by its home as the state’s flagship campus.
Much of its attractions are connected to the University of Arkansas.
Here are a few of the more popular choices –
Reynolds Razorback Stadium seats up to 80,000 football fans and is a must for any NFL fan.
Baseball fans head over to George Cole Field, home of the NCAA Division I Arkansas Razorback’s baseball team – named the best college facility when first built.
The central campus is listed with the Federal Register of Historic Places and worth a visit.
History buffs will love the Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville.
For more than four decades, the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market (known as the Crown Jewel of Fayetteville) has been offering handcrafted goods (bakery items, curated crafts, and fine art, etc.) and fresh produce in Fayetteville’s historic downtown with up to 70 vendors.
While visiting downtown Fayetteville, check out Wilson Park, Fayetteville’s oldest established park – one of Fayetteville’s 69 parks.
Wilson Park covers more than 22 acres and has been an urban oasis since 1906 – offering tennis, softball fields, a swimming pool, and playgrounds and playthings for children of all ages.
Outdoor lovers should head over to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks – including a butterfly house, and a dozen themed gardens.
Fayetteville offers a bike trail (The Fayetteville Ale Trail) that crosses eight local breweries.
Shopping lovers check Fayetteville’s boutiques and funky consignment shops.
Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center (WAC) showcases stage and dance performers as well as productions of Broadway shows.
WAC is also home to the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.
Throughout Fayetteville are a variety of eateries like the historic Hugo’s – a basement restaurant cranking out burgers and homemade French fries for about four decades.
Another long-standing eatery is Doe’s Eat Place – which stays true to its original 1940s authenticity.
Places to Avoid in Fayetteville
Fayetteville, like most moderate cities, has pockets of significant crime, and in Fayetteville’s case – property crime is at its pinnacle.
The reality is that Arkansas, along with Fayetteville, has a higher crime rate than the rest of the nation.
Being prepared offers the best protection against potential crime.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Fayetteville
- When walking on The Hill (Fayetteville’s local nickname), stay alert and DO NOT wear headphones. This helps ensure you remain aware of the sounds & sights of your location.
- If you plan to travel to Fayetteville by automobile, have a mechanic give the car a thumb’s up before embarking on your adventure. Keep the car’s gas tank filled at least halfway and park in well-lit areas.
- Trust your instincts. Head to a populated, well-lit area if you think you are being followed while walking. If it is a car following you, try to get its plate number if you can do it safely.
- Choose a hotel or other Fayetteville lodging option that can be trusted. This helps to ensure you can truly expect what was promised by the hotel or resort.
- Look before getting into an elevator in a familiar or unfamiliar location. Choose to stand near the elevator’s controls, which are strategically locally near the exit.
- The Fayetteville Police department offers a variety of online crime prevention suggestions.
- Keep the expensive jewelry hidden or, better yet, leave the jewelry safe at home. Criminals look for ripe opportunities – expensive jewelry is a favorite target.
- If you must travel using public transportation, sit as close to the driver as possible. Stay clear of exits on the bus as this allows someone exiting to quickly grab your purse or laptop as they leave.
- Don’t carry heavy packages that are cumbersome to carry. Burdensome bundles make it challenging to react to danger.
- Keep family and friends updated throughout your trip. Give them a copy of your itinerary, so everyone will know where you will be at any time while traveling to Fayetteville.
So... How Safe Is Fayetteville Really?
Even with moderate crime, the lower than the national average cost of living, hip climate, good schools, and reasonable average home prices, many people negotiate higher crime areas that are inevitably present in urban locations by being proactively cautious.
Like most large cities, travelers should be proactively cautious when in unfamiliar Fayetteville surroundings and mindful at all other times.
The University of Arkansas has its police force, which helps manage and control those areas where students and faculty work and live.
Caution is still advised when traveling alone or at night in unfamiliar places.
How Does Fayetteville Compare?
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- Visas - The United States Department of State's Consular Affairs Bureau is the federal agency that manages (albeit at a snail’s pace) new and renewal requests for US passports. This route can take weeks (or more) to complete, so check out available private firms that can do it more expeditiously for an additional fee.
- Currency - Arkansas’ currency is the US Dollar. Those visitors and international travelers to Fayetteville needing foreign currency exchanged can locate a bank/financial institution to complete the exchange. ATMs are readily available, with most merchants accepting debit/credit cards. Airports offer convenient kiosks, although there might be an additional convenience fee.
- Weather - Arkansas is a four-season state, although its winters tend to be on the mild side (with only one day, on average, where the temperature may fall below zero). The months of May, September, and October are considered the most pleasant times to visit Fayetteville. Fayetteville tends to have a yearly rainfall total (average 47 inches) that exceeds the national average.
- Airports - Drake Field, once known as the Fayetteville Municipal Airport, offers general aviation to the city. The closest major airport to Fayetteville is Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. There are six other airports, including the Branson Airport and Tulsa International Airport, within a 90-minute drive from Fayetteville.
- Travel Insurance - Travelers in any location face unfamiliar conditions and customs. This ultimately creates the risk of injury or becoming the victim of a crime. The insurance industry offers travelers insurance coverage that protects travelers from several covered events or losses. Travel insurance may also reimburse for canceled flights or an illness of an insured traveler. Pay attention to the coverage offered because it differs among insurance providers.
Fayetteville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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