Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Granger, Indiana is part of the South Bend-Mishawaka area of northern Indiana and the north side of the city sits at the Michigan state line.
Granger isn’t really a city.
It’s not a town or a village. It’s a census-designated place, which makes researching it all the more challenging.
Law enforcement and leadership come from St. Joseph County, Indiana.
Granger sits in stark contrast to nearby South Bend in almost every category possible.
It’s safer, more affluent, and more residential.
However, it’s not too difficult to be safer than South Bend with its crime rates.
This place made headlines in 2021 when a Juneteenth celebration at a local bar in a shopping area was the scene of a mass shooting.
Five people were shot and one of them died.
Outside of the Granger shopping area where this shooting happened, the city is highly residential.
All of the hotels are located near this section of town at the border with Mishawaka.
While it’s not a common type of crime in Granger, it’s a reminder that violent crime can happen anywhere.
This incident does not define this city.. er.. Census Designated Place.
Unless you are visiting family or friends here, you need to look outside of Granger for different activities.
The whole southeast side of the city is nothing but corn fields.
You can read our reviews of Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend, and Goshen to learn more about other cities in this area.
Warnings & Dangers in Granger
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in this community, but it's right next to one of the most dangerous cities in the country (South Bend), so there's always going to be a risk that crime will bleed over more and more into this area. Granger is policed by the St. Joseph County Police Department. (Yes, it's a police department and not a sheriff's office/department. However, this is a sheriff.)
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The Transpo bus service technically doesn't come through Granger, but it does go to University Park Mall, just across the town boundary to Mishawaka. Taxis and rideshares are available, but you'll be happy if you get your own car to do more exploring.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here, but there are some popular shopping areas in and around Granger, so always protect your valuables. Keep your wallet in a front pocket or inside your jacket pocket. Purses are most secured when the strap goes across your body.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a pretty insane video of a FedEx truck slipping on the highway here during a winter weather event and dangling off the edge of the overpass. Those ice storms and snow storms are just one of the risks that exist here. You can get tornadoes from severe thunderstorms starting in the spring and flash flooding can happen with heavy rain. The St. Joseph River doesn't run through any part of Granger, so it's a benefit that river floodwaters can't reach here. There's a medium risk because these hazards are possible all year long. Pay special attention when there's a weather advisory or watch.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's a low risk in Granger, but again I have to warn you about the dangers in South Bend and Elkhart. While researching this area I saw a video I can't unsee - two people violently attacking a paralyzed man in a wheelchair because they saw money sticking out of his shirt pocket. You have to use caution in this entire region.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. It's not a large enough population area that it would be a hard target, and only nearby Notre Dame *might be. Unfortunately, it's the criminals in this community that are the real terrorists.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Granger has mostly scams that target residents since it's such a residential area. You might be panhandled near the shopping areas, as nearby Elkhart and South Bend have 20% poverty rates. There's a low risk you'll be the victim of a scam, but never fall for any deal that seems too good to be true.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women have a low risk in Granger, but the risk goes up to a medium in Mishawaka, South Bend, or Elkhart. Just be careful in this area and don't go around at night by yourself.
TAP WATER RISK : MEDIUM
I wish you could see my arms flailing and eyes bulging out of my head as I bellow "I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW AND CAN NOT FIND ANYONE TO TELL ME!" Granger is a census-designated place and highly residential. Some water comes from South Bend, others from St. Joseph County. There has been a nearly decade-long debate about possible groundwater contamination in this area. On top of that, some of the homes here had their own septic systems for years, that could leak into the groundwater. So, we're going to call this a medium risk, because any accurate information is not easy to find and county and city leaders have been battling back and force over how to get water to the new places being built here.
Safest Places to Visit in Granger
A quick note here.
I am going to touch on some places that are different than the places mentioned in South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart to avoid redundancy.
On the southwest side of Granger, right across I-90 into Mishawaka, is a huge retail area between Grape Road and Main Street.
In this shopping area, you’ll find a lot of big box stores you are probably familiar with, but look for The Waypoint VRcade.
This is a multi-scene VR game brought to life.
You can play with up to eight of your friends.
Some games might be a little too violent for some of you, but there is a race car VR game, like Mario Kart on steroids.
That same shopping area has a store called Outpost Sports.
You can find any non-motorized watercraft or bicycle rentals here, and there are sand volleyball courts with sand from Lake Michigan.
While many of the volleyball games are part of league play, you can watch the game or ask if you can rent the court for a few hours.
Heatherwood Equestrian Academy is a horse boarding and riding facility in Granger.
You can schedule lessons for yourself or with a group.
There is a summer camp that lasts a week with a show for family and friends at the end of the week.
You can also schedule horse-drawn carriage rides or literally go riding in a “One horse open sleigh” in the winter.
Just outside the southeast border of Granger sits Cobus Creek (Elkhart) County Park.
This location has walking trails, a sensory garden, and some of the best cold-water trout you’ll ever find.
Sometimes there is Yoga scheduled in the park, so check the calendar before you go.
The closest access point to St. Joseph River is six miles south of Granger at Prickett Marina Park.
There’s a boat launch, fishing pier, dog park, and picnic tables.
There’s also a convenient boat sales business right next door, but don’t get lured into buying a boat on vacation.
Those don’t fit into a carry-on.
Places to Avoid in Granger
The area west of Fir Road has the highest crime rates when you look at the crime distribution map, and east of that area there is very low crime.
Keep in mind this is a heavily residential area, so property crimes could drive up the crime rates to make that west side of town look more dangerous.
Burglary at a home is not a crime that impacts tourists directly unless they are renting a home during their stay.
As I was looking through the street views of Granger, I came across Sunny Haven Recreation Park.
I thought “Hey, there’s a local park I should look into!” Turns out, Sunny Haven is a nudist or “naturalist” camp.
For example, nudity is required when getting into the pool or hot tub.
We are a judgment-free zone in our articles, so we’re not saying “Avoid this place,” it just seemed like this was the best section to let you know that it’s not a normal community park.
If you are interested, the Sunny Haven website has a lot of great information for first-time visitors and rules surrounding child visitors and photography.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Granger
- The unfortunate part about Granger being a CDP is that we can’t give you specific information on the city without jumping through a few hoops. Specific crime rates aren’t available, and there’s no city or local police department to send you to. I did find a couple of Facebook pages you might like. One is “Granger Living Magazine”, which highlights the events, sales, and community collaboration in the “affluent subdivisions of Granger, South Bend, and Niles.”
- You should also follow Saint Joseph County Emergency Management to stay up to date on weather risks, safety advice, and emergency notifications. For example, it’s June 2022 as I write this, and there is a lot of great information about how to avoid overheating in extreme heat and an item about fireworks safety.
- That Facebook page is not a substitute for having a good weather app with notifications enabled on your phone. Facebook’s algorithm is not helpful when it comes to second counting during a storm. You should have an app from the weather channel, the national weather service, or a local South Bend television station so you get emergency alerts as they happen. I live in a place that gets tornadoes and last night at 2:00 am the sirens went off as soon as my phone notifications did, and my family was able to get to our safe space.
- St. Joseph County Police Department provides law enforcement for this area. Their website shows social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, but their Twitter is not updated and hasn’t been since 2019. The Facebook page is updated and should be another one to follow. The main phone number of the Police Department is (574)245-6500. You can add that to your contacts list now so you’ll be able to reach out quickly when you’re visiting.
- The police department does have a section on its website called “Daily Log.” Here you can download the “calls for service” recently or the “incident summary.” I looked at both and the “calls for service” is the better option because you can see the city where the incident happened. As I’m writing this, there were calls for shots fired, traffic accidents, and several alarms going off in the past few days in Granger.
- To do any fishing or hunting in Indiana, you need a license from the department of fish & wildlife. Detailed information is available online and you can even purchase your license there.
- Swimming in the St. Joseph River is not a good idea. The current is swift and the water has a history of pollution, though it’s much better now than in years gone by. Before you go to any lake area in Indiana, you should research it for water quality and to see if swimming is allowed. One lake near Granger is Simonton Lake, but swimming is not allowed there. Go a few miles south into Elkart, and there’s a waterpark called Ideal Beach.
- Despite the lack of a local police department, you can still dial 911 in case of an emergency and it will go to the right place. You can also sign up for Smart911, which is a free product that allows you to enter your medical information, emergency contacts, and any other concerns should you be involved in an emergency. This information will get to any 911 center that utilizes Smart911.
- When you are researching Granger, be sure to put “Indiana” or “IN” in the search bar. There are Granger cities in Iowa, Michigan, and some other communities where Granger is the name of a park or a street. It’s easy to get confused when searching. IN is the state abbreviation for Indiana, while IA is the abbreviation for Iowa.
- George Wilson Park in Mishawaka is the closest sledding hill for enjoying the winter snow. It’s actually a “tubing” hill. It will cost $3 to get into the park and $2 to rent a tube. It’s smart to wear a helmet when tubing to protect your noggin’ against accidents.
So... How Safe Is Granger Really?
Granger is one city where I can’t give you hard facts about the safety there.
I can tell you it’s among the safest areas of the South Bend region based on what little data I can find.
The biggest crime in recent years was that mass shooting at a bar which happened in the middle of the night.
An ongoing problem in this part of Indiana is that people won’t step forward to give information about crimes, due to fear of retaliation or the desire to “handle it themselves.”
St. Joseph Metro Homicide Commander Mike Grzegorek said this to a local South Bend television station after the mass shooting, which happened in a crowd of up to 500 people.
“I mean for us to only have found 20 people out of 300-500 is sad in my opinion, that more people aren’t coming forward going this is wrong, we have to stop this.
This has to change and the only way we do that is by standing up.”
This is why tourists need to be vigilant when visiting new places and report anything suspicious.
With a huge retail area near Granger, it’s critical you still lock the car doors, roll up the windows, and leave no personal belongings in plain sight inside the vehicle.
Granger is definitely one of the safer areas to stay in throughout the South Bend area, so don’t let a lack of big attractions deter you from staying there.
How Does Granger Compare?
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- Visas - You can travel throughout the different cities in this region and even cross state lines without having to show your Visa. You will need it when arriving and leaving the country, so keep it in a safe place while you're visiting.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and I'd strongly suggest not carrying around cash. Use mobile pay apps if you can, or just one credit card where you can track purchases and set up fraud alerts.
- Weather - You need heavy winter clothing with plenty of layers. There are snow, sleet, and ice risks throughout the winter and temperatures can get dangerously low. Summers will be warm, but not as hot as some places in the South. It's the humidity that will get you here. Bring light, loose clothing and if you have some comfortable long-sleeved light shirts or pants, that's going to help keep the mosquitos away.
- Airports - You can get to South Bend International Airport in 30 minutes. You can also get to Chicago in two hours, where you have a choice of Midway or O'Hare international airports.
- Travel Insurance - Getting as much travel protection as possible is ideal here, with the safety risks around the area and the weather delays that are inevitably going to happen.
Granger Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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