Is Hendersonville Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On May 12, 2024
Hendersonville, United States
Safety Index:
79
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Hendersonville, Tennessee, is a lake getaway just north of Nashville on the shores of Old Hickory Lake.

It’s also the last place global sensation Taylor Swift ever had anonymity.

Originally settled in the late 18th century, Hendersonville flourished as a rural community known for its fertile farmland.

However, its transformation began in the mid-20th century when the Old Hickory Dam was constructed on the Cumberland River, creating the expansive Old Hickory Lake and attracting residents seeking waterfront living and recreational opportunities.

Notable residents have added to Hendersonville’s allure, including music legends like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, who called it home for many years.

The area’s appeal to country music stars earned it the nickname “Hendersonville, Home of the Stars.”

Circling back to Taylor Swift, her family moved here when she was 14 in the hopes of starting a music career.

Boy, did that work out for her or what?

Aside from its celebrity connections, Hendersonville offers a vibrant community with parks, golf courses, and cultural attractions.

Its proximity to Nashville, just 20 miles away, provides residents with easy access to the city’s renowned music scene, entertainment venues, and diverse culinary experiences.

Today, Hendersonville continues to grow (20% in the past decade) while maintaining its small-town charm, attracting newcomers drawn to its scenic beauty, family-friendly atmosphere, and rich musical heritage.

The city of 62,000 people is spread out enough that you can find your own secret slice of lake life privacy.

You’ll quickly realize why Taylor Swift and the Cash family loved it here so much.

Warnings & Dangers in Hendersonville

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Provided you use smart outdoor safety measures, there's a low risk in Hendersonville and a great lake escape close to Nashville.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The Regional Transportation Authority of Tennessee (RTA) offers one route between downtown Nashville and Hendersonville. Look for Route 92. Once you're there, you'll either use taxis and rideshares or a rental car to get around. All options come with a low risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Between 2018 and 2022, just two pickpockets were reported in Hendersonville. That's a low risk but never low enough to let your guard down. To punctuate that point, Hendersonville police issued an alert about pickpockets targeting elderly people in September 2023. The thieves hit two people in a store, neither of whom even realized the theft happened until they went to pay for their items. Don't let a low-risk ever make you too comfortable.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

You'll notice tornado damage in this area for years to come, and that's just one of the risks you'll face in Hendersonville. While spring is known as "tornado season," the one that damaged part of Hendersonville in 2023 happened in December. Even severe thunderstorms can bring damaging winds and torrential rain. Winters average about three inches of snow, but if ice accompanies it, travel can be downright dangerous. Luckily, all threats come with plenty of advance notice.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Three robberies were reported in 2022, and not a single one was a mugging. In fact, robberies are down 83% since 2018.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

While being this close to Nashville while being home to a dam means there's an elevated risk, it's not likely that you will have to worry about any issues. Always take note of suspicious activity and report it.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

I would be wary of any rental deal that seems too good to be true. Using reputable and verified rental companies can help eliminate that risk. Most other scams reported in recent years target locals. You can see the latest scams posted online through the city, police, or sheriff's office website or social media pages.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

This is also a low risk, aside from the inherent risks of severe weather and water safety. Women of all ages will love the lake life, and kids will have plenty of activities to keep them busy.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The latest water quality reports show full compliance and no violations in compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. The report details how the water at the intake is naturally cleaner than in many other cities, providing a great starting point treatment before being sent to the tap.

Safest Places to Visit in Hendersonville

You can use the website visitsumnertn.com for tourism information about Sumner County, where Hendersonville is located.

A visitor’s guide is available to download if you’re comfortable giving your name and email address.

I like to create a separate email for newsletters and tourism-related documents.

That prevents my real email address from being potentially exposed to hackers.

The Hendersonville city website offers a list of parks and recreational areas that are managed at the local level.

Also, find an outline of the city boundaries – I’m using Google Maps to do that.

You will see that just the northern end of the river and lake are in Hendersonville.

You can still explore the other sides, but you’ll want to review the visitwilstontn.com (Visit Wilson County, TN) site for more on the southern edge.

For the Johnny and June Cash fans reading, I’ll get to you first.

Several points in Hendersonville are closely connected to the Cash family, but there’s not a major museum you might expect.

First, there’s the location of Cash home right on the lake.

The house is no longer there – it burned in a 2007 fire when Bee Gees member Barry Gibb owned it.

The gate and fence to the home still stand, and a memorial plaque is on the public viewing side.

Then, you can drive the Johnny Cash Parkway to get to the House of Cash, a building where he once worked.

However, you’ll just take a photo below the “House of Cash” sign – there’s nothing else to see here.

And if you want to eat like Johnny and June, put Center Point Barbecue Pit on your list of places to dine.

This was one of Johnny’s favorites and was more recently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Finally, pay your respects to the Man in Black and his beloved wife at the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens.

For a throw back deeper into history, check out the Historic Rock Castle.

It weaves a sordid tale of injustices against Indigenous people, settlers, wars, slavery, and more.

Tours are available seasonally.

Check the events here because performances are common during the summer.

And for all the Swifties, if you visit the castle’s website, you’ll see a photo shoot that Taylor Swift did there.

Old Hickory Lake and the Cumberland River access points are a mix of private and public spaces.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the lake.

That is NOT related to the military army.

It’s a civilian group under the Department of Defense.

The list of things to do here is lengthy, so check out the website to find the perfect thing to do.

Divers will be happy to know that you can scuba here.

Several recreation areas dot the lakeshore.

I had trouble finding the website, so I’m going to share the full correct one: https://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/Submit-ArticleCS/Recreation/Article/3640748/old-hickory-lake/

Places to Avoid in Hendersonville

East Flat Rock in Hendersonville is one of the sketchier areas, but it is also undergoing improvements that could make it more desirable in the future.

I would recommend doing a news story search for that neighborhood.

Check out the outline of the lake before you book a place to stay.

With two peninsulas and an expansive shoreline, it’s not going to be easy to get around if you’re in one of the nooks.

Even the most popular section of the lake has two peninsulas that take about 20 minutes to drive between.

One potential point of confusion I want to point out to help in your research – always make sure you’re looking at the right Hendersonville.

There’s a Hendersonville in North Carolina and Tennessee.

The one in North Carolina is close to Asheville.

The one in Tennessee is close to Nashville.

There’s a lot that can go wrong in that mix.

An easy way to spot the correct one is to look for the area code 615, not 828, as the one in North Carolina has.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Hendersonville

  1. Hendersonville has a local police department. Follow them on Facebook @HendersonvillePoliceDepartment for updates. You can call (615) 822-1111 or email communityservices@hvillepd.org with specific safety questions.
  2. The city uses the CodeRED system to send out emergency alerts. This is an important tool to have. You can choose to get emails, phone calls, or text messages with severe weather warnings or other public safety threats. It’s free, and you can easily unsubscribe when you leave town.
  3. Look for the Notify Me section of the city’s website and sign up for more updates there. The difference between the two is that the Code RED system might tell you there’s a severe thunderstorm approaching, and the Notify Me section could tell you where shelters are located. Looking at the list of options, I suggest signing up for the road work and traffic updates, parks, and community events.
  4. Download the P3 Tips app to have a direct line of communication with police. This is to be used when you have information about a crime or need to report suspicious activity. You can also visit the Facebook page for Hendersonville Crime Stoppers @HendersonvilleCrimestoppers. There, you’ll find recent posts of wanted suspects.
  5. When visiting an outdoor recreation area like this, spend an hour or so on the Go Outdoors TN website to read safety guidance. You’ll also use that to find out where to get a fishing license and boating supplies.
  6. I can’t seem to find a good website for Old Hickory Lake, likely due to the closure in place while tornado damage is being repaired. In the event you can’t find it either, when it comes time to look, you can check out the Facebook page @oldhickorylake. It’s regularly updated with safety improvements, water quality information, and fishing details.
  7. Children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket on a boat. That doesn’t include arm floaties or pool toys. It’s recommended that everyone wear a life vest on the water. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I wear mine no matter where I am kayaking. There are public places around the lake that provide loaner life jackets.
  8. Ticks can survive in temperatures above freezing, which means you should do a full body tick scan after spending time outdoors or in the water. It’s especially important after a hike. Ticks carry many diseases and need to be removed as soon as possible. You can do that yourself or ask someone to help you – emergency treatment isn’t necessary unless you are having adverse reactions.
  9. It is just as illegal to drive a boat under the influence of alcohol as it is to drive a vehicle. That extends to watercraft like wave runners as well. Police patrol the water in boats, and underage drinking is also illegal, with charges possible for the adult who provided the alcohol. The drinking age is 21 years old.
  10. Review the city’s rules about short-term rentals. Not only will this help you spot a scammer, but it can also help you avoid renting from an illegal location. The public is encouraged to report illegal rentals, so don’t try to sneak in a good deal that is against the law. While you won’t get in trouble, you risk your vacation being cut short if someone reports it and you don’t have a place to stay.

So... How Safe Is Hendersonville Really?

78% lower than the state average and 65% lower than the national average.

About 30% of violent crimes happen against strangers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a tourist.

A stranger could be involved in a drug deal or a road rage incident.

At the same time, 63% of violent crimes over the past five years happened in private homes, not public places.

About three cars are stolen each month.

While car thefts have been rising since 2013, it’s not at a concerning level yet, especially if you lock your door and keep the keys with you.

Larceny is about half the national average, and almost another half of that is related to shoplifting.

Every one in five thefts is related to a car break-in or accessory theft.

Again, you lower the risk by always locking your car and removing personal items, even if you’re just running into a store quickly.

Most vehicle burglaries were crimes of opportunity.

Ironically, shortly after writing that last sentence, I found an article from January 2024.

Two people who officers said were “on a Bonnie and Clyde crime spree” lived out of a motel and stole vehicles and broke into cars, quickly turning around and selling stolen items online.

They were caught, but not before racking up big bills on stolen credit cards.

Of course, it helped that one of the suspects had a tattoo with the word “Blessed” on their face.

Like many American cities, drugs are a problem here, with drug and narcotic violations going up 31% in 2022.

While it should go without staying to avoid drugs, it’s especially important given the overdose problem due to drugs laced with fatal doses of Fentanyl.

Common sense and standard safety precautions go a long way here.

It’s also important to know the weather and outdoor safety.

With those tools, you’ll be poised to have a great time in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

How Does Hendersonville Compare?

CitySafety Index
Hendersonville79
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

The U.S. State Department details the process of getting a visa or applying for a visa waiver. Use the Visa Wizard module to help navigate the right option for you. Check the expiration date of your passport, as it must be valid for at least six months after your trip.

Currency

Currency

You can only use the U.S. Dollar in the United States. Be sure to exchange currency at home or the Nashville airport before you get to Hendersonville. Credit cards are the best option for fraud protection but check with your bank to see if you'll have to pay a foreign currency fee.

Weather

Weather

Lake life deserves good weather, and Hendersonville offers a lot of that. Winters are mild and lakes in this region don't freeze over. Spring through summer will be warm to hot, with humidity that will make you glad there's a lake to cool off in. Bug eco-friendly bug spray and sunscreen.

Airports

Airports

Nashville International Airport is just 22 miles away from Hendersonville, usually a distance that can be covered in 30 minutes. That's the largest airport nearby.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is a smart investment to protect against theft, weather delays, or cancelations. Be sure you have coverage for healthcare in the event of an emergency. Even a trip to the urgent care clinic can set you back several hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Hendersonville Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 3° C
Feb 6° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 15° C
May 20° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 16° C
Nov 10° C
Dec 6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
81116212630323128221510
Low
°C
-214914192120161041
High
°F
465261707986908882725950
Low
°F
283439485766706861503934

Tennessee - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bell Buckle79
Chattanooga69
Clarksville72
Cordova62
Dyersburg62
Franklin75
Gatlinburg82
Germantown70
Hendersonville79
Johnson City68
Jonesborough78
Kingsport52
Knoxville57
Lawrenceburg77
Memphis54
Murfreesboro78
Nashville58
Pigeon Forge78
Pulaski79
Rogersville76
Sevierville73
Wears Valley78

Where to Next?

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