Mississippi : Safety by City
- Holly Springs
- New Albany
- Pass Christian
Holly Springs, Mississippi, promises heritage, history, and hospitality on all accounts the moment you start considering it as a travel stop.
The small town is less than an hour from Memphis but right on the doorstep of a massive national forest.
One of the biggest draws of Holly Springs is its rich history.
The town was founded in 1836 and played an important role in the Civil War.
There are several historic sites in the area, including the Holly Springs Courthouse Square Historic District, which features several well-preserved antebellum homes and buildings.
With just 6,500 people, you’ll get that quintessential small-town feel while enjoying some of the Southern traditions unique to this slice of America.
The city might be rooted in history, but it also appeals to the newest generations with a TikTok account found @HollySpringsTourism.
The antebellum architecture here is as sweet as the tea and as abundant as the Southern food options in the city.
Holly Springs also received tourism funding from the American Rescue Plan, helping market tourism to a wider audience, so visit soon before everyone finds out about this Southern secret.
Holly Springs is also a city in North Carolina, so be sure you aren’t getting the two confused when you do research for your trip.
Warnings & Dangers in Holly Springs
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, but 2022 did prove violent and property crimes are rising. Compared to the national average, it has a below-average risk, and statistically, you'll find the crime data is surprisingly low even with increased counts.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You won't be able to use a public transportation system here. Taxis and rideshares are available but not as abundant as in other towns. Renting a car is your best option and a safe one at that.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The 13 thefts in 2022 might be an increase, but it's still exponentially lower than most Mississippi cities. No pickpockets or purse snatchings were reported, but you always want to use standard safety practices to keep your risk low.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Mississippi gets a medium risk throughout the year as the warm, humid climate is prone to storms. In this part of the state, winter weather isn't unheard of, and ice storms or minor snowfall can cause major travel problems.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Just two robberies were reported in 2022, so the risk is low. If anything, there's more of a risk of a business being robbed than a person.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk as it's a small town with rural areas around it. Memphis would be the closest big city to have any potential risk that would warrant concern.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The fraud here is usually connected to welfare manipulation or other acts that prey on government subsidies. While you should always be aware of offers that seem too good to be true, there isn't a pattern of people preying on tourists here.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
This is another low risk with plenty of safe spaces for women in tourism, spas, shopping, and dining. There is a strong nightlife here with live music and popular drinks, so you would want to use the standard personal safety steps if you'll be out at night.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance with all standards. As in most older Southern cities, there is a safety precaution for lead pipes since clean water can be contaminated by debris in the pipes. Just let a stagnant faucet run for a minute before using the water to clear out the line.
Safest Places to Visit in Holly Springs
Visit Holly Springs is the official tourism website for the city, and it definitely makes the small town feel big.
A visitor’s guide is available on the website without providing personal information, and the social media sites are updated regularly.
Looking for Visit Holly Springs on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
One of the best things to do in Holly Springs is to explore the town’s historic sites.
The Holly Springs Courthouse Square Historic District is a great place to start.
This area is home to several well-preserved antebellum homes and buildings, including the Marshall County Courthouse and the Hugh Craft House.
Visitors can take guided tours of the district and learn about the town’s history.
The district is also home to several shops and restaurants.
If you come across a restaurant known as a “meat and three,” that means you get a choice of one meat and three sides.
The restaurants might not always look as fancy as in some bigger cities, but the food is always divine.
Don’t miss Phillips Grocery in the Depot District for a taste of history and regionally known hamburgers.
If you’re interested in nature, be sure to check out the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center.
This 2,500-acre nature preserve is located just outside of Holly Springs and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species.
Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities.
The center also offers educational programs and events throughout the year.
Holly Springs is also known for its vibrant arts scene.
The town is home to several galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists.
The Holly Springs Community Development Corporation plays a key role in promoting the arts in the town and sponsors several cultural events throughout the year.
These events include music festivals, art shows, and theater productions.
Northern Mississippi is known for its Hill Country Blues music, and Holly Springs has a stop on the statewide Blues Trail.
Look for live music at local bars and events on the city’s website and tourism social media pages.
Places to Avoid in Holly Springs
You can safely explore Holly Springs without worrying about driving into a bad neighborhood or a dangerous part of town.
That doesn’t mean you should drive through different neighborhoods just to be safe.
Holly Springs has a nearly 25% poverty rate, and some parts of the city are rundown.
Don’t drive around a poor neighborhood just to see because poverty and economic hardships aren’t tourist attractions.
You have plenty of historic districts to explore here.
Do your best to support local businesses in the aftermath of a pandemic and as the city aims to generate new income to lower that poverty rate and create more jobs.
Southern humidity is downright oppressive in the summer, and that brings the risks of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks.
Always wear bug spray and try to cover as much of your body in light, loose-fitting clothing if you’ll be in the nearby woods.
Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes.
I lived in nearby Memphis for several years, and you shouldn’t take the intense humidity lightly.
The good news is that everyone is a sweaty mess, so you won’t stand out.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Holly Springs
- Holly Springs does have its own police department, but its website is rather barren as part of the city website. You can find the department on Facebook, but without a handle for the page, you could easily get on the HSPD page in Georgia or North Carolina. Look for the page with the 662 area code.
- Sign up for CodeRED alerts through the Marshall County, Mississippi, website. It’s imperative you stay on top of developing weather concerns, as the forested area mixed with heavy rain and winds can knock over trees, disconnect power, and cause power lines to be down on the streets. You need to stay weather aware here.
- I know I mentioned that winter weather is rare here, but a prime example of how bad it can happen in early February 2023. An ice storm moved through the region and knocked out power for a week. If you are there while winter weather is approaching, buy a flashlight, several cases of bottled water, blankets, and hygiene wipes.
- When you get to town, ask the front desk at your hotel where the tornado shelter is, so you have a safe place if a storm comes overnight. If especially severe weather is expected, the counties will open storm shelters. You want to have a safety plan well in advance of an approaching storm.
- Anglers will need a fishing license from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. You can purchase a pass for one day, three days, or one year. Be sure to get a freshwater license since there isn’t saltwater in this part of the state.
- Holly Springs National Forest falls under the Forest Service, not the National Park Service, so be sure you’re on the right website when you’re looking at safety information. The forest has more than 155,000 acres, so you need to pay attention to which section you want to visit. Chewella Lake Recreation Area is the closest to Holly Springs, but it is only open seasonally. Call the Holly Springs District Office at (662) 236-6550 before you go for updated hours.
- Use MS 511 to get updated travel information on all Mississippi roads. Create an account and set your routes to get alerts about the roadways as you go. You can also look at live cameras, plan detours, and see real-time traffic.
- There might be parts of this region where cell phone service is weak or unavailable. Your provider should have a map on its main website that shows coverage areas. When in doubt, use SMS text messages instead of MMS messages for a better chance to communicate in weak service areas.
- Life moves a little slower in small towns, and people are very friendly. You might find that people are asking you a lot of personal questions about where you’re from and such. This is part of Southern hospitality, but you should also beware of someone asking for too much personal information. You should never share your address or financial information, but giving someone your first name and an overview of where you’re from is quite normal.
- People in Mississippi speak with an accent, and the drawl can be quite thick. Phrases like “Bless Your Heart” and “Y’all” are used often. You can do some research about common Southern words to find out how to understand this subsection of language. While it’s okay to ask someone to repeat themselves, don’t ask people to talk just so you can hear the accent again.
So... How Safe Is Holly Springs Really?
Holly Springs gets a nod from us simply for reporting crime data to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
Too many cities didn’t, leaving tourists to wonder about the safety in those areas.
While this is a small town, there were still only 23 violent crimes in 2022.
That was up from 16 in 2021.
None of the violent crimes was against a stranger, lowering the risk even more.
The theft came in with just 13 reports in 2022, which was up 18% from 2021.
Five of those cases involved car burglaries or car accessory thefts.
That’s another reminder to lock your car, leave the windows up, and don’t leave personal items inside.
The new police chief Grant Glover said in 2021 that his goal was to reduce gun crime in the city.
“We’ve got to get control of that.
We don’t want this in our city.
People who are not from here are coming here to shoot.
These are the people we are dealing with.
I can tell you this.
If you shoot in this city, we will get you, and you will have to face the stiffest of charges.”
It’s also important to note that traveling outside of Holly Springs can increase crime risks exponentially.
Before visiting Memphis, check out our article on how safe Memphis is for tourists, and review the other cities, so you can make safe decisions while traveling around this Southern state.
How Does Holly Springs Compare?
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A passport and U.S. Visa are required for all international tourists. Once you get through Border Patrol and Customs, you can travel between the states without having to show identification.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use here, and someone businesses might be cash-only. It's also smart to have cash in case of those storm-related power outages. Exchange currency before you get to Holly Springs, and keep extra cash in a safe, secure location. Use a credit card as much as you can for fraud protection, but have some cash on you at all times.
When packing for a trip to Holly Springs, Mississippi, it's a good idea to bring comfortable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities and exploring historic sites. Don't forget to pack sunscreen and insect repellent as well, as the area can get quite hot and humid in the summer months. Winter travelers should check the 10-day forecast before they leave home to see if a winter coat or just a jacket will be needed. This is a very casual part of the country, so don't feel like you have to dress to impress.
The nearest commercial airports to Holly Springs, Mississippi, are Memphis International Airport (MEM), located approximately 50 miles away, and the Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP), located approximately 60 miles away.
Travel insurance just makes sense in a part of the country so prone to severe weather and potential delays or cancelations.
Holly Springs Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Mississippi - Safety by City