North Carolina : Safety by City
- Chapel Hill
- Elizabeth City
- High Point
- Hope Mills
- Kill Devil Hills
- Kitty Hawk
- Morehead City
- New Bern
- Rocky Mount
Kannapolis, located in the heart of North Carolina, is a city steeped in history and charm.
Nestled within the vibrant Charlotte metro region, Kannapolis is not only conveniently close to the bustling city of Charlotte but also possesses a unique character that warrants its own trip.
Historically, Kannapolis has strong ties to motorsports, being the birthplace of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr.
This connection to racing culture is deeply ingrained in the city’s identity and is evident in various aspects of life here.
Despite its proximity to the cosmopolitan city of Charlotte, Kannapolis maintains a distinct small-town atmosphere that exudes warmth and hospitality.
It’s a place where the past and present coexist harmoniously, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage while embracing modernity.
Kannapolis is known for its vibrant community spirit, with events and festivals that bring residents and visitors together throughout the year.
Its downtown area, brimming with character, provides a welcoming backdrop for exploring the city’s unique offerings.
Whether you’re a motorsports enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a charming escape near Charlotte, Kannapolis has something special to offer.
It’s a city where the pace of life is just right, where you can uncover hidden gems, and where the community’s passion for its roots and future is palpable.
Discover Kannapolis, a city with a story to tell and a warm embrace to offer to all who visit.
Warnings & Dangers in Kannapolis
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Kannapolis, and it's a fast-growing city with some fun things to do. It's not as vibrant as Charlotte, but it holds its own for those who want a safer experience.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Concord Kannapolis Area Transit is the public transportation system here with plenty of safe routes to get you around. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find. Rental cars will give you more flexibility, but be sure you plan to lock the car and remove personal items each time you park. All options are safe and low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
In the past five years, no pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported. That's a testament to good safety practices and a safe community. However, theft rates are higher than the national average for things like shoplifting and car break-ins.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Treat Kannapolis as a medium risk, so you stay weather-aware, as every kind of potential storm can happen here. Severe thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, and damaging winds are all possible throughout the year. Winter storms are less frequent but can make travel treacherous.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is a low risk with a rate well below national and state average and very few muggings. You'll want to use standard cautions, especially around downtown at night, but there's no imminent risk here.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
While a big city like Charlotte will come with a medium risk, just in the name of precautions, Kannapolis has a low risk. It's still important to report any suspicious activity, especially at big events.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
No scams reported here in the past few years are out of the ordinary, and most focus on residents, not tourists. You can enjoy a low risk if you stay informed about scams through the law enforcement and Better Business Bureau website.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's nothing in the crime data or recent news reports that suggest women are at a higher risk.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Kannapolis offers a detailed Water Quality Report for many potential contaminants. As of the 2022 Water Quality Report, the city got passing grades and met or exceeded all requirements. This is a low risk, but always check with your hotel if there's any kind of water issue after a deep freeze or localized flooding.
Safest Places to Visit in Kannapolis
You can find a great list of things to do and places to see on the Kannapolis website for the most hyper-local attractions.
“Visit Rowan County NC” is another great tourism site that includes the surrounding cities.
If you’re also here to explore Charlotte, that tourism website is “Charlotte’s Got a Lot.”
Downtown Kannapolis boasts a charming mix of attractions, including the historic Gem Theater, where you can catch a movie in a setting steeped in history.
Nearby, Village Park and Veterans Park provide tranquil spots to unwind, while the NC Music Hall of Fame pays tribute to North Carolinian music legends like George Clinton and James Taylor
Plus, don’t miss the Dale Earnhardt Tribute, a self-guided tour highlighting the racing history of Kannapolis’ native son.
Explore the Dale Earnhardt Plaza, a touching tribute to the legendary #3 driver, and visit the Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters, where you can get a glimpse of the inner workings of NASCAR teams.
Excitingly, Kannapolis is now home to Haas F1, the first Formula One team in the United States, adding a new dimension to the city’s motorsports legacy.
Music and motorsports intersect at the Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports.
Here, you can delve into the impressive collection of music and racing memorabilia curated by Mike Curb, a prominent figure in both industries.
Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the renowned Club at Irish Creek, designed by Davis Love III and known for hosting prestigious tournaments, including the PGA Tour Q School First Qualifying Stage and the Collegiate Championship.
Baseball fans will enjoy watching the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
If you’re in town on a Thursday between May and September, don’t miss the Kannapolis Farmers Market, offering fresh produce and artisanal goods in a convenient location.
For those interested in science and nutrition, the North Carolina Research Campus is a must-visit.
This 350-acre research center near Charlotte is a collaborative hub for corporations, universities, and healthcare organizations.
Explore the transformation of Kannapolis from a mill village to a cutting-edge research center at the Nutrition Research Institute, where exhibits like “From Cotton to Chromosomes” showcase the city’s remarkable journey.
When you’re searching for information, be sure you are looking at Kannapolis and not Annapolis.
The latter is a city in Maryland.
Places to Avoid in Kannapolis
Kannapolis is a safe city to drive through and around without dangerous neighborhoods or bad parts of town.
However, petty crime is the biggest concern here, so use all those theft prevention tactics you’ve learned throughout your lifetime.
I would definitely avoid traveling to or from Kannapolis to Charlotte during rush hour, as Charlotte has some intense traffic.
However, if you’re from a big city, you’ll be used to it.
At the same time, Kannapolis is a growing town with some growing pains, mainly roads that aren’t keeping up with the growth.
That could mean more traffic, but if you leave 15 minutes early for any destination, you’ll be fine.
Avoid planning outdoor activities if there’s a severe thunderstorm watch or tornado watch.
By the time a warning is issued, you have just minutes to seek safety.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Kannapolis
- Kannapolis does have its own police department. You can reach them by phone at (704)920-4000. The police and fire departments share a Facebook page @Kannapolis911.
- Certain crimes can be reported online, and you can find that list right on the landing page of the police department’s website. These practices were put into place post-COVID, so there was minimal contact for minor crimes. For example, if you experience a theft of less than $1,000, you would file that report online only.
- Downtown Kannapolis has plenty of parking, but there are some lots where you’ll have to pay. Most of the street parking is free, and there’s a list of parking locations on the city’s website under the “PARKING” section.
- Help keep the community safe by reporting any issue you see on the street. You can call 704-920-4444 to report issues like potholes, street cracks, missing signs, or dead animals.
- Downtown Kannapolis has a Social District. That means you can carry around alcoholic beverages within the designated perimeters. You can’t bring in your own booze, and you shouldn’t drink to excess, as you can be arrested for public drunkenness.
- If you’re using the public transit system, you can now get a digital rider pass that uses your smartphone for a ticket. Download the Umo Mobile App to get access to ticket prices and purchase options. If you don’t want to use your phone, you can also order a Smart Card to use instead of pulling out a credit card or cash.
- Sign up for emergency alerts using Smart 911. These alerts will deliver important weather and safety information immediately. The city also has an email alert system where you can get broader information about events and such, but the Smart 911 is the one you need the most.
- North Carolina has laws for child restraint and car seats that impact children 15 and younger. Only if a child is 16 or older can they use the standard safety belt. BuckleUPNC.org has all the information you need.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state of North Carolina. All the outdoor licenses and rules are on the Go Outdoors North Carolina website. Purchase your inland license there and keep it with you while you’re on the water.
- While looking through the crime data, I noticed that in 2021, there was an average of at least one driving under the influence arrest each day of the year! With 433 arrests, that is 36 a month! Please designate a sober driver or use a rideshare if you’ve been drinking. Especially if you’re an international traveler, an arrest could get your visa or passport revoked and force you to go home immediately.
So... How Safe Is Kannapolis Really?
Kannapolis has anywhere from slightly below average to slightly above average crime rates, but it’s nothing too concerning that would prompt you to rethink travel plans.
On top of that, over the past five years, just 6% of violent crimes happened against strangers.
Theft is 20% higher in Kannapolis than the national average, but at least 40% of those thefts are related to shoplifting.
There’s a nationwide trend of shoplifting and mass shoplifting incidents that started post-pandemic.
About 30% of all thefts are related to car break-ins, and the easier way to lower than risk is to make your car as unappealing as possible.
Keep it locked, and don’t leave personal items inside – not even a phone charger or GPS stand.
That hints that there are possibly more valuables inside.
Robbery rates are down 40% over the past decade, and that’s on top of a robbery rate 32% lower than the national average.
Provided you use common sense, situational awareness, and stay updated on weather risks, you’ll have a great time in Kannapolis.
How Does Kannapolis Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
You need a visa or visa waiver if you're traveling from another country. Those will be shown at Customs and Border Patrol. Review the list of items you can't bring into the country before you arrive, as neither visa nor waiver guarantees you entry to the country. A passport that isn't within six months of expiring is also required.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. If you don't take care of that before you leave home, you can use the currency exchange at the Charlotte airport. You can still use credit cards, which offer great fraud protection, for all purchases.
Plan for four seasons of weather with some layers to adapt when temperatures fluctuate. When it's warm or hot outside, it will also be humid. Bring clothing that you can sweat in without damaging the fabric. Comfortable walking shoes and bug spray are also needed. Bring a coat in the winter, but you might not need to use it.
Kannapolis is about 45 minutes from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and that airport is a major airline hub, so I wouldn't consider any other airport. Be sure to check traffic maps before you head to the airport, as you'll be driving through the heart of Charlotte's backups.
Anytime you take a trip where weather could potentially interfere with flights or driving, we highly recommend travel insurance. Don't forget to look into health insurance too, if you won't already be covered with your own policy. Also, double-check the insurance on your rental car so you're prepared if you have a breakdown or accident.
Kannapolis Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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North Carolina - Safety by City
|Kill Devil Hills||77|