Louisiana : Safety by City
- Baton Rouge
- Bossier City
- Lake Charles
- New Iberia
- New Orleans
Most people who go to New Orleans will go through Kenner, Louisiana, one way or the other.
It’s home to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and the Pontchartrain Convention and Civic Center.
I might be the only person ironically amused that the 16-block historic district called Rivertown has the flagship attraction being a Planetarium where you can pilot the space station, but it just shows how much Kenner’s leadership wants this to me so much more than the “airport city” of New Orleans.
To walk in history’s footsteps, you can visit LaSalle’s landing, where the first European immigrants first got a look at the region that would become the New Orleans metro area.
This city also proudly honors the first World Heavyweight Boxing championship held in Kenner in 1870.
This city has a surprising number of wedding and event venues, from historic buildings to romantic buildings on the river.
There are plenty of hotels as well, with wetlands, the Mississippi River, and Lake Pontchartrain bordering three sides of the city.
Warnings & Dangers in Kenner
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Louisiana is ranked as one of the most dangerous states in the country, while New Orleans is quickly getting a reputation as the "Murder Capital of the U.S." However, Kenner statically and historically avoids the higher crime rates of its sister city, New Orleans. While there's a low risk here compared to NOLA, you should use additional caution anywhere in the NOLA area.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You can use Jefferson Parish Transit to get around the immediate area and connect to the New Orleans RTA system, but a trip from Kenner to New Orleans will take an hour by bus but just 20 minutes by car. Rideshares and taxis are available, and you can also get a rental car. Public transportation use should come with additional safety precautions.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
No reports of pickpockets or purse snatching in 2021 mean there's statically a low risk, but if you're here for a convention or big event, use standard safety precautions. Don't wear your convention badge when visiting tourist areas.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
This is an overwhelming medium risk throughout the year with heightened alert during the hurricane season, which runs from June through November. You should keep an eye on the weather each day and take the risk seriously when severe weather is in the forecast. This area can get tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding, and tropical weather.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Two-thirds of the robberies in Kenner are not against strangers on the street, and a total of 31 robberies were reported in 2021. You should always be aware of your surroundings, but the risk is much lower here than in New Orleans proper.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The whole NOLA region will get a medium risk as a tourist destination, military location, and distribution port while also being an international water boundary just offshore. The Department of Homeland Security offers a large presence here. You can review the National Terrorism Advisory System website to see if there are any elevated threat levels before your visit.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Cryptocurrency scams and fake police office reports are the biggest scams in the area as of 2022. While most of those are targeted toward locals, you should always be aware of potential "too good to be true" deals when you visit. Report any suspicious activity to the local police.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Statistically, women have a slightly lower risk of being violent crime victim here. Reduce your risk of petty theft by carrying small purses without designer labels and traveling with a friend as you explore, especially at night.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Tap water comes from Jefferson Parish. The utility has never violated any Safe Water Drinking Act standard, and the 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance. Be sure to check with the parish social media sites if you're visiting during flooding or just after any kind of severe weather, as there might be boil orders or water quality concerns issued.
Safest Places to Visit in Kenner
You have a few websites where you can safely explore the amenities in Kenner.
Historic Rivertown is the best place to start in Kenner.
Heritage Park takes you back to the early 1900s with historic buildings and beautiful photo opportunities of a bygone era.
Check the schedule of events, as concerts and festivals are held here throughout the year, but the area can also be reserved for private parties.
The Kenner Planetarium and Space Science Complex host a replica of the International Space Station and “Megadome” for exhibits, presentations, and laser light shows.
There’s also a Science Center in this section of Rivertown where you can learn about the wildlife, waters, and bayous of Louisiana.
LaSalle’s Landing will take you to the foot of a levee along the Mississippi River.
You’ll get incredible views of the “Mighty Mississippi,” and don’t miss the boxing statue on the way to or from the river, where you can learn about the heavyweight boxing match that changed history.
Kenner also has a casino on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
The Treasure Chest Casino is housed in a giant steamboat but offers all the modern casino games.
You can also take in a show while you’re here.
The casino is located in Laketown, which is a wonderful outdoor area for the whole family to explore the edges of the lake.
Playgrounds, picnic, tables, and sand volleyball courts.
Places to Avoid in Kenner
While Kenner is historically one of the safer parts of the New Orleans area, you still don’t want to wander through different neighborhoods if you don’t have a reason to be there.
Stick to the main roads and areas designed for tourists.
You should also avoid walking alone at night, especially at the river or lake where it won’t be well-lit.
For any visit to Rivertown, check the schedule and hours before you go.
As of this publication, it’s unclear if the entire park is open only on Saturdays or if certain parts of it require reservations during the week.
This might be due to pandemic restrictions slowly being relaxed, but you can check the city schedule before you arrive or call (504) 468-7231.
Kenner can be hit just as hard by a hurricane as New Orleans can, so don’t think that you are less at risk just because you’re more inland.
You shouldn’t visit here during hurricane season without knowing basic hurricane safety information.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Kenner
- Kenner does have its own police force, which isn’t the case for all cities in Jefferson Parish. You can follow them on Facebook @kennerpolice to get updated on crime and safety information closer to your visit.
- The Emergency Alert system in this region is called JP Alert. If you sign up for notifications, you’ll get weather, civil, and crime alerts right to your mobile device or email.
- You can use Jefferson Parish Transit, known locally as JET, to get to New Orleans from the airport for just $2. JPTransit.org has all the information, including safety details, for new riders. You can also purchase tokens to ride the bus if you don’t want to use cash.
- You’ll need a fishing license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Hatcheries if you want to fish in this area. Be sure to get a saltwater/freshwater combo license because the waters can change throughout the region.
- For traffic information, use 511la.org. You’ll get real-time accident reports, construction updates, and live cameras to help with travel distances.
- Since Kenner is home to the airport, you’ll need to accept some airport noise. While steps have been taken to focus landings on a north-south pattern to keep the bulk of noise out of the neighborhoods, you should still expect to hear some noise. If that bothers you, try a noise machine or white noise app on your mobile device to drown out the airplanes while you sleep.
- Kenner can have some pretty foggy days and nights. You should know basic fog driving safety when visiting here. Never turn on your high beams when driving in the fog, as it can be dangerous for other drivers. Reduce your speed, follow the lines on the road, and turn on your turn signal a good 30 seconds before you plan to turn or switch lanes.
- KennerTVOnline is a YouTube channel with abundant safety and event information for Kenner. You can also learn about new businesses and watch the State of Kenner public address.
- You’ll need to wear bug spray even when visiting the attractions around the city. With the humidity, waterways, and heat, it makes a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. You can also wear a citrus-based perfume or cologne to help deter the insects.
- There are alligators in Kenner; unless the animal threatens people, it won’t be corralled. Never feed or bait an alligator. If you want to see one up close, go on a swamp tour with a guide. Alligators are most active at sunrise and sunset, so avoid walking along waterways during that time.
So... How Safe Is Kenner Really?
Violent crime, especially gun crime, is rising in America, and even crime data from the previous year can quickly become outdated.
New Orleans is seeing a spike in crimes, and some of that will cross over into neighboring communities.
That said, Kenner is historically safer than New Orleans.
In 2021, violent crime was just slightly over the national average, and just 8% of violent crimes happened against strangers.
That means the bulk of crime is among people who know each other.
The biggest risk as a tourist would be petty theft crimes of opportunity or car break-ins, which account for 26% of all thefts.
You also need to take severe weather seriously, as I mentioned before.
Severe thunderstorms here can spawn tornadoes, even in the winter.
If you aren’t used to tornadoes, this can be quite scary.
There are plenty of resources from the National Weather Service and Jefferson Parish Emergency Management to learn the best safety steps.
Most swamp tours will cancel if severe weather is on the way, but you should follow that guidance if you are heading out alone.
You don’t want to be caught in a flash flood or stuck outside in a lightning storm.
Kenner is really the softer side of New Orleans without the excitement of Bourbon Street.
How Does Kenner Compare?
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- Visas - You'll need a U.S. Visa to enter the country. Those are issued by the U.S. State Department. Use the Visa Wizard module on the department's website to start the process. Since there are several varieties of visas, you don't want to risk applying for the wrong one and having to start over.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. The airport has currency exchange options, and you can also visit local banks. Try to avoid using public ATMs, and don't carry your cash in one place.
- Weather - Most of the year will be warm and muggy. Summers can be oppressive with the humidity, so bring extra clothing. You'll easily sweat through your clothes and want to change. Bring hiking boots or rain boots for swamp tours, and don't forget sunscreen and bug spray.
- Airports - You're right next to the New Orleans airport here, so that's one big bonus of staying in Kenner.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great idea to give peace of mind for travel to a place that's beautiful but risky with the weather. An approaching hurricane can shut down airports for days, and severe weather can shut down the airport for days. You should also consider supplemental health insurance if you need an urgent care center. Unless you have coverage, you'll pay out of pocket for all charges.
Kenner Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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