How Safe Is Kirkwood for Travel?

Kirkwood, United States
Safety Index:
77

Kirkwood is a charming and historic city located in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Established in 1853, Kirkwood has a rich heritage and a strong sense of community.

It is known for its beautiful parks, tree-lined streets, and excellent schools, making it a popular place to live for families and professionals alike.

It gives a mix of charm, class, and excitement throughout its storied streets.

The city has a vibrant downtown area with an array of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Visitors can enjoy exploring the various art galleries, museums, and historical landmarks, such as the Kirkwood Train Station, which has been beautifully restored to its original 1893 appearance.

Kirkwood is also home to numerous community events throughout the year, including the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market, the Greentree Festival, and the Kirkwood Community Arts Festival.

The city boasts a variety of recreational opportunities, including parks, hiking trails, and sports fields, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.

There’s also a magic place you don’t want to miss in this beautiful community that’s welcoming for the entire family while making adults feel like a kid again.

Overall, Kirkwood is a friendly and welcoming community with a rich history and an abundance of amenities.

As a St. Louis native, I adore Kirkwood, and I hope you do too!

Warnings & Dangers in Kirkwood

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

There's a low overall risk here, with impressive crime rates for a suburb so close to the city. There are also a lot of family-friendly things to do.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Metro is the transportation system in St. Louis, and there are five bus stops in Kirkwood. You can take one of those to the nearest stop to pick up the Metro lightrail system. The Amtrak station is also here, one of the notable attractions people visit. Taxis and rideshares will be easy to find, and rental cars are widely available.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

Over the past five years, the city averaged four pickpockets a year. That's a low risk, but you'll want to use extra caution in crowded spaces, at events, or during concerts.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

St. Louis gets a mix of all dangerous weather—tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, blizzards, ice storms, and earthquakes. Everything but an earthquake comes with a warning, and all risks are detailed on the emergency management page of the city.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

This city doesn't have more than 10 robberies a year going back to at least 2011, with most years below seven. There were three in 2022, and no injuries were reported. At least one was at a business. The risk is low, but the need to keep your guard up is still there.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Kirkwood wouldn't likely be a target, but as part of the greater St. Louis metro area, we want visitors to be aware of the medium risk that exists. You can sign up for Terrorism Advisory Alerts to get updated on the overall risks of international and domestic terrorism nationwide.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Identity theft makes up 46% of all fraud in Kirkwood, giving a great reminder to keep your personal information out of the sight of strangers. Don't let people see your PIN, and keep receipts until you can safely shred them. If you can't find a credit card, report it stolen immediately.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

This is another low-risk category, but it's important to know that not every community in St. Louis is this safe. If you're looking for fun nightlife, you'll likely have to leave Kirkwood, and that could come with higher risks.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

The 2021 Water Quality Report for Kirkwood showed full compliance and no violations. New reports are posted by June of each year, and if you ever have questions about water quality testing results, you can call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Safest Places to Visit in Kirkwood

Kirkwood is a cozy part of town but not busy enough to warrant its own tourism website.

The city’s website lists some attractions, and the Explore St. Louis website covers Kirkwood too.

There is some magic in Kirkwood, and anyone who grew up in St. Louis knows it well.

The Magic House St. Louis Children’s Museum was the best rainy day activity of my childhood.

Even before I look at the website, I can tell you there’s a static ball, interactive hands-on STEM activities, and a three-story slide to go down at the end.

There are now 18 exhibits inside and out (weather permitting) and rotating exhibits.

Kirkwood Park is 92 acres of green space with lakes to explore and regular community events at the park and nearby community center.

There’s also an indoor ice rink and outdoor pool in the summer.

A racquet center is also open for reservations.

Take a walk around the Kirkwood Train Station, which has been active since 1893 and almost closed down for good in 2002.

Check-in with the Kirkwood Train Station Foundation to see what’s planned during your visit.

On the northwest edge of Kirkwood, just across the Des Peres city line, is West County Plaza.

You’ll recognize it by the big white dove outside that has stood there for decades.

It’s a long-time tradition when you’re meeting friends to carpool that you “meet under the dove.”

This shopping mall has gone through many iterations to expand and grow.

It’s now one of the premiere shopping destinations in St. Louis.

Head back to nature at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, set in a forest covering more than 110 acres.

Paved trails make for easy and comfortable access, while the indoor nature center has a live bee hive and aquarium.

This is a four-season destination for everyone.

Places to Avoid in Kirkwood

I’ve long said that if I ever moved back to St. Louis that Kirkwood would be on my short list of places to live.

The homes are historic and charming, with huge trees along paved sidewalks.

It’s fun just to drive around and look at the homes, and the good news is that Kirkwood is safe enough to do so.

You’re also surrounded by safe cities to explore, though not all have the historic charm of Kirkwood.

You’ll want to avoid it but can’t.

I’m talking about the train.

If you have anywhere near the luck I do, you’ll be stopped by the train in Kirkwood at least once.

Never try to drive around the tracks.

Don’t walk on the tracks.

A 14-year-old boy wearing headphones was killed by an Amtrack about a decade ago.

Too many cars have been hit by a train on the major crossing.

“Rail crossings have a sign with an emergency number and an ID number,” Kristi Jamison of the Missouri Department of Transportation offered as advice.

“If your car ever stalls on the tracks and there is no train present, you can call the emergency number, give them the crossing ID number, and they will be able to stop any trains that might be headed toward you.”

Safety Tips for Traveling to Kirkwood

  1. Kirkwood has its own police department, and you can follow them on Facebook @KirkwoodPD. A Police Beat crime update report is published each week on the page.
  2. Kirkwood Konnect is the city’s app that puts people in touch with the necessary department. You can report potholes, broken lights, or other civil issues. You can also use the app or look at the website page to see what other people have reported.
  3. Use the Kirkwood city website to check the Active Projects in the City. This work could impact the routes you take, and spring generally starts a long construction season.
  4. Kirkwood is one of those cities that has a lot of traffic, but you’ll also see kids on bikes, parents pushing strollers, and elderly couples walking hand in hand. The city has a Street are for Everyone program that aims to reduce pedestrian accidents, control speeding, and make more trails available in safe spaces to explore the city. There are some lengths of Lindbergh and Kirkwood roads that are far from a crosswalk, and too many people run across the road. Don’t do that. It’s dangerous, and people speed through here all the time.
  5. You can read the city’s emergency management plan and then contact the manager himself if you have follow-up questions. His email is dunmancl@kirkwoodmo.org. Some of you might not be used to tornados being a part of life or understanding the different actions you should take during a watch vs. a warning.
  6. Check the city’s website for events because a lot of festivals are held here throughout the year. For many years, this was where my family saw fireworks. There aren’t a lot of roads to get in and out of the city, so it takes some time. Even a craft festival can draw a lot of traffic here.
  7. Kirkwood Electric provides power to this part of the St. Louis Metro area, so any questions or concerns about power outages should go through its website. You can also find a map of electric vehicle charging stations.
  8. Use the Transit app if you’re going to take the Metro to get around town. You can buy tickets, track buses, and see routes from your mobile device.
  9. It looks like Downtown Kirkwood is supposed to have its own website, but it’s not working as of this publication. The only thing you should know is that parking is free, and there are parking lots and occasional street parking. Just be careful when parking on the street as cars will be passing close by on the main roads.
  10. When you are on the trails of Kirkwood, please use the trash bins along the way or bring out what you bring in. Don’t pick any flowers or damage any trees. Leave wildlife alone and respect the space others have on the trail. If you see a dog running at large, you can call the police. If you bring a dog, pick up the waste immediately and carry it with you until you get to the trash bin. Don’t just leave it bagged on the side of the trail.

So... How Safe Is Kirkwood Really?

Growing up in St. Louis, Kirkwood was always the place on Lindbergh Boulevard where you knew you’d get a speeding ticket if you were going even a little bit over the speed limit.

In 2022, the violent crime rate was less than half the national average, but a trend since 2014 has brought the crime rate up by 40%.

While it’s still a safe community as far as violent crime goes, it’s definitely going in the wrong direction.

Violent crime was down 15% in 2022, but the city saw the first two murders since 2018.

The robbery was down 57%, and no sexual assaults were reported.

Car thefts were down 16%, which is shocking considering how many other communities in St. Louis are seeing exponential increases in the same category.

However, most car break-ins and thefts are due to people leaving keys in the car, the car running, or the doors unlocked, so maybe people in Kirkwood just have better safety practices.

Larceny was up 27% in 2022, which still puts the theft rate just slightly above the national average.

Shoplifting was one of the big drivers, and 28% of those were car break-ins or accessory thefts.

Kirkwood has a great central location and a very comfortable, welcoming feel to it.

There’s history and modern amenities mixed in with charm and convenience.

How Does Kirkwood Compare?

CitySafety Index
Kirkwood77
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82

Useful Information

  • Visas - You'll need a passport and visa or visa waiver if you're coming from outside the United States. Domestic travelers will need a Real ID to fly, and that deadline is May 7, 2025.
  • Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar is accepted in America, and Kirkwood has plenty of banks that could offer currency exchange services, but you'll need to call ahead if you aren't a member of the bank. You'll get the lowest fees at your own bank.
  • Weather - Plan for volatile weather in the spring and fall by bringing plenty of layers. It can snow one day and be sunburning weather the next or vice versa. Summers will be hot and humid, so bring comfortable, breathable clothing and good walking shoes. Supplement summer trips with bug spray and citrus-based colognes or perfumes. Winters can be bitterly cold, but there won't always be snow on the ground.
  • Airports - Kirkwood is less than 30 minutes from the major airport of St. Louis Lambert International, but check MoDOT's traffic app before you go since backups are common between Kirkwood and North County.
  • Travel Insurance - Travel insurance gives peace of mind in case of emergencies and weather delays. The cost might be a deterrent, but you'll be saving money in the big picture with less anxiety and more coverage if something goes wrong.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Kirkwood Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 2° C
Mar 8° C
Apr 14° C
May 20° C
Jun 24° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
471319252931312720136
Low
°C
-5-338141921201693-2
High
°F
394555667784888881685543
Low
°F
232737465766706861483728

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