Kentucky : Safety by City
- Bowling Green
- Cave City
- Cumberland Falls
- Harlan Tri-Cities
- La Grange
- St. Matthews
Welcome to the “Kindness Capital of Kentucky” in La Grange, Kentucky.
There’s no deep historical reference to kindness.
The title is a new one that has gained fame on the small screen.
It’s all because of the kindness campaign started by two local children in 2019.
La Grange is also notable for being a railroad town, but this is more than just a few tracks through the city.
The locomotives actually go right down the center of Main Street.
In mid-2022, HGTV’s Home Town Kickstart highlighted La Grange and created some new spaces for the community while doing a home makeover for a needy community member.
The kindness campaign has also put the 10- and 13-year-old creators of the concept on national news programs like The Today Show.
La Grange is a small town of 10,000 people but is also just 30 miles from the much larger city of Louisville.
There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, museums, and outdoor adventures to keep everyone happy.
Warnings & Dangers in La Grange
OVERALL RISK: LOW
With low crime rates and plenty of adventures to be had, there's a low overall risk in La Grange. Both property and violent crimes are below the state and national averages.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Oldham's Public Bus is the fixed route service through the city, with a couple of on-demand stop options. You can also call a taxi or rideshare. Having a car is going to be the most beneficial for exploring.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The theft rate is slightly lower than the national average, and just one purse snatching was reported in 2020. There's a low risk here, but you still should not let your guard down.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Kentucky can get wicked weather, and La Grange is part of that medium risk. Winter can bring snowstorms mixed with ice and sleet. Spring kicks off the tornado season, and severe thunderstorms are common through summer. Flooding and extreme temperatures are also possible.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, with just one-third of the six robberies from 2020 happening in public spaces. No robbery was valued at more than $250, so it's a great reminder to avoid carrying valuable items with you.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
La Grange is far enough away from Louisville that there's a low risk of any kind of terror concerns. It's a small town without much in the surrounding rural area.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, with the most commonly reported scams being phone calls to residential numbers. You can rest easy that there aren't people trying to scam tourists, but always report any suspicions you have to the police.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel safe visiting La Grange. There was one sexual assault reported in 2020, and the majority of crime victims were men. You should still avoid walking around at night alone, as this isn't a very busy place after dark.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows no violations, and all tests met or exceeded standards set by the EPA.
Safest Places to Visit in La Grange
It’s humorous to me that if there was a freight train running through the heart of my current city 30 times a day, I would find that quite annoying.
Here in La Grange, it’s a novelty.
There’s even a train viewing platform, so you can get a better look at the tall and wide trains.
To be clear, when I say the train goes down Main Street, I mean it takes up ALL of Main Street.
No cars can get by; you can’t walk across the street, and you can’t even hear yourself think.
You can stop by the La Grange Railroad Museum to learn more about the history of rail travel in the city.
It’s a free attraction with donations welcome.
Exhibits include a model train display, various artifacts, and a 1929 dining car you can tour.
From there, you might want to get your fill of history at the Oldham County History Center.
This is more than a museum.
There are several exhibits, from the story of a slave who wouldn’t give up until he was free to an author known for her children’s books about a child nicknamed “Little Colonel” to a walk behind bars in the penitentiary exhibit.
You can also interact with animals and learn about the history of agriculture in the farm building.
AlleyLoop is the Historic District that was renovated by HGTV in 2022.
This is a plan to transform alleys into gathering places and art displays.
This downtown area has a lot of charming shops and a wide variety of restaurants.
FRP La Grange Quarry is the place to cool down in the summer with deep waters and crowded beaches.
Here you can kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, and soak in the sun with crystal clear waters fed by springs nearby.
Lake Jericho is also nearby with camping, fishing, and boating opportunities you can’t get at “The Quarry.”
During the summer, you can see movies under the stars at the Sauerbeck Family Drive-In.
There’s also a concession stand where nothing on the menu is more than $6!
If you’re looking for a unique hotel experience, the Bluegrass Country Estate Bed & Breakfast has been voted the top B&B in Kentucky before, and it’s a charming expansion of everything that makes Kentucky great.
Places to Avoid in La Grange
You can freely travel throughout La Grange without worrying about going to a bad part of town.
The city isn’t really big enough to have a bad neighborhood, and most of the attractions are separate from the neighborhoods anyway.
Before you visit The Quarry, you should review all the rules and regulations.
This is a private attraction, and certain things are not tolerated, like alcohol and drugs.
You can’t get in the water without some kind of flotation device.
You have to buy tickets online ahead of time, and there are no refunds under any circumstances.
You can’t bring kids under the age of 18.
So while it’s a great attraction, there are some very strict rules, and the owners will not think twice about kicking someone out without a refund.
Safety Tips for Traveling to La Grange
- If you have any information about a crime that happened in La Grange or even suspicion about a crime, you can submit a tip on the Police Department’s website. There is also a crime and tip hotline that can be reached at (502)702-6556.
- You might see golf carts on the street of La Grange, but they aren’t allowed on roadways with a speed limit of over 35 miles per hour. Be sure to keep an eye out for golf carts, especially during warm weather months.
- Sign up for emergency weather alerts through Smart911. You’ll also get critical information like missing child alerts or traffic incidents that could delay your driving.
- Don’t feed the geese at any of the parks. While it seems like a fun activity, it can actually hurt the geese or make them sick. Geese can also carry diseases, so you don’t want to get too close to them anyway.
- You might try to avoid parking on Main Street, so you don’t get trapped by the train, but parking in an unattended lot could put you at risk of a car break-in. Wherever you park, be sure to always lock doors and roll up windows. 32% of thefts in La Grange are car burglaries.
- The city bus system doesn’t run on weekends, so you’ll need another way to get around if you rely on that for transportation during the week. The bus costs a dollar, and you must have exact change when you get on the bus.
- The CSX train that comes through downtown is loud. If you or someone in your group is sensitive to loud noises, bring ear plugs or noise canceling headphones. The ground will also shake when the train comes by. Just prepare anyone who might be sensitive to noises for the reality of having a train on Main Street.
- If you are going to be fishing in Oldham County or anywhere in Kentucky, you need a license from the Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are special permits for certain kinds of fish, so review all the details before you purchase a license. You cannot use your license from home here.
- There are two different Facebook pages for La Grange Police Department, and one of them is in Georgia. Be sure you are following @LaGrangePDKY and not @lagrangepolicedept.
- To keep up with approaching weather concerns, follow Oldham County Emergency Management Agency on Twitter @OldhamCoKyEMA. Especially in the winter, it’s not uncommon to have a snowstorm one week and a tornado risk the next.
So... How Safe Is La Grange Really?
It’s a relatively safe community, especially when compared to nearby Louisville.
The city had just 14 violent crimes in 2020, but 43% of those are against strangers.
You should never let a city’s safety rating allow you to let your guard down.
Crime happens everywhere, even in small towns known for their kindness.
Car break-ins are probably the biggest risk a tourist will face as far as crime goes.
Here’s how the overall risks break down in La Grange.
- Violent Crime: 1 in 719 risk
- Robbery: 1 in 1,668 risk
- Theft: 1 in 82 risk
You really need to stay weather aware in this community as severe thunderstorms can spawn potentially deadly tornadoes.
In a rare occurrence, the western Kentucky tornadoes from late 2021 ended up blowing family photos 100 miles and landing in a La Grange woman’s backyard.
Across town, her son found a photo as well, blown across the state from the same storm.
While it should go without saying, the train going through the city’s center could be dangerous.
You can see YouTube videos of drivers who turned down the street only to be facing a locomotive.
There are no barriers between the sidewalk, the street, or the railroad tracks.
Keep small children close and hold their hands while the train comes through.
How Does La Grange Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
|Niagara Falls (Canada)
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
You'll need a U.S. Travel or Work Visa to visit from outside the U.S. Be sure to make an appointment for an interview with the U.S. Embassy in your city as early as possible. Some locations have waiting lists for six months or longer. Once you get your visa, you'll only need to show it at the airport and can travel freely throughout Kentucky with just your passport.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and it might be a good idea to have some spending cash in case a small business doesn't take credit cards. You can book places like The Quarry and drive-in theatre ahead of time, so purchase what you can from a safe internet connection at home.
The temperatures can fluctuate a lot, so bring a mix of shirt sleeve lengths. It's not a very dressy town, so bring comfortable clothes. You'll need to outwear in the winter and bug spray in the summer. Spring and fall can have chilly nights or mornings, so bring a jacket or hoodie.
Louisville International Airport is the largest and closest option at just a half-hour's drive time away.
Travel insurance is a great way to make sure you don't lose money on your trip in case of severe or winter weather. You'll also be protected from injuries that might happen along the way.
La Grange Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Kentucky - Safety by City