Kansas : Safety by City
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From barbecue to spinach, Lenexa, Kansas is a city where you had better be hungry to fully enjoy it.
This suburban Kansas City town is more known for its annual events revolving around food than anything else.
Lenexa is one of many comfortable cities inside Johnson County, Kansas, but still just 15 minutes from the busy downtown Kansas City area.
It is surrounded by Shawnee to the north, where it shares the border of Shawnee Mission Park, one of the most popular places to visit in the county.
To the south is the suburb of Olathe (“Oh-LAY-thuh”).
Overland Park is to the east.
When you go to Lenexa is almost as important as why you are going.
The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle is held here every year with 185 vendors making the air smell like beautiful barbecue for miles.
For those who don’t know, Kansas City is a HUGE barbecue town.
The Spinach Festival is held every September as a tribute to the spinach crop that used to grow abundantly in this area for half a century in the 1900s.
It was known as the “Spinach Capital of the World.”
Hotels are all over the major interstates in the Lenexa area, so you’ll always have a safe place to sleep that’s close to the direct lines to get around the Kansas City area.
Warnings & Dangers in Lenexa
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here with lower than average crime rates. There isn't a whole lot to do in Lenexa, barring visiting a loved one or celebrating with loved ones at many of the venues.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
RideKC is the public bus system throughout the metro area and it does have several stops in Lenexa. RideShareKC is popular to keep more cars off the road and share rides to popular destinations. There is a bike-share program in Lenexa where you can rent an electric bike to get around the city. Traditional taxis and rideshares are also available. There's low risk with any of the many options available here.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of being pickpocketed here, but be extra careful if you're at one of the festivals where the crowds are bigger. The theft risk is one in 85 here. You should still use common sense when it comes to protecting your belongings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You face a medium risk here because there are weather threats throughout the year. Severe thunderstorms that spawn tornadoes are the biggest risk in spring and that risk goes throughout the summer and into fall. There is also intense lightning, hail storms, snowstorms, sleet, and ice storms to worry about. While these are all common events in Lenexa, if you are not familiar with the safety of certain storms, the emergency management of Johnson County can help you.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here with just 11 robberies reported in 2020. Property crimes are more likely to happen here than violent crimes.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Just because it's part of a larger metropolitan area, we have to give this a medium risk assessment. Johnson County has a plan for a worst-case scenario too, so you can review that online to lessen any concerns you might have.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of a tourist being targeted for a scam. However, we do want to let you know about a scam that has been rampant in 2022. People will be using their computers when a Microsoft prompt comes up with a phone number to call to get rid of a virus. This isn't how Microsoft would let you know about a virus, and the scammer is just trying to get you to call so you'll share a bunch of personal information.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women can feel safe visiting here with low risk. The sexual assault rate is half the national average. However, as I said earlier, without a lot to do here, you might end up going to a different part of the area to be entertained. Be sure to check the safety ratings for those cities too, because not all of Kansas City's metro area is as safe.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water meets or exceeds all requirements and there's low risk when using it as drinking or bathing water. That's according to the WaterOne 2022 Annual Water Quality Report.
Safest Places to Visit in Lenexa
Shawnee Mission Park is in both Lenexa and Shawnee.
It’s a nearly 1,700-acre park with a 120-acre lake used for swimming, boating, and fishing.
There are so many things to do at this lake, so don’t write it off as “just another lake.”
There’s a beach open here during the summer.
Trout fishing is popular and there’s a boat cleaning station and marina for boaters.
Add in an archery range, a model rocket launch area, an extensive trail system for hikers and mountain bikers, and a disc golf course.
If that park is too crowded, you can also visit Black Hoof Park in Lenexa.
I can’t emphasize this enough – Johnson County has some of the best parks I’ve ever seen.
Black Hoof Park has a dam so elaborate with a stone design that you won’t know it’s a dam.
The playground has a stream for kids to safely play in, a hide and seek area, and playground sections catering to different age groups.
You can also go boating and fishing here.
The Lenexa Historical Society has a complex of buildings and attractions to educate visitors about the history of the region.
The stone barn is a great starting point.
That’s where the Legler Barn and Museum is located.
There’s a train depot nearby, a bandstand, and an herb garden.
This location isn’t to be confused with Thompson Barn, which is a gorgeous barn where events are held.
It’s worth a drive-by just to see the amazing exterior.
You won’t find a golf course like Falcon Valley Golf Course in all of the Kansas City area.
This is a nine-hole championship course.
It has won accolades as one of the best nine-hole courses in the Midwest.
Fire Stables Equestrian offers horseback riding lessons if you’d like to take a class.
There is also boarding here with ongoing performance training.
Places to Avoid in Lenexa
There isn’t a bad part of town in Lenexa.
It’s mostly a residential area with an average household income of $90,000.
If you come across a gated community, avoid trying to sneak in.
That’s a sure way to get a suspicious neighbor to call the police.
You really need to keep an eye on the weather here since there’s so much to do outdoors.
The Kansas City television market has many great stations and they all have apps with weather alert functions.
As I write this, there are a number of articles about the EF-1 tornado that swept through the city a month ago.
Some of the best meteorologists in the country work here and they’ll tell you the same – storms can rapidly increase in intensity here.
Sometimes you have just minutes, if not seconds, to spare before a dangerous storm gets to your location.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Lenexa
- The front page of the Lenexa Police Department has the annual police report posted and it’s worth reviewing for anyone visiting here. You’ll get great information about crime trends, law enforcement initiatives, and traffic concerns.
- There are a lot of roundabouts in Lenexa. If you aren’t used to driving in roundabouts, it’s worth watching some “How to Use Roundabout” videos. I’ve lived in a lot of places with roundabouts to replace regular intersections, and when people use them correctly, it’s a great traffic flow. One confused driver can cause all kinds of issues.
- You can track the most recent crimes on the Crime Mapping section of the police department’s website. It’s interactive and easy to use. You just enter an address, select the crimes you want to search for, and enter a time frame. The list will pop up on the map or you can choose to see the information in a list format.
- The Lenexa Police will only assist motorists who lock themselves out of the vehicle ONLY if it is an emergency, like a child is locked in the car. For other lockouts, call a locksmith.
- If you want to take part in the bike rental system, you’ll need to download the RideKC Bike app. This is the only way to scam the bicycle you are renting and pay for. Bikes are $1 to unlock and ten cents per minute for riding. The bikes are not available in January and February.
- A lot of construction gets done in the Midwest starting in spring through fall. You can get alerts about construction and road closure alerts through the city’s website. You’ll also see a list of upcoming projects. Make sure you don’t have a major construction project being done outside your hotel.
- You will need a fishing license to catch fish in any Lenexa waterways. A non-resident license from the Kansas Nebraska of Tourism is $10 for one day and $27.50 for a five-day license. There are some parks in this area that also require a permit from Johnson County. Be sure to check before you go.
- There is a service request form you can fill out on the city of Lenexa website. This is for things like potholes or broken streetlights, not crimes or suspicious activity.
- Do you smell something burning? Even the parks here have firepits for people to use and burning can happen with a permit in a yard. Sometimes it might be leaves burning or it could also be a controlled environmental burn. The rules for firepits and local burning are on the city’s website.
- There are very few entrances to Shawnee Mission Park, but there is a large area to cover. Be sure to leave nothing in plain sight in your car when you park. Lock the doors and roll up the windows too. Thieves can patrol parking lots looking for a quick grab, so make it as unappealing as possible for them.
So... How Safe Is Lenexa Really?
In every crime category, Lenexa is even safer than nearby Shawnee.
It’s also a tech-savvy area, so homeowners are more likely to have doorbell cameras and security video when crimes do happen.
Businesses in town are also connected to a surveillance camera program through the police department.
License plate readers are placed throughout Lenexa to help track stolen cars, missing people, and criminals on the run.
Here’s how the crime risks look in Lenexa:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 563 risk
- Robbery: 1 in 5,224 risk
- Theft: 1 in 85 risk
There were 171 cars stolen in 2020, so be sure to lock your car each and every time you park it.
Having an anti-theft device would be helpful too.
While Lenexa might not be the most exciting city throughout the year and outside of the festival season, it’s a safe place to stay while you explore the rest of the area.
We do have detailed information about the surrounding cities in Johnson County and the greater KC area, so check those out as crime trends can change city by city.
How Does Lenexa Compare?
|Hong Kong (China)
You will need your visa when you go through Customs. One thing that surprises some people is that your visa doesn't guarantee you access to the country. It just means you have access to get a chance to enter the country. If there are any safety concerns regarding your recent past, you might be held up. However, it's just a good reminder to be on your best behavior when going through Customs. Once you're outside of the airport, you won't need your visa until you leave the country.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency here, and as you've seen, even renting a $1 bike can be done via electronic payment. There is very little need to carry cash here and it's also safer to travel without large amounts of cash.
It can get cold in Lenexa, but even ice fishing isn't allowed in the county parks, so it's not as cold as some other Midwestern states. You'll still need a coat, gloves, scarves - the works - in winter. Spring and fall will require layers of t-shirts (long and short-sleeved) and sweaters or sweatshirts. Some days can be cold in the morning but warm in the afternoon. Summer will be hot, but it's the humidity that will get to you. Bring clothing that you don't mind getting sweat-soaked.
Kansas City International Airport is 30 minutes north of Lenexa along major interstates. Allow more time if you are traveling during rush hour.
Travel insurance is a smart idea to protect the investment in your trip if weather causes delays or cancellations. Even winter weather in the Rockies can have a ripple effect on airports in the Midwest.
Lenexa Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Kansas - Safety by City