Louisiana : Safety by City
- Baton Rouge
- Bossier City
- Lake Charles
- New Iberia
- New Orleans
Mandeville, Louisiana, sits on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, and anyone who crosses the causeway into New Orleans will inevitably drive through this small town of 13,000 people.
The city is 35 miles from NOLA, but it feels like a world away due to everything from lower crime rates to a more laid-back and spread-out landscape.
Mandeville could almost be considered a vacation from your New Orleans vacation, especially if you like sitting lakeside or exploring the Spanish moss-covered swampland of Louisiana.
Fontainebleau State Park spans the eastern edge of the city and Lake Pontchartrain, offering camping, fishing, hiking, water tours, wildlife viewing, and a relaxing beach.
You’ll also get amazing sunrise and sunset views from the fishing *Pier which also is a great place for photos of the causeway.
*The pier was heavily damaged by 2021’s Hurricane Ida. It is being rebuilt but check to see if it’s open before your visit. This isn’t the first time. Hurricane Isaac also caused substantial damage in 2012 but was rebuilt.
Mandeville is also a midway location for all the Northshore communities, with equal distance to Ponchatoula or Slidell.
Warnings & Dangers in Mandeville
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk here, but in the spirit of transparency, official crime data hasn't been released for the city since 2020. Louisiana is one of the states with the highest violent crime rates, so you can't assume one safer city is next to an equally safe city. Research, like this article, is a great first step to a safer trip.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There isn't public transportation for tourists in this region. You can rely on taxis and rideshares, but that's going to get very costly. Having a car rental is the best idea when visiting this region.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here since it's a small town without a lot of crowds. The biggest concern for theft involves that rental car. You should always lock your doors and keep personal belongings in the trunk or in the hotel. Car burglaries are a big problem statewide, but the vast majority are due to cars being left unlocked.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Don't let the location on the north side of the lake make you feel safe from hurricanes. Mandeville gets pretty intense storms and faces a big flooding risk being on the edge of the lake. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can happen any time of year, but spring and late fall are the biggest risk seasons.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Between 2014 and 2020, there weren't more than four robberies per year in Mandeville. 2022 crime research shows the robberies that do happen here are mostly business robberies. The risk is low, but not so low you should let your guard down.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Mandeville wouldn't be a likely target, but the entire New Orleans metro area would be considered a potential target due to the tourism and port of entry importance. The St. Tammany Parish emergency management website has an overview of the anti-terrorism plan.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The main scam to watch out for is a rental scam. This is when scammers post fake home rentals online and lure would-be visitors into paying for the "discounted" rental upfront. Then the scammer disappears, and the visitors don't find out about the fake scam until they arrive.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk for women and this is actually a safer city than New Orleans. It also has a few more relaxing and family-friendly locations. As with all cities in the NOLA region, don't walk around at night alone. Also, don't go into the wilderness by yourself.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Mandeville's water utility hasn't posted a Water Quality report since the end of 2019. At that time, there was nothing of concern about the water quality and all requirements were met. To check the water quality closer to your visit, call the Public Works Department at 985-624-3169.
Safest Places to Visit in Mandeville
You’ll want to use the LouisianaNorthshore.com website to search for reliable attractions in the region.
There isn’t an official tourism site for Mandeville.
VisitLouisiana.com is another resource if you’re going to be visiting places throughout the state.
Old Mandeville is the perfect starting point for an adventure here.
You’ll find restaurants, shops, and bicycle rentals.
Some of the popular places in Old Mandeville are:
- Girod Street: Antiques and bounties galore.
- Liz’s Where Y’At Diner: A popular breakfast spot.
- Hambone: A popular lunch spot.
- The Candy Bank: Satisfy your sweet tooth
- Jean Baptists Lang Creole Museum and Gift Shop: A history tour of the city complete with walking maps of the historic residential districts.
You can also ride a bicycle along Lakeshore Drive for beautiful views of the lake and the historic homes.
There are some restaurants along the ride with sweeping views of Lake Pontchartrain and the causeway offering fresh seafood.
The Barkley Oak is one of the best restaurants with a patio offering sunset views.
There is a bike path along an old railroad line that takes you through five Northshore cities.
If you want to explore the wild, start at Northlake Nature Center as a baby step into Louisiana’s wildlife and bayous.
There’s a wooden boardwalk to safely take you through the marsh.
You’ll be amazed at the birds you see here and for those traveling with kids, check out the children’s activities.
Fontainebleau State Park covers 2800 acres of set on a former sugar plantation.
There’s a beach here as well with shallow water and safe swimming areas.
You’ll also be able to explore what’s left of the sugar mill.
For those looking for nightlife, Ruby’s Roadhouse is a popular place for a boot-scootin’ good time.
Live bands perform throughout the week.
This is a great place to enjoy a football game, Mardi Gras, or a night on the town.
Places to Avoid in Mandeville
There aren’t any bad neighborhoods to avoid in Mandeville.
You still should stick to the main roads and interstate when driving and stay on the designated bike paths if you’re renting a bicycle.
Mandeville is a small town but the places to visit are spread out, so don’t try to walk from place to place at night.
You should avoid the area if a hurricane is approaching the New Orleans area.
While many people like to roll the dice and hope storms turn before making land, you don’t want to be in this community during a tropical storm.
Those who survive the storm will end up likely in the dark and without clean water for days or weeks.
Avoid going into the wild without researching safety in marshes and bayous while understanding the unique wildlife here.
We’ll talk through some of those safety tips in the next section.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Mandeville
- The Mandeville Police Department’s website is pretty bare-bones. Connect with them on Facebook @mandevillepolicedepartment to get better information about crime and safety.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through Smart911. You can’t afford to miss important weather information in this region. You can choose to get alerts through text message or email.
- In 2022, there were increasing reports of coyotes in and around Mandeville. Coyotes rarely attack people but could go after small pets. If you see a coyote, you don’t need to call for help unless there is an imminent threat. The police will not be able to respond to the call anyway. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries handle wildlife calls.
- On that note, let’s talk about alligators. If you see a freshwater lake, pond, or river, you should assume there are alligators in it. You can take an airboat tour to learn more about alligators and their habitat. You’ll also get to see them up close but safe enough of a distance away. Learning about animals could help you be less scared of them.
- Campers will love the new online booking system offered by Louisiana State Parks. You can take the guesswork out of the process by selecting your park, campsite preference, and location. Be sure you know if a campsite is accessible by land or if you need to paddle out to it, as Fontainebleau State Park has some “paddle out only” campsites. You can also buy your park pass through the website, even if you aren’t camping.
- You’ll need to wear bug spray when visiting this region. The humidity and heat are perfect breeding grounds of mosquitoes and other insects. You should have a product that contains DEET and apply it as often as needed. Calamine lotion can also help in the aftermath of bug bites.
- Bring a change of clothing if you’ll be visiting during the summer months. I don’t know if there are enough words to explain how oppressively humid it can get here. It feels like walking through soup at time. You are going to sweat a lot, and you don’t want to spend too long in wet clothes. Be sure to change out of your swimsuit as soon as you can after leaving the water to avoid bacteria from building up.
- You’ll need to pay a toll if you cross over the causeway into New Orleans. The fee is only for vehicles heading south. You won’t pay a toll when you are driving north on the causeway.
- The causeway is a long span that can take up to a half hour to cross. Review thecauseway.us to get all kinds of safety information and learn about the toll details. You might have to face winds, fog, or storms on the bridge and an average of a dozen cars a day breakdown on the bridge. Learning safety advice in advance will help you in case you face a causeway risk.
- Anglers and hunters need a license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Hatcheries. Until the free fishing pier re-opens in Mandeville, there are no exceptions to this rule and poaching is widely reported by other hunters and anglers. If you see a poacher, call 1-800-442-5111. Local police won’t respond to poaching calls.
So... How Safe Is Mandeville Really?
Mandeville is a city that likely wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Lake Pontchartrain causeway.
Even without official crime data in the past year, the city historically has lower than average crime rates across the board.
It’s also a very transient city with many visitors and commuters coming through each day.
To give you an idea of traffic – more than 20,000 people use the causeway for commuting each day.
Knowing there are that many people coming through, you should raise your alert level for petty crimes like car break-ins or purse snatching at the beach.
Don’t leave items unattended and be careful when meeting new people that you don’t share too much personal information.
The weather in Mandeville shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Some of the most severe weather possible in North America happens here and even on a regular summer day the heat can lead to exhaustion or stroke.
It’s just as important to research crime safety as it is outdoor and wilderness safety if you’re not used to the Louisiana climate.
A trip to Mandeville is much more mellow and safe compared to a trip to New Orleans.
Please know when you do visit the Big Easy, the crime risks go up exponentially.
We’ve reviewed the major cities in this region, so you can have a better idea of the full picture when visiting southern Louisiana.
How Does Mandeville Compare?
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Whether you arrive at the airport or the port of entry, you'll need a U.S Visa or Visa Waiver issued by the State Department. Start with the Visa Wizard module on the department's website to see which visa suits your needs. If you apply for the wrong visa, you'll have to start over which can delay an already lengthy process.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here for payments, and it's advised to purchase as many tickets and passes as you can before you arrive or from the safety of your hotel internet connection. The less you can pull out your wallet in public, the better. Don't use public ATMs. You might want some cash for smaller businesses or toll roads, but don't keep large amounts of cash in one place.
There might be times in the winter when the temperature get at or below freezing, but it's pretty rare. You'll want layers of clothing as the temperatures change throughout the day in spring and fall. Summers will be hot day and night with high humidity. Bring extra clothing to accommodate how much you'll sweat in a day. Grab some hand towels you can use to wipe the sweat off as you travel and don't forget the bug spray.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is about 45 minutes away, but double that time if you'll be driving there during rush hour.
Travel insurance kicks in as soon as you purchase it, so make the most of the investment by purchasing it with your airfare. You should also check to see what coverage you have for a health emergency in the United States since you can't get free healthcare there.
Mandeville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Louisiana - Safety by City