Missouri : Safety by City
- Blue Springs
- Cape Girardeau
- Creve Coeur
- Jefferson City
- Kansas City
- Lee’s Summit
- Maryland Heights
- New Madrid
- Poplar Bluff
- St. Charles
- St. Joseph
- St. Louis
- Ste. Genevieve
Maryland Heights, Missouri, is a city located in the heart of the Midwest, just outside of St. Louis, with a perfect central location for all the attractions.
One of the main draws of Maryland Heights is its proximity to the great outdoors.
The city is home to numerous parks and trails, including Creve Coeur Park surrounding Creve Coeur Lake.
Named for the French words meaning “Broken Heart,” there’s a tragic love story you’ll learn when you visit the shoreline.
The 200 miles Katy Trail State Park goes through Maryland Heights as well.
Maryland Heights is also home to the beautiful Westport Plaza, a small entertainment district with a lot of styles.
I grew up in St. Louis, and this was one of my favorite places to go.
I’m quite pleased to see the Trainwreck Saloon is still doing well, as I celebrated my 21st birthday there way too many years ago.
Maryland Heights also backs up to the Missouri River, where the Hollywood Casino and Amphitheatre are located in yet another entertaining part of town.
It’s also just across the river from historic St. Charles.
With close access to the airport, more hotels than you can count, and easy interstate travel anywhere in the metro area, Maryland Heights is a great choice in the St. Louis area.
Warnings & Dangers in Maryland Heights
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here, but north of the city, you'll be getting into some more dangerous neighborhoods. The risk is about average, so don't let your guard down.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You can use the Metro Bus System to get around St. Louis. Taxis and rideshares are abundant in this busy area. Rental cars are also easy to find and offer more travel flexibility.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
With just four pickpockets over the past five years, there's a low risk. However, 31% of thefts were car break-ins, so don't leave things in your vehicle and always lock the door.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
I have a vivid memory of being at the Riverport Amphitheatre (now the Hollywood Casinos Amphitheater) in the late 90s at a loud concert. We knew it was storming but had no idea tornado warnings were all around us. I got a stern lecture from my mom when I got home, but that's part of spring and summer in St. Louis. Storms are common, and tornadoes are possible. Winter can bring blizzards and ice storms, but you'll get plenty of warnings. You'll also need to watch out for flooding in Maryland Heights as it's close to the Missouri River.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
This is a low risk statistically, with 22% of robberies against individuals happening on average over the past five years. You do want to pay attention when visiting gas stations and other places where there is transient traffic, as robberies that start at a gas station and lead to the highway will be counted in other crime data jurisdictions.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
You always want to be aware of suspicious activity and report it, especially in a large area like St. Louis that might be more prone to terror attacks. The Homeland Security Department issues Terrorism Advisory Bulletins every few months, so you can know the risks of international and domestic terrorism.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Identity theft made up 40% of all fraud complaints in 2022, which is a reminder to keep your personal information private. Don't throw away receipts in public trash cans. Use direct vendors to purchase tickets, not third-party websites. Keep your credit cards secured and set fraud alerts and spending limits before your trip.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
As a woman who visited this city many times throughout her teenage years, her 20s, and 30s, the main risk is drinking too much, having a drug slipped in your drink or making bad decisions. Westport Plaza is well-lit, but the parking areas can be a little creepy if you're out late. Ask for a security guard to walk you to your car if you feel uncomfortable, and always stick with a friend. Don't drink and drive and beware of others who might be, especially after leaving a major concert or when the bars close.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. Most of the hotels here are new enough that lead in the pipes won't be a concern, but to be sure, always let a stagnant tap run for a minute or two before you use the water to drink or bathe.
Safest Places to Visit in Maryland Heights
VisitMarylandHeights.org is the official website for the city, with details about everything from outdoor activities to entertainment to a large variety of restaurants.
The blog is updated regularly with monthly and seasonal activities.
Explore St. Louis is the name of the tourism site for the larger metro area.
Westport Plaza is as charming as it is lively, and it has been for decades.
There are several hotels here, which are great options if you want to enjoy the fun nightlife.
This district has a comedy club, jazz bar, playhouse, fine dining, and casual bars, all within a short walking distance that feels like walking through a village.
Plenty of fountains and benches fill the walkways, offering a place to people-watch and enjoy the warm nights.
Creve Coeur Park surrounds Creve Coeur Lake.
The Dripping Springs (aka waterfall) is known as the place where the “Broken Heart” happened as a Native American woman was banned from being with the love of her life and jumped.
Of course, it’s more of a legend than a fact.
But those springs sure do look like tears… hmmm.
The lake has a beach in the summer with trails galore, and fishing is popular here too.
MORE: “How Safe is Creve Coeur for Travel?”
You can get more adventurous at the Go Ape!
Zipline Adventure is open seasonally.
You can climb the ropes course or ride the hipline over the forest.
Night activities are offered, and there’s even a forest escape room.
During the humid summer months, cool off at the Aquaport whether you want to ride the twisty slides or just chill in the lazy pool.
Hollywood Casino offers all the action of Las Vegas, offering slots, table games, and poker rooms with half a dozen restaurants.
The larger amphitheater brings in big-name acts, and Saint Louis Music Park is an outdoor venue with local and regional bands.
Places to Avoid in Maryland Heights
There’s a lot of traffic and activity in Maryland Heights, as the central location brings a lot of people to and through the city.
You won’t find a bad part of town, but it’s also not an area so safe you can let your guard down.
Keep your doors locked while driving, and always pay attention to your surroundings, especially at night.
In the winter, Creve Coeur Park and Lake will still be open, but don’t trust the ice on the lake.
Three people had to be rescued in February 2022 after falling through the ice.
The temperatures here rarely get cold enough for long enough to freeze over an entire lake.
The lake can also be dangerous in the summer, as two people drowned in the summer of 2021.
It’s especially shocking since swimming is not allowed in the lake for water quality concerns and safety.
As general guidance, it’s safest for tourists who don’t have a reason to be north of I-70 to stay away from that part of town.
It’s a general statement, but as you get closer to the city north of I-70, you go through some pretty dangerous neighborhoods.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Maryland Heights
- Maryland Heights has its own police department, with supplemental help from Missouri Highway Patrol on the interstates. You can follow them on Facebook @MarylandHeightsPolice.
- Use the community crime map on the department’s website to search for crimes closer to your visit. It’s interactive, so you can search different types of crime in a certain radius and timeframe. This is great if you want to know how many car break-ins were reported within 1/2 mile of your hotel or things like that.
- It’s the law here that if you are driving with windshield wipers on, your headlights must be on as well. Especially since you’ll likely be driving a rental car, you should know if the lights come on automatically or if you need to switch them on.
- You need a fishing license from the Missouri Department of Conservation if you want to fish in any lake or river in the St. Louis metro area (or the entire state, for that matter). You can purchase those online and be sure to get the non-resident license.
- With the high theft rate here and motor vehicle thefts rising 40% in 2022, it’s worth mentioning the risks of leaving your car to warm up on a cold winter’s day. Thieves will wait for people to make this mistake and then steal the car. They don’t care if the car is cold inside. Fewer than 28% of cars are found again.
- If you are one of the dozens of people who get their car broken into here, especially if a weapon was taken, call the Maryland Heights Police Department at 314-298-8700, Ext. 1, as soon as possible. Even if someone just rummaged through your car, it is worth letting them know as it could be part of a larger car break-in ring.
- It’s easy to report criminal activity that isn’t urgent, like graffiti or suspicious activity that doesn’t warrant a call to 911. Just call the Maryland Heights Crime Tips Hotline at (314) 209-TIPS (8477). You can also call the St. Louis Regional Crime Stoppers hotline at 866-371-TIPS (8477).
- At the beginning of 2023, Maryland Heights launched an emergency alert program that all visitors should use. This free service will tell you about severe weather risks, civil emergencies, major accidents, etc. Sign up through the MH Alerts section of the department’s website.
- Most of the parking at Westport Plaza is free, and there is a parking garage if you don’t want the car outside because of the weather. You should check to see if your preferred parking spot requires validation from a business. Some premium parking spots are available if you pay for them.
- Since this area is prone to flooding, you should know to never drive through a flooded roadway, even if it doesn’t look that deep. Those MH Alerts will let you know about flooding risks, but if you get caught in an area flooded, don’t try to drive through it. As they say, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
So... How Safe Is Maryland Heights Really?
Maryland Heights saw a lot of crime rates go up in 2022.
Here are a few examples:
- Violent Crime: Up 49%
- Aggravated Assault: Up 100%
- Robbery: Up 50%
- Fraud: Up 20%
That said, violent crime, robbery, and aggravated assault are still below the national average.
Theft is likely your biggest concern, coming in at 22% higher than the national average, and a whopping 51% of those being car break-ins or car accessory thefts.
Those numbers could come down if people would simply lock their cars and remove personal items.
With so many hotels, big parking lots, and venues, there’s a wealth of things to be stolen by inattentive guests.
The rising crime rates included a series of brazen crimes that started in Maryland Heights during the summer of 2022.
A couple stopped at a gas station and had their car stolen, but not before the car thief dragged one of the owners 40 feet in the middle of the day.
“In broad daylight!” said customer Sandra Brown to a local television station.
“I’m so scared now.
I mostly stay at home because of stuff like this.
Every time I stop at a gas station or anything, I turn my car off, take my keys, and I don’t even carry a regular purse anymore.
I carry something that goes over my whole body.
(I) lock my doors while I’m pumping gas.
I just don’t trust people anymore.
It’s so dangerous now.”
Sandra has the right idea.
Situational awareness and smart safety steps are the best way to avoid being a victim of crime.
Thieves are mostly looking for a crime of opportunity.
Maryland Heights was one of my favorite places to visit growing up, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Just keep your head on straight.
How Does Maryland Heights Compare?
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- Visas - International visitors need a passport and U.S. Visa or a Visa Waiver if they're from an eligible country. You can find that list on the U.S. State Department website and then check with Customs and Border Patrol to find out what items you can't bring into the U.S.
- Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. If you plan to visit the casinos, you'll need cash to get chips or play slots. The lowest exchange fees will come from your home back, but you can also use the airport currency exchange office if you are a U.S. Bank customer. For more info, call (314) 429-1248.
- Weather - Pack different layers of clothing, especially in fall and spring when it can be warm one day and cold and snowing the next. Summers are going to be humid, so plan accordingly. You'll want comfortable walking shoes, especially if you'll be visiting the lake. Bug spray is a must.
- Airports - St. Louis Lambert International Airport is just 15 minutes from Maryland Heights. It's a major airport servicing many cities, so you don't need to look for alternatives.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is important for a trip to a city with so much severe weather potential. If you don't have emergency health coverage in the U.S., consider a policy that covers accidents and injuries. You won't find free healthcare here.
Maryland Heights Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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