Alabama : Safety by City
- Gulf Shores
- Muscle Shoals
- Phenix City
Welcome to Mobile – Alabama’s Only Saltwater Port
Founded in the early 1700s by the French, Mobile was the first capital of Louisiana and once known as one of the ‘Paris of the South cities.’
Mobile is located along the Gulf Coast, on Mobile Bay, in Alabama’s southwestern corner.
The Port of Mobile is a primary shipping artery and contributes significantly to the local economy – ranking as the 12th largest port in the country.
The port is home to several Cruise Ships and access to waterways that serve the Ohio & Tennessee River Valleys as well as the Great Lakes Region.
The city’s name is derived from the Native Americans living on the bay, known as the Mobile Tribe.
Mobile’s neighborhoods are rich in history that are a confluence of the diverse cultures that impacted the region historically – French, Creole, Spanish, and African, to name a few.
Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras.
Mobile, Alabama, is home to the main campus of the University of South Alabama (USA), a public higher education institution that was chartered in the 1960s.
The university’s student enrollment exceeds 15,000.
It is estimated the school contributes more than $3 billion in economic activity.
Mobile is now Alabama’s 3rd most populous city, with a population that exceeds 186,000 in 2021 within its 129 square miles of boundaries.
Mobile also anchors the greater Mobile metro area, with a statistical census population of nearly 413,000.
Warnings & Dangers in Mobile
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Mobile's riskier areas have high crime rates, some of which are nearly double the national average. Whenever traveling, especially alone, be mindful and choose to travel during daylight hours. The area in and around Dauphin is quaint but be careful as you walk about the live oaks and antebellum homes. Areas around Pritchard & the western portion of Spring Hill Avenue have high crime issues.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Public transportation, by way of the Wave Transit System, is available and safe when traveling during daylight times. It might be best to use Uber or other car service companies to get around Mobile at night or travel alone.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Most cities have crime issues related to pickpocketing. The best defense is to remain aware and mindful at all times of your current surroundings and understand what to expect when you reach your intended destination. Pay attention to the local government's guidance and heed warnings appropriately. Avoid nighttime parades for this reason.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
As a subtropical location located along the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters, Mobile is, unfortunately, a prime location for tornados and hurricanes. All of Alabama and the city of Mobile have tornadic risks well above national averages, with the last occurring in 2004. The latest hurricane to hit the Mobile area was Hurricane Sally in 2020. ClimateCentral.org also notes that Mobile is a top threat for flooding.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
The risk of being mugged in Mobile, Alabama, depends on a variety of influences. These may include factors like location, and the time of day, among others. Commercial areas and their adjacent neighborhoods may pose an above-average risk to travelers, especially for solo or women travelers.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Like most cities across the country, terrorism has been on the rise in Mobile and Alabama in general. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Homeland Security Department monitors terrorism and other suspicious activities to ensure residents and visitors are safe.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
The digitizing of the landscape has unfortunately opened the limitless possibilities of varying scams -online and in-person. Consumer fraud is insidious and found across the city, state, and national levels.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Women are advised to travel, when possible, with a companion and preferably during daylight hours. Traveling during evening hours should be done with great caution. Stay alert to your surroundings and know where you are going by researching the transportation routes and areas of interest.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
According to TapSafe.org, Mobile's tap water is generally considered safe. The Mobile Board of Water & Sewer Commission (MAWSS) regularly monitors the contents and quality of the city's tap water. The 2020 Mobile Drinking Water Quality Report is available online.
Safest Places to Visit in Mobile
Mobile’s welcome center is the Colonia Fort Conde – Mobile – reconstructed on its original site and now operating as a living history museum.
Mobile offers soulful hospitality, award-winning cuisine, and is considered festive and funky with a hip flare.
From art walks, opera, ballet, and symphony, Mobile has something for everyone.
Downtown Mobile has become parking-friendly with a new state-of-the-art parking payment system.
Shopping is plentiful, from modern malls to boutiques, flea markets, specialty shops, antique havens, and clubs full of unforgettable music.
The Greater Mobile area is also a golf lover’s favorite destination and ranked by Golf Digest among the top ten US destinations in terms of value and bang for your buck.
Check out the Azalea City Golf Course offering beautiful affordable golf courses, weekly tee times, and rentals.
Mobile offers visitors and travelers several museums to visit and the fantastic, 100-acre Mobile Botanical Gardens.
Mobile’s military park on the bay offers an upfront look at a variety of historical military equipment, a battleship, and a submarine, among others.
The area is also rich in civil war history, with a variety of locations to visit, including Battleship Memorial Park, near the seven-mile causeway known as Battleship Parkway.
The city has more than 45 parks open to the public, plus the Moulton Children’s Park – managed by the University of Southern Alabama.
For more than a decade, children have enjoyed the Seward Farms Maze – an eight-acre corn maze – offered with discounts for military members.
The Five-Rivers Delta Resource Center (including the Mobile, Tensaw, Spanish, Apalachee, and Blakeley Rivers) offers a variety of boating, fishing, airboat rides, canoeing & kayaking adventures, plus tours and meeting facilities.
While in that area of Mobile, check out the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Mobile is home to the country’s largest wetland/delta areas – offering water adventures from white sand beaches to bayous.
Placess to Avoid in Mobile
Like most southern urban areas, specific neighborhoods in Mobile have crime rates exceeding national and state averages.
The city ranks above average in terms of crime, and certain regards, significantly above average.
The locations with data related to high crime include most of downtown Mobile and areas along the waterfront, as far south as the Mobile Downtown Airport.
As you move further out of the bay/downtown area, neighborhoods begin to become much safer, especially in terms of property and violent crimes.
Those areas with the least crime tend to be in western Mobile – as far west as the Mobile Regional Airport.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Mobile
- Before setting off, become familiar with the area you intend to visit.
- Mobile is subtropical, and therefore, it is not uncommon to see alligators and other similar critters.
- Choose a hotel, Airbnb, or resort location that offers the safety of a room or hotel safe to ensure your valuables are protected while visiting Mobile. It is a good idea to buy travel insurance offering coverage for losses and other travel-related events.
- When attending Mardi Gras (or other locally sponsored parades), it is smart to enjoy the festivities with a group of family members or friends. Keep the pets at home as they are not allowed at downtown parades. Set an after-parade meeting place in case members of the party become separated.
- Call. Be vigilant and create an easily accessible list of important phone numbers like the local hospital, police department, or fire station.
- Like Florida, Mobile offers a remarkable variety of snorkeling along the gulf shores and barrier islands. The water visibility along Mobile’s coast is generally 10 to 20 feet, and mobile Bay tends to have murkier water. Note, most snorkelers in Mobile enjoy the sport independently and not as part of a tour or excursion.
- There are pet-friendly hotels in the Mobile, Alabama, area for those planning to travel with their furry friends.
- Arrive early for flights at Mobile’s airport to ensure you have enough time to pass through security checkpoints if traveling during high traffic times.
- When making reservations, work with well-known companies that can be deemed trustworthy.
- Before leaving home, make two copies of important travel and personal documents – one for the trip and the other with a friend or family member in case the need for their help arises. Keep them abreast of your plans, itinerary, and current location to and from Mobile.
So... How Safe Is Mobile Really?
Mobile is a wonderfully diverse city but requires visitors to be vigilant regarding their safety.
Traveling alone should be done in high-traffic areas and during daylight hours.
Pay attention to local official warnings, do not travel alone – especially at night, to avoid dangerous situations.
How Does Mobile Compare?
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- Visas - The US Dept of State's Consular Affairs Bureau is the federal department tasked with the responsibilities administering the issuing of new and renewed US passports. But note, there are private companies whose specialty is to expeditiously obtain these official documents. If you are in a hurry, the additional fee for the quick turnaround is well worth it.
- Currency - Mobile, as a US State, uses the US Dollar as its currency. International travelers will find a variety of currency exchange services in the city. However, the Mobile Regional Airport may offer the most convenient location for currency exchanges but will likely be more expensive.
- Weather - Mobile is located in what is considered a subtropical climate which translates to humid, hot summers followed by rainy, mild temperatures during the winter. A study done in 2007 noted that Mobile is the wettest city among all 48 contiguous states – topping the list with more than 60 inches of rainfall each year.
- Airports - The Greater Mobile area is primarily served by the Mobile Regional Airport, offering nonstop service to four major transportation hubs- Dallas, Charlotte/Douglas, George Bush International Airport, and Hartsfield- Jackson Airport. Located a few miles from downtown, Mobile Regional Airport offers a charging bar, access to free Wi-Fi, plus a children's play area for long layovers. The Mobile Downtown Airport is primarily private, although also nearby.
- Travel Insurance - Travelers will face inherent risks when traveling domestically and internationally. There are several traveler's insurance plans from which to choose, which can help mitigate risks and other possible financial losses. Coverages will vary but range from covering the cost of missing a connecting flight to compensating for the cost of personal belongings for delayed or lost baggage. Travel insurance may also include coverage and protection for the injuries or illness of an insured traveler.
Mobile Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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