Is Mount Pleasant Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 11, 2024
Mount Pleasant, United States
Safety Index:
78
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina’s name might give the wrong impression.

It’s not on a mountain, but it is quite pleasant.

In fact, the city is in the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina, near the water that leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

Charleston is across one bridge, while Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms each have a bridge leading to the sandy beaches.

Its name was taken from the first homeowner’s plantation, built in 1775 and still standing in the expansive historic district.

Homes spanning the Victorian and Antebellum eras make this Southern town sparkle with charm.

It is worth noting that Mount Pleasant’s history includes stories of both slavery and the resilience of freed slaves.

Exploring this heritage provides valuable insights into our community’s past and the experiences of those who lived here.

Mount Pleasant offers many adventures for visitors, but the town’s speedy growth can cause some infrastructure challenges, as evidenced by the traffic troubles.

Since 1970, the population has grown exponentially each decade, with the most recent uptick of 34% between 2010 and 2022.

What was once a town of 6,000 now holds more than 90,000 people.

This is also one of the more upscale communities, with an average income of more than $115,000.

Mount Pleasant also offers a safer side of the Lowcountry compared to Charleston while still bringing vibrant activities.

Warnings & Dangers in Mount Pleasant

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Mount Pleasant has a low risk and offers so many things to do that it might be hard to fit the beach and Charleston into this trip!

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Check the routes on Ride Carta's website to see how to get between Charleston and Mt Pleasant. You can also take a water taxi from Mt Pleasant to Charleston and back. Taxis and rideshares are also easy to find. A rental car is the best option to explore more of the beaches. All options are a low risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Over the past five years, about three pickpockets or purse snatchings happened each year. The risk is statistically low, but don't let your guard down. It's too busy of a tourist spot to be cavalier about your valuables.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a medium risk due to the risks of tropical weather, hurricanes from June through November, severe storms, and flooding. You simply must stay on top of the weather forecast for the safest experience, even when it comes to the ocean currents, rip tides, or marine life warnings on area beaches.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

The robbery rate is incredibly low here, coming in at 84% lower than the national average. More than half of those were in private homes over the past five years.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The city of Charleston has a "Terrorism Awareness" website where you can learn more about potential risks. However, this isn't a terrorist hot spot. At the same time, domestic terrorism and mass shootings are far too common in America. It's important to report suspicious activity.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

A variety of scams have been reported over the past few years in Mount Pleasant, but most target upscale residents. The biggest red flag a tourist should watch out for is a rental scam. You can learn how to spot those on the South Carolina Consumer Affairs government website.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Yet another low-risk here, with a great community for women of all ages. It's safe enough to travel solo or with small children. Of course, you still need to use basic personal safety steps and be aware of the risks and safety steps surrounding the ocean and weather.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows a low risk with full compliance and no violations. One thing I thought was cool is that the report mentions there are three public water-filling stations in town.

Safest Places to Visit in Mount Pleasant

“Experience Mount Pleasant” is the name of the city’s official tourism site.

That’s separate from the Charleston tourism website, but they should be paired together when planning a trip.

One of the big draws to Mount Pleasant is the historic Antebellum homes and other unique buildings in the historic district, which covers 30 blocks.

It essentially lines the waterfront on the southwest side of Mount Pleasant.

Download the Mount Pleasant Historical App to get a digital guide to help you along the way.

The Old Village District is a specific neighborhood within the Mount Pleasant Historic District.

It is renowned for its quaint, tree-lined streets, historic homes, and charming atmosphere.

You’ll find a shopping district here, while the larger district is mostly homes and quiet residential streets.

If you take that route from north to south, you’ll end up at Pitt Street Park, where the Ocean Walk takes you to scenic vistas of the surrounding waters and islands.

This is an excellent place to watch the sunrise or sunset, and benches are set up facing both directions for epic views.

You can also kayak in the waters here.

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens should be on every Mount Pleasant itinerary.

The performance “Exploring The Gullah Culture” reenacts how former slaves survived in the Lowcountry through the toughest of times and continued their heritage into the present day.

The performance is emotional and riveting.

The plantation also has former slave quarters open for viewing, with various exhibits about slavery through the ages.

You should also visit the plantation gardens, which feature antique roses that were originally planted more than a century ago.

A butterfly garden is also near the gardens.

Mt Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park is north of the historic district.

It has a pier, playground, and expansive waterside park to explore.

One thing to note is that Highway 17 runs alongside the park, making it feel more urban than a relaxing respite.

Many local events are held at this park.

Those with an interest in military history shouldn’t miss the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

Various tours are offered, and visitors can walk on the deck of the USS Yorktown.

While highly focused on World War II, several memorials and exhibits about other wars are on-site.

The Waterfront District at Shem Creek brings a different iteration of Mt Pleasant’s personality.

A boardwalk lines the water with shops and restaurants along the way.

Seafood lovers should try the oysters of the Lowcountry for a sublime experience.

Shem Creek Park is next door, and plenty of boating, fishing, and paddling opportunities await on the water here.

Places to Avoid in Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is an all-around safe town without dangerous neighborhoods or bad parts of the city.

In fact, the most important place to avoid is private property!

Don’t go into gated communities if you aren’t visiting someone there.

The hardest thing to avoid in Mount Pleasant is traffic.

The city grew so quickly without the roads always keeping up.

Getting to the beach can be gridlocked if you wait too long.

Leave first thing in the morning or plan to enjoy the sunrise at the beach so you can cross the bridge and find parking before the big late morning rush.

The hurricane season runs from June through November, with a peak around August through October.

You don’t have to avoid this area during that time, but if a storm is headed that way, seriously rethink your travel plans.

I’ve been around in the aftermath of several hurricanes, and it’s awful without power, mobile service, or hot food.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Mount Pleasant

  1. Mount Pleasant has a police department. You can follow them on Facebook @mountpleasantpd. If you have specific safety questions, you can also call (843) 743-7200.
  2. On the police department’s website, you can use the interactive crime map to search for more recent crimes than the 2022 official data we can provide. For example, you might want to know how many car break-ins have happened within a mile of your hotel in the past three months.
  3. Sign up for city alerts through the city website under the Notify Me tab. This is for specific information about Mount Pleasant, like road closures, water main breaks, or public safety hazards. Charleston County also has an alert system that will pass along information like severe weather or evacuation plans.
  4. Alligators live in the Lowcountry, and you should know that any freshwater source might have one. I lived in an alligator area for years, and it just became a habit not to walk on the edge of a freshwater lake or pond. Most incidents involving alligators are due to human interference, like trying to feed or bait the gator.
  5. You should also know that coyotes are present in this area. They are especially unlikely to mess with people, but you also want to avoid leaving food outside or trying to interact with them. Most times I’ve seen a coyote it took me a few seconds to determine if it was a dog or a wild animal. At the same time, you don’t want to let a cat or small dog be outside solo, especially between dusk and dawn.
  6. With low crime numbers, police officers have plenty of time to do traffic and safety crackdowns. Some of the top intersections for issues are Highway 17 and Theatre Drive, Ben Sawyer Blvd and Center Street, and  Coleman Boulevard at either Pelzer Drive or Chuck Dawley Boulevard.
  7. Anglers need a fishing license from the state, and there are separate licenses for freshwater and saltwater fishing. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website provides information on those options.
  8. The mild weather here brings out a robust bicycling community. Review the local code and laws for riding on bicycle lanes or sharing the road with other vehicles.
  9. Bookmark the South Carolina Beach Access Guide. This interactive map shows all the beaches monitored for safety and water quality. This can help you plan your trip to the beach before you leave the hotel.
  10. Parking is free in most areas of Mount Pleasant. However, special events might charge parking separately from ticket prices.

So... How Safe Is Mount Pleasant Really?

Mount Pleasant is one of the safest cities in South Carolina.

The violent crime rate is 73% lower than the state average and 67% lower than the national average.

In addition, only 8% of violent crimes in 2022 happened against strangers.

About one-third happened in private homes.

On top of that, violent crime has been trending down since 2017, and that was at a time when the city was growing in population.

Usually, that means higher crime rates.

Even the theft rate here is 20% below the national average.

The biggest category of theft is shoplifting, which accounts for 37% of all thefts.

Car break-ins and accessory thefts are responsible for 27% of thefts.

The city recently passed enhanced hate crime penalties after repeated anti-Semitic issues in town.

That means if a crime happens due to targeting a specific group of people, the criminals will face tougher consequences.

Of course, you have the typical weather worries and safety risks.

Staying informed about risks, safety plans, and weather forecasts can alleviate those.

Mount Pleasant is safe enough for anyone to visit, but its vibe might be a bit upscale for some.

How Does Mount Pleasant Compare?

CitySafety Index
Mount Pleasant78
San Diego67
Miami55
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors will need a visa that's designed for the purpose of the trip, such as work, school, or tourism. Ideally, you qualify for a visa waiver, but you'll need to check out the U.S. State Department website to explore eligibility for that. Of course, a valid passport is also needed.

Currency

Currency

The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the currency of the land. You can exchange your currency at your home bank, which also offers the lowest fees. If you're flying into Charleston, the only foreign currency exchange option is an ATM. Credit cards are your best bet, but check to see if your card issuer charged a foreign transaction fee.

Weather

Weather

Winters are mild, and summers are hot and humid, with spring and fall ending up in the middle of those two. Dress casually, but this is a fashionable area. You'll also need bug spray and sunscreen year-round.

Airports

Airports

Charleston International Airport is about 20–30 minutes away from Mount Pleasant, but with the intense traffic, it's smart to plan for an hour.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance just makes sense as it covers every possible emergency, disaster, or circumstance. Also, when you buy travel insurance, it goes into effect immediately.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Mount Pleasant Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 10° C
Feb 11° C
Mar 15° C
Apr 19° C
May 23° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 16° C
Dec 12° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
151620242831323230252117
Low
°C
45913182223232115106
High
°F
596168758288909086777063
Low
°F
394148556472737370595043

South Carolina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Aiken57
Beaufort67
Charleston70
Clemson76
Columbia68
Folly Beach68
Fort Mill78
Gaffney68
Greenville81
Hilton Head Island79
Isle of Palms81
Manning47
Mauldin77
Mount Pleasant78
Myrtle Beach65
North Augusta70
Orangeburg62
Pawleys Island82
Rock Hill63
Spartanburg48
St. Helena Island78
Sullivan’s Island80
Summerville78
Travelers Rest77
Walterboro68
West Columbia65

Where to Next?

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