Mississippi : Safety by City
- Holly Springs
- New Albany
- Pass Christian
New Albany, Mississippi, is a charming town located in the northeastern part of the state between Tupelo and Memphis, Tennessee.
The town boasts a rich history and is home to a variety of attractions, from its beautiful natural scenery to its delicious home-cooked cuisine.
It also offers an outdoor paradise situated along the Tallahatchie River with the Tanglefoot Trail unraveling 44 miles from New Albany.
While the “charming small town” accolades could apply to many Mississippi locations, New Albany has won numerous awards like Best Small Town in the South, Coolest Small Town in Mississippi, and Best Small Town for Antiques.
New Albany is also becoming a popular retirement community for its mild weather, low cost of living, and high quality of life.
Foodies will also love New Albany’s diverse culinary scene.
From classic Southern comfort food to international cuisine, there is something for every taste bud.
The town is home to a number of highly-rated restaurants, including the neon-lit neon sign Johnny’s Drive-In, the award-winning Sugaree’s Bakery, and The Rainey, a Southern-inspired restaurant known for its farm-to-table menu.
Overall, New Albany is a hidden gem that offers visitors a taste of Southern hospitality, rich history, and beautiful natural scenery.
It’s not the vibrant town, but it’s a great place to slow down and soak in every Magnolia-scented moment.
Warnings & Dangers in New Albany
OVERALL RISK : LOW
New Albany offers a safe environment and a low risk for many years now. Like a town stuck in time, it has dodged some of the violent and gun crime increases across America, but it's also modern enough to keep up with trends and entice tourists.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You won't find a public transportation system here, but you can get taxis or rideshares. A rental car is your best bet, as most of the hotels are not in the historic district, and there are plenty of regional attractions to explore on your own timeline.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
75% of all thefts are shoplifting, which is comforting enough to give it a low risk but concerning enough to know that there are people capable of stealing right from under your nose nearby. One purse snatching was reported in 2021. Protect your stuff, but don't overthink the concern.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
As part of Dixie Alley, New Albany can be prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, especially in the spring. However, that severe weather potential runs throughout the year. Winter weather isn't very common, but the city is far enough north to get the occasional ice storm or winter weather that can cause infrastructure troubles with just a small amount of winter weather.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
With just one robbery in 2022, this is a low-risk category but also not something you should assume can't happen here. The robbery that did happen was in a public space, so just stay aware of your surroundings and don't carry flashy items with you.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This isn't something to be worried about as it's a small town in a rural area. Random acts of terrorism are always possible, so your vigilance and reports of suspicious activity are much appreciated by the local police.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Scammers are always looking for ways to get other people's money, but in New Albany, businesses are more likely to be a target of quick-change scams. The Better Business Bureau, Mississippi's Attorney General, and the local police will post new scam information as they happen.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This is another low-risk, with crime rates so low and a conservative, family-friendly environment that should put you at ease. No city is safe enough to let your guard down, but you breathe a little easier here than you could in places like nearby Memphis or Tupelo.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance with federal and state standards. You should check city social media sites after a storm or during utility work to see if there is any precautionary tap water guidance.
Safest Places to Visit in New Albany
Visit New Albany and New Albany Main Street are the names of two websites officially sanctioned for tourists and run by local organizations or governments.
The city hosts a Tallahatchie Riverfest each September, and you’ll find information about that on the Main Street website.
You can also download the New Albany Visitor’s Guide on the tourism website.
One of the most popular attractions in New Albany is the Union County Heritage Museum.
This museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Union County, which includes New Albany and several other small towns.
The museum features a wide variety of exhibits, including artifacts from the Civil War, Native American history, and early settlers in the area.
This region is known as Mississippi Hill Country, and there is no better place to see it than the Tanglefoot Trail.
This 44-mile trail runs from New Albany to Houston, Mississippi, and is a popular destination for cyclists, hikers, and nature lovers.
The trail passes through several small towns along the way, including Ecru and Algoma, and offers stunning views of the Mississippi countryside.
Holly Springs National Forest is just to the west, with the charming, safe small town of Holly Springs just on the other side.
The forest has many great lakes and campgrounds to explore.
If you want to stay a little closer to town, stop by The Park on the River (that is its actual name).
This park is located on the banks of the Tallahatchie River and offers a peaceful setting for picnics, fishing, or just enjoying the scenery.
The park is also home to several walking trails, which are perfect for getting some exercise and taking in the natural beauty of the area.
Outdoor sports fans will love the Park Along the River Sports Complex.
This complex features baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, and a disc golf course.
New Albany is also along several designated activity trails, including:
- Southern Literary Trail
- Mississippi Blues Trail
- Quilt Trail
- Hallelujah Trail
Places to Avoid in New Albany
New Albany doesn’t have a bad part of town, and if it did, it would be hard to avoid it since the town is so small.
You do want to avoid getting a false sense of safety since crime rates are so low.
When a small town seems too safe, people start leaving cars and doors unlocked or letting down their guard.
You should avoid swimming in the Tallahatchie River unless you have updated water testing information provided by the county or state department of health.
The National Weather Service will also monitor the river levels and currents.
The most popular swimming spot on the Tallahatchie is an hour away at Sardis Lake.
Know the seasonal risks of weather and wildlife.
Spring storms can build quickly, ticks can be a health hazard from spring through fall, and humidity can make the air feel oppressive.
You need to watch for tropical systems working up the state during hurricane season, which runs from June through November.
If winter weather is approaching, you should still stock up because it doesn’t take much to put pressure on the power grid and leave people in the dark without heat.
Safety Tips for Traveling to New Albany
- New Albany does have its own police department. It’s a small enough town and a friendly enough region that you can call or email to ask specific safety questions. The contact information is (662)534-2222, email@example.com.
- You need to do careful research because there are several other small towns in America named New Albany. Even my research has taken me to places like Indiana and Ohio, which can easily get you turned around. It doesn’t help that New Albany, MS, is small enough that the websites aren’t very robust or high-ranking in the search engine algorithm. Look for 662 area codes to confirm you’re in northern Mississippi.
- The city is ready to ask any questions you have with a general email of firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question will be routed to the correct department. You can also call (662)534-1010.
- Sign up for city alerts by texting NEWALBANY to 91896. This will include city alerts about events, road closures, water main breaks, and other important information. You can also sign up for CodeRED notifications to get severe weather alerts on your phone. This will cover the county, and it’s critical you stay weather aware.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. In this part of the state, you’ll only need a freshwater license.
- Dress to avoid the worst of mosquitoes if you’ll be hiking in the woods. Some people are shocked by how thick the bugs can be in the South. Even when it’s warm, you want breathable layers of white clothing to make mosquitoes easier to see and prevent them from biting through clothing. Always tuck your pants into your socks. Wear bug repellant with DEET, and don’t use floral-scented perfume or cologne.
- 511 MS is the Department of Transportation website and app to help you navigate Mississippi’s roads. Creating an account allows you to set preferred routes and get alerts about accidents or storms along the way.
- Northern Mississippi Storm Chasers has an updated list of storm shelters on its website. If you aren’t familiar with tornado safety, you should review the proper steps, as you won’t have time once a warning is issued. The storm shelters provide public space for people to seek shelter until the storm passes. Your hotel should also have a designated safe place.
- Holly Springs National Forest falls under the Forest Service, not the National Park Service. You should check social media sites and the website to see if there are any trail or road closures. Storm damage or repairs can leave trails blocked off or roads washed out.
- This is the South, and sweet tea is one of the staples of any meal. If you order iced tea, you’ll likely get sweet tea which is filled with a lot of sugar. I made the mistake once of ordering “regular iced tea” in the South and still got a sweet tea. Be sure you mention you want “iced tea with no sugar” if you don’t want the sweet version.
So... How Safe Is New Albany Really?
New Albany is an extremely safe town for tourists when it comes to violent crime risks.
Most years will bring less than three violent crimes, and those are generally domestic situations.
Property crimes were under 200 in 2022, with 75% of the thefts being related to shoplifting.
If you took out the shoplifting data, the total number of property crimes would be closer to 100.
New Albany isn’t safe enough to avoid the increased risks of overdoses and drug crimes that plague northern Mississippi.
Project Revelry is a program in New Albany aimed at helping people recover from addiction and avoid drug-related scenarios.
Even the fire department now carries Narcan to every call to help reverse the effects of overdoses.
As part of the drug problem in America, the new trend is selling drugs that look like prescription drugs but are laced with a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.
For all the safe space New Albany offers, you should know it’s not the most exciting town.
Most people can see it all in one day.
It’s especially important to keep doing research about other cities you plan to visit in Mississippi, as very few have this kind of impeccable safety record.
How Does New Albany Compare?
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- Visas - International guests need a passport and visa designated for the purpose of the trip. Travel visas take the longest, so start the process as soon as possible. You can travel between Mississippi and neighboring states without having to show proof of your visa, but you will need both the visa and passport to get through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and don't want to exchange currency. This small town might not have the services you need, so take care of that at home to get the lowest fees. You'll also have a chance at the airport.
- Weather - Pack comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Boots that cover your ankles are ideal for support and to keep bugs and mud out of your socks. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. You should know it's Southern etiquette to remove a hat when you go inside. In winter, bring a warm jacket, but you likely won't need a thick coat.
- Airports - The closest airports to New Albany, Mississippi, are Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP) and Memphis International Airport (MEM). Memphis is the larger airport, but Tupelo is the closest. Both can be reached within an hour by car.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance pays off for weather risks that can lead to delays or cancelations. You'll get immediate coverage as soon as you make the purchase, which helps protect against last-minute illnesses or emergencies.
New Albany Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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