Is Sevierville Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On April 25, 2024
Sevierville, United States
Safety Index:
73
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Sevierville, Tennessee, is the northernmost city leading to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Cherokee lived on this land for centuries before it was settled in 1795 by John Sevier, Tennessee’s first governor.

However, the most famous resident of all time is Dolly Parton, who went on to country music stardom and now has a strong presence in the Smokies.

The distinction of Sevierville lies in its authentic charm, offering a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the bustling tourist hubs of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

This is the first city you’ll see when driving toward the Great Smoky Mountains from I-40.

It’s the least mountainous area of the three, but the beauty of the foothills draws people in.

It’s a small town that has no plans to become like its busy neighbors.

Sevierville is also closest to Douglas Lake, but it is the furthest from the national park.

The best value for cabins can be found here, and the growing food scene and local events don’t make it feel like a backup plan.

When you want a Smoky Mountain experience without the congestion of the Parkway, this is the place for you.

Warnings & Dangers in Sevierville

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Despite what appears to be shockingly high crime rates, Sevierville has a low risk and so many family-friendly places to explore. I'll explain the context of the crime data later in this article.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The Pigeon Forge bus system only comes to Sevierville as far as Governor's Crossing. Taxis and rideshares are available, but you won't be able to skip the traffic and those costs can add up. A rental car is the best option.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

With high theft rates, I would've bet $20 that this was a medium risk. However, with just two pickpockets or purse snatchings a year going back five years, it's a statistically low risk, but treat it with a greater deal of caution. There are a lot of people here and thefts can happen quickly if you aren't protecting your stuff.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a region built on outdoor activities, which means the weather should be treated as a high property touchstone each day. With concerns like severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, wildfires, and heavy rain, it's a medium risk.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Since 2020, Sevierville hasn't seen more than three robberies a year. Before that, the number was 10 or fewer since 2016. Only one robbery was a mugging in 2022, and the robber got away with just $57.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM

As the busiest national park in the country, this region is at a medium risk. It also comes with a lot of security that you can see and more that you won't even notice. It's important to be vigilant but not paranoid.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Educate yourself on home rental scams in the Smokies and check the latest reports on the police department's website. There are plenty of established rental companies willing to help you out - don't go looking for bargain-basement prices that are likely scams.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

This whole region is family-friendly, and the Sevierville tourism website even has suggested itineraries for "Girlfriend Getaways." The risk is low, but always keep using basic safety practices.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2023 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance. The water is safe to drink and use for bathing. Don't assume any spring or river water is safe for consumption.

Safest Places to Visit in Sevierville

VisitSevierville.com is the official tourism website for the city.

You can download a digital tourist guide, but you’ll have to give your name, email, and postal code.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have their own tourism websites, but all three of the sites have redundancies.

Since we have articles on all three cities, I’ll just focus on Sevierville in this article.

Feel free to explore the other two.

The Sevier County Heritage Museum is a great place to start to learn more about the different eras leading up to the establishment of the national park.

Several shopping areas sit throughout the region, but the Tanger Outlets Sevierville is one of my favorite places.

You can find brand-name items at discount prices and plenty of gift options.

Tennessee is home to more than 10,000 caves, but only a handful are for tours.

Sevierville’s Forbidden Caverns is one of them, with guided tours through the underground, with unique formations and an underground waterfall.

Foxfire Adventure Park is a forested attraction with ziplining, hiking trails, and a swinging bridge.

You can also climb a 60-foot wall or do some gem mining.

It’s worth noting there are several attractions like this around the Smokies, each with a different twist or specialty.

For example, Legacy Mountain Ziplines is another place to fly high, with what they call the longest and highest zipline in the Smokies.

Animal lovers shouldn’t miss the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, which has little to nothing to do with Great Smoky Mountain heritage but still draws in the crowds to see things like lemurs, parrots, and squirrel monkeys.

NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains offers 22 attractions, including eight go-kart tracks, across 25 acres.

Rides suit little ones at least 36 inches tall with increasingly challenging experiences for teenagers all the way to adults looking for a high adrenaline experience.

Amusement rides, an arcade, and a virtual reality game round out the options.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, consider Wilderness in the Smokies for the indoor waterpark that comes with the cost of the room.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a great place to cool off in the summer, with a faint wave pool, tubing water trails, rides, and playgrounds across 50 acres.

Places to Avoid in Sevierville

Sevierville doesn’t have bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods, but this is definitely part of the country where trespassing isn’t taken lightly.

Stick to the main roads in town to and from attractions.

Dolly Parton’s childhood home is in Sevierville, but it’s still privately owned and not part of the tourist attractions here.

While the address can be found through deep research online (No, I’m not giving it to you), it’s best to see the replica of her childhood home in Dollywood.

I will assure you that the home is hidden far back off the road it’s on, making it nearly impossible to see anyway – especially when the trees are lush.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Sevierville

  1. Sevierville does have a local police department. You can follow them on Facebook @SeviervillePoliceDepartment. Feel free to call (865) 453-5506 or email bstahlke@seviervilletn.org with specific safety questions.
  2. The city, county, and surrounding community use the CodeRED emergency notification system. This will send public safety information or incoming severe weather details to your mobile device through text or phone calls.
  3. Report suspicious or criminal activity to (865)453-0789 in the event of a non-urgent situation. You can also report drug activity by calling (865)453-1986.
  4. Download the National Park Service app and use that to get updated information about Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Any road closures, weather alerts, or construction projects will appear in the Park Conditions section.
  5. You can also use that NPS app to download maps and trail routes so that they are available for offline use. Mobile service is spotty in the park.
  6. All anglers need a Tennessee fishing license from the Wildlife Resources Agency. Use the Go Outdoors website or app to find details about non-resident licenses, fishing spots, and species of fish found in the region.
  7. It’s a tradition in the Smokies for locals and long-time visitors to honk their car horns in the tunnels. While this act is frowned upon by local leaders and law enforcement, people are adamant about doing this. I just didn’t want you to be surprised when you go through a tunnel and hear loud horns honking around you.
  8. Shoplifting is a huge problem in Sevierville. If you see something stealing stuff from a business, do not confront them. Let a store employee know and let them handle it.
  9. This is a bear country and the black bears roam freely, sometimes making it into the communities. If you have a rental cabin in the woods, you’re all but guaranteed to see one. Stay at least 100 yards back. Hikers are allowed to carry bear spray in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but it’s best to buy it in town, so you don’t have to take it through the airport where it could be confiscated.
  10. While Sevierville isn’t the most crowded of the Smokies communities, you’re still going to deal with a large number of cars on the road and people on the sidewalks/crosswalks. Be patient and let pedestrians have the right of way. If you’re a pedestrian, make sure the cars approaching see you before you legally walk through the crosswalk.

So... How Safe Is Sevierville Really?

We must start this with the fact that Tennessee has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation – a solid 68% higher than the national average.

That’s important to know because it makes more sense when I tell you that Sevierville’s violent crime rate is 76% higher than the national average and 12% above the state average.

On average, about one in five of those crimes is against a stranger, according to the past five years of crime data.

However, it does not mean that an average of one in five violent crimes is a random act of violence.

Those crimes could be connected to other illegal activities, like drug use or alcohol-fueled fights.

About 30% of all violent crimes happen in private homes, which means 70% happen in public places.

An average of four cars were stolen a month as of 2022.

Theft is 148% higher than the national average, of which 53% were shoplifting.

I was surprised to see that just 14% of thefts were car break-ins or accessory thefts since there’s so much traffic here.

Most cities are closed to 30% of all thefts connected to car burglaries or stolen parts.

What you also need to consider is that crime rates are determined by the population of residents and the number of violent crimes to equal a “per 100,000 people” threshold.

That does not include the millions of people who stay in or pass through Sevierville each year.

The rate drops extremely low if you factor in tourists.

Then you have the weather and wildlife risks, which are 100% up to you when it comes to how dangerous they are.

Don’t try to feed wildlife or take a photo with a bear, and skip a long hike when storms are in the forecast.

Given the number of times I have been to Sevierville, I was shocked to see the crime rates so high.

I’ve never felt unsafe there.

At the same time, in 2019, two people were shot at my favorite outlet mall in what was a random act of violence.

The best you can do is use the best safety practices, be aware of your surroundings, and report anything suspicious.

How Does Sevierville Compare?

CitySafety Index
Sevierville73
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need to first check if they are eligible for a visa waiver, as that will make the process much easier. That information is found on the U.S. State Department website. Otherwise, a visa for the purpose of your trip needs to be applied for, which could include a work visa, school visa, tourism visa, etc.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here and this isn't a place you want to carry a lot of cash. Use credit cards for as much as possible, but I do recommend carrying about $20-$40 in case you come across cash-only locations.

Weather

Weather

The beauty of this region is that it gets four beautiful seasons. Sevierville is the warmest of the gateway cities, but most trips will include a visit to the national park, with higher elevations. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bug spray. Plan to sweat a lot from late spring through early fall, and bring fabrics that will be comfortable at that level of humidity.

Airports

Airports

McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville is just 45 minutes from Sevierville, making it the closest and largest option. Asheville (North Carolina) has an airport two hours away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a great street reliever, especially when visiting a rugged area prone to weather dangers.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Sevierville Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 3° C
Feb 5° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 14° C
May 19° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 25° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 9° C
Dec 5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
91217222630313128221611
Low
°C
-3-226121618181471-2
High
°F
485463727986888882726152
Low
°F
272836435461646457453428

Tennessee - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bell Buckle79
Chattanooga69
Clarksville72
Cordova62
Dyersburg62
Franklin75
Gatlinburg82
Germantown70
Hendersonville79
Johnson City68
Jonesborough78
Kingsport52
Knoxville57
Lawrenceburg77
Memphis54
Murfreesboro78
Nashville58
Pigeon Forge78
Pulaski79
Rogersville76
Sevierville73
Wears Valley78

Where to Next?

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