Is Smithville Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On June 14, 2024
Smithville, United States
Safety Index:
84
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Smithville, Texas, is where Sandra Bullock moved after her husband left her for her best friend, and she fell in love with a high school classmate.

Oh, wait, that’s the movie Hope Floats that was filmed here.

In fact, you might be surprised by how many movies have been shot in this small town just outside Austin.

How does a town of 4,000 people attract such A-listers?

It’s the endearing charm that embodies quintessential Texas.

No big box stores, no facades, and all the preserved buildings and homes make us understand why so many believe God blessed Texas.

When you’re not taking the Bastrop County Film Trail through the heart of Smithville, you’ve got the waters of the mighty Colorado River meandering on the north side of town.

While you can get lost in the nostalgia, it’s hard to get lost in Smithville, as all the streets are built on a grid.

If you do not see a turn on the next block, you’re in the beauty of Texas Hill Country.

It feels about as far from the big city as you can get, but with Austin, Houston, and San Antonio less than two hours away, Smithville is a great weekend getaway, day trip, or a place to just let time slow down for a week.

Warnings & Dangers in Smithville

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

The risk is low in this small town, as crime rates are so low that people like me question the validity and check them twice.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) provides bus service around the communities and into Austin. Taxis and rideshares will be less available than in big cities, but you'll also find Smithville walkable. A rental car is the best way to explore the region.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Over the past five years, four purse snatchings and one pickpocket were reported. The risk is low, but know that there's a greater risk of getting a purse stolen than a wallet taken from your pocket.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Central Texas gets a mix of weather problems, leading to a medium risk. That includes severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat. With so many things to do outdoors, don't plan a day without checking the forecast and having a way to get weather alerts.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with an average of two robberies a year. Keep using basic safety steps to keep the risk low, and don't let low crime rates give you a false sense of safety.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk as the town is small and remote. You can also let the police know if you see anything suspicious.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. The local Better Business Bureau office and the state Attorney General’s office will have common scam tactics and protection advice. Most of the scams in recent years have preyed on residents using common spoofing scams. The risk is low, but keep it that way by staying educated.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Yet another low risk here, with nothing in recent crime reports suggesting women would be at a greater risk than men. In fact, statistically, women are 10% less likely to be victims of violent crime.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1. The latest water quality report for Smithville shows full compliance and no violations.

Safest Places to Visit in Smithville

It can be hit or miss when it comes to small towns in Texas if there’s enough information online to help you plan a trip.

Luckily, Smithville has a tourism website called visitsmithville.org.

There’s also smithvilletx.org, which is the Chamber of Commerce website.

Be sure to use those exact addresses, as there are other states with cities named Smithville.

I was **this close to giving you a Smithville, Missouri website at one point.

When in doubt, look for the 512 area code.

One of the highlights is the historic Main Street, where you can stroll and explore various shops and boutiques offering unique gifts and local crafts.

The picturesque architecture and small-town atmosphere make it a delightful place to wander and soak in the local culture.

All the businesses are locally owned and operated.

For history enthusiasts, the Smithville Heritage House Museum is a must-visit.

This museum provides a glimpse into the town’s rich past, showcasing artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that tell the story of Smithville and its residents.

Another interesting spot is the James H. Long Railroad Park and Museum, where you can learn about the impact of the railroad on the town’s development and view vintage train cars.

We touched on the film locations in Smithville, but did you know the collection is 40 films and growing?

You can get a free map of the film locations or schedule a bus tour through the Chamber of Commerce.

If you want to see more, head to Pocket’s Grille for a meal and see the movie memorabilia collected on the walls.

Nature lovers will appreciate the abundance of parks in Smithville.

Riverbend Park, located along the Colorado River, offers scenic views, picnic areas, and trails for hiking and biking.

It’s a great place to relax, enjoy outdoor activities, or have a family picnic.

Kayaks and fly-fishing gear are available for rent in town.

For a more serene experience, head to Buescher State Park, just a short drive from Smithville.

This beautiful park features a serene lake, lush forests, and numerous trails, perfect for hiking, bird-watching, and fishing.

Art enthusiasts should not miss the Mary Nichols Art Center, which hosts rotating exhibitions by local and regional artists.

The center also offers workshops and classes, making it a hub for creative expression in the community.

Several other art galleries are downtown, from watercolor paintings to handcrafted furniture.

Smithville also has a vibrant calendar of events, including festivals and fairs that showcase local talent and traditions.

These events are a great way to experience the town’s community spirit and hospitality.

Places to Avoid in Smithville

You don’t need to avoid any parts of town due to crime risks or inherent danger.

However, some of the places on the film tour, like the home where Sandra Bullock lived during Hope Floats, are private property.

Please respect the owners and don’t trespass.

Being so close to the Colorado River, Smithville is prone to flooding, especially along Martin Luther King Drive and Southeast Second Street.

There’s no quick fix to this problem, as the flooded spots mark the old path of the Colorado River before it carved the current path.

In 2017, flooding took out nearly 40 homes in Smithville, and that was from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey that swept onshore with torrential rain.

That’s right – even hurricanes can cause problems here.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Smithville

  1. Smithville has a local police department. You can follow them on Facebook @smithvillepolice. Email police@smithvillemo.org or call (512) 237-3228 if you have specific safety questions.
  2. Sign up for emergency alerts through Warn Central Texas. This will cover flooding, severe storms, tornadoes, and other public safety hazards that warrant text notifications immediately. You can also follow the emergency management department on Facebook @BastropCountyOEM.
  3. Do you know the difference between a weather warning, watch, advisory, and outlook? If not, spend some more time on the emergency management website. It’s important to know when you need to seek shelter immediately, prepare for bad weather, or just be aware that inconvenient weather might be on the way.
  4. Since flooding is such a concern here, I wanted to point out the website ATX Floods. This website shows a real-time map of flooding issues around the region. Red dots show where there are flooding issues, from closed roads to more serious problems.
  5. Fishing is a popular sport here, but it does require a fishing license from the Texas Department of Game and Parks. You can choose from licenses that last a day to a year, but just be sure to get a non-resident license and carry it with you when you’re fishing.
  6. Put down your mobile phone while driving, especially in school zones. Texting and driving is illegal in Texas, but the penalties for any handheld device used in a school zone increase and are strictly enforced.
  7. Golf carts are legal on some Smithville streets, and you’ll be sharing the road with these slower vehicles. You can read the city’s website to learn about the ordinance and restrictions. Only golf carts that are registered and licensed in Smithville will be allowed on the street.
  8. If you notice any issue while you’re visiting Smithville, like a big pothole or a downed tree limb, use the See Click Fix function on the city’s website to report it. This just takes a few seconds to help keep the area safe. Another thing I like about this app is that you can see what other people have reported.
  9. If there is a movie or TV show filming while you are there, do not interrupt the process or talk to the crew. Honestly, the best thing to do is go to the nearest cafe and talk to the locals – they’ll know everything that is going on!
  10. You’ll really get the most out of a Smithville trip by visiting on the weekend. There’s always a weekend activity of some kind going on, from big festivals to farmer’s markets.

So... How Safe Is Smithville Really?

Crime rates are low in Smithville, with violent crimes coming in at 15 incidents in 2023 and nine in 2022.

Only about one in five happens against a stranger.

Thefts average less than one a week, with most falling into the “Other” category.

That could mean something stolen from a yard or campsite.

You should still lock your car doors and remove personal items, especially if there’s an event going on and the crowds are larger.

The city isn’t without shocking headlines, however.

In 2023, the former mayor was sentenced for sexual assault charges involving a child.

The former police chief was indicted for organized criminal activity involving gambling.

It’s part of a growing problem in the area.

“We’re trying to get ahead of it so it doesn’t become a problem all over the county,” Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook told a local newspaper.

“We use our vice unit to work on these, and obviously narcotics takes a lot of priority, so when we have time we do shut the businesses down.”

In Smithville, common sense and situational awareness go a long way.

Also, keep an eye on the weather.

It can turn nasty faster than you realize.

How Does Smithville Compare?

CitySafety Index
Smithville84
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. You’ll quickly find out which one you need. Also, keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months after our trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. Your home bank offers the lowest fees. For those using credit cards, check to see if there’s a foreign transaction fee before you start racking up charges.

Weather

Weather

Winters are mild, but late spring into early fall can be stifling hot, with excessive heat warnings not uncommon. Bring comfortable, light-colored, breathable clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Prepare to sweat a lot. Winter guests might need a jacket at night but should enjoy mild days in the 60s.

Airports

Airports

Smithville is less than an hour from Austin's airport and less than two hours from San Antonio. If you're flying from Houston, that's about a two-hour drive.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive insurance offers the best protection and peace of mind. Be sure to have rental car coverage that includes roadside assistance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Smithville Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 10° C
Feb 12° C
Mar 16° C
Apr 20° C
May 24° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 15° C
Dec 11° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
171923273034353633282218
Low
°C
3591317212222191384
High
°F
636673818693959791827264
Low
°F
374148556370727266554639

Texas - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Abilene67
Amarillo65
Austin65
Beaumont51
Brownsville68
Carrollton72
Corpus Christi71
Dallas64
Del Rio68
Dell City81
Denton72
El Paso77
Fort Davis80
Fort Worth77
Fredericksburg85
Frisco84
Garland83
Granbury74
Grand Prairie72
Gruene82
Harlingen75
Houston59
Irving79
Laredo68
Lewisville80
Llano83
Lubbock38
Luckenbach77
Marathon78
Marfa80
McAllen74
McKinney84
Mesquite52
Midland78
Nacogdoches78
New Braunfels83
Plano86
Port Aransas83
Richardson81
San Angelo83
San Antonio53
Schulenburg83
Sherman73
Smithville84
South Padre Island70
Tyler70
Waco61
Waxahachie83
Weslaco68
Wichita Falls68
Wimberley81

Where to Next?

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