Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
Smyrna, Georgia is a perfect location to get to any Atlanta neighborhood while still having a community essence all its own.
In the past five years, it has been ranked as one of the best places to live in Georgia.
Tourists might be longing for a little something more when they visit Smyrna.
Sure, there are things to do and we’ll go through them, but it’s not a city that will keep your attention for long.
It straddles what’s known as the “perimeter” in Atlanta.
If a city is “In the perimeter,” or ITP, that means it’s inside Interstate 785, which forms a sloppy circle around the city.
If a city is “Outside the perimeter,” or OTP, it’s outside the I-785 circle.
Smyrna is mostly OTP with parts of its ITP.
Inside Smyrna, you have a rather sleeping bedroom community of nearly 56,000 people.
Locals love to live here because of the distance from the city crime and the closeness to city amenities.
The hotels in Smyrna are along I-285 and I-75 along the south and east sides of the city boundaries.
This prime location gives easy access to the major highways in the Atlanta area.
The city is your oyster, or peach, as the case may be in the Peach State.
Warnings & Dangers in Smyrna
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here. It's just 15 miles from the city center of Atlanta but still far enough away that crime rates are low.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
One of the biggest complaints of locals and tourists is the lack of public transportation here. Cobb Linc, the county bus system, covers a very small portion of this city and nearby Cumberland Mall, but it goes in a small circle. The MARTA system in Atlanta doesn't reach Smyrna. You are either going to need a car or pay for a taxi/rideshare. There's a low risk, but hardly any options.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
No pickpockets were reported in 2020, so you've got a low risk here. There aren't a lot of big gathering places in the city aside from Market Village and Village Green.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a local urban legend that says Smyrna has a "halo" around it, preventing any bad weather from happening there. Regardless, there's a medium risk due to the threat of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Spring is the highest risk season for those to happen, with summer and late fall following.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
20% of the robberies that happened were in public places in 2020. There is a low risk of it happening to you, but always remember not to fight back if an attacker approaches.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk because it's part of the Atlanta metro area and large population areas are a favorite of terrorists. Smyrna itself doesn't have any hard targets.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
This is a commuter and residential area, so the scams that do exist here target the people who live here via phone or email. You shouldn't be worried about getting scammed as a tourist.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should be able to travel here at low risk. The sexual assault rate isn't any higher than the national average. There are mostly daytime activities to do in Smyrna, so there's less of a chance you'll be walking around after dark.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The drinking water is safe and low risk according to the 2021 Annual Water Quality Report from Cobb County.
Safest Places to Visit in Smyrna
The city had a bit of an identity crisis in the 1980s where nothing really stood out about Smyrna, while other nearby cities were loaded with unique qualities.
That started a renaissance of sorts.
The Village Green and Market Village are the results of that renaissance.
This is a public area with some local amenities, dining, a community center, and Centennial Park (not the Centennial Olympic Park.
That’s in downtown Atlanta).
Check out the Sensory Garden behind the community center for some of the best smelling plants and flowers that grow in this area.
The Smyrna Museum holds the history lessons of this city dating back hundreds of years.
Tours need to be booked ahead of time online and you’ll get a guided tour, but you can also ask to just wander around on your own if you choose.
Smyrna is known as the “Jonquil City,” named after the sweet-smelling flowering plant resembling a daffodil.
You can take a walk on the Jonquil City Historical Trail, which is a new feature just added in 2017.
There are 21 stops on the trail that cover the city’s past and the evolution of how it got to where it is now.
The Fox Creek Golf Club and Driving Range is a great place to get in some golf in a fantastic setting.
It’s also one of the only free golf clubs in the northern Atlanta area.
Bicyclists will love the Silver Comet Trail that starts in Smyrna and goes all the way to the Alabama state line.
That’s nearly 62 miles!
There is a 2% grade on the trail.
Places to Avoid in Smyrna
There aren’t bad parts of Smyrna to avoid.
It’s a safe community, but the crime numbers do go up the closer you get to Marietta on the north side.
What I find really interesting is there aren’t high crime numbers along I-285 in this area.
Generally, cities have higher crime along the highways that go through them.
Avoid getting into a road rage-driven frenzy.
You are close to a lot of highways here and if you are traveling during the morning or evening rush hours, or any part of the daytime, you’re going to sit in a lot of traffic.
Without good public transportation in Smyrna, that means everyone is driving in or out.
Just be patient and allow yourself plenty of time.
People in Atlanta drive like they are blindfolded sometimes.
They are very aggressive and have never heard of a blinker/turning signal, apparently.
There are parts of the interstate system here that are six to eight lanes wide.
If you haven’t driven in a big city before, it might be overwhelming.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Smyrna
- Sign up for Nixle alerts from the Smyrna Police Department. You’ll get information about weather, road closures, and civil/criminal emergencies.
- Winter weather in the Atlanta area can shut the city down or create even worse driving conditions. If you are visiting at a time there is a Winter Weather Advisory or Warning, consider going somewhere else or be prepared to hunker down in the hotel. Even a few inches of snow can be chaos here.
- For severe weather in the warmer months, you need to get a good weather app to stay on top of developing storms. Tornadoes are more than possible here. There are tornado sirens, but those are only meant to be heard outside. If you are inside, you won’t hear them and a notification on your phone could be a lifesaver.
- The Joro spider is a common arachnid seen in at least 25 counties in Georgia. It must’ve taken a ride on a boat overseas because these suckers are native to China and Japan. They are great at reproducing, so during the summer and fall you can see them everywhere. They grow up to three inches in length. The good news is that they aren’t venomous and rarely bite. It’s the smaller brown recluse and black widow spiders that are dangerous here.
- Bring bug spray to keep the mosquitos away as well. Humid months bring the “skeeters” out in droves. One study did suggest mosquitoes are especially attracted to people with O blood type, but they will really sting anyone they can. Use calamine lotion to soothe the stings if you do get a few marks from them.
- To fish or hunt in the areas north of Smyrna, you’ll need a license. There’s a labyrinth of rules on the Department of Natural Resources website. Once you’ve navigated that, you can buy the license of your choosing online.
- If you are cycling or walking on one of the trails in Cobb County, there are blue markers along the way that are just there to be able to give emergency information should there be an accident or emergency. Before you call 911, get to one of those blue signs as the eight digits will tell rescuers exactly where you are.
- When driving on a Georgia interstate, if you see emergency lights ahead on the side of the road, you are expected to get over at least one lane. You should do it safely, and if you cannot do it safely, slow down and prepare to stop. As recently as April 2022, a police officer was rear-ended while rendering aid on the side of the road. Two cars were totaled and, luckily, everyone survived. When you see signs that read “Move Over! It’s the Law,” this is what those signs are referring to.
- If it starts raining while you’re driving, it’s also Georgia law to turn on your headlights. Even if you’re overwhelmed by a heavy rainstorm, don’t use the flashing lights. Just the headlights. You can stay in the far right lane and go slow if you are having trouble seeing the road.
- 60% of the thefts reported in 2020 were car break-ins. I don’t even want to know the number of those that didn’t have locked doors or had windows rolled down. Secure your car like you were in the middle of the worst part of town wherever you go.
So... How Safe Is Smyrna Really?
It’s not as safe as other bedroom communities like Johns Creek, but it’s also right along major transportation routes while Johns Creek is tucked in an area with no major highways.
The main reason people visit here is because of the location and easy access to anything they want in the metro area.
It’s also a great place to stay if you want to sleep off the hangover from a Braves game at the nearby ballpark.
Smyrna had nine homicides in 2020, which was a huge increase from the previous two years which each had no homicides.
2020 was definitely a fluke of a year for homicides in Smyrna.
27 of the 214 violent crimes were against strangers.
Half of the violent crimes were in homes.
That leaves not a lot of room for concern about being a violently dangerous community.
Here are your chances of being a victim of certain crimes in Smyrna:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 260 (when taking out the number that happened in homes, it’s 1 in 545.)
- Robbery: 1 in 1637
- Theft: 1 in 893
There’s no reason to be worried about crime staying in Smyrna, but those numbers change when you cross the perimeter and go into the Atlanta metro area.
How Does Smyrna Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
- Visas - You will go through customs at the airport. That's where your Visa will be approved and then you can travel freely throughout the Atlanta area.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar in Smyrna and the whole state. Avoid bringing big purses or bulky wallets when you are out and don't carry large amounts of cash, especially if you are going into Atlanta.
- Weather - Bring layers in the winter as the temperatures can vary widely throughout a 24-hour period. Warmer months should be fine for jeans and a t-shirt or shorts and a tank top. There are a lot of outdoor activities, so set aside some workout gear. Bring a lot of bug spray too.
- Airports - Atlanta's international airport is a straight shot down I-285. It's 22 miles away but that could take you the better part of an hour in traffic.
- Travel Insurance - It's a great idea to have travel insurance for any complications or cancellations that happen along the way or while in Smyrna, Georgia.
Smyrna Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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