Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
I’m listening to “Statesboro Blues” as I write this article about Statesboro, Georgia, to get some inspiration.
The southern college town is ripe with education and agriculture and a blooming art scene that respects the history of this small town-Georgia gem.
The city is an hour northwest of Savannah and lives off the rich soil that provides everything from cotton to cabernet.
It has been ranked as one of the best places to live in Georgia and after doing some research it’s clear why.
Georgia Southern University brings a young vibe to the historic city.
There is one of the best farmer’s markets in the nation weekly here with fruits, cheese, veggies, and wine among the top sellers.
You can visit a working farm and take-home dinner and some beef snacks.
Who needs the beach when you’ve got a waterpark with no sharks?
Outdoor adventures await, from the golf course to the botanical garden to skydiving.
You can get close to nature without leaving town at the Center for Wildlife Education.
It’s also a town with a sense of humor as it lies south of the Georgia “gnat line” (that’s an imaginary line and anything south of it gets an overwhelming amount of gnats in the summer), yet someone took the negative and turned it into a positive with the restaurant “Gnat’s Landing.”
The town was once so small that, during the Civil War, the Union General who stormed through the South asked someone “Where is Statesboro”, yet he was standing in the town square at the time.
He burned the city to the ground and moved on.
The city now holds more than 33,000 people and has been rebuilt into a slice of Southern life that’s safe and sophisticated.
It is in Bulloch County, which is a dry county (meaning no packaged alcohol can be sold in stores and alcohol can only be sold by the drink, not the bottle).
However, Statesboro passed a law allowing liquor stores to open, but as of early 2022, they were still trying to figure out how many, where, distance from schools, etc.
Warnings & Dangers in Statesboro
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here as crime rates are mostly half the national average. It's a small town with friendly people but enough newcomers at the college level to not make a tourist feel like an outsider.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There isn't a local bus system, but you can call a taxi or rideshare. They won't be as plentiful as in bigger cities, so having a car here is ideal.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low chance as the theft rate is low - at risk of one in 145. Use extra caution with your purse or wallet if you're in a crowded bar with loud music, as it's easy to get distracted.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and tropical weather are the main concerns here and there's a medium risk because generally at least one of those happens every year. The hurricanes that hit Savannah might be downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it gets to Statesboro, but those still bring a lot of heavy rain, strong winds, and are more likely to spawn tornadoes. You get plenty of notice of the storm risks as systems approach the area if you have a weather app.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were 17 robberies in 2020, which means there's a low risk of getting mugged. If you do run into a person demanding your items, hand them over. Don't fight back and risk your life.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of terrorism here. No hard targets are nearby and outside of the city, there are just a lot of small towns and empty spaces.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Looking at the latest scam reports, there is nothing that should worry a tourist. They get the same car warranty calls and utility fraud attempts.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should enjoy their time here as it's a pretty safe area. If you're young and partying with the college crowd, you'll want to be extra careful. Near the college area, the apartment complexes can get a little rowdy and dangerous. You might want to avoid that area unless you know someone there and feel safe with them.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
There were no violations in the 2020 Annual Water Quality Report, so there's a low risk of using tap water here.
Safest Places to Visit in Statesboro
Georgia Southern offers some tourist attractions on campus, which is a great way to see several things in one place while getting a look at a traditional Southern college.
There’s the University Golf Course and Center for Wildlife Education, where you can see hawks, reptiles, and some small mammals.
During the summer months, Splash in the Boro Family Water Park is a great way to cool off.
There’s a walk-in pool with a kiddie area and a deep end away from the little ones, and you can get on the Flower Rider to try out your surfing skills.
I’d prefer to just chill on the lazy river with an inner tube.
There are some smaller, safe slides for the youngest water lovers.
You can visit the Hunter Cattle Company, a full, working farm that moved into the retail space.
The farm store has all kinds of goodies.
There’s dried beef, chicken, beef bones, several cuts of beef (even a whole cow!), and steaks.
Grab some swag while you’re there too, as a show of support for this local business.
If you need an indoor day, visit the Georgia Southern Museum.
It’s focused on the natural and cultural history of the area.
Exhibits also change throughout the year to always have something new coming in.
The downtown area has recently been renovated and has a lot to do and see as you soak in the Southern vibe.
The farmer’s market on Saturday mornings is rated as one of the best in the state.
There are festivals there throughout the year.
There are 20 restaurants to choose from and some of the cutest little boutiques you’ll ever see.
Places to Avoid in Statesboro
The areas just to the east and west of the Georgia Southern campus have the highest crime rates.
Once you go north of Main Street, you are in a safer area.
That said, you should avoid those higher crime areas.
That’s where a lot of the college students live and if you don’t have a reason to be there, there’s no reason to go there.
All of the tourist attractions we talked about are not in that area either.
If there is a hurricane approaching Savannah, Statesboro is one of the closest cities people from there will evacuate to and it could lead to hotels being full.
I would avoid being in this area during any tropical weather threat.
I’ve been through several hurricanes and tropical storms and hotel rooms weren’t available for 50 miles.
Give up your hotel room to someone who is fleeing for their life, in the rare event this is how the timing works out for your trip.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Statesboro
- Don’t try to get into a bar with a fake ID here. In 2014, when 18 year olds and up were allowed in bars but couldn’t drink, a young man was beaten to death. The laws have all changed and now bars are just for people 21 and up and bouncers check the ID’s closely. Don’t even risk it.
- The Statesboro Police posts a daily bulletin about the crimes from the day before. Sign up for this and you’ll get the bulletin emailed to you as soon as it is released. This will help you get a handle on the crime happening during your visit.
- You can also search on the police website for certain incidents by address or name. It is also helpful to see if a restaurant or store you want to visit has been involved in any crimes recently.
- Sign up for the CodeRED notification system so you’ll get alerts about accidents, road closures, weather emergencies, and any civil emergencies.
- If you’re visiting in the summer, the town might feel really empty. That’s because the 20,000 students that help fill the streets each semester are home for the summer. It’s a great time to visit if you don’t like crowds, but there might not be as many activities going on. I would think with fewer people it’s probably safer in the summer too.
- This isn’t a fancy, pristine city. The average income is $33,000 and 38% of the city lives in poverty. There’s a good chance you’ll get asked for money from a panhandler. It’s always the best practice to say no and instead donate to a homeless shelter if you choose.
- There are a lot of mosquitos in the South, and the more humid it gets the more mosquitos there are – especially just after the rain. Bring bug spray with you that contains DEET to keep those annoying suckers away. Not only are the bites itchy, but mosquitoes can also carry a host of diseases that are transmittable to humans.
- All of the hotels in Statesboro are in higher crime area. Make sure when you park at night you take everything inside with you, even the GPS system. Roll up the windows and lock the doors securely. If possible, park where you can see your car from your hotel room. As of late 2021, car thefts were on the rise in Statesboro.
- If there’s a storm forecasted and it includes a risk of hail, find a covered parking spot during the storm. Hail can cause damage to cars, from tiny dents all over the vehicle to a broken windshield.
- Those who want to fish during their time in Georgia, they need a fishing license from the Department of Wildlife. You can’t use the one that’s valid at home. Get the license online before you go. Georgia makes it really easy to purchase ahead of time.
So... How Safe Is Statesboro Really?
The Statesboro Police does about the bare minimum when releasing crime data, so it’s hard to do a deep dive.
The thefts that most cities will break down by category aren’t done by Statesboro police.
Even in their annual crime report, the crime data graphics are so general you can’t even figure out the exact numbers.
There are five pages about police chases, but one bland graphic about crimes.
The one-piece of info they did offer was that violent crime was down almost 10% from 2019 – 2020.
I found the numbers for the crimes that most affect tourists, and here’s how the risks break down:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 607
- Robbery: 1 in 1966
- Theft: 1 in 145
It’s a small town with a good chunk of crime connected to the college area.
There are a handful of things to do here, but unless you are visiting family or have an outing to attend, you’ll be hard-pressed to fill a week’s vacation.
Savannah is 45 minutes away and much more bountiful tourist attraction.
It’s also a lot more dangerous.
How Does Statesboro Compare?
- Visas - Your Visa is processed when you enter the country and after that, you can travel freely between states and cities without processing.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use in Statesboro and the entire state. Paying with one credit card is a great way to track finances while protecting yourself from fraud.
- Weather - You can put away the winter jacket as you'll rarely need it here. Bring a lot of casual clothing and a good pair of walking shoes as there's a good amount of ground to cover. If you get tempted to go to the beach, bring your swimsuit and extra sunscreen.
- Airports - You're about an hour from the Savannah airport. The Atlanta airport is much larger, but it's still a 3 hour's drive.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great way to have peace of mind no matter what challenges you face on a trip to Statesboro, Georgia.
Statesboro Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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