North Carolina : Safety by City
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- Elizabeth City
- High Point
- Hope Mills
- Kill Devil Hills
- Kitty Hawk
- Morehead City
- New Bern
- Rocky Mount
Statesville, North Carolina, is full of hot air.
That’s because it’s known as the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the East.
Statesville was founded in 1789 and was originally named States Ville after William States, a local resident and member of the American Revolutionary War militia.
The city was officially incorporated in 1823.
Statesville is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, about 40 miles north of Charlotte.
It sits at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 77, which has helped contribute to its growth over the years.
It keeps growing, with a nearly 5% population surge between 2020 and 2022.
Some points of interest in Statesville include the Historic Fourth Creek Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, which dates back to the 1750s, Allison Woods, a 300-acre public park, and the Downtown Statesville Historic District featuring examples of Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Neoclassical architecture.
The city hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Statesville Holiday Parade, the Spring Jonquil Festival, and the Fall Bread Festival.
Statesville’s convenient highway location and inclusion in the popular Iredell County offers many opportunities to explore nearby.
Just wait until you hear about the Emerald Cave.
Warnings & Dangers in Statesville
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Statesville and so many things to do for all ages and interests.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Review the Iredell County transportation system to see if it meets your needs. There's an express shuttle to Charlotte, too. Rental cars, rideshares, and taxis are all easy to find.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
In the past five years, just two pickpockets have been reported. That's a low risk, but it's also coupled with a high theft risk in other areas. You'd be wise to keep a close eye on your stuff and limit what you bring to the bare necessities.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You should treat this with a medium risk due to the threat of severe weather throughout the year. You'll get plenty of warning if you're paying attention. Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, high winds, flash flooding, and dangerous lightning can ruin a day outside and ground those popular hot air balloons.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robberies were down 80% in 2021 compared to the highest rates of the past decade. It's a low risk, but one that stays low by using common sense and situational awareness.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk. As a small town an hour from Charlotte, there's no real lure for international terrorists here. Keep in mind that gun violence and domestic terrorism can happen anywhere. Read the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security to get an overview of concerns before you visit.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
I looked through about two years' worth of scam and fraud reports, and most scams here target locals. You shouldn't face the risk of being scammed, but always stay informed of the newest tactics.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in this category and no reason for women to have a risk any different from others. Of course, I'll say again that the low risk is when you practice smart safety practices.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Statesville water quality report shows that the city's drinking water meets or exceeds all health standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR). The same passing grades were found in 2021, giving this category a low risk.
Safest Places to Visit in Statesville
“Visit Statesville” is the name of the tourism website for the region.
You’ll find a surprising number of things to do in this town of fewer than 30,000 people, so I’m just going to touch on the highlights.
Hot air balloon rides are available from more than a dozen vendors, and those flight options go throughout the year (weather permitting).
There aren’t many cities in America that offer this, so take a ride while you’re here.
If you’re wondering about heights, I’ll be honest: I’m terrified of heights and could never do a hot air balloon ride.
However, since it’s your ride, you can go as low as you want.
When I do have to deal with heights, I find that Dramamine works as well for vertigo as it does for seasickness.
Start your journey through time at the Fort Dobbs Historic Site.
Here, you can witness history coming to life through engaging exhibits and living history events.
Check the schedule because interactive events and performances run throughout the year.
At the heart of Statesville lies the Statesville Historical Collection, a museum deeply rooted in community history.
Its mission is to foster a profound appreciation for and preservation of the rich heritage of Statesville and the surrounding communities within the tapestry of Iredell County.
If outdoor adventures are more your style, Lake Norman State Park won’t disappoint.
This natural oasis offers hiking trails that wind through lush forests, making it a perfect spot for a family picnic or a solo nature escape.
You can also indulge in water activities like fishing and swimming, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Lake Norman’s 52 miles of shoreline.
If you’re seeking tranquility in nature, head to Allison Woods.
This hidden gem offers serene walking trails that meander through the woods.
It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching, peaceful contemplation, or simply unwinding amidst the beauty of the great outdoors.
For a touch of elegance, venture to Daveste Vineyards.
This picturesque winery allows you to sample a variety of wines amidst the scenic vineyards.
It’s the perfect setting for a romantic afternoon or a relaxed outing with friends.
Don’t forget to take a leisurely walk through the historic downtown district.
Here, you can admire the charming architecture that harks back to a bygone era.
Explore local shops and eateries, each with its own unique charm and offerings.
If you’re a fan of high-speed thrills, make your way to the 311 Speedway.
This popular venue hosts stock car racing events that promise an adrenaline-pumping experience for motorsports enthusiasts.
Southern Distilling Company is a must-visit for spirits enthusiasts seeking an authentic craft distillery experience.
Guided tours and tastings are available, immersing visitors in the art of distillation.
This is one of the few opportunities to view a distillery of this magnitude in the South.
Emerald Hollow Mine stands as a unique gem in the world of emeralds in nearby Hiddenite.
Unlike any other, it welcomes the public to experience the thrill of prospecting for these exquisite green jewels.
Its location is equally remarkable, cradled by the picturesque Brushy Mountains in the charming town of Hiddenite, North Carolina.
Places to Avoid in Statesville
If you’re visiting for the first time and aren’t tied to any neighborhoods, it’s wise to stay north of I-40 to get gas, dine, etc.
There can be some sketchy neighborhoods south of there, but it’s not like a major city where you’ll be in a highly dangerous part of town if you end up south of the interstate.
Near I-140 and Highway 121, there’s a collection of hotels.
It’s worth noting that one of the Statesville Water Treatment Plants is near there, and homeless people are known to live in the woods.
It’s not a huge risk, and you can always just avoid any panhandlers, but it also helps to have that information if you like to walk around wooded areas.
Staying at a hotel on the east side of Highway 121 is also ideal.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Statesville
- Statesville does have its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @SVLPoliceDepartment. The phone number is (704)878-3406, and you can also email email@example.com with specific safety questions.
- Weather and emergency alerts come through the Hyper-Reach system. Sign up through the Iredell County Emergency Management website. It’s important to stay informed, so you don’t drive into a tornado warning or miss a road closure due to a major accident.
- Statesville Police offers the latest crime data (year-to-year) on the landing page of its website, which is helpful to avoid digging for the information.
- We always tell our readers to report anything suspicious, using the phrase, “See Something, Say Something.” Statesville Police emphasize this with a message, “If you observe suspicious or criminal activity that needs immediate police response, please CALL 911 or Statesville Police Telecommunications at 704-878-3406!” There’s also an online form you can fill out.
- Sign up for weekly emails from the city under the “Hello Statesville” section of the city’s website. Updates are also posted on social media channels. This gives an overview of events and safety concerns from the past week and into the next week.
- I know we went through some things to do in Statesville, but there’s a weekly television and digital show that summarizes the newest events and coolest attractions for each month. You can view that online. It’s ideal for those of you who prefer to watch videos instead of reading stories.
- I’m gathering from my research that there’s an issue with street signs and stop signs being stolen in this community, and as a larger statewide problem. If you notice a damaged street sign or missing marker, please call NCDOT at 1-877-368-4968.
- For other issues on the road, like a large pothole or a downed tree, you’ll contact the city’s street department at (704)832-3828.
- If you want to ride a hot air balloon, please use one of the local vendors on the tourism website. Those are certified vendors who uphold safety practices. Don’t look for the lowest price; look for the best safety record.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state, and you can learn more about that on the Go Outdoors North Carolina website. You will want an inland license in this part of the state.
So... How Safe Is Statesville Really?
Violent crime rates in Statesville are 73% higher than the state average and 83% higher than the national average.
Even more concerning is that those rates are up 165% since 2017.
I found it interesting that 40% of violent crimes in 2021 were at a park or a playground.
Usually, that category falls below a private home, business, or street/sidewalk/parking lot.
Just 9% of violent crimes were against strangers, offering respite for those considering a trip here.
At the same time, theft rates are almost four times the national average.
About two cars a week get stolen in Statesville, and that number was climbing as of August 2023.
About 30% of all thefts were related to car break-ins or accessory thefts.
That’s about average for more nationwide cities I’ve researched.
While car thefts and break-ins are concerning, the numbers would be much lower if people didn’t leave keys in the car, the doors unlocked, or unattended vehicles running.
What’s particularly bizarre about Statesville is that, as of 2017, crime reduction efforts were working.
Then, year after year, a spike was seen.
While most cities dealt with more crime during and after the pandemic, Statesville’s rise happened before.
Part of that is attributed to a police officer shortage – another problem that plagues nationwide cities.
I think the main message here is just to treat the city as if it were much bigger and use those same safety tactics.
There’s no imminent risk of being a victim, but you can certainly avoid creating a crime of opportunity.
How Does Statesville Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
Those visiting from outside America need a visa or visa waiver to get through Customs and Border Patrol. See if you are eligible for the waiver, as it's a much easier process than getting a visa. You'll need a passport that's valid and not within six months of expiring.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Carry as little cash as possible and use credit cards for most transactions. Credit cards offer better fraud protection than debit cards. Those traveling through Charlotte's airport can use the currency exchange services there.
Plan for four seasons, but you won't need (and don't want to bring) fancy clothing or valuables with you. This is a casual, laid-back town. Bring bug sprays and a tick-removal kit, as the insects here can ruin perfectly good outdoor adventures.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is less than an hour south. Use the 511 North Carolina system to check traffic since Charlotte can have heavy traffic at times. If you have a private plane, you can also use Statesville Regional Airport. Here's hoping that this growing town gets commercial flights soon.
For trips to places where weather may impede travel, we always suggest travel insurance. Don't forget travel health insurance, too, if you lack coverage in the US. Also, inspect your rental car policy to be sure you're covered in the event of an accident or need for roadside assistance.
Statesville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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North Carolina - Safety by City
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