Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
Something old and something new awaits you in Suwanee, Georgia.
The city has deep historical roots but is modernized for the 21st century.
The great thing about the “old” and “new” is they are located in two separate districts of town, Town Center and Old Town, giving unique vibes and more places to visit in what otherwise could be written off as a bedroom community.
It’s pronounced “swan-ee” not “Suh-wah-nee” as this writer initially assumed.
I guess technically they are both the same as long as you say the latter really fast.
Suwanee is a town of 21,000 people located in Gwinnett County on the northeast outskirts of the Atlanta metro area.
The county has 40 parks to explore, yet downtown ATL is 32 miles away.
(In Atlanta traffic math, that’s going to take about an hour unless you go at 2 am, which I strongly discourage.)
If this city was a drink at your favorite bar, it would be the perfect mix.
You can drink up the outdoors and feast on city life while sleeping off the fun day in a safe city.
Warnings & Dangers in Suwanee
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here with crime rates at nearly half of state and national levels. It's also near several other safe cities.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Gwinett County Bus Service is available in Suwanee and the nearest stop for MARTA service into greater Atlanta is 20 miles away. You can get taxis and rideshares as well. There's low risk with any option. One frustrating part about some of the public bus systems as a tourist is you need to know all the street names to figure out your stop and then where you want to go. Plan to spend some time examining the Gwinnett County Bus Service routes if you plan on using that to get around.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were no pickpockets reported in the latest crime data so you should feel comfortable, but not careless while walking around Suwanee.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Thunderstorms and tornadoes are going to be the biggest risk, and those can happen anytime of the year. Because of the ongoing threat and potential for severity, this is medium risk. Winter weather here is minimal, but even an inch of snow can throw this region into confusion and chaos.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Of the seven robberies that happened in 2020, not a single one happened in public. There's a low risk of getting robbed.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Suwanee itself wouldn't be a target, but since it's so close to Atlanta, we have to give it a medium risk. Atlanta is the largest city in the South and one of the densest population areas in the country. That's always going to be a potential target for a terrorist group. Check out the Georgia Homeland Security Agency website for more information about terrorism threats specific to the state.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Some email scams are going around to locals, but nothing is targeted at tourists. There's a low risk of being scammed.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The sexual assault rate is about the national average, so while there's still a low risk, you should use all the safety precautions you've learned about going out at night solo or in a group.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The tap water is safe here and meets or exceeds all required standards. No violations were found according to the 2020 Annual Water Quality Report issued by the city of Suwanee.
Safest Places to Visit in Suwanee
Town Center is an urban mixed-use area with a 10-acre park which the city calls its “front yard”.
If there’s a community event happening, from a farmer’s market to a rock concert, it’s happening in Town Center.
There’s an amphitheater, a dancing water fountain to play in, and sculptures throughout the park representing local artwork at its finest.
Just a few blocks away, step back in time to 1871 at the dawn of this agricultural city.
The entire area is protected as a historic landmark.
There aren’t tours or attractions along these streets as most of the buildings are office spaces.
You can find the Super Playground of Suwanee here.
There’s also a map of a self-guided walking tour if you want to stretch your legs and learn about the history of Suwanee.
Main Event Suwanee is a modern-day arcade/bowling alley on steroids.
There are neon bowling alleys, laser tag, augmented reality games, gravity ropes, karaoke, and so much more.
This is a great backup plan for a rainy/stormy day in Suwanee.
I could tap dance for you a little more here, but I’ll be honest.
Suwanee is a small town and I’ve just gone through the most exciting things to do in the actual city, aside from some community parks.
The hotels in Suwanee are all grouped up along I-85 on the south side of town.
I counted six of them.
With that direct highway access, you are about 30 minutes to the shores of Lake Lanier to the northeast and 40 minutes to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area.
One benefit of Suwanee is that it is less than an hour to the mountains, the city, the river, or anything else your heart desires.
Places to Avoid in Suwanee
The crime is mostly located along the I-85 corridor, you know, where I just told you the hotels were located.
The good news is that with crime numbers this low, a high-crime area isn’t very dangerous.
Don’t go walking around blindfolded at night or anything, but you can rest easy here.
Just lock the doors and roll up the windows on the rental car to be safe.
If you want to play golf, you need to check out the websites of the courses before you try to book a tee time.
Some of the clubs are members only and there’s no visitor’s pass unless you know someone locally.
One of the best and most popular public golf courses is Bear’s Best Atlanta.
Their mission statement includes, “Our aim is to offer the experience of a high-end exclusive club, at a beautiful facility that is open to all.”
What a great idea!
Too many communities shut out visitors in Georgia and have elaborate rules of dress and social media/photos.
The Town Center area allows open containers, but there are certain cups you need to get from local vendors to abide by that law.
You can’t just mix up your drink and walk around with it.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Suwanee
- The Suwanee Police Department has an interactive crime map for you to explore. Unfortunately, the only data I have is 2020 dating back to 2010 from the FBI, so you should want to know what crimes are happening closer to the time of your visit. This is the perfect source.
- You should also sign up for CodeRED alerts through the city’s website. This will alert you to traffic issues, road closures, severe weather, and any other safety emergencies. Most cities and counties in north Georgia use this same system, so you can travel beyond the Suwanee city limits and still be informed.
- It is illegal in Georgia to hold a mobile device, text, read from the device, or record video behind the wheel of any moving vehicle. The only exception is touching the phone to answer or end a call or using the GPS function.
- If you are heading to one of the nearby lakes for some fishing, you’ll need to get a Georgia fishing license before you go and you can’t get it on-site at the lakes. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division website has all the details.
- The Suwanee Trail & Bikeway System is a safe way to ride a bicycle in the area without worrying about traffic on the roads. There aren’t bicycle lanes in most of Georgia as a whole, but you can legally ride on the road staying to the far right and obeying all laws of vehicles. It appears Suwannee once had a bike share program (in 2016) but I can’t find any evidence that still exists.
- The Town Center area hosts concerts and events throughout the year that can bring upwards of 40,000 people to town. That’s tripling the city population and brings higher crime risks but a lot of fun too. If you are visiting during one of the events, use extra caution when packing your purse or placing your wallet to avoid getting pickpocketed. I have my “event” purses, which are small, crossbody bags that don’t allow me to pack them full of junk I don’t need and also stay secure to my body without stopping me from dancing when the band plays.
- Most of the big lakes in the area have life jacket loaner programs from the park service, so you don’t have to buy a lifejacket for one day at the lake. Lake Lanier has claimed more than 500 lives since it was man-made in the mid-1900s.
- People might tell you to avoid Lake Lanier. There are tragic historical facts and a lot of urban legends surrounding the lake. The truth is, a city named Oscarville, once an African American town of 1100, rests beneath the water, as do many former cemeteries. There is a lot of history in just those two sentences. I don’t have the time to dive into it here, but it’s easily searchable online and it will break your heart. There are also countless stories of ghosts, “The Lady of Lake Lanier”, and African American children riding in kayaks in a ghostly apparition at night. I scared the bejesus out of myself researching this. There are crazy stories at Lake Lanier. Be safe and good luck.
- Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means conditions are ripe for the POTENTIAL of thunderstorms that create tornados. It’s more of a heads up for the next 12-24 hours. A warning means a tornado has been spotted, either by radar or a storm spotter in person, and you should seek shelter immediately.
- Georgia is a very humid state. There’s just no getting around it. Humidity also brings out the bugs like mosquitos. Be prepared when attending a festival or going outdoors with a gallon of water, a sweat rag, and bug spray with DEET in it. If you’ve gone into the deep wilderness, check your entire body for ticks as well and remove any embedded tick from your body immediately.
So... How Safe Is Suwanee Really?
This is a city that hasn’t seen a homicide since at least 2012, aside from two homicides in 2020 which appeared to be caused by the same suspect in targeted attacks.
The concerning trend is that even though violent crime rates are half the national average, they still have been on the rise since 2010.
The city has also grown by more than 5,000 people since then, so more people means more crime.
Seven of the violent crimes were against strangers.
The risk of being a victim of a violent crime is one in 577 and the chance of being a theft victim is one in 101.
27% of thefts were from car break-ins, and 30% were from shoplifters.
You can feel safe in Suwanee as, even with the growth, it’s a small town trying to keep up with more people.
Events in the city can double or triple the population, so it’s a positive sign that those events don’t drive up crime rates.
Be sure to check the safety of the other cities you’ll be visiting outside of Suwanee, as crime statistics can vary greatly from city to city.
How Does Suwanee Compare?
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- Visas - You are set with your Visa if you get through customs at the airport and you won't need to present the Visa to get into the individual cities.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. You'll need to get your currency exchanged at the Atlanta airport, as the small towns don't always have the best exchange options or hours.
- Weather - There's rarely a day below freezing in Georgia, so you can leave the winter coats at home, but check the forecast before you go. Winter can be a bit of a rollercoaster here and a random snowstorm isn't impossible. When the temperatures get warm, you're also going to be dealing with a humidity around 70%, which can be downright miserable. It feels like you're eating the air, it's so thick. Dress in loose, light-colored clothing.
- Airports - Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is 42 miles away and on the exact opposite side of the city, which means you're going to be traveling through the center of Atlanta and all the traffic. Give yourself plenty of time to get there.
- Travel Insurance - It's a great idea to have travel insurance for all the challenges of traveling these days. It's one less thing to worry about when you know you're insured from accidents, delays, or cancellations.
Suwanee Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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