Minnesota : Safety by City
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Woodbury, Minnesota, is a dense residential community between the Mississippi River and the St. Croix River, less than 10 miles from St. Paul.
Tamarack Village is the shopping and entertainment part of town, with major name-brand stores conveniently located at the intersection of two interstates.
This is also where the bulk of Woodbury’s hotels can be found.
There are also Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s at this location to pick up any outdoor attire or accessories you need.
The city is filled with trails covering 160 miles weaving through each city section.
More than 50 parks are within the city limits, and whether it’s a winter sledding hill or summer baseball game you’re looking for, you can find it here.
Woodbury isn’t the most exciting part of the Twin Cities, but it is a comfortable, family-friendly location close enough to the big city while being immersed in outdoor opportunities.
Warnings & Dangers in Woodbury
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk, even with the violent crime rate that keeps increasing. While there's still a long way to go before this city would be anywhere near unsafe, it's trending in the wrong direction. The lack of attractions will likely mean you'll leave Woodbury for bigger attractions each day.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Metro Transit offers express service to downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. To get to the airport or Mall of America, you'll need to use connecting routes within that service. Taxis and rideshares will be available, but a rental car is your safest and best option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
20 pickpockets and purse snatchings in 2021 should signal the medium risk in such a shopping destination. On top of that, shoplifting is one of the biggest problems in the theft category, with a whopping average value of more than $43,000! Lock your car, minimize what you carry, and watch your back. Thieves are mostly looking for a crime of opportunity.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
You'll get a lot of winter weather here and some bitterly cold temperatures. You should stay aware of snowstorms, ice storms, and blizzard warnings, as those can make travel treacherous. Spring starts the severe weather season, and storms in this part of the country can be intense. Flash flooding, tornadoes, and dangerous lightning are possible.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The robbery risk is low, but there are some brazen thieves and carjackers reported in the past few years in Woodbury. Always pay attention to your surroundings and, when in doubt, ask a security guard at the shopping area to walk you to your car.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
There's a low risk in Woodbury, but the greater Twin Cities has a medium risk simply due to its population size and major industries. You should always report suspicious activity to the police, even if you aren't 100% sure there's a risk. Better to be safe than sorry.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
To see the latest scams in Woodbury, look at the Identify Theft & Scams section of the city website. You'll get a list of the latest scams and how to protect yourself from scammers. You can also learn how to take steps if you are scammed. While the risk is low, it's never smart to let your guard down.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should enjoy the area with low risk, provided they are using common sense and situational awareness when shopping or exploring the trails. Don't ever get too distracted by your mobile device or wear headphones that drown out surrounding noise.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations throughout the community. If there is a water quality concern, the city will post it on the website. Most times, boil orders are due to some kind of pressure loss at the treatment plant and are issued out of an abundance of caution.
Safest Places to Visit in Woodbury
Woodbury Central Park is a climate-controlled park with plenty of windows and skylights to enjoy the outdoors inside.
There’s an indoor playground for kids 12 and younger, with tunnels and ladders to climb.
A stream flows through a park with a safe walkway and bridges like you’re walking through a real outdoor park.
Carver Lake & Beach offers many activities with a sandy shoreline and a volleyball court right on the water.
A bike path and off-road cycling trail will get you moving through this lush landscape.
A bicycle playground helps kids of all ages explore the park on a bike, including a tot track for the youngest riders.
Eagle Valley Golf Course offers 18 holes with non-resident access for a higher fee.
Don’t be surprised if you see a fake alligator in the water features – that’s to ward off the geese.
To see a real alligator, head four miles northwest to Snake Discovery, where reptiles and amphibians will slither their way into your heart (or purse – some are also for sale!).
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a great spot to enjoy the hottest blockbusters while having catered dining at your theater seat.
The cinema serves craft beers and cocktails to those 21 and older.
The cinema also offers showings catered to young children and senior showings that allow for more talking and brighter lighting.
Winter brings a free outdoor skating rink to M Health Fairview Sports Center.
Skates are available for rent.
There’s also an indoor ice rink, but check the schedule since a lot of youth and adult hockey leagues use it.
Places to Avoid in Woodbury
There aren’t any specifically dangerous parts of Woodbury, but the growing concern among community members is the random crime that keeps happening – seven kids 12-15 years old shoplifted from Cabela’s and then led police on a 100-mile per hour chase, a 15 and 16-year-old involved in a shooting that led to a neighborhood being ordered to shelter in place, and a stepfather who tried to break up a graduation party fight and the series of events that followed led to his stepson being killed.
You’ll also find most tourism websites listing things to do in Woodbury will mostly mention things outside of Woodbury.
That’s not a trick – it’s just a fact that there isn’t much to do here outside the shopping area and the parks.
You will find many things to do nearby, and the hotels are all on the side of town that’s closer to the bigger parts of the city.
All that said, boredom or searching for things to do can lead to trouble, especially if you’re traveling with teenagers.
Make a plan and stick to it.
While you can explore many parts of the city and nearby, you should also know outdoor safety and how to determine ice thickness on a lake.
Avoid spending time outdoors if severe weather is forecast.
If you are close enough to hear thunder, you are close enough to risk getting hit by lightning.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Woodbury
- Woodbury does have its own police department with updated information on its website about crime prevention, safety, and community resources. The Public Safety organizations in the city share a Facebook page, which is @WoodburyMNPublicSafety.
- Sign up for CodeRED notifications to stay weather aware. These text alerts will tell you about watches, warnings, advisories, shelters, and road conditions. You can’t afford to miss critical weather alerts in this active weather community.
- There are a lot of lakes and ponds in Woodbury, but don’t treat them all as recreational. Only use lakes that are in designated parks. The other ponds are likely stormwater collection bins which can be filled with bacteria, chemicals, and sewage. For up to 48 hours after a heavy rain event, you should avoid all lakes to avoid stormwater runoff.
- Woodbury has a program called Paw Patrol, where dog owners sign up to be part of community policing. You’ll notice them by the bandanas they wear. These citizens can be very helpful with safety advice, and they are always looking out for suspicious activity in their respective neighborhoods.
- Catalytic converter thefts are a problem in most cities, and Woodbury is taking steps to help solve the problem byte offering free etching on certain models of cars. This helps you, the tourist, by looking at the list of most targeted cars, so you don’t rent one of those while you’re here.
- Panhandlers can legally be on the streets, but they cannot aggressively approach you or follow you. If the panhandler isn’t crossing a legal line, simply say no and keep walking confidently. The city offers a list of outreach programs if you are compelled to donate.
- Before visiting the Carver Lake Park & Beach in the summer, check the water quality report on the city’s website. This will tell you if any algae or bacteria has been found in the water. If there’s a blue-green algae outbreak, you should avoid the water. It’s a naturally occurring bacteria, but it can’t be predicted.
- During the spring and summer, you’ll see many Canadian geese around Woodbury. From the shopping district to the golf course, these geese can be annoying, aggressive, or harmful to the water quality. The city has implemented a goose control project, but you should never touch or feed a goose. If you’ve been walking through an area with goose droppings, wash your shoes before you get in your car.
- Woodbury has a lot of roundabouts on its main roads, which is a circular traffic pattern at intersections meant to reduce the risk of an accident and keep the traffic flow moving. If you don’t know how to use a roundabout, check the county’s website for Roundabout U. People who can’t roundabout correctly can cause more safety risks and back up traffic.
- Most police departments won’t help someone who locked their keys in the car and instead tell them to call a locksmith. In Woodbury, the police will help you, but you’ll need to sign a damage waiver. The phone number is (651)439-9381.
So... How Safe Is Woodbury Really?
Woodbury is a town so historically safe that residents are appalled at the “surge” in crime over the past few years, which still is nowhere near the level many American cities are seeing.
However, since 2016, violent crime has doubled in this town.
At that pace, it would still take 20 years for the crime rate to even be at the national average (and that’s assuming the national average wouldn’t change).
The city does have several new people in leadership roles from various ethnic and generational backgrounds, offering a more diverse and inclusive community.
“When you talk about policing and communities of color, everyone has a different experience.
[Woodbury] is a much better experience than most other jurisdictions in the Twin Cities,” Shawn Sorrell, a diversity, equity, and inclusion department manager for Hennepin County, said.
“Are there still challenges? Absolutely.”
38% of thefts in the area are from car break-ins, so there’s another hot spot to protect yourself against.
Lock your car each time you park and roll up the windows.
Don’t leave anything inside the car, and never leave an unattended car warming up on a cold day.
You should have no hesitation about visiting Woodbury, but it’s just good to know as a visitor that no community is immune to violence.
Pay attention to your surroundings, and don’t get involved in any altercations.
Call the police and let them handle it.
How Does Woodbury Compare?
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International guests need a visa and passport to get through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport. If you need a tourism visa, start that process early, as immigration is backlogged. Look for opportunities to enroll in the Visa Waiver Program or skip the in-person interview. That will depend on your home country and the rules surrounding visas in that region.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. Credit cards and mobile payment options are widely accepted. Always keep your receipts, and don't throw them in trash cans without shredding them. Avoid public ATMs. If you need to exchange currency, do it at the airport or in your home country for the lowest fees.
Winter can be brutal here, but with the right layering of clothing, you'll be able to enjoy the winter activities outside. Spring and fall can fluctuate greatly in temperatures, so bring layers of clothing. You'll want comfortable walking shoes and bug spray.
There's a straight shot down the interstate 16 miles to Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport. Check 511 MN to see the traffic flow and add more time if needed during rush hours.
Travel insurance offers peace of mind when visiting a place with intense weather throughout the year. If you purchase it with your flight, you'll get coverage immediately and be protected against last-minute illnesses or emergencies.
Woodbury Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Minnesota - Safety by City