10 Dangerous American Cities To Travel Alone To (And 5 Safe Cities)

By Rob Cramer on February 24 2020 in Travel

Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Brian Hillega/Wikimedia Commons.
  • St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the USA with a violent crime rate of 2,082.3 per 100,000 people.
  • Detroit is the second most dangerous city in the USA with a violent crime rate of 2,056.7 per 100,000 people
  • Columbia is the safest city in the USA with a safety index score of 85.33.

The United States has many wonderful cities that travelers can experience. However, it is important to stay safe when visiting. Some major cities in the United States have high crime rates, but that does not necessarily mean you should avoid them. If you exercise caution and stay in tourist-friendly areas you will be fine. Travelers who are worried about traveling alone in major cities can opt to visit some of the safer cities in the USA. There are many small communities in the USA that are very safe. Travelers will not be bored in these safe cities even though there is less to do than in a major metropolis. 

15. `Dangerous: Indianapolis, Indiana

Cityscape of Indianapolis, Indiana. Image credit: tpsdave/Wikipedia.com

Indianapolis is a must-see destination for racing fans. The Indianapolis 500 is referred to as the greatest spectacle in racing. Travelers from around the globe visit Indianapolis every year to watch the preeminent Indycar race. Visitors to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can take a guided track tour or check out the Indianapolis Hall of Fame Museum. Indianapolis has a violent crime rate of 1,334 per 100,000 people.

14. Dangerous: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hot air balloon over the cityscape of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image credit: goodfreephotos.com

Breaking Bad fans will enjoy visiting Albuquerque. The city is the setting for Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul. Breaking Bad RV Tours offers travelers a chance to see all the famous locales from the TV shows. Breaking Bad Store ABQ recently opened in the city’s Old Town district. Albuquerque has a violent crime rate of 1,369.1 per 100,000 people.

13. Dangerous: Stockton, California

Downtown Stockton, California. Image credit: Wikipedia.com

The historic Bob Hope Theatre, which is named after legendary comedian Bob Hope, plays classic movies. The Haggin Museum showcases works by famous European painters like Jean Beraud and Rosa Bonheur. Stockton has a violent crime rate of 1,414.6 per 100,000 people.

12. Dangerous: Cleveland, Ohio

Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Image credit: Chris Gent/Wikipedia.com

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be the first stop for anybody who visits Cleveland. More than 12,000,000 people have visited the museum since it opened in 1995. The museum houses iconic memorabilia such as John Lennon’s guitar and Joey Ramone’s leather jacket. Cleveland has a violent crime rate of 1,556.8 per 100,000 people.

11. Dangerous: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A leisure boating arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee is nicknamed Brew City because it is famous for its beer. The city has numerous breweries and distilleries. Patrons who take the Great Lakes Distillery Tour can sample award-winning small-batch rye. If you take a tour of MKE Brewing you will be treated to unlimited beer samples. Milwaukee has a violent crime rate of 1,597.4 per 100,000 people.

10. Dangerous: Kansas City, Missouri

BartonBrothersPhoto.com. Image credit: BartonBrothersPhoto.com/Wikipedia.com

Kansas City is famous for its up-and-coming arts scene and mouthwatering barbecue. The city has over 200 fountains, including the prominent J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain. The Eighteenth and Vine District is home to the American Jazz Museum. Kansas City has a violent crime rate of 1,724.3 per 100,000 people.

9. Dangerous: Memphis, Tennessee

A busy street in Memphis, Tennessee

No trip to Memphis would be complete without a visit to Graceland, which is the estate of legendary rock icon Elvis Presley. Visitors can tour his historic mansion and visit his gravesite in the Meditation Garden. Memphis can be dangerous if you stray away from the tourist spots. Memphis has a violent crime rate of 2,003.3 per 100,000 people.

8. Dangerous: Baltimore, Maryland

The stunning waterfront area of Baltimore, Maryland.

Baltimore’s National Aquarium is one of the most interesting tourist spots in the city. The aquarium has a rooftop rainforest and it houses more than 709 species. Visitors can stop by Camden Yards and take in an Orioles baseball game. Baltimore has a violent crime rate of 2,027 per 100,000 people.

7. Dangerous: Detroit, Michigan

Cityscape of Detroit, Michigan. Image credit:

Crime in Detroit is very high because the economic downturn and faltering automotive industry have crushed the city. The city has a violent crime rate of 2,056.7 per 100,000 people, but it is safe if you exercise caution. Belle Isle has a beautiful aquarium, and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum showcases the history of shipping and transport on the Great Lakes.

6. Dangerous: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri. Image credit: Parker Botanical/Wikipedia.com

St. Louis is an exciting city with a lot to offer travelers. St. Louis has a rich and vibrant music scene. Visitors to the city can enjoy some music at a blues club. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is a top attraction because of its stunning architecture. Visitors should check out the famous Gateway Arch because it is an American landmark. If you travel alone be sure to avoid East St. Louis and areas north of Delmar Boulevard. St. Louis has a violent crime rate of 2,082.3 per 100,000 people.

5. Safest: South Burlington, Vermont  

South Burlington, Vermont. Image credit: Beyond My Ken/Wikipedia.com

South Burlington, which overlooks Lake Champlain, is Vermont’s largest city. Tourists visiting South Burlington can take a cruise on Lake Champlain or shop at the Church Street Marketplace. South Burlington is the fifth safest city in the USA with a score of 83.33, according to WalletHub.

4. Safest: Gilbert, Arizona

Big League Dreams Sports Park in Gilbert, AZ. Image credit: Jay Thompson/Flickr

Baseball fans will enjoy visiting Big League Dreams Park. The park features scaled-down versions of Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field. Gilbert is the fourth safest city in the USA with a score of 83.44, according to WalletHub.

3. Safest: Plano, Texas

Plano’s Crayola Experience. Image credit: Brianegge / Wikipedia.com

Plano’s Crayola Experience is the perfect place to take the kids. Children can create their own crayons or print exclusive coloring pages featuring their likeness. Visitors can learn everything there is to know about the process of making crayons. Plano is the third safest city in the USA. WalletHub gave Plano a score of 83.54 on its safety index.

2. Safest: Yonkers, New York

Yonkers is just a short drive from New York City, and the city has a lot to offer travelers. The Hudson River Museum showcases the history of the area. The museum has a planetarium as well as science and art workshops for children. Yonker is the second safest city in the USA. WalletHub gave Yonkers a score of 84.80 on its safety index.

1. Safest: Columbia, Maryland

Wine in the Woods Festival at Columbia, Md. Image credit: LollyKnit/Wikipedia.com

The Wine in the Woods Festival is held every May in Columbia, Maryland. The festival features wine tastings, live music, and food vendors. Travelers who attend The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival can learn about the process of wool production from farmers, knitters, and shepherds. Columbia is the safest city in the USA with a safety index score of 85.33, according to WalletHub.

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