How Safe Is Vicksburg for Travel? (2023 Updated) ⋆ Travel Safe … – Travel Safe – Abroad

Vicksburg, Mississippi, flanks the eastern side of the Mississippi River, halfway between Memphis and New Orleans.
During the Civil War, it was referred to as the “Key to the South” due to its port of passage on the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
The city of 22,000 people drips with Southern charm at every corner.
It has a little bit of that New Orleans feel with Antebellum architecture but also moves at a slower, more traditional Southern pace of life.
Downtown Vicksburg is paved with brick-lined streets at peaks at the river, with history and hauntings mixed in with local restaurants and charming shops.
Dine at a rooftop view alongside the river or grab a hot dog to go before visiting the “most haunted house in Mississippi.”
You also have four riverside casinos to choose from if you’re up for some slots or table games.
Vicksburg has seen troubled waters in the past few years, literally and figuratively.
The lower levels of the Mississippi River have impacted tourism and industry.
Ongoing blight issues steal away property values and charm by leaving derelict and dangerous structures lining streets.
As a city that holds so much American history, it’s worth a visit, but don’t set your expectations too high.
The city is a little grittier than places like Savannah, Georgia.
There’s a medium risk overall, but if you stick to the museums and attractions while avoiding the higher crime areas, you can lower that risk with common sense and situational awareness. The city is facing come emergency declarations related to the crime that we need to discuss later on.
NRoute Transit (not a typo) has three buses with routes to popular parts of town. There’s also a trolley that goes from the convention center down Washington Street. Taxis and rideshares are available. Rentals cars are another option, but with high theft rates, be prepared to use relentless vehicle safety steps to avoid break-ins.
In the past decade, nine pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported. On top of that, theft rates have been cut in half since 2017. On the flip side, theft rates are still 60% higher than the national average. While the risk of being pickpocketed might statistically low, you should know there are thieves around you looking for a crime of opportunity.
Mississippi is part of Dixie Alley, a tornado-prone area in spring, summer, and part of fall. Severe weather here can bubble up quickly and cause a lot of damage. Winter weather is rare but not unheard of, and it can wreak havoc on pipes and power if the temperature gets below freezing for a long time. Flooding is also another risk, especially with a major river running alongside the heart of the city.
This is a low risk, with no muggings in 2021 and just 20% of robberies in the past decade being reported as highway robberies. Most robberies happen in homes or businesses. I’d strongly urge you to treat it as a medium risk regardless since crime rates overall are high.
The port might be a potential target, but there are larger cities along the way, like Memphis and NOLA, that would be bigger targets. Mississippi has a Department of Homeland Security with safety and educational videos to review before you go.
No major scams stick out, but you should keep your mobile devices locked and out of sight, as one teenager scammed a victim out of thousands of dollars. Fraudsters are going for big-ticket tasks, like writing bad checks.
Women should use extra caution here, especially at night or around the casinos where they might be approached socially by strangers. Domestic violence has been rising over the past few years, but that’s a local issue that wouldn’t impact a tourist who knows better than to go to a private place with a person they just met. Be confident and focused when you’re walking around to avoid being a potential target.
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. In 2021, the city also won “Best Water In Mississippi” from the Mississippi Rural Water Association. However, the city does have a “Guide to Boil Water Alerts” on its website, suggesting that it might be more common. You should review the guidance just in case, or keep a case of bottled water to be safe.
Visit Vicksburg is the official tourism website for the city.
You can request a visitor’s guide be mailed to you, but you’ll need to give your contact information, obviously.
You can also choose to sign up for the newsletter, which won’t give away so much personal data.
Downtown Vicksburg also has its own website, focused on the Live/Work/Play environment and related businesses.
You can also find great events there, like the annual Mardi Gras Parade.
Washington Street is the “Main Street” of Vicksburg.
For the rooftop dining view, head to 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill.
One block closer to the river on Levee Street, you’ll find the Riverfront Murals, which are jaw-dropping works of art reflecting history, river passage, music, and unique designs by local artists.
For the safest way to experience Antebellum Vicksburg, schedule a tour with Vicksburg Old Town Tours.
They offer some tiered packages of tours and options to take walking, driving, or bus tours.
You can even schedule your own private tour.
It’s worth the price to get the history behind the beautiful homes you’ll see.
The McRaven Home Tour is separate, as that’s the haunted house that gathered ghost hunters from around the globe.
Tour the Lower Mississippi River Museum to learn about the great river was shaped and structured to become a massive watery highway.
Hands-on exhibits, movies, and scale models of the river will help you appreciate the “Mighty Mississippi.”
Nearby you can head from the water to the railways at the Old Depot Museum.
Take a step back in time at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum to learn about the early bottling days of soda and the family that made it possible to be part of Vicksburg’s history.
Visit the Vicksburg Civil War Museum before heading to Vicksburg National Military Park, where the fate of America was sealed during the Civil War.
Both the Union and Confederacy wanted to win Vicksburg and its important port position on the river.
Here you’ll learn about the siege that sealed the victory for the Union and tour the remains of the USS Cairo of the Brown Water Navy fleet.
Reenactments are held throughout the year.
Vicksburg is a city where you’ll be able to tell if a neighborhood is a place to avoid, as the city has a lot of blight.
There are spots in the southeast and northern parts of the community that have higher crime rates, but those also place the average tourists wouldn’t be visiting.
If you stay close to the tourist areas and the Civil War park, you’ll greatly reduce your risk.
At the same time, the city has faced challenges with a surge in juvenile crime that led to curfews and juveniles being banned from the mall if they aren’t with an adult.
As the Mississippi River deals with drought in the years to come, there might be times when the river is so low it appears you could walk across it to Louisiana.
The river bed is never safe.
Between poor water quality, debris, and unexpected currents, there’s nothing swimmable about the Mississippi River.
Take it from someone who grew up on its banks.
It’s not known as the “muddy river” for nothing.
Considering how close Vicksburg is to Jackson, which is a very dangerous city, it’s much safer.
At the same time, juvenile crime rates and gun crimes have led to swift action by city leaders and law enforcement.
If a bar or business has been the place of several fights or criminal activity, it will be temporarily shut down.
A new program involves putting security cameras up in areas where the most 911 calls come in.
The cameras are high-tech enough to be able to hear loud noises, like gunshots, turn toward that location and zoom in with epic picture quality.
The curfews in the city and the ban on unsupervised juveniles at the mall are two other steps taken to stop crime before it happens.
“In our mall, if you’re under the age of 18, and you’re not accomplished by our parents, we can hold the parents accountable by taking a juvenile to the police department and charging them on a statute that says that, that it’s neglect and abuse for a parent to do that,” Mayor George Flaggs said.
Much of this action was spurred by the shooting death of a 13-year-old in the summer of 2022, where three other people were shot on Clay Street.
Even the mayor issued an emergency proclamation so the city could avoid legal loopholes that prevented them from helping curb crime.
Mayor Flaggs stated, “If parents cannot keep their juvenile children off the streets and safe from danger, I have no choice but to step in and do that for them.”
At the same time, the city is working with property owners and applying for grant money to remove blight.
The dilapidated homes in the city cause safety hazards, attract crime and violate several codes.
It’s less expensive to tear them down and start over than to renovate.
“If we can do this one community at a time, one block at a time, in the next four to five years, Vicksburg will be a whole different city,” said Vicksburg’s housing director Gertrude Young.
Car break-ins are the greatest statistical risk for a tourist, as 38% of all thefts were either a car burglary or a stolen car accessory (like an expensive catalytic converter).
Just 7% of violent crimes happen against strangers, which is another risk-lowering statistic.
Before you visit Jackson, Mississippi, about 45 minutes east, please read our travel safety article.
Everything from the crime rate to water quality concerns needs to be reviewed.

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