How Safe is Iowa For Travel? – Iowa Tourist Safety Guide

How safe is Iowa for travel

In this Iowa tourist safety guide, we have covered all safety-related queries such as how safe is Iowa for travel, the best places to visit, what places you should avoid, and more.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started –

How safe is Iowa for travel – Iowa Tourist Safety Guide

How safe is Iowa for tourists? - Des Moines

Iowa, a mid-west state of America, has become a tourist attraction. Iowa is the heartland of America, and you can visit the place for a great countryside feel.

The food of Iowa has a unique role in attracting tourists. Its fantastic food business is famous, and several TV shows have already featured them. On top of that, Iowa is a state full of natural beauty and competent refreshments.

Safety can be a concern for tourists planning a travel trip to Iowa but don’t worry because the overall risk for tourists in Iowa is negligible. There are definitely a few things that you should consider to ensure that you will have a safe trip to Iowa and we have covered all those things in this article.

Warning And Dangers In Iowa

Warnings and Dangers

Overall Risk – Low

The overall risk for tourists in Iowa is very low. You might encounter some common crimes such as pickpocketing, stealing, and burglary in big cities like Des Moines but the chances of becoming a victim of these crimes are very low, especially if you take safety precautions.

Transport & Taxi Risk – Low

Except in some urban areas, public transportation isn’t available in most parts of Iowa. However, the risk involved in all available public transport is very low.

Mugging Risk – Low

Since the majority of the area in Iowa is rural, mugging risk is also on the lower side in Iowa. However, some urban areas are a little prone to mugging, and it can be a threat for travelers.

Natural Disaster Risk – Medium

As a traveler, you must be aware of the climate of that particular place so that you can take precautions. Iowa is quite safe but is known for its tornadoes, especially in spring. Therefore, if you are traveling to Iowa, please keep an eye on weather forecasts.

Women Travelers Risk – Low 

Iowa is an excellent place for the woman traveler as there are no such crimes recorded so far. However, it is highly suggested that roaming alone at night can be risky and, therefore, should be avoided.

Safest Places to visit in Iowa City

Even though Iowa is safe overall, you can consider adding these areas to your itinerary as these are the safest places to visit for tourists in Iowa –

Sioux City

Sioux City

The center of Iowa, Sioux City, is known as one of the safest places in the state. The crime rate is insignificant, and local people mainly earn from agriculture. This place offers several parks, volleyball, and baseball courts as tourist spots.


Norwalk is in the metro area of Des Moines and is one of the safest places in Iowa. Apart from some sports complexes, this place has nothing to offer for tourists, but you can stay here and plan day trips to nearby tourist locations.


Eldridge City - Iowa

Jacob Elridge founded this city, and that’s why it is named after him. This place has Carpenter’s Brook Hatchery, Milestone Golf Course, and Unite Two Design as tourist spots. You can enjoy the famous Irish Pub here as it is one of the safest places.

Orange City

As a tourist spot, Orange city is trendy. Also, it has ranked as the safest city in Iowa. The city is known for water parks, sports, and other fun activities.


Decorah, Iowa

As the safest city, Decorah attracts a huge yearly crowd. You can enjoy the Winneshiek Wildberry Winery, Ice cave, and Phelps Park. Apart from this, Decorah has some brewing companies that you must visit.

Des Moines

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and is located nearby Chicago. The town is famous for its farms that can be seen during the road trip from Chicago to here but can be a little monotonous. However, John Marry and Pappajohn Sculptor park will give you another reason to visit this city.

State Capitol

This is the house of supreme court representatives and the best place to enjoy the beauty of Downtown Des Moines. Apart from the official work, this place has beautiful architecture that attracts tourists and is considered one of the safest places in Iowa.

National Mississippi Aquarium and Museum

Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

You can visit this place with your children as the site is excellent for children. These museums and aquariums keep the aquatic creatures from the Mississippi river and display the knowledge of how the rivers are important in our lives.

Also Read – How safe is Delaware for Travel

Places to avoid in Iowa

Even though Iowa is safe and the majority of the areas are safer to visit, it does have some bad places too. Below, we have shared some of the unsafe places that you should avoid in Iowa –

Fort Madison

Fort Madison is the first battleground of a chief Black Hawk, and many places are full of historical values. However, the area is known for car theft and other criminal activities, and therefore, you should avoid visiting this city.


It can be a great place to see the beauty of Missouri. People come here for hiking, but this place does not seem very safe for tourists. Keokuk is a high-population city, and the crime rates such as aggravated assault and sometimes rape can be seen here. Therefore, you should avoid planning a solo trip to Keokuk.


Iowa is famous for its food business, and Oelwein is the hidden gem. This place serves extraordinary Italian food, and this town has the lowest population, but the crime report is 66% here. Mostly committed crimes are rape, stealing, etc.


This city is full of historical places like National Library, which was built in 1868. Snake alley is another famous place in this city and is known for the best cycling roads, but it is one of the most dangerous places in Iowa.

Des Morrison

Though Des Morrison has excellent places like the Iowa State Capitol Building, Gray’s Lake Park, and so on, the crime rate in the city is very high.


Waterloo is an amazing tourist destination known for enjoyable water rides and more, but this place has terrible respect due to higher crime rates. Violence crimes are quite common in the city, and therefore if you are planning to take a visit, avoid getting involved in fights.

Also Read – How safe is Kansas for Travel

Safety tips for solo travelers

Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

You can plan your tour accordingly if you have already learned about safe and avoidable places. However, if you are a solo traveler, here are some safety tips for you – 


The best thing a solo traveler can do is do the homework first. Plan an itinerary for your trip and follow it strictly. Also, be a bit cautious.

Weather Report

If you are a solo traveler, you must have the weather forecast report beforehand, as natural disasters sometimes torment this place.

Strolling alone at night

Walking around at night alone is not a good idea. Though Iowa is safe and has a much lower crime rate than the big cities, some areas are not secure. Therefore, avoid going out alone at night.

Lock your Motels

Some places in Iowa are prone to stealing and mugging, so it is better to have precautions. You must lock your cars or motels properly before leaving. The cases of property stealing are high in some places, so you must be aware.

Act Knowledgeable 

Criminals target the tourists as stealing the local people can appear risky to them. So if you pretend to be the local person, it would be less complicated for you to get snatched or theft.

Keep your family informed

When traveling alone, you can have risks. Therefore, keeping your family informed can be a great idea. Always keep your family updated about the locations you are visiting, the people with you, and when you will be back. So in case, some bad thing happens, they will be able to take care of it.

Be aware of the surroundings

Being aware of your surrounding is one of the best ways you keep yourself protected. On top of that, you can gather information about the place you are planning to visit so that you can gauge the risks.

Is Iowa safe for solo travelers?

Yes, Iowa is quite safe for solo travelers, and therefore, if you are planning a solo trip to Iowa, you can do that without any worries. However, we recommend you take safety measures to avoid falling into any worse situations.

Is Iowa safe for solo female travelers?

Is Iowa safe for solo female travelers?
Is Iowa safe for solo female travelers?

If criminal activities are concerned, Iowa is safest among other states in the US. So, if you are a woman traveler, you don’t have to worry as the place is safe for a woman traveler. However, keeping the safety measures can always help, so be careful if you are traveling alone.

Also Read – How safe is Illinois for Travel

Final Words

There you have it – a detailed Iowa tourist safety guide. Through this article, we tried to give our views on how safe is Iowa for travel and tried to cover every essential point.

Almost every part of the world has some dark areas where crime happens, but that doesn’t stop tourists. In comparison to the world, Iowa is quite a safe state for tourists as it has a negligible risk of tourists falling into some bigger crimes.

However, if you want to have a safer journey, keep taking safety measures as they can save you from falling into something severe. With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them in the comment section below. Our team will try to respond ASAP.

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About the author

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a tech-savvy editor at World-Wire, renowned for his expertise in writing detailed technical articles and user-friendly how-to guides. With a background in Information Technology, he excels in demystifying complex tech topics. His work is highly valued for its accuracy and practicality, earning him awards like "Innovator in Tech Journalism" in 2023. Alex's role at World-Wire is pivotal in making technology accessible to a broad audience.

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