7 Dangerous Areas in Washington to Avoid in 2024

Washington is a beautiful state with many attractions and natural wonders, but it also has some areas that are best avoided by tourists and locals alike. These areas are known for their high crime rates, drug activity, homelessness, or environmental hazards. Here are seven of the most dangerous areas in Washington that you should steer clear of in 2024.

1. White Center, Seattle

White Center is a neighborhood in southwest Seattle that has a reputation for being one of the most violent and impoverished areas in the city. According to the Seattle Times, White Center had the highest rate of violent crime per capita in Seattle in 2020, with 1,038 incidents per 100,000 residents. The area is also plagued by gang activity, drug dealing, prostitution, and homelessness. White Center is not a place where you want to walk alone at night, or even during the day.

2. Yakima

Yakima is a city in central Washington that is known for its agricultural production, especially apples and wine. However, it is also known for its high crime rate, which is more than twice the national average. According to the FBI, Yakima had 5,472 property crimes and 1,038 violent crimes in 2019, making it the most dangerous city in Washington. Yakima also has a problem with methamphetamine use and trafficking, which contributes to the violence and poverty in the area.

3. Tacoma

Tacoma is a port city in western Washington that is home to the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Dome, and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. However, it is also home to some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the state, such as Hilltop, Eastside, and South End. Tacoma has a high rate of violent crime, with 1,026 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019, according to the FBI. Tacoma also has a high rate of property crime, with 6,128 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019, making it the second most dangerous city in Washington.

4. Spokane

Spokane is a city in eastern Washington that is known for its scenic location near the Spokane River and the Spokane Falls. It is also known for its cultural and educational institutions, such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the Bing Crosby Theater, and Gonzaga University. However, Spokane also has a dark side, as it is one of the most dangerous cities in Washington. According to the FBI, Spokane had 5,538 property crimes and 798 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, ranking it third in both categories. Spokane also has a high rate of drug abuse and addiction, especially opioids and heroin.

5. Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a city in western Washington that is known for being the birthplace of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. It is also known for its logging and fishing industries, which have declined in recent years. Aberdeen has a high rate of poverty, unemployment, and crime, making it one of the most dangerous cities in Washington. According to the FBI, Aberdeen had 6,763 property crimes and 566 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, ranking it fourth and fifth, respectively. Aberdeen also has a high rate of homelessness and mental illness, which adds to the social problems in the area.

6. Federal Way

Federal Way is a city in western Washington that is known for its proximity to Seattle and Tacoma, as well as its attractions such as the Wild Waves Theme Park, the Pacific Bonsai Museum, and the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. However, Federal Way also has a high rate of crime, making it one of the most dangerous cities in Washington. According to the FBI, Federal Way had 4,841 property crimes and 507 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, ranking it fifth and sixth, respectively. Federal Way also has a high rate of gang activity and domestic violence, which poses a threat to the safety of the residents and visitors.

7. Hanford Site

Hanford Site is not a city, but a decommissioned nuclear production complex in southeastern Washington that was used to produce plutonium for the atomic bombs during World War II and the Cold War. Hanford Site is now one of the most contaminated places in the world, with millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored in leaking tanks, and thousands of tons of solid waste buried in the ground. Hanford Site is also one of the most dangerous places in Washington, as it poses a serious risk of radiation exposure, fire, explosion, or environmental disaster. Hanford Site is not open to the public, but it is still a place that you should avoid at all costs.

Conclusion

Washington is a state with many wonders and attractions, but it also has some areas that are best avoided by anyone who values their safety and well-being. These areas are known for their high crime rates, drug activity, homelessness, or environmental hazards, and they offer little to no benefit for the visitors. If you are planning to visit Washington in 2024, make sure to steer clear of these seven dangerous areas, and enjoy the rest of the state’s beauty and charm.

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