Safety is something that’s often not thought about when visiting the United States. This is understandable, considering you’ll be traveling to the “land of the free, home of the brave”. But crime exists anywhere, especially in tourist havens.
So what are the safest vacation spots in the U.S.? This guide breaks down the 19 safest travel destinations in America, what you can do there, and when is the best time to visit.
But before we dive in, make sure you’re informed about the most dangerous cities in the U.S. to avoid bumping into any trouble.
How Safety is Determined
Table of Contents
- How Safety is Determined
- 19 Safest Holiday Destinations in the U.S.
- 1. Honolulu, Hawaii
- 2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
- 3. San Diego, California
- 4. Henderson, Nevada
- 5. El Paso, Texas
- 6. New York City, New York
- 7. Manchester, New Hampshire
- 8. Mesa, Arizona
- 9. Charlotte, North Carolina
- 10. San Jose, California
- 11. Boston, Massachusetts
- 12. Raleigh, North Carolina
- 13. Arlington, Texas
- 14. Santa Ana, California
- 15. Omaha, Nebraska
- 16. Austin, Texas
- 17. Tampa, Florida
- 18. Portland, Maine
- 19. Long Beach, California
- Safest Vacation Spots in the U.S. | FAQs
- Where Is the Safest Place To Travel Right Now in the United States?
- Is America Safe For Tourists?
- How Can We Stay Safe in America?
- Safest Places in the U.S. for a Holiday | Wrapped Up
The guidelines used to determine the safest places to go on holiday in the U.S. were sourced from the FBI Crime Data Explorer dataset and a recent analysis by MoneyGeek.
The research examined the cost of crime in each city: the opportunity cost of time lost to criminal acts, incarceration, crime prevention, and recovery after victimization. This analysis by MoneyGeek only looked at U.S. cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants.
Note: This guide specifically looks at vacation spots and tourist hubs in the United States, so this list may not include all of the safest cities in the U.S.
Essentials for Staying Safe While Traveling
If you’re keen to feel safer when you travel try out some of the devices we swear by to make us feel more comfortable.
🔐 Personal Safety:
1. Portable Hotel Safety Lock
2. Personal Safety Alarm
🧳 Baggage Safety:
1. Luggage Locks
2. Bluetooth Luggage Tracker
✈️ Most of all, don’t leave home without decent travel insurance, so if anything goes wrong, you will be covered.
19 Safest Holiday Destinations in the U.S.
So a city is declared safe when it uses the integration of technology to reduce all kinds of crime, congestion, urban sprawl, and any other antisocial behavior.
These 19 cities have proven to have great crime prevention mechanisms and hence feature on this list of the safest U.S. cities. These are great options if you’re looking to go on vacation or relocate to a new city.
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
Aloha, and welcome to Hawaii’s bustling commercial and cultural hub. Honolulu is one of the best sunny places to visit in the U.S., and it’s easy to see why. This metropolis on the island of Oahu is known for its famous crescent beach, dotted with palms and high-rise buildings.
Honolulu is also one of the safest holiday destinations in the U.S. In 2020, the city’s violent crime rate was lower than the national average. That means people living in Honolulu were less likely to fall victim to violent crimes than the entire population on the mainland.
There are tons of great things you can do while visiting Honolulu. From attending a traditional Hawaiian luau to snorkeling in the great blue sea or enjoying a romantic sunset cruise, you’re sure to have an epic experience. And this is all without having to worry about your safety.
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Photo by Marshall Williams on Unsplash
Virginia Beach is an oceanfront destination packed with a vibrant art and entertainment scene. You’ll also find a growing local dining scene, rich maritime history, and many tourist attractions. The city’s three-mile boardwalk is the epicenter of it all, boasting restaurants, shops, and plenty of attractions.
In addition to having a lower property crime rate than the national average, Virginia Beach also has a lower burglary rate, motor vehicle theft, and robbery rate. Thus making the oceanfront city one of the safest places to visit in America.
While you’re in Virginia Beach, take some time to explore its top attractions. Strolling along the promenade is a must-do. But you can also enjoy a sunset kayak and dolphin-watching tour or visit the city’s Vibe District for an exciting display of street art and murals.
3. San Diego, California
Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash
Well-known for its year-round perfect weather, pristine beaches, and world-class attractions, San Diego is one of the best cities to visit in the USA. The city is also home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in California.
Considering its size, San Diego is one of the safest cities in America. The city has a low crime rate, its beaches are safe, and you’re not likely to run into any trouble at major attractions. However, it’s essential to remember that cities this size are prone to petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and other forms of thieving.
Spend your time in this coastal city beach hopping, cruising the sea, or chasing after the best San Diego sunsets. You can also go on a hop-on hop-off tour of the city’s attractions or spend time bonding with some critters at San Diego Zoo.
4. Henderson, Nevada
Located about a 30-minute drive from glistening Las Vegas, Henderson is a gorgeous desert oasis just waiting to be explored. In recent years the city has seen an increasing number of shopping malls, restaurants, and casino resorts.
This makes Henderson a great place to discover some of the best things to do in Vegas without having to live within the city. Henderson’s crime rate statistics have led to the city being the second and third safest city in the U.S. in recent years.
You can do lots of things in Henderson without having to go all the way to Vegas. Head to the Clark County Museum to immerse yourself in the history of the region and see a collection of restored vintage houses. Enjoy a traditional Chuckwagon dinner show, or make a 30-mile journey to the colourful Seven Magic Mountains for Instagram-worthy snaps.
5. El Paso, Texas
Photo by Raul Miranda on Unsplash
Straddling the edge of the U.S.-Mexico border, El Paso is a West Texas town famous for its blend of Native American, Spanish, Western, and Mexican cultures. The city boasts plenty of history and art museums, Spanish missions, and stunning backdrops of the Franklin Mountains.
Although the city’s crime rate has increased, it still falls lower than the national average. El Paso is generally a safe place for solo travelers and families. But it’s crucial to note that the city is less than 10 miles away from Juárez, Mexico, notorious for cartels, drug trafficking, and intense violence. In short, avoid going close to the border.
Simply dubbed “Sun City”, El Paso experiences an average of 320 days of sunshine annually. That means you’ll have lots of fun in the sun, no matter the season. You can visit the zoo and botanical gardens in El Paso and watch a show at The Plaza Theatre.
6. New York City, New York
Image by Jo Wiggijo from Pixabay
New York City needs no introduction. This bustling city is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Its towering skyscrapers, red-brick boroughs, Times Square, and Statue of Liberty are some of the best historical places in New York to visit.
The enormity of New York makes it prone to tourist traps where travelers could easily be targeted by pickpockets or duped into buying something at exorbitant prices. But the Big Apple has a vigilant and friendly police force constantly protecting the city and its citizens. That’s why New York remains one of the safest cities in the world for tourists.
While visiting the Big Apple, tick off the most beautiful places in New York and famous landmarks like Broadway and Central Park. You can also fly over Manhattan on a scenic helicopter ride or take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. And there are loads to do if you’re traveling solo in NYC.
Honestly, there’s just too much to do in New York. I can’t possibly mention it all here. But if you’re looking for a less touristy way to discover the Big Apple, read my guide on New York’s off-beaten path attractions that will blow your mind.
7. Manchester, New Hampshire
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire in terms of population size. The city boasts an intriguing array of art galleries, museums, and historical sites. Manchester sits along the Merrimack River and is famous for its iconic mills.
When it comes to safety, Manchester is a relatively safe city. According to Neighborhood Scout, the chances of being a victim of violent crime in Manchester is 1 in 37. But remember, safety is always relative.
On the flip side, Manchester has a higher crime rate than other cities in New Hampshire. However, the city’s crime rate still falls under the national average, making it one of the best places to visit on America’s East Coast.
Despite often being overshadowed by its popular neighbors, Boston and Portland, Manchester offers tons to do. History buffs will love visiting the Manchester Millyard Museum, while art lovers will have a blast at the elegant Currier Museum of Art.
8. Mesa, Arizona
Photo by Gautier Salles on Unsplash
If you’re looking for a modern-day desert escape, look no further than Mesa. It’s the third largest city in Arizona and jam-packed with exciting attractions. From desert hiking and biking trails to epic basketball games and interesting museums, Mesa has something for everyone.
Mesa’s crime statistics were on a steady decline between 2016 and 2020 and continue to do so, according to data from the Mesa Police Department. This lowering crime rate makes Mesa an ideal and tranquil suburban escape from neighboring Phoenix.
Mesa is less than a 30-minute drive from Phoenix and about two hours from Sedona, so you’ll have plenty of things to do depending on how much time you have to explore. You can visit famous Arizona landmarks, from stunning red canyons to meteor craters and sandstone buttes.
9. Charlotte, North Carolina
Image by David from Pixabay
If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll love visiting Charlotte. In fact, you might think it’s the best place to visit in America. Why? This North Carolina city is home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the Carolina Panthers from the NFL, and the incredible NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Charlotte has a moderate level of crime that requires one to be cautious when exploring attractions with lots of tourist traffic. The city center, or Uptown Charlotte, is a modern central business district where you’ll find plenty of museums, stadiums, arenas, and theatres. You should always be vigilant when exploring Uptown and try to avoid walking alone.
Exploring the city in a group, either with friends or through a historical walking tour, would be an excellent way to see the Queen City and stay safe. Notable attractions in Uptown Charlotte you should check out are the Hall of Fame, Mint Museum, and the lively Optimist Hall.
10. San Jose, California
Image by Bella Mannaro from Pixabay
Surrounded by the rolling hills of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a picturesque city dotted with palms, Italianate-style Oddfellows, and Spanish Colonial Revival buildings all over its old town. San Jose is often overlooked for neighboring cities like San Francisco, but this Bay Area city is home to some of the best landmarks in California.
San Jose’s crime level is moderate and has steadily increased in the past three years. However, the chances of being physically attacked because of your skin colour, ethnic origin, or religion are very low, which is quite reassuring for tourists.
The city’s fun and friendly atmosphere is as welcoming as San Jose’s weather. You can spend your days experiencing San Jose by taking a party-bike tour around the city. Other things to do include an app-led scavenger hunt and visiting the famous Winchester Mystery House.
11. Boston, Massachusetts
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Like many of the best places to visit in the U.S., Boston is known for its richness in history, culture, sports, and entertainment. Boston is the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and home to one of the most visited places in the U.S. — the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Boston is quite a safe city, especially for its commercial significance in the New England region. The city has a relatively low to moderate crime rate. So you won’t have to worry about muggings. Downton is considered safe, but you should avoid Park Street and Downtown Crossing.
Catching a Red Sox match at Fenway Park is a classic way to spend time in Boston, but you can also get a guided walking tour of the baseball park. Take a hop-on hop-off bus tour through the Old Town or opt for a Boston Duck tour so you can discover the city from the water.
12. Raleigh, North Carolina
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Raleigh is an exemplary university town and also the capital of North Carolina. It is famous for its free museums, universities, and astute technological institutions. Raleigh gives you that “big city meets Southern Charm” feel with its blend of historic landmarks and modern architecture.
The city has a moderate crime rate, and although it has been increasing in the last few years, the chances of you getting robbed, mugged, insulted, or assaulted are still low. As with any major city, you should always stay cautious.
Raleigh also has a vibrant restaurant scene making it one of the best places in America to visit for hearty Southern cuisine. Visit the lively Morgan Street Food Hall or North Carolina State Farmers Public Market for a gastronomic adventure. Other things you can do include taking the Raleigh trolley pub public tour and strolling through Pullen Park.
13. Arlington, Texas
Image by sandler482 from Pixabay
Not to be confused with the North Carolina county, Arlington, Texas, is home to world-class stadiums, arenas, lakes, theme and water parks, and unique museums. Arlington is located just a 25-minute drive west of Dallas, making it one of the best holiday destinations in the USA close to a major commercial and cultural hub.
When it comes to safety, Arlington’s overall crime rate is relatively high. But as you’ll know, stats don’t always give the full picture. The level of safety people feel when walking around during the day and at night are high and moderate. Meaning many Arlington residents feel comfortable in their city’s streets. That’s not to say, though, that you should be any less cautious when visiting.
There are plenty of fun and inclusive things to do in Arlington. If you’re a sports fanatic, you’ll love catching a Dallas Cowboys match or a tour at the AT&T Stadium. Adrenaline seekers will appreciate visiting Six Flags Over Texas for exhilarating fun.
14. Santa Ana, California
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Santa Ana is located in Orange County, one of the best places in California to visit. The city is famous for its abundance of golden-sand beaches, cultural museums, the impressive Santa Ana Zoo, and a vibrant historic downtown district.
Santa Ana may not be the safest city in the USA, but it does offer a great alternative to nearby cities like Long Beach, which can get quite crowded. The city has a moderate crime rate that’s been rising in the last few years. But the chances of being assaulted are still fairly low.
You can do quite a lot in Santa Ana. From visiting the historic Bowers Museum to meeting critters at the zoo or taking a day trip to one of the best lakes in Southern California, Lake Elsinore, you’re sure to find something fun.
15. Omaha, Nebraska
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As the largest city in Nebraska, Omaha is best known for its diverse population and culture. The city boasts an array of art galleries, museums, and theatres. It is also home to one of the best zoos in the world – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
In recent years Omaha’s crime rate has been moderate. And although crimes like property theft and vandalism still prevail, the city has low levels of robbery, muggings, and violent crimes. But even though you’re unlikely to be at risk of these crimes, practice caution at all times.
Spend your time in Omaha learning more about the city’s history and culture at its museums. The Durham Museum is a restored 1931 train station that takes you back in time, and if you love art, head over to the Joslyn Art Museum or Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts.
16. Austin, Texas
Image by Kim Broomhall from Pixabay
Famous for its eclectic live music scene across popular genres like country, rock, and the blues, Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. Whether that’s self-proclaimed or not, Austin offers more than just song and dance. The city boasts many intriguing attractions, including the white-washed Governor’s Mansion — one of the best landmarks in Texas.
Austin’s crime rate is slightly less or on par with the national average. And although the statistics say the city has a moderate level of crime, the chances of getting mugged, robbed, or assaulted in Austin are very low.
Take some time to explore this lively Texan capital. From pedicab sightseeing tours to the historic Texas Capitol and lush Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin has lots to offer. Another must-do is taking a Live Music Crawl, where you’ll experience Austin’s music scene firsthand.
You might enjoy reading my article on the safest cities to visit in Europe.
17. Tampa, Florida
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Tampa is arguably the best place to visit in America for relaxation under ideal weather and affordable prices all the way around. The city boasts several attractions like museums, a zoo, aquariums, and theme parks that will leave you awestruck. You’ll also enjoy some unique things to do in Florida, like strolling through the Bok Tower Gardens.
Tampa has a low crime rate compared to other major cities. The city’s newest data shows that Tampa ranked as one of the lowest in violent crimes, specifically in large metropolitans. That means you can enjoy some of the best landmarks in Florida, such as the African-themed Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park, without any worry.
18. Portland, Maine
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Portland is an idyllic coastal city sitting on the Casco Bay peninsula. This is the most populous city in Maine and hence the state’s vibrant cultural hub. Portland’s laid-back atmosphere resonates with beachcombers, artists, and foodies.
The crime rate in Portland is quite low, and although it has been rising, the chances of you being robbed, mugged, attacked, or even scammed are very low. That’s why Portland is one of the safest cities in America to visit and live in.
The city’s main attractions, like the Museum of Art, Fort Allen Park, and Duckfat – a popular sandwich shop are worth visiting. You can also head out to the Portland Headlight, which is one of the best things to do in Maine.
19. Long Beach, California
Image by Lisa Larsen from Pixabay
Long Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in America. The Southern California city boasts an incredible blend of urban architecture, a thriving art scene, sun-filled beaches, and a rich maritime heritage.
When it comes to safety, Long Beach is among the safest places to go on holiday in the States. The city has a crime rate that’s lower than the national average. But caution must always be exercised. Long Beach is a tourist haven that’s likely to attract acts of criminality.
Long Beach is a great place to sunbathe, swim, and enjoy a range of water sports. But you can also enjoy an immersive experience at the Shoreline Aquatic Park. Or try off-the-beaten-path adventures like exploring The Queen Mary – a historic lodging you’ll find nowhere else.
Safest Vacation Spots in the U.S. | FAQs
Here are a few most commonly asked questions about the safest vacation spots in the U.S.
Where Is the Safest Place To Travel Right Now in the United States?
Honolulu, Hawaii, is the safest vacation destination in America. This island city has all you could ever need, from beautiful beaches to lush scenery, delicious food, and lots of cultural attractions. Additionally, there are many other safe places to visit, such as the cities listed above.
Is America Safe For Tourists?
Yes! The United States is one of the safest countries to visit in the world, but some places in the U.S. are safer than others, so exercise caution.
How Can We Stay Safe in America?
Always prepare ahead of time. Do research on the places you want to visit, check out crime statistics on official sites, and avoid dodgy areas on the city outskirts. If you can, bring a travel companion
Safest Places in the U.S. for a Holiday | Wrapped Up
The safest states in America are home to popular cities and attractions that are usually flooded by tourists. These tourist traps often attract acts of criminality, like pickpocketing and scamming.
And while it’s possible to avoid these areas, you’ll be missing out on famous U.S. landmarks that made the country what it is today.
That’s why this list of the safest vacation spots in the U.S. comes in handy. Pick a place that has the best weather, attractions, and historical landmarks for you, and get exploring.