California : Safety by City
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This article is all about Alhambra, California, and is not related to the city in Spain.
It is named after the Spanish town as the original owner of the land had a daughter who was particularly fond of Washington Irvin’s Tales of the Alhambra.
This is more of a residential community, with just a handful of hotels.
Its location and safety ratings are what make it appealing to residents and tourists.
Alhambra sits just eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles and connects to several major freeways.
This is an ethnically diverse community with more than half of the people living here of Asian descent.
36% are Latino or Hispanic, and 2% are African American.
Caucasians make up 9% of the community.
The city gained international attention when famed music producer Phil Spector shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra home named Pyrness Castle.
Alhambra has fought off the tough crime waves that usually surround cities near downtown areas, and keeps its charm while modernizing as needed.
One thing you’ll notice in this historic community is that the houses are all from the 1950s and 1960s.
Few homes were built after the turn of the new century.
Apartment developments are more modern than homes but lack historical charm.
Warnings & Dangers in Alhambra
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk. Crime statistics are at or below national and state averages. The community is a tight-knit group with plenty of events to solidify that relationship.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Alhambra Community Transit (ACT) is the local bus service and rides cost just a quarter. You can also get to the MetroLink station through ACT. Taxis and rideshares are available. There's low risk with all options.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here. 10 pickpocket reports were made in 2020, which isn't that high considering some of the comparisons in nearby cities. You do need to keep your wits about you as this is a community close to a major city, but I was even surprised by the low pickpocket rate. Looking back to 2019, before the pandemic, there were just 5 reports.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You've got to worry about earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding in all Los Angeles area communities, and Alhambra is no different. The city has a comprehensive plan to deal with any natural disaster that might happen. There's a medium risk, but you can get educated about each one to feel safer during your visit.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The robbery rate is at the national average, and only a small percentage of robberies were in public places, so there's a low risk.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
A medium-risk will hold true for all the Los Angeles Basin. It's the second-largest metro area in the country with a lot of tourist attractions and major companies. That's going to intrigue any terrorist group. Homeland security is aware of the risk here and takes steps to keep it safe.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
While there are no specific scams in Alhambra to give anything more than a low risk, you do need to be aware of some scam trends. If someone tells you they won the lottery, but aren't a U.S. citizen, so they can't cash the ticket, don't give them money in exchange for the ticket. It's a scam. If anyone asks you to buy gift cards for any reason in exchange for something, that's a sure sign of a scam.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's nothing in the crime numbers that should concern a female traveler. Even the rape crime rate is 60% lower than the national average. You do need to be cautious when walking around at night and respect the different customs of this multi-cultural community, but if you've got your wits about you, you should be safe in Alhambra.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Alhambra tap water is safe and there's a low risk of using it. It meets all standards and is part of a greater Los Angeles area initiative called the Safe Clean Water Program to make rainwater drinkable and rely less on outside sources of water.
Safest Places to Visit in Alhambra
Just about everything a traveler could need is located off of Main Street in Alhambra.
You’ll find traditional big-box shopping, and some local stores with novelties and thrift find.
The city is also bursting at the seams with mom-and-pop ethnic restaurants, thanks to that diverse community.
Alhambra was once designed as and nicknamed the “City of Homes” and this is one place you can feel safe driving around neighborhoods to appreciate mid-1900s architecture.
There are no master-planned communities here.
It’s just an eclectic mix of 1950s-era homes with a few 1990s homes sprinkled in.
Phil Spector’s former home is located at 1700 Grand View Dr, but there is a gate surrounding it and you won’t be able to see much from the street.
Don’t try to go onto the property as it is owned by someone else now.
Burke Heritage Park and the Alhambra Historical Society are a great way to spend the day, and it’s all free.
Check the hours of the museum, however, as it has limited days and times it’s open.
Almansor Park has a golf course, pool, and picnic areas in addition to playgrounds for the kids.
There’s also a restaurant on the park property.
The golf course is open to the public.
Places to Avoid in Alhambra
Crime maps show the most dangerous part of Alhambra is south of I-10 (or The 10 as locals call it).
The central northern part of the city has a bit higher crime rate.
Keep in mind, this is a city that has crime rates on average with national rates, so while it’s not super dangerous, it’s also not 100% safe.
You should avoid driving around at night if you don’t know the area well.
You can easily get turned around and might end up in a not-so-safe neighborhood.
There isn’t a lot to do in Alhambra, and unless you’re there just to visit family or friends, you’re going to be venturing outside of Alhambra for sightseeing.
We recommend reading about the other neighborhoods around Alhambra on our website to get a feel of safety in any city you’ll be visiting.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Alhambra
- The police department releases monthly crime reports with plenty of details. Review these reports before visiting so you can see the most recent crime trends.
- There is also a community crime map where you can see updated crime maps daily, and search the surrounding communities as well. This includes daily updates as reports are filed by the police department.
- If you see a crime committed in Alhambra, you can report it to Crime Stoppers anonymously. There might even be a reward in it for you. You can either submit a form online or call 800-222-8477 to leave a message 24 hours a day. If you’d prefer, download the P3 Tips mobile app to report crime that way.
- You’ll want to sign up for emergency notifications from Alert LA County. This system will let you know about civil or weather emergencies, and if there’s a suspect on the loose or a major traffic accident. It’s a great resource to feel safe and informed when visiting L.A.
- When visiting Main Street, you cannot ride a bike, skateboard, or rollerskates on the sidewalk. The downtown area is becoming so popular there are just too many people on the sidewalks to allow any kind of wheeled device in the middle of pedestrians. You can get a ticket for up to $350 for breaking this law.
- Follow Go511.org to keep up with traffic updates throughout Los Angeles. Traffic in L.A. is always busy and construction projects and accidents can make commutes even longer. This website gives real-time updates and live cameras to see busy intersections.
- You won’t find a lot of hotels in Alhambra. There are only about seven of them. However, they are the most reliable and popular brands and shouldn’t come with safety concerns. You can also find hotels in Pasadena that are close to Alhambra.
- If you’re worried about wildfires, there’s a website called Ready, Set, Go and details how to make a personal plan of action should a wildfire start in or near Alhambra. For visitors, if a wildfire is threatening the area, move to a safer location. Don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation.
- Those worried about earthquakes can watch a series of videos about the 7 Steps to Earthquake Safety. From time to time, you might notice the rumble of an earthquake in Alhambra. These minor jolts are pretty common and you’ll see even the locals consider it “normal.”
- Car theft is one of the biggest crimes in Alhambra and the surrounding communities. If you are getting a rental car, ask if they can provide a steering wheel safety device, and get a car with wheel locks.
So... How Safe Is Alhambra Really?
Alhambra is a relatively safe community, especially looking at violent crime rates.
Violent crime is half the California and national averages.
There’s a one in 473 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
For other crimes, here’s the risk:
- Robbery: 1 in 1236 risk
- Theft: 1 in 76 risk
This is a community of older homes, and sometimes people will assume “older” means “more dangerous.”
That doesn’t hold true in Alhambra.
It’s a city that embraces the historical aspects of its neighborhoods and takes pride in the preservation the city has prioritized over the years.
The Main Street area has been under many renovations to make it easier to visit and safer to walk down the street.
As with most cities, you shouldn’t go walking around aimlessly at night.
You shouldn’t keep car doors unlocked or windows rolled down.
You do want to lock your doors and leave valuables safely stored away when you’re out in the community.
How Does Alhambra Compare?
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You won't need any additional processing once you've gotten through the airport or port of entry. That's where the Visa gets checked, not in individual cities.
The U.S Dollar is used throughout the Los Angeles area. You'll need quarters to ride ACT, but other than that, little cash is needed. It's also safer to not have a large amount of cash on you. Set up mobile payment options through your smartwatch or mobile device to carry even less with you when you're out in the community.
Alhambra is pretty warm all year. Even in winter, the highs are in the 70s. Lows do get into the 40s so bring a jacket and jeans. Summer highs are at or near 90°(F), but the lows still get into the 60s. You'll need plenty of layers to enjoy Alhambra day and night.
Los Angeles International Airport is 30 miles away. You'll go through a lot of traffic to get there. For example, I'm writing this at morning rush hour in LA, and the mapping system says it will take an hour to get there. Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) is a closer option, just 20 miles away, with about a half-hour drive time. Ontario International Airport is 33 miles away and it's more than an hour's drive through a lot of traffic.
You'll want travel insurance for a visit to Alhambra in case wildfires cause flight delays or other mechanical issues delay flights.
Alhambra Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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