California : Safety by City
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- South Gate
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- Union City
- West Covina
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Tom Hanks film, you can thank Concord, California.
Hanks grew up here and went to college in nearby Hayward.
Concord is a sleepy suburb of the busy San Francisco Bay area.
This is a place to go to get away from the frantic pace of the city, the noise of a bustling downtown core, and save a little bit of money while you’re at it.
This is a town where you can take the Taco Trail through 40 of the best Mexican taquerias you can find this side of the border, and then burn off those calories on a nature trail hiking to the top of Mount Diablo.
As with any suburban oasis, there are plenty of shopping options and this diverse community brings ethnic foods of all varieties.
It’s not known for its nightlife, but being in a major metropolitan area, you’ve got as much excitement as you can handle just a BART ride away.
Warnings & Dangers in Concord
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's low overall risk with a few areas we'll need to do a deeper dive into, but for the most part, you're getting a safe suburban community. Make no mistake, this is NOT San Francisco, so don't expect it to be.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
In the Bay Area, BART is everything (Bay Area Rapid Transit). There are two BART stations in Concord that will get you to San Francisco (with a LOT of stops in between). There's also a County Connection Bus Line to get around Costa County. Taxis and rideshares are available too. All of those come with low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
The misdemeanor crimes like larceny are among the highest crime rates in this area. While 42 pickpockets or purse snatching doesn't sound like a lot, in the research I've done, this is among the higher numbers in the Bay Area. There's a 1 in 47 chance of being a victim of a theft, so we'll label that a medium risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Earthquakes and wildfires (with their residual impacts too) are the big concerns, and I want you to be prepared so we'll call it a medium risk. The city has great disaster preparation guides in seven languages to make sure the information gets to regional, national, and international travelers.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Robbery rates are about 40% higher than the national average here. That's the bad news. The good news is that there has been a five-year trend of that number dropping. In the past decade, the robbery rate has been cut in half. There's a low risk here, but it's really close to medium risk.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There's a military base here, and it's part of one of the largest population centers in the country, so that's medium risk.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are scams here, but they are targeted at locals. The biggest scam is a PG&E (the utility company) scam where scammers pretend to be a worker and ask for money to avoid power being shut off. There's a low risk for tourists.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Assuming a woman traveler is taking basic safety precautions, there's a low risk in Concord.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Tap water comes with low risk. The Costa Contra Water District says, "As the water providers to more than 500,000 people, you can count on us to provide a reliable product that exceeds all drinking water standards set by the state and federal governments, keeping our community healthy and thriving."
Safest Places to Visit in Concord
The Tourism arm of the Concord community has a great section of its website for a first-timer visit to the city.
It’s a great reference for background on the city in detail.
- Dining options representing 30 countries
- A booming craft beer scene
- Various amusement park options
- Live music and farmer’s markets often
Todos Santos is in the heart of Concord, but you’ll feel transported to a Spanish village.
Lights adorn the adobe buildings with modern charm.
There’s a park in the center to rest weary feet after walking through the shops and restaurants.
Check for local events happening here.
For example, in the summer, Tuesday nights are reserved for blues performances that have been running for nearly three decades.
While Southern California has Disneyland, Northern California has plenty of amusement parks throughout the various communities.
In Concord, you’ll find Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Pixieland.
Both offer family-friendly and safe entertainment with a little something for everyone.
You can’t visit Concord without enjoying the great outdoors.
Mount Diablo is a popular place for hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
If you make it to the top, expansive views span hundreds of miles (on a clear day) and it’s about the most Instagram-worthy moment of the whole trip.
If climbing a mountain is a little too intense, head to the valley in Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area.
You’ll get incredible views of sandstone formations and rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
Places to Avoid in Concord
To answer this question, I first go to the actual crime statistics, and then I get a feel of what dozens of residents are saying on social media.
Sometimes the two match up, other times they’re exactly opposite.
In the case of Concord, it matches up.
Crime maps show the area along Monument Boulevard has the highest crime rates, especially north of Monument.
Willow Pass Road has some areas more prone to crime.
What do locals actually say about those areas?
- “Monument Blvd is very rough. Concord is a great city, frankly. Centrally located, easy access to BART, North Bay, Sacramento, etc.”
- “Concord’s stereotypical “bad” part is the area around Monument Blvd, and it has this reputation because most of the San Ramon Valley is upper class. If you live in Danville or Walnut Creek, of course, it’s gonna seem seedy. Is it as bad as parts of Oakland or SF? lol no.”
- “A couple of sketchy areas, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. Todos Santos has really taken off.”
- Concord is a city without much of a nightlife scene past 10 p.m., so you shouldn’t be wandering the streets at night, especially not alone.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Concord
- To navigate around the San Francisco Bay area, get familiar with 511.org. This will give you real-time traffic information on major roadways. Traffic is historically bad across the Bay area and any help you can get will make you feel more comfortable traveling.
- Keep your devices charged at all times so you don’t end up with a dead battery and no power. From time to time, when a storm with expected high winds is approaching or any other condition that could start a wildfire, the utility company will to Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). This means all power is shut off to prevent power lines or transformers from starting fires.
- If a wildfire is threatening the area, evacuate. The county might issue a voluntary evacuation before a mandatory evacuation. You’ve seen enough on the news of how bad California wildfires can be and you don’t want to be in the middle of that danger. Head to safety.
- If you have a question about anything safety or emergency-related in Contra Costa County, just dial 211. There are people standing by around the clock to answer questions. You can also do a live chat on the website.
- Another useful tool during emergencies is a map, so you can “Know Your Zone.” This website lists sections of the city with specific public safety information at any given time.
- It can get hot in the summer with lots of sunny days, so don’t forget the sunscreen. You’ve probably heard how cold, clammy, and foggy the San Francisco area is. Concord is not like that.
- When visiting Mount Diablo, it isn’t a place for sandals or flip-flops. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring plenty of water, and take your time if you’re going up to the peak. Never hike alone unless you’ve told someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
- The parking garages in downtown Concord are free. For safety, park as close to an elevator as possible. If you are parking on the street, never back into a parking spot. That’s against the law and can get you ticketed or towed.
- If you see graffiti, you can call the Graffiti Hotline at (925)671-3080. Graffiti is generally a sign of gang activity and police want to clean it up as soon as possible.
- Call 911 if you are being aggressively approached by a panhandler. There are a certain number of homeless people who might panhandle in Concord. It’s against the law for them to aggressively approach you, use profane language, block your path, or approach you in a confined space like a parking structure.
So... How Safe Is Concord Really?
The violent crime rate is lower than the California average, while the property crime rate is higher.
This is a city where the less dangerous crimes are much more common.
What are your chances of being a victim of a crime?
Here’s the answer from the 2020 statistics reported to the FBI:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 296
- Robbery: 1 in 729
- Theft: 1 in 47
- Rape: 1 in 3300
It’s a very diverse community, with Latinos and Asians making up 43% of the community.
There’s racial tension when someone might tell you a certain part of town is bad, but it’s just mostly a Latino community.
While this might not be a town where you stop in any neighborhood and ask for directions, it’s definitely not an inherently safe town.
There are just nine hotel locations in the city, so you don’t have much variety as to what part of town you stay in.
I suggest checking the crime statistics closer to the time of your visit.
The police send out monthly crime reports on their website.
How Does Concord Compare?
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- Visas - You're good with the Visa once you leave the airport and no other form of ID is needed to be in Concord.
- Currency - All currency is the U.S. Dollar. Most places accept credit cards here, so there's very little need for cash. Don't take cash out of an ATM at night or in a busy public place. Go into the bank if you must. Otherwise, just use a credit card for purchases.
- Weather - Mild in the winter, hot in the summer is the easiest way to describe it. The coldest days in December and January will be near 60°(F) for highs and lows in the 40s, so bring a heavy jacket or light coat. Summers are hot with average highs near 90°(F) and those lows do dip into the cooling mid-50s.
- Airports - The closest airports are in Oakland and San Francisco, both with a 45-minute drive, but always add 30 minutes for traffic. San Jose and Sacramento airports are also options, but each is more than an hour's drive.
- Travel Insurance - You'll want travel insurance for a trip to Concord, California. Wildfires and fog can disrupt air traffic for hours or days.
Concord Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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