Connecticut : Safety by City
- East Hartford
- New Haven
- New London
- Old Saybrook
- West Hartford
- Windsor Locks
Glastonbury, Connecticut, stands out in a lot of ways.
Mainly for what it does have and what it doesn’t have.
There’s a lot of history in this state but when you dig into Glastonbury, you really see how it sets itself apart.
There’s a park that remains on the land of an abandoned city where reclusive religious worshippers tried through two wars to survive but the city was inevitably abandoned.
Inside Glastonbury is a census-designated area called Glastonbury Center.
This dense retail and residential area provide the only commercial activity to be found in the entire city.
East of Highway 2, all you’ll find are homes, parks, and orchards with some farmer’s markets sprinkled in between.
Glastonbury is known for its annual Apple Harvest & Music Festival every October, but you can pick your own fresh fruit and veggies throughout the growing seasons here.
There are just three hotels in the city and they are in the upper northwest region near the border with Hartford.
Downtown Hartford is just 10 miles away.
Glastonbury has a reputation for being a little uppity, but that perspective depends on where you come from and how you approach people.
Warnings & Dangers in Glastonbury
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a very low risk here. This is a city almost in a different time period, close to the big city but secluded from many of the normal retail regalia except for the Glastonbury Center. Crime rates overall are very low too.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
CT Transit provides a handful of bus stops as part of a greater route to Hartford and the other surrounding cities. There's not a full-time option to take a bus around Glastonbury. You can call a taxi or rideshare. There's low risk when using these services, but a car is almost required to be able to explore the city.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were no pickpockets reported in 2020 and just 377 thefts total. This is a low-risk area, but that could change when you get into Hartford. Don't let your guard down.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
The main risk here is the winter weather, which is normal but will catch you off guard if you aren't used to a lot of snow. Blizzards and heavy snowfall can reduce movement in the area, and heavy snow on trees can cause power outages. You'll get run-of-the-mill thunderstorms in spring and summer. Some could get severe, but it's not the most at-risk area for tornadoes. You could also deal with the remnants of a tropical storm that comes inland and drops a lot of rain. Overall, the weather is low risk if you are prepared for it.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were just two robberies in Glastonbury in 2020. One was in a house and the other in a bank. There's a low risk of you getting mugged.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The city itself isn't a hard target, but the entire region is at a medium risk just because terrorists like to target high-population areas. Since nearby Hartford is the state capital, there's a higher risk there too.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
This isn't a city designed for tourists, so there aren't dominant scams against tourists. There's a low risk you'll have a problem in Glastonbury.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should feel safe here. There's a low risk of anything dangerous happening and you are more like to sprain an ankle hiking than be a victim of a crime.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Tap water is safe for businesses but some property owners have private wells that could deal with contamination issues. They are expected to get their water tested themselves, so it's impossible to know if a home's water is safe without asking the owner.
Safest Places to Visit in Glastonbury
You’ll want to get all your grocery shopping, retail shopping, and restaurant meals in Glastonbury Center.
That’s the retail hub of the city and provides everything from fast food to retail dining.
The Shops at Somerset Square and the Griswold Shopping Center are two of the town’s favorites.
Further east in the city, you’ll mostly have supermarkets that are more like farmer’s markets.
The Glastonbury Ferry takes people and vehicles/bicycles across the Connecticut River to Rocky Hill.
This ferry is the longest-running ferry service nationwide, having started in 1655, and was once powered by houses.
It’s $5 per car and $2 per person.
The heart of the community is at The Old Cider Mill.
This is once again a history-making attraction, as no other cider mill in the nation has operated continuously as long as this one.
Here you can buy everything from a t-shirt to apple fritters to a baby chick.
Seasonally, you can get fruit, flowers, pumpkins, Christmas trees, and all kinds of crafts.
There are hayrides and locally made maple syrup.
Apples aren’t the only things growing here.
There’s Crystal Ridge Winery, a boutique winery on 250 acres in the south region of town.
Beer lovers can visit Hops on the Hill with farm-to-table brews and walk through the rows of hops and tobacco being farmed.
You can also get some hard cider here.
Gay City State Park has an incredible amount of history in the woods, but you won’t notice it if you’re not looking for it.
This is where, in 1796, a group of people settled here to live in seclusion and religious freedom.
They built several mills throughout the years here, and each time either war or devastating fire knocked down the dreams of the Gay family and its neighbors.
After the Civil War, many of the young men who lived here were killed.
Another mill fire made the city a ghost town.
There are still remnants of the mill and homes, maybe a tombstone every now and then in the woods.
That’s all that’s left and people have reported supernatural sites in these woods.
Places to Avoid in Glastonbury
The far northwest corner of the city is the most dangerous, according to crime maps.
That’s where it connects with the much larger city of Hartford as well.
It’s also the most congested part of the city.
However, looking at the actual crime statistics, there isn’t a reason to avoid that area at all.
This is a very low-crime community.
Things change dramatically when you get into Hartford, however.
Avoid visiting here in the winter if you don’t have an AWD or 4WD vehicle.
There are a lot of two-lane roads in Glastonbury, some of them quite narrow and winding.
I can only imagine how beautiful this city is in the fall, as there are a lot of homes on large lots surrounded by rolling hills and filled with trees.
Avoid getting distracted too much by those sights, because again – winding, narrow roads.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Glastonbury
- Currently, I can’t find a single home for rent for a vacationer in Glastonbury. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, but they are few and far between. If you do find one, make sure the landlord can prove they have a rental license and never send money via wire ahead of time.
- The parks in the area are free for locals, but tourists will have to spend $10-$15 to park in the parks. You can bicycle in for free, but many attractions in Connecticut do have a local vs. non-resident price. Be sure to research ahead of time so you can budget.
- Some of the park areas, especially if you go deep into the woods on the east side of town, might not have good mobile phone service. Be sure to let someone know you are going into the park and when you plan to return.
- You’ll need good hiking boots or snow boots to enjoy the outdoors here. There are a lot of hills and some loose rocks. Expect some places to be muddy since this area gets a decent amount of rain and snow each year.
- If you do use the ferry, it’s worth knowing it’s not a giant ferry like you might see in Seattle. From the looks of it on the website, it can only hold three vehicles at a time, so there might be a line to get across the river.
- Glastonbury Police have an interactive crime dashboard on its website where you can see the most recent crimes and the exact locations of those crimes. You can search by type of crime and see monthly reports. There’s also a daily police blotter. The department is very transparent about crimes here. What’s interesting as I am looking at it now – it seems Wednesday is the day a crime is most likely to occur.
- For hunting and fishing in Glastonbury and all of Connecticut, you’ll need a license from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. It is easy to get online before you go.
- You can tell the police department isn’t happy with the number of car thefts here. There is a category on its website with a lot of information on how to prevent car theft. The crime data shows that 66 cars were stolen in 2020 at a value of nearly $2 million. In addition, 55% of the thefts that happened were from car break-ins. This is an area where people might leave their car running to warm it up on a cold day or forget to lock it because the area is “so safe.” Don’t be that person. Lock up the car and keep all valuables out of plain sight or take them with you. The average cost of a car break-in theft was $6.
- If you are buying anything here, there is a strict “recyclable only” bag law. If you have your own bags to use for purchases, that’s ideal. Stores will also have the option to buy reusable bags near the checkout counters.
- If a hurricane or a winter storm is heading toward Glastonbury during your visit, please consider rescheduling the trip. These storms can shut down the entire city, leave power out for days at a time, and cause dangerous conditions like fallen trees and downed power lines. Even if YOU are tough enough to weather the storm, you might be miserable and trapped in a storm shelter most of the time.
So... How Safe Is Glastonbury Really?
It’s really night and day compared to nearby Hartford.
There were just 12 violent crimes in this city in 2020 and only three were against strangers.
The city hasn’t had more than 30 violent crimes in a year since 2010.
Only two robberies happened and one of them was in a home.
Since 2010, there haven’t been more than 10 robberies a year.
There hasn’t been a homicide here since at least 2010.
The biggest risk is car theft and car break-ins, fueled by people who leave their car running to get warmed up or forget to lock the door or roll up a window.
The safety comes with the price of not having a lot to do here and if you don’t like the outdoors you’ll be especially bored.
Even the retail area on the west side is just a traditional area with restaurants you can find in any town.
If you are visiting family here, you’ll love the picturesque community with no traffic or hustle and bustle.
How Does Glastonbury Compare?
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- Visas - The Visa requirements get handled at the airport, so you'll be able to enter Glastonburg with no additional processing.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is used here. There aren't any currency exchanges in town, so make sure you take care of that in Hartford.
- Weather - Winter is going to be a wonderland of snow (and maybe some ice). Three feet of snow falls each winter here. It can snow into April as well, so always check the weather forecast as you're packing. It can get bitterly cold here in the winter, so lots of warm layers will go a long way. Summers do get warm enough to swim in a pool or lake, but the nights get chilly, so always bring a jacket.
- Airports - The Hartford airport is just 10 miles away and the best option for flying in and out of the region. The New Haven airport is 42 miles away.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance will cover everything from a slip and fall while hiking to rescheduling a trip due to a winter storm. Make sure the insurance does cover "acts of nature", however.
Glastonbury Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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