How Safe Is Laconia for Travel?

Updated On June 1, 2023
Laconia, United States
Safety Index:
74
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Laconia, New Hampshire, has been through many iterations to become a tourist destination in The Lakes region.

It wasn’t until after the French and Indian War that Laconia could be settled, and settlers built mills.

At first, it was to keep self-sufficient.

Once the railroad arrived, distribution picked up.

Tourism picked up, too, once people got a look at the mix of mountains and lakes.

Laconia’s location, tucked between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee, was ideal for the summer tourist crowd.

Now it has blossomed into a four-season destination, with one of the most charming Christmas celebrations you can find on the Eastern Seaboard.

You’re close to the ocean, mountains, and right on the lake.

The town still managed to hold onto its historic roots and small-town charm while appealing to the masses who want to escape city life, even if just for a long weekend.

Don’t miss the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, one of the nation’s oldest and largest motorcycle rallies, attracting thousands of enthusiasts from around the world.

Laconia is also known for Bike Week, New Hampshire’s Pumpkin Festival, and the Laconia Multicultural Festival.

Warnings & Dangers in Laconia

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here, but the city does have a bit of an edge to it. Drug use has been an ongoing problem here. Don't let that scare you off, but this IS a travel safety story, so we'll talk through the risks and best practices to stay safe.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

You'll need your own vehicle to get around, as public transportation is limited to rides for seniors. There's a taxi company in town, and rideshares are likely to be offered, but check with your favorite vendor. Trolley service has been available in the past, but it's unclear if that's still operating to take people to the beach.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Just two pickpockets have been reported in the past five years. 15% of all thefts are related to car break-ins. About 15 bikes are stolen each year. The low risk gets even lower by using smart safety practices, like not leaving your stuff on the beach unattended while going for a swim.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

You should treat this area as a medium risk due to potential throughout the year. Hurricanes, nor'easters, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, and high winds can cause problems during various seasons. Even a small storm can cause problems if there's lightning and you're on the water.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Robberies are down more than 600% since 2013, with just three robberies reported in 2021. There was an armed robbery in 2022 after dark where a woman was robbed of her purse and mobile device. Even the low risk here shouldn't make you let your guard down.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The risk is low, but the police department does regular active shooter and hazmat training to be ready, just in case.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

I don't see any scams that stand out here, but the typical "grandparents" scam and housing scams happen. The best way to be scammer-savvy is to review the latest Better Business Bureau updates and check the social media sites of the city and police. If you're renting a home, no legitimate rental company will ask you to wire money in advance of your stay.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

There was a spike in aggravated felonious sexual assault in 2021, with 28 incidents, up from 12 in 2020. While tourists weren't targeted, it's a good idea to keep your guard up when you're socializing, especially if alcohol is involved. The risk is low, but that spike in 2021 is enough to mention it.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The latest water quality report posted on the city website is from 2020, meaning the testing was done in 2019. By law, the water district must make these available to people. You can call (603)524-0901 to request an updated copy. You should always check the social media sites for the city because real water quality concerns will happen during flooding, water main breaks, or hydrant flushing. Those items wouldn't be included in the annual report. You don't have to worry about the water, but you should stay informed.

Safest Places to Visit in Laconia

The Laconia city website has a “Visitors” section with some basic tourism information.

LakesRegion.org covers Laconia and all the other small towns sprinkled throughout the nine lakes.

WeirsBeach.com has some good information but also a long list of historic photos on the main page that can take a while to load.

Weirs Beach is the biggest draw to this region, known as “Where Lake Winnipesaukee Begins.”

With its sandy beach, scenic views, and lively boardwalk, it offers something for everyone.

Endicott Rock Historic Site is also at the beach, with what could be the oldest monument in New England, dating back to 1652.

I swear I thought my glasses needed a good cleaning when I saw the website for Cruise Mount Washington.

Turns out, I wasn’t seeing things.

This boat tour has been going strong since 1872!

Scenic boat tours, sunset rides, and even haunted boat trips are just a handful of options.

You’ll have a hard time finding any information about Cook’s Candy Kitchen online, but you should definitely stop by this sweet treat while you’re at Weirs Beach.

If you’re looking for a beach that isn’t as touristy, try Bartlett Beach or Opechee Cove/Point. At night, take in a show at the Weirs Drive-In Theatre.

You can also learn the history of “Lake Winni” at the museum in Laconia.

For a rainy day activity or an “indoor day,” visit Funspot.

This is an amusement park, of sorts, with bowling, a bar, an arcade, bingo, and rides for kids.

Everyone in the family will find something to do here, and it’s open year-round.

Just west of Weirs Beach, there are six COUNT ‘EM, SIX state forests to visit, all within a three-mile area.

Two of them are on the water.

You can head to downtown Laconia to shop the stores and check out the mill lining the waterfront that propelled this town into American history.

Visit the Belknap Mill, “Where Art & History Come to Life.”

Places to Avoid in Laconia

The safest parts of town are where you’d be staying anyway—near the lakes.

Since tourism is a big industry here, you’ll get more surveillance and security than in some run-down parts of the city.

The homeless camp at the end of Spruce Street was causing problems as the transients spread out over 25 acres of woods.

While it’s not near any main parts of town, it’s rattling the neighborhood.

It does back up to the Happy Tails Dog Park if you’re traveling with pets.

Wyatt Park has seen several incidents of crime, so it’s best to avoid that area out of an abundance of caution.

Even if you’re used to driving in snow, you should know when it’s worth the risk and when you need just to stay put.

For those visiting during Bike Week and renting a car, use extra caution while driving.

144 accidents involving motorcycles happened in the month of the event.

“You know motorcycles are difficult to see sometimes in traffic and intersections.

We ask motorists to be aware.

Check twice at the intersections; check your blind spots before changing lanes,” said Chris Vetter with the New Hampshire State Police.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Laconia

  1. Laconia has its own police department. You find them on Twitter @LaconiaNHPolice and on Facebook under “Laconia Police Department.”
  2. You can use the Tip411 app to report any suspicious activity, as you might notice something important during your visit. Even if it looks like a shady group of people up to no good, your gut instinct could lead to an arrest. You can also text LACONIA to 847411 to send information. This isn’t to be used during emergency situations.
  3. Use the interactive Community Crime Map on the police department’s website to search for crimes in different parts of town. For example, I looked for aggravated assaults within the past six months near Weirs Beach and found none.
  4. Anglers need a fishing license from the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game. Be sure to get the freshwater license unless you also plan to fish on the seacoast. Then you need both licenses or a combo license.
  5. Bond Beach is a place reserved just for local residents and taxpayers, which means if you don’t own property here, you aren’t welcome. Enjoy one of the other three beaches in town.
  6. Only Bond Beach is provided lifeguards, so the tourist beaches are unsupervised by the safety help lifeguards provide. Please keep an eye on children especially, but also poor swimmers or people showing signs of heat exhaustion.
  7. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services updates the Healthy Swimmer Map regularly in the summer. You should check this before choosing a beach, as even the same body of water can have different water quality in certain areas.
  8. The lakes here are prone to causing Swimmer’s Itch, and warning signs should be posted around the highest-risk areas. You can also limit the impact of the itch by showering immediately after swimming. It’s not contagious or lethal, but it sure is annoying.
  9. Laconia is one of those towns where the parking rules can vary by street location. Parts of downtown on Beacon Street have reverse-angle parking, which means backing into an angled parking spot. There’s a document on the city’s website showing you how to do it.
  10. The city can send email alerts about various issues if you sign up for the ones you want. I recommend including the Alert Center options and the beaches, but you don’t need to subscribe to the full list.

So... How Safe Is Laconia Really?

Laconia is a great place to visit, but there’s an underbelly of criminal activity and addiction for those who live here.

At one point in 2017, drug overdoses impacted one out of every 188 Laconia residents.

Those numbers are surging again.

It’s less about the crimes that happen here and more about the small-town safe embrace residents expect.

In the summer of 2022, a woman walking down the road at night was robbed by force.

In early 2023, a series of car vandalism took over a neighborhood, with valuables left behind but a lot of damage done.

“It’s just very unsettling for living in such a small town for this to happen to us,” said Jill’s husband, Chris.

“It wasn’t targeted, but it just makes you feel less safe in small-town America.”

The homelessness issue plagues several New Hampshire towns, with not enough resources to help people get back on their feet but also a community living in fear of certain sections of town.

Poverty, drugs, and homelessness fuel the crimes that do happen here.

While the violent crime rate is 25% lower than the national average, the sexual assault rate that’s four times higher than the national average warranted some deeper research.

I was disgusted to see how many of these crimes involved juveniles.

As a visitor, you’ll be less likely to notice the challenges.

What we can take from this is the value of locking car doors and looking for a secure or monitored parking lot.

You should also avoid taking any pills from anyone, ever, unless they are a registered pharmacy.

In one overdose case, a teenager took a pain pill to numb the sting of a new tattoo.

He was found dead in his room the next morning by his mother.

The pill had been laced with fentanyl.

Common sense, basic safety prevention, and situational awareness will go a long way here.

It’s still a beautiful location to visit, and the tourism industry will help keep tax money coming in to fix some of the long-term problems.

How Does Laconia Compare?

CitySafety Index
Laconia74
San Diego67
Miami55
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need a passport and visa or visa waiver. Eligibility for the waiver depends largely on your home country. Tourism visas take the longest, so start early.

Currency

Currency

The U.S. Dollar will be the only currency you can use anywhere in the United States. You should take care of this at home since your bank will give you the lowest fees. You can also use a local branch of your bank if there's one in Laconia.

Weather

Weather

You'll get four robust seasons, so plan accordingly. Even in summer, you still want a sweater, hoodie, or jacket since the nights can be cool. Hiking boots that are well-worn will be essential to enjoy the trails. Boat shoes and water shoes are great for lake activities. Bring bug spray and sunscreen too.

Airports

Airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is an hour south. Please note that this is NOT Boston Logan in the city of Boston. That larger airport is 90 minutes away. If you're traveling through Maine, Portland International Jetport is two hours east.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance just makes sense in a place so prone to severe and winter weather mixed with the outdoor risks that could lead to costly urgent care treatments.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Laconia Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -6° C
Feb -5° C
Mar 0° C
Apr 7° C
May 14° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 10° C
Nov 4° C
Dec -3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-1161320252827231582
Low
°C
-11-10-617131615114-1-7
High
°F
303443556877828173594636
Low
°F
121421344555615952393019

New Hampshire - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Derry79
Exeter83
Gorham77
Hampton Beach68
Hanover81
Keene76
Laconia74
LinWood78
Littleton78
Meredith79
Nashua78
North Conway76
Pembroke73
Piscataquog73
Pittsburg70
Sunapee82
West Lebanon79
Wolfeboro82

Where to Next?

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