New York : Safety by City
- Fair Haven
- Greenport Village
- Lake George
- Lake Placid
- Long Island
- Mt Vernon
- New Paltz
- New Rochelle
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
- Saranac Lake
- Saratoga Springs
- Seneca Falls
- Shelter Island
- Sleepy Hollow
- Watkins Glen
- White Plains
Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County, New York, located just 16 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.
Its proximity to New York City provides convenient access to all the entertainment, culture, and employment opportunities that the Big Apple has to offer.
Mount Vernon is also just north of the Bronx.
Commuting to Manhattan takes as little as 30 minutes by train.
Mount Vernon has been a popular suburb of New York City since the mid-19th century when it became an attractive retreat for city-dwellers.
Today, it retains much of its historic charm, with Victorian homes and buildings dating back over a century.
In addition to its rich history and architecture, Mount Vernon offers ample green spaces, including over 100 acres of parkland.
Nearby is the Long Island Sound, where one can enjoy beaches and waterfront activities just a short drive away.
The Hamptons and other beach destinations are also very accessible.
It’s not the safest or most stunning part of Westchester County, but if you’re going to visit there, we have everything you need to know below.
Warnings & Dangers in Mt Vernon
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here with above-average crime rates historically. While the north end of town is safer, it's still worth reviewing all the safety steps below. We also don't have a lot of things to do in the city to help find safer places.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You'll be able to get taxis, rideshares, buses, and trains. MTA (aka Metro) and Bee Line are the public transportation systems. A rental car is another option, but expect to pay for parking anywhere you go in the NYC Metro area.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Four pickpockets or purse snatchings were reported in 2022, so the risk is low, but you also need a big-city protective attitude to keep it that way. Thefts jumped 50% in 2022, which could raise this risk if that trend continues.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
You need to be on the lookout for disruptive weather throughout the year, giving it a medium risk. Winter brings blustery cold, snow, and ice storms. Spring and summer can have severe thunderstorms with flash flooding. Hurricane Season from June through November heats up in August through October. Nor'easters pick up in October through May.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
While this is a town where if you use smart personal safety steps, you'll have a low risk, it's also a place with a higher-than-average robbery rate, and turning down the wrong street could lead to a dangerous area.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Any place this close to NYC will come with a medium risk but also a lot of security. You can read the Homeland Security Terrorism Advisory Bulletin to learn about the latest threats and how to report suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
As a highly residential area, the scams here are targeting residents, not tourists. Always be on the lookout for someone who is fast-talking with a deal that seems too good to be true. Check the police department's fraud website to see the latest scams or report any new information.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women need to have street smarts here, and it's ideal to travel with at least one other person. Ideally, you'll be in a group. It's the same medium risk as everyone else, but I recommend you stay north of Lincoln Avenue if you want to be in the safest part of town.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. The city's website lists the hydrant flushing days, which can impact water pressure, color, and texture for a short time. The risk is low, but stay informed.
Safest Places to Visit in Mt Vernon
This is not the same location as George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia, 15 miles south of Washington, D.C.
There isn’t a tourism guide available for Mount Vernon, likely due to it being highly residential.
You can use the Visit Westchester County guide to look for places near Mount Vernon.
In the city, downtown runs along 4th Street, which turns into Gramatan Avenue.
You’ll find stores, restaurants, and other businesses here.
Heading north of Lincoln on Gramatan at Grand, the Fleetwood section of town is considered a safer and more upscale part of the community.
This is the best place in town for a fine dining meal or a trending hot spot.
Dating back to 1761, Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site allows you to step back in time to colonial America.
This is one of the most notable places to visit in Mount Vernon.
Don’t miss the intricate Georgian architecture, artifacts from the pre-Revolutionary era, including one of the oldest organs in the country, and early 20th-century stained-glass windows.
Luangisa African Gallery is an art gallery and cultural center located in Mount Vernon, NY.
It features African artifacts, textiles, jewelry, and contemporary artworks that celebrate Pan-African culture.
The gallery hosts receptions, concerts, lectures, and children’s workshops to share and promote African and African Diaspora arts, history, and traditions with the community.
Willson’s Woods Park offers hiking trails through shady forests filled with towering oaks, maples, and hickories.
Explore the diverse ecosystems, look for wildlife, and enjoy scenic views of the river from secluded benches along the paths.
With its peaceful wooded setting right in Mount Vernon, it’s the perfect nature escape just steps from the city.
Places to Avoid in Mt Vernon
Lincoln Avenue is the general dividing line between the safer and more dangerous parts of Mount Vernon.
The northside is safer.
South, and especially southwest of Lincoln, the crime rates go up quickly.
The closer you get to the Bronx, the higher the crime rates will be.
This is a place where you definitely want to avoid just driving around looking for something to do.
Always have a destination in mind and pick major roads and surface streets to get there.
Don’t haphazardly drive through neighborhoods.
Since Yonkers borders the western edge of town, read our article about that city before you go there.
Always avoid fighting back if you are the victim of a crime.
Don’t chase after someone who broke into your car or fight with a robber for your wallet.
It’s not worth risking your life with the number of gun crimes in this city.
The best you can do is be a good witness and remember as much as you can.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Mt Vernon
- Mount Vernon does have its own police department. Given that there are so many cities named Mount Vernon in the country, be sure you follow @mtvernonpoliceNY on Facebook or @mtvernonpolice on Instagram to get the right one. You can also call them at (914) 665-2500.
- You have to dig a little bit into the police department’s website to get to the crime statistics, but it’s worth the effort. Go to “About Us” and then “Statistics.” The numbers are updated each month, and you can also read the previous year’s annual report. This is a great way to track crime rates closer to your visit.
- Check the rules about where you can park, as the city uses alternate-side parking rules. You should also know the rules about where to park if there’s snow on the ground.
- If you come across a pothole, you can easily report it by calling (914)665-2465. This will help keep the streets safer for everyone. There’s also an interactive map on the city’s website to “Report a Concern,” where you can add an issue or see issues that others reported.
- Sign up for emergency alerts and severe weather notifications through NY Alerts. You can pick alerts by region. You’ll be in Westchester County while staying in Mount Vernon.
- To use the Bee Line and Metro public transportation systems, buy a Metro Card. This will give you discounts on the bus system around Westchester County as well as easy access to the train. It’s strongly advised not to walk to or from the train station at night alone.
- YouTube fans should check out the City of Mount Vernon page @CMVNYTV. You’ll get a mix of local businesses, events, and city updates.
- Use NY 511 to track traffic and real-time road conditions throughout the state. If you create an account, you can set alerts for your preferred route. Live cameras are also available along many of the major highways and interstates.
- Before you swim in any river or visit a beach nearby, check the water quality status through the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. You’ll also need to visit that website if you want to purchase a fishing license.
- Mount Vernon is prone to flooding in heavy rain. Don’t ever drive through a flooded road since you don’t know how deep it is or how damaged the road is underneath. If the power goes out, you should call the ConEd power company, not the police.
So... How Safe Is Mt Vernon Really?
Mount Vernon isn’t the safest place, but it’s far from one of the most dangerous cities in New York.
Violent crime is 35% higher than the national average and 23% higher than the state average.
By mid-2023, violent crime was up 12% year-to-year.
Over the past decade, the city has become safer, with a violent crime drop of 42%.
There’s just still a way to go before it’s considered a safe town.
Thefts went up almost 50% between 2021 and 2022, which is one of the highest jumps I’ve seen year-to-year in any property crime category for any city.
Part of that is fueled by a 50% increase in shoplifting.
Car break-ins and car accessory thefts were up 56%.
About three car thefts happen each week here.
On top of that, there are a lot of corruption allegations within the police department, which isn’t really a rabbit hole worth going down for those just visiting.
It’s just another problem that keeps crime rates from going down.
When you add that to Mount Vernon being a highly residential area without many things to do, there are really better options for tourists in Westchester County.
Even nearby New Rochelle is a whole different (and safer) story.
How Does Mt Vernon Compare?
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||43|
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
- Visas - International visitors need a visa or visa waiver. Your eligibility for that is determined by several factors. Review the process on the U.S. State Department website. A passport that isn't within six months of expiring is required as well.
- Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. While the international airports in the New York City metro area all have currency exchange options, you can find the lowest fees at your home bank or a local branch of a bank where you're already a customer.
- Weather - Plan for four robust seasons, with cold winters and warm, humid summers. Bug spray is needed from spring through fall. Mount Vernon gets the national average of snow each year, so you'll likely avoid needed heaping piles of snow gear. It can get cold. Check the seven-day forecast before you arrive. Comfortable walking shoes will be important since you'll be exploring a lot.
- Airports - LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark are the major airports in NYC. They are between 20 and 35 miles away from Mount Vernon. Travel times vary based on heavy traffic. Westchester County does have an airport less than 20 miles north, but the travel options aren't as plentiful as the other three.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance helps give peace of mind against weather delays or cancelations, plus covers most costs of accidents or injuries. It's worth the investment to spend more time enjoying your trip than worrying about potential problems.
Mt Vernon Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|