United States : Safety by City
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Nashua – New Hampshire’s Gate City, was settled in the 1650s as a fur trading town.
Nashua was established as a town in 1746 and a city in the 1850s.
Nashua was named for the nearby Nashua River that splits the town.
Its name, in Penacook, means beautiful stream with pebbles on the bottom.
Nashua, New Hampshire, is rich in history and located in New Hampshire’s most populous counties.
Nashua is ranked as the 2nd largest city in the northern section of New England (i.e., NH, VT, and ME) and second only to Manchester.
Nashua, located on the southern New Hampshire – Massachusetts border, covers more than 31 square miles and is home to 90,323 residents in 2021.
Nashua is strategically located.
It is only 30 minutes from the seacoast beaches, an hour to most lakes and mountains, and a great option for Boston commuters as a Boston bedroom community.
Although too small to be considered a ‘college-town,’ Nashua boasts seven higher learning institutions, including Southern New Hampshire University and Franklin Pierce College.
Nashua is a beautiful New England city with exceptional public art that offers serious biking throughout the warmer months and dynamite cross-country skiing, just outside of the city when winter rolls in.
The city is also known as a cultural hub and ranked two times as Money Magazine’s (1987 and 1997) number one ‘best place to live in America.’
Warnings & Dangers in Nashua
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Other than a few areas in Nashua’s downtown, Nashua is a relatively safe city, but still a city! The rate of violent & property crimes in Nashua falls below the New Hampshire average and significantly below the national average. It is noted that Nashua’s crime rates are more than 50% below national averages. The recent crime trend in Nashua shows a decrease of nearly 30% - year over year, with US News ranking Nashua among the ten safest cities in the nation in 2020.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
The city is served by the Nashua Transit System (aka CityBus), which offers eleven routes to various locations, which drop to only three after 7 PM. There are also paratransit and senior options. But Nashua is a city, and with that comes certain inherent risks. Be cautious and stay alert. Don’t walk alone and know where you are going.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Nashua, like most cities, has its share of pickpockets. Fortunately, there are simple but effective techniques to avoid being 'pickpocketed.' Stay un-distracted and pay attention. When in a crowded area, hold your purse close to you, or better yet, put your valuables in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Nashua is considered to have a 4-season continental humid climate. The most dangerous climate events would be heavy snowfall, typically caused by the nor-easter storm track. In addition, Nashua and New Hampshire’s risk of earthquakes and tornados fall below national averages.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The reality is that no one can altogether avoid street crime in a city. But preparedness and vigilance help mitigate the chances of being a mugging victim. Travel in groups, know where you are going, and stay alert.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Terrorism in Nashua is at a level for most American cities, although it is at least an hour from most major cities, where terrorism may be more likely to occur. The New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is the local agency tasked with managing terrorism and suspicious events.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams are a part of a digital culture but can be perpetrated on others when in person. Fraud and consumer scams are found everywhere, including Nashua. The Nashua Police Department (NPD) offers online guidance and links to federal programs regarding scams.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
As one of New Hampshire’s safest cities, women will find it safe to travel during the day if staying alert to their surroundings. Nashua's nighttime travel is safer if traveling in a group rather than alone. It is smart to take your mobile phone when traveling and research the route and location prior to your departure.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The tap water in Nashua is safe to drink. For additional information, check out Nashua’s tap water quality report for 2020 – available online. There have been no violations for the Pennichuck Water Works for the past decade.
Safest Places to Visit in Nashua
Nashua’s downtown offers a charming example of why Nashua is such a great city.
The downtown area is Nashua’s most walkable part, although much of Nashua is easily explored by bike.
The downtown area of Nashua, NH, is home to an eclectic mix that includes wine bars, gift boutiques, people-watching perches, award-winning restaurants, and Irish pubs, to name a few.
Nashua is an outdoor lover’s haven. Mine Falls Park offers many trails through its beautiful setting that can be traversed by foot or bicycle.
Before heading out, get the Mine Falls Trail Guide. Greeley Park provides a chance to relax in nature, and it offers picnic tables and grills.
Head over to SkyVenture, a Nashua company that offers skydiving simulation and rock climbing (among other activities) for the more adventurous types.
Shoppers, check out Pheasant Lane Mall if you wish to pass on skydiving. Indoor sports lovers should consider visiting Conway Arena or Bobo’s Indoor Playground.
Nashua is home to several microbreweries and distilleries.
These include Djinn Spirits, Spyglass Brewing, Millyard Brewery (which also offers live music), and IncrediBREW, to name a few.
History buffs will find the Nashua Historical Society offers a rich historical perspective of the area.
Placess to Avoid in Nashua
Most of Nashua and much of New Hampshire are safe from an overall perspective.
The downtown area has two rougher neighborhoods (compared to Nashua overall).
These include French Hill (east of Nashua’s downtown) and the tree street area in downtown, although some consider the downtown area defined by ‘number streets’ can also have spillover crime from the ‘tree streets.’
Avoid unfamiliar areas and carry a mobile phone for emergencies if traveling alone.
With a 2020 crime rate that falls 42% below the average of US locations, Nashua is safe to travel if you are well-prepared and cautious.
Commercial locations that close for the evening should be avoided unless necessary to travel there.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Nashua
- When traveling to Nashua in the winter, be certain to check the local weather reports frequently. New Hampshire experiences super cold air, and at times, it can be snowy. Dress appropriately for extreme temperatures.
- New Hampshire is home to some amazing lakes that freeze in winter. Ice fishing or a walk across Lake Winnipesaukee (the largest in New Hampshire) can be dangerous without understanding how to stay safe on the ice.
- Choose a hotel or service that provides travelers with an in-room lockbox. Take the time to place valuables and important documents to ensure they are kept safe, whether you are in the room or not.
- A nighttime stroll in the downtown area is safe if you walk well-lit streets, avoid isolated areas, and walk with two or more travelers. If you do walk alone, carry a high-decibel alarm. Carry only what you need.
- Never flash expensive jewelry, costly digital equipment, or large amounts of cash when walking anywhere.
- If your furry family member is traveling to Nashua with you, check out these off-leash parks in the city and pet-friendly hotels in the greater Nashua area.
- When making reservations that require a deposit as a hold, choose trustworthy, well-known businesses and use a credit card so you can dispute errant room charges.
- Before leaving for your destination, take a moment to copy important documents related to finances and travel. Travel with an extra copy and give a friend or family member the information as well.
- New England offers some of the most scenic landscapes when fall arrives, and the leaves turn every imaginable color. But reserve early because the best, safest locations fills up first in the fall – and fast.
- For those wishing to travel to New Hampshire’s 13 miles of coastline, note that the temperatures, even in mid-summer, are much chillier than water found along with points south of the state. Only the hardiest of swimmers (often with a wetsuit) can stay in New Hampshire’s coastal waters for more than a few minutes. The average temperature in August for the seacoast waters is 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
So... How Safe Is Nashua Really?
By most people’s standards, Nashua is considered a safe city, especially when compared to other cities of similar size across the country.
Travelers who are proactively cautious and well-informed will find it simple to enjoy all that Nashua has to offer safely.
But Nashua is a city, and with that comes a certain level of crime.
Use common sense, trust your instinct, and reach out to local officials for guidance to ensure your visit to New Hampshire’s Gate City is enjoyable and safe.
How Does Nashua Compare?
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- Visas - For visa information, it is best to check out the website of the United States Department of State's Consular Affairs Bureau. This is the federal agency responsible for new and renewal passports. The Consular Affairs Bureau requires weeks before issuing a visa as a government agency. This lead time can be cut by using a private firm that specializes in expedited services for a fee.
- Currency - New Hampshire uses the US Dollar as its currency, and Nashua is home to a variety of financial companies offering currency exchange services. Note that ATMs are readily available, with most merchants accepting both debit and credit cards for payment.
- Weather - Nashua is in a four-season zone, offering humid/muggy warm summers and, at times, long, frigid winters, with about 55 inches of snow each year. The average temperature in July is about 71 degrees, and with approximately 10 days that reach 90 degrees or higher. Most rate the summer months best for outdoor activities and September for the best, most comfortable weather.
- Airports - Nashua is served by the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MBRA), a public airport a few miles from Nashua’s central business district. MBRA, with airlines like Southwest, US Airways, United, and Delta, serves more than 75,000 take-offs and landings each year. However, Boston's Logan International Airport is a little less than one hour away is Boston’s Logan International Airport, which offers bus service to Nashua.
- Travel Insurance - Travelers insurance offers travelers protection against typical risks faced when traveling. The coverage varies but may include injuries or illness of an insured traveler or reimbursement for canceled reservations.