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
New Rochelle, New York, hugs the Long Island Sound in a historic and vibrant Westchester County city.
Founded in 1688, New Rochelle was one of the first European settlements in what would become New York State.
Today, New Rochelle retains its small-town charm while also offering urban amenities with a population of 83,000.
It’s among the top 10 largest cities in the state.
The walkable downtown area features unique shops, restaurants, and historic sites like the Thomas Paine cottage.
Just off I-95, New Rochelle is easily accessible from New York City, and the Bronx is just eight miles away.
The city encompasses over 10 square miles and includes the neighborhoods of Downtown, North Avenue, Webster Avenue, Boulevard Gardens, Sutton Manor, and more.
Visitors can stroll through the beautiful Hudson Park along the coastline or take the kids to Five Islands Park for a mini-golf adventure.
Local events are held throughout the year, giving a chance to experience a strong sense of community.
New Rochelle also served as inspiration for famed painter Norman Rockwell, who lived and worked in this community for 25 years.
He famously said, “Some of my happiest years were spent in New Rochelle.”
Hopefully, you can visit to see what makes the city so special.
Warnings & Dangers in New Rochelle
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here with plenty of things to do indoors and outdoors, with lowering violent crime rates each year.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You'll have plenty of options here. The Circuit shuttle is a free ride to the top places in New Rochelle.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
With an average of four pickpockets a year, the risk is low. Keep using those smart safety practices, like carrying only what you need and keeping your purse or wallet close to your body. Veo Ride electric scooters are available for rent. Plenty of taxis and rideshares are readily available. The Bee Line bus system goes around Westchester County, and the Metro North train can take you to New York City. There are a lot of options and a low risk with all of them.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Being on the Long Island Sound, flooding risks will be associated with everything from hurricanes to nor'easters. Winter storms can be brutal and extreme temperatures can peak in summer and winter. Severe thunderstorms can ruin a day planned outside. It's a medium risk because the potential exists year-round.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Robberies were at their lowest rates since 2019 in 2022 and nearly 40% lower than the national average. About half of those are highway robberies, so you still want to keep aware of your surroundings, but the risk is low.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
This is a low risk, with New York City being the nearest city with a medium risk. The best thing a tourist can do is report any suspicious activity. The most recent Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security will offer an overview of international and domestic terrorism risks in the country.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk for tourists as most scams here are garden variety and target the local residents. You can search the police department's social media sites for new scams or fraud reports.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This is another low-risk with plenty of things to do, whether you're a single mom traveling with kids, going for a getaway with your besties, or traveling alone. Just keep using the same safety steps you would in any new city.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report from Westchester Joint Water Works shows full compliance and no violations. If you have additional questions about the water quality, you can call (914)698-3500.
Safest Places to Visit in New Rochelle
I’m quickly learning that most Westchester County cities don’t have their own tourism website.
The information comes through the “Visit Westchester County” or local city websites.
You can also use the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, New Rochelle Council on the Arts, or the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) websites.
The BID website has an updated list of new businesses and restaurants.
Also available for download is a walking tour of the Hall of Fame that winds through the town.
One of the top spots to check out is Glen Island Park.
This 100-acre park features picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, a beach, and a marina.
It’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors with beautiful views of the sound.
Families will love the mini golf course, carousel, and paddle boating options.
For art lovers, the Hudson Park Library showcases rotating exhibits by local artists in their gallery space.
The library also hosts events like author talks and children’s programs.
Don’t miss their annual art show each spring.
Fans of history will enjoy a stop at the Thomas Paine Historical Site.
The 18th-century farmhouse is where Thomas Paine wrote his famous revolutionary pamphlet Common Sense.
Costumed guides offer tours and share stories about Paine’s life.
There’s also a museum filled with artifacts and exhibits.
Shopping is a must in New Rochelle’s lively downtown.
Stroll along North Avenue to find boutiques, galleries, antique stores, and more.
The weekly farmers market is held here and features fresh produce, baked goods, and local craft vendors.
A great rainy day activity is the Encore Esports competitive gaming venue.
This is the only one of its kind in Westchester County.
Places to Avoid in New Rochelle
New Rochelle’s crime rates and developments have changed so much in the past five to 10 years that it’s important to talk with your concierge about any rough parts of town.
You can also use the Spot Crime map on the police department’s website to see the latest crime hot spots
Being on the water means New Rochelle is especially prone to the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms.
In 2021, the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit New Rochelle as a tropical storm and dumped eight inches of rain.
That devastated the community, and you might see signs of rebuilding for years to come.
Follow the National Hurricane Center if you’re visiting between June and November, with a special focus on August through October.
Watch your step in the winter.
The sidewalks here are known to be icy, even with laws requiring businesses and homeowners to clear the way on their respective stretches of sidewalk.
Safety Tips for Traveling to New Rochelle
- New Rochelle does have a police department. You can call (914) 654-2300 with any specific questions. They are on Facebook @NewRochellePoliceDepartment and Instagram @newrochellepolice.
- The police department issues what is one of the best annual reports I’ve seen in all my research. It clearly lays out crime rates for the previous year compared to the past three years. Safety concerns and updated safety tactics are also simply explained. The link is also clearly displayed on the front page of the website.
- New Rochelle uses Swift911 to send out emergency alerts called New Ro Alerts. You can sign up on the New Rochelle Alerts section of the city’s website. This will send weather emergencies and other broad safety issues within the city to your mobile device for free.
- Another resource for getting city alerts is the Notify Me program, available on the city’s website. I would suggest just signing up for the News Alerts, but you can also choose from options like street/highway updates and local news releases.
- You can download the Circuit app to get information and routes for the free electric shuttle service that runs five days a week. The ultimate goal is to cut back on gas emissions, so consider this option instead of driving around town if you have your own vehicle.
- Before going to the beach, check the water quality conditions through the Westchester County Health Department. Waters are usually prone to unsafe bacteria levels after a big storm due to storm runoff. Updates will also be posted on the New Rochelle Parks & Recreation Facebook page @NewRoParks.
- Access to the beach is free, but non-residents will pay $5 to park at the beach between Memorial Day and Columbus Day.
- The city’s website also includes a section for Roadway Alerts, which is really important to check in the spring and fall when crews hustle to clean up damage from the previous winter. The construction projects could impact your GPS routes.
- Winter visitors should know that parking could be banned on snow emergency routes, which are most of the major streets in the city. The snow emergency parking ban will be enacted when two or more inches of snow falls.
- Anglers can’t fish without a license, and that goes for saltwater or freshwater fishing. You can get a license through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on its official DECALS website (decals.east.licensing.app). Using that link is important since some scam sites have recently popped up.
So... How Safe Is New Rochelle Really?
The real sense of safety in New Rochelle seems largely dependent on what kind of crime you are used to, but I honestly can’t find an ounce of crime data that suggests there is any real danger in this town that common sense and situational awareness can’t overcome.
In 2022, the following information was provided from the annual report:
- Homicides are down 33%
- Rapes are down 33%
- Robberies are down 7%
- Aggravated Assaults are down 27%
Properties are where the real concern is, although it’s not at a critical level as of 2023.
Burglaries were up 10%, larceny was up 38%, and car thefts surged 59%.
An average of six cars a month were stolen in 2022.
Looking at the nationwide scope of cities in size similar to New Rochelle, it ranks as one of the top 20 safest cities, coming in at 16.
New Rochelle has a lower overall crime rate than Yonkers and Mount Vernon, but White Plains is statistically safer.
The average police officer in New Rochelle has 11 years of experience.
You really don’t need to worry about New Rochelle being dangerous, but with those increasing property crime rates, take extra steps to protect your stuff.
How Does New Rochelle Compare?
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- Visas - Find the right visa for your trip by using the Visa Wizard on the U.S. State Department website. A visa or visa waiver will be required to get through Customs and Border Patrol. Also, confirm that your passport is valid and not within six months of expiring.
- Currency - Credit cards are widely accepted here, but you'll be using the U.S. Dollar denomination for purchases. Most major airports in the New York City metro area have currency exchange options at the airport.
- Weather - Be sure to check the weather forecast while you're packing because temperatures can fluctuate throughout the year. Most major storms will come with at least a few days of cautionary information. Sunscreen and bug spray will be needed in the warmer months. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress casually.
- Airports - The two closest major commercial airports are LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Each one is no more than 20 miles away. Newark Liberty International Airport in nearby New Jersey is 25 miles from New Rochelle. Westchester County Airport is a smaller but closer commercial airport located only about 5 miles northeast in the town of White Plains.
- Travel Insurance - We recommend comprehensive travel insurance for trips to major metro areas like this, especially ones prone to disruptive weather. Confirm what kind of rental car insurance you have if you'll be driving, and make sure you are protected against accidents with an uninsured driver.
New Rochelle Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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