How Safe Is Pittston for Travel?

Updated On January 31, 2024
Pittston, United States
Safety Index:
74
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Nestled within the emerald embrace of the Wyoming Valley, Pittston, Pennsylvania, wears its history on its sleeve.

Founded in 1768, the city boomed during the anthracite coal rush, becoming a powerhouse of energy and industry.

Miners toiled underground, fueling the nation’s furnaces and forging a proud working-class identity for Pittston.

Nestled within the emerald embrace of the Wyoming Valley, Pittston, Pennsylvania, wears its history on its sleeve.

Founded in 1768, the city boomed during the anthracite coal rush, becoming a powerhouse of energy and industry.

Miners toiled underground, fueling the nation’s furnaces and forging a proud working-class identity for Pittston.

The coal mines, however, eventually ran dry, leaving behind a legacy of economic hardship in the late 20th century.

Vacant storefronts and shuttered factories became grim reminders of a bygone era.

Yet, from the ashes of decline, a spirit of resilience emerged.

Today, Pittston is experiencing a quiet revival.

Downtown streets, once echoing with the clang of industry, now hum with the buzz of revitalization.

Renovated storefronts house trendy cafes and art galleries, while new housing developments sprout alongside restored Victorian-era gems.

Pittston is also known for its “Quality Tomatoes,” believed to have earned a special flavor thanks to the mineral-rich land.

The Wyoming Valley, where Pittston resides, itself deserves a mention.

This fertile stretch along the Susquehanna River cradles several communities sharing the “Pittston” name, each with its own unique character.

West Pittston boasts a charming small-town vibe, while Pittston Township offers scenic natural beauty.

This area is referred to NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania), which should help you understand the references to NEPA and Wyoming (which is a U.S. State thousands of miles away) while you’re visiting.

For what it’s worth, the state name Wyoming was inspired by the Wyoming Valley, though the two have very different landscapes.

NOTE:

Official crime data from 2020-2023 isn’t available, and crime rates in America have changed since the pandemic.

I’ve pieced together the most updated information I can, but there are still some holes that should warrant extra caution when you visit.

Warnings & Dangers in Pittston

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

The risk here appears to be low but with enough of a concern that you should keep your guard up. Aside from downtown, there isn't much to do in Pittston, which could lead to issues. However, with so many nearby communities, you are sure to keep busy.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Lucerne County Transportation Authority has a route through Pittston that runs on weekdays. Finding a taxi or rideshare shouldn't be an issue. Rental cars will be readily available at the airport.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

I don't have the data to back this up, but without that, I'd treat it as a medium risk and use standard safety precautions.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

The risk is low, with flooding and snowstorms that come with plenty of advance notice. You can keep the risk low by staying aware of the weather several times a day.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Most of the robberies that were reported in local news headlines involved businesses. It appears to be a low risk, but there's a drug problem here and that could lead to a robbery if you aren't staying in the entertainment district.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The risk is low. Domestic terrorism can happen anywhere in America, so it helps to read the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Most of the scams I've seen were focused on locals - someone threatening to turn off the power or someone posing as a police officer claiming a warrant is out for an arrest.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Again, without crime data, it's hard to say on this topic. However, news reports don't suggest women have any reason to be more vigilant than anyone else. Just use standard safety precautions.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The latest water quality report shows full compliance and no violations. The emergency alerts will tell you if there has been any issue with water pressure or quality. The risk is low.

Safest Places to Visit in Pittston

The city website isn’t going to be the best option for tourist information.

In fact, this is their pitch – “Pittston offers many beautiful sights.

From our Riverfront Park to our annual Tomato Festival and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

There is always something happening in Pittston.”

So, that leads up to your starting point at Discover NEPA’s website.

This site does cover the entire northeastern mountains and valleys.

You can narrow it down a bit by looking at the Visit Luzerne County website.

I don’t want to sugarcoat this – there isn’t a lot to do in Pittston proper, aside from the few things mentioned below.

It helps to understand that this valley is a gathering of cities, towns, and boroughs.

Even if an attraction is in a different city, it might just be a few miles away.

A lot of activity and development is happening in downtown Pittston, and you can learn more on the website of the same name.

As the “Quality Tomato Capital of the World,” the farmer’s markets and pizza restaurants are popular.

For a morning run or sunset walk, check out the Luzerne County Rail Trail, spanning nearly two miles from Pittston to Port Griffith.

Enjoy the views along the Susquehanna River.

Find a list of historical locations through the Luzerne County Historical Society.

The options include a preserved home, a homestead, a museum, and a library.

Susquehanna Brewing Company is a local hot spot, and brewery tours are offered on Saturdays.

Check the schedule of events as well.

Montage Mountain Resort sits above Pittston, with an easy 15-minute drive to get there.

Winter brings some of the best skiing in the state.

Summer means water park season and a slew of festivals mixes among the schedule of those two hallmark activities.

Less than an hour southeast is the Jack Frost Ski Resort, with perfect slopes in the Poconos for every ski level.

Several natural parks and wilderness areas are nearby, including:

  • Ricketts Glen State Park: Located about 45 miles west of Pittston, Ricketts Glen is a hiker’s paradise with over 26,000 acres of forests, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks. The park is especially known for its Glen Leigh Trail, which winds through a narrow gorge with 21 named waterfalls.
  • Pinchot State Forest: Situated about 30 miles south of Pittston, Pinchot State Forest is the second-largest state forest in Pennsylvania. The forest is also home to Hickory Run State Park, which features a lake, waterfalls, and a scenic railway.
  • Worlds End State Park: Situated about 60 miles north of Pittston, Worlds End State Park is named for the dramatic scenery at the end of Loyalsock Creek. The park offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and boating.
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: Located about 70 miles east of Pittston, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses over 70,000 acres of forests, mountains, and the scenic Delaware River. The park offers hiking, biking, and swimming, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and boating.

Places to Avoid in Pittston

A few challenges with this topic include not having official, accurate crime data in recent years and the fact that it’s such a small town.

I can tell you that the city has a high poverty rate, with one in five people living at or below poverty levels.

The median household income is 30% less than the national average.

Poverty can mean more crime but also fewer reasons to drive around a new city and check it out.

You don’t want to drive through poverty-stricken neighborhoods like it’s a tourist attraction.

Stick to the main roads and your GPS route to the next destination.

Most neighborhoods will aesthetically encourage you not to drive around anyway.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Pittston

  1. Pittston has its own police department, and you can follow them on Facebook @pittstoncitypolice. You can call 570-654-0513 if you want to ask specific safety questions.
  2. Sign up for AlertsPA and choose the Pittston area so you’ll get emergency and public safety alerts. You can’t afford to miss important warnings.
  3. The police department has a place on its website where you can report crime tips anonymously. Even if you notice something suspicious but aren’t sure if it was a crime, you should still report it. It’s better to report crimes this way than intervene.
  4. Pittston uses the Pango app to pay for parking downtown. Spots are available from one hour to nine hours. These rates aren’t enforced after 6pm daily, except for Sunday, which offers free parking all day.
  5. Without a lot of information to go on in a small town, it’s helpful if you also follow the City of Pittston on Facebook @cityofpittston. You can get information about road closures, traffic problems, and local events.
  6. The Pennsylvania Turnpike runs alongside Pittston, so you might need to set up an EZ Pass account to pay for tolls. Those with a rental car should already have a device installed. You can learn more at paturnpike.com.
  7. Anglers are required to have a fishing license from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Be sure you have the right license for an out-of-state resident and are carrying it at all times you’re fishing.
  8.  The Susquehanna River and its tributaries can sometimes flood. Check flood warnings, watches, and advisories before you go near the river. Never drive along a flooded roadway, even if it doesn’t look that deep. It just takes six inches of water to knock over a person or carry a car away.
  9. Across Pennsylvania on any given day, up to 420 accidents involving cars and deer happen. The state ranks #1 in insurance claims for these accidents. Please watch for deer on the side of the road and stick to the speed limit so you can slow down if one jumps in front of you.
  10. There’s a local dish that is often served at breakfast called scrapple. While in many places it’s common to have bacon or sausage – here, scrapple is the choice. It looks like a cross between meatloaf and Spam.

So... How Safe Is Pittston Really?

Pittston, West Pittston, and the township of Pittston aren’t very transparent with their crime data.

Two sources that provide official crime data for these cities either had out-of-the-ordinary data going back to 2019 or didn’t provide data at all.

We do know that West Pittston was absorbed into the Wyoming Area Regional Police (WARP).

Five municipalities decided to join forces to create a larger, more efficient police force.

Most people would say, “It’s a city of 7,500, how dangerous could it be?”

While what I can glean from my research is that it’s not an overly dangerous city, it’s not a charming, peaceful place either.

Drugs have been a problem here, with the new police chief starting a project where signs are posted in front of drug houses after an arrest.

The signs look like a “Closed” sign for a business, adding “This Drug House is Closed.”

“There are a lot of fans of the sign, a lot of fans that come out of neighborhoods that like when we are out there conducting operations.

We’re taking the drug dealers off the street.

We’ve seen a very positive response in the community,” Chief Kyle Shumosic said.

Use standard safety measures, common sense, and situational awareness.

Basic steps like locking your car door and removing personal items will go a long way.

How Does Pittston Compare?

CitySafety Index
Pittston74
Dallas64
Memphis54
Orlando64
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need a visa or visa waiver, plus a passport that isn't within six months of expiring. You can get the latest visa information on the U.S. State Department website.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Use credit cards as much as possible for the best fraud prevention. If you're using an ATM, please do so inside a bank where there is more security.

Weather

Weather

Plan for the season in which you'll be traveling, as the weather here sticks to the robust version of the four seasons. Winter will require a coat and boots, while summer is comfortable in shorts and t-shirts. Bring bug spray for outdoor activities.

Airports

Airports

Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport is just four miles from Pittston. The New York City area airports and Philadelphia International Airport are 2–3 hours away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is the best investment for your money, as it covers cancelations, delays, emergencies, rental cars, and health care.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Pittston Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -3° C
Feb -2° C
Mar 3° C
Apr 10° C
May 15° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 18° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 6° C
Dec -1° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
13815212528272316103
Low
°C
-7-6-2491416161261-4
High
°F
343746597077828173615037
Low
°F
192128394857616154433425

Pennsylvania - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Allentown78
Altoona82
Bethlehem80
Doylestown78
Erie62
Gettysburg83
Harrisburg54
Hershey82
Kennett Square84
Philadelphia60
Pittsburgh63
Pittston74
Reading58
Scranton66
Stroudsburg82
Uniontown59

Where to Next?

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