How Safe Is Red Bank for Travel?

Updated On July 1, 2023
Red Bank, United States
Safety Index:
77
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Red Bank, New Jersey, is a hidden gem that offers a captivating blend of history and contemporary charm.

With its vibrant downtown, rich cultural scene, and scenic waterfront, this small town has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic waterfront experience.

Red Bank’s Navesink River is a focal point of its allure.

The Riverside Gardens Park provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic, while the nearby Marine Park offers panoramic river views and recreational activities like kayaking the iconic iceboating.

You might notice as you stand near the Navesink River that the soil is reddish, lending to the name Red Bank.

Red Bank traces its roots back to the colonial era when it served as a bustling port and a significant industrial hub.

The town’s historic charm is evident in its well-preserved Victorian architecture, cobblestone streets, and antique shops.

This is also the hometown of Jazz aficionado Count Basie, whose legacy lives in the music hall bearing his name.

Food lovers will relish the diverse dining options that Red Bank offers.

From trendy farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes and bustling street-side eateries, there’s something to please every palate.

Visitors can sample artisanal treats, browse through local boutiques, or simply relax with a coffee, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.

It’s also a place that Jay and Silent Bob fans can’t miss, as the Secret Stash is still going strong.

Red Bank is a perfect collection of charm, sophistication, and recreation that makes it a great destination for solo travelers, families, or romantic getaways.

NOTE:

There is a Red Bank section of West Deptford, New Jersey, about 90 miles from this Red Bank.

If you’re looking at Red Bank Battlefield Park, you’re in the wrong Red Bank.

Warnings & Dangers in Red Bank

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Based on the limited crime data we have, there's a low risk here. It's padded with the knowledge that for the past decade, those crime rates have been low. Plus, there's a lot to see and do here in a surprisingly charming town.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

You have many options in Red Bank and nearby. From the trains and buses of NJ Transit to the water ferry to taxis/rideshares, you won't necessarily need a car here. Of course, plenty of rental cars are available if you prefer to drive yourself.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

I literally can't find any data about pickpockets here, but the theft rates are historically half the national average. The risk is low, but use common sense when you're in busy bars or crowded festivals.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

There's a medium risk throughout the year as each season has severe weather potential. Hurricane season runs from June through November, nor'easters can happen between October and May. Winter storms can be brutal. Stay weather aware as some storms can approach quickly, but never without adequate warning for those paying attention.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

The borough has had fewer than 10 robberies a year since 2017 and just one in 2020, the last year we have crime data. The risk is low, but that's also a designation that's at least three years old.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Red Bank, but you're not too far from the highest-risk city in New York City. You should take notice of anything suspicious and report it immediately.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Phone scams are the most common here, but those target residents. You can look at the local police department and the state Department of Consumer Affairs to see the latest scams.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

There's a surprisingly decent-sized nightlife scene here, so just use the standard cautions if you're out drinking. Stay alert on public transportation and the associated waiting platforms.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. You should check the city's Facebook page for actions like hydrant flushing or water main breaks that could impact water pressure and quality during a visit.

Safest Places to Visit in Red Bank

RedBank.org is the tourism website for the city.

RedBank.com isn’t an official tourism site, but most links take you back to the first website anyway.

You can sign up for the tourism newsletter or check the most recent editions online if you don’t want to share your email address.

Red Bank’s visitor’s center offers many guided or self-guided tours for different interests.

There’s a historical walking tour, an art lover’s tour, a fashionista tour, and a food tour, just to name a few.

Most of the locations are centered around the charming downtown corridor.

Enjoy the river views at either Marine Park or Riverside Gardens Park.

Many concerts and festivals are held in these parks throughout the year.

Check the County Basie Center for the Arts to see what shows are happening during your visit.

The collection of performance options includes a cinema, theater, and live music venue.

Jay and Silent Bob fans can’t miss the Kevin Smith-owned Secret Stash store that holds legendary movie artifacts and more comic book memorabilia than you can imagine stuffed into such a small store.

Just eight miles from Red Bank, you can visit Twin Lights State Historic Site.

Usually, at least one lighthouse is open for people to walk to the top with amazing views of the ocean and New York City.

There is a lot of history within these walls.

It’s a definite “must-see.”

Places to Avoid in Red Bank

There’s a mixed bag of feedback about the “dangerous” parts of town here, with the area west of the railroad tracks always being designated as a potential place of concern.

It’s definitely not a part of town where you’ll be in imminent danger, but it might be more run-down or seem seedy in some spots.

This is also a place where you’ll find some amazing ethnic restaurants, so don’t let the bad reputation (without really any data to back it up) make you shy away.

Provided you don’t walk down the street intoxicated at 2:00 am with a wad of cash in your hand, there’s really nothing to worry about here.

You definitely want to avoid going on a boat or kayak without checking the weather forecast.

Tropical weather far away can still cause problems as the storm moves closer.

Iceboating is a popular sport here, but most places that offer that activity are members-only clubs.

You’ll have to ask around to find a place where you can take part.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Red Bank

  1. Red Bank has its own police department. The main phone number is (732) 530-2700, and you can find them on Facebook @redbankpolicedepartment. You can also follow the city @redbanknewjersey.
  2. Red Bank has two ways to get emergency notifications. There’s the “Notify Me” section on the city’s website, where you can custom select the categories you want, and the CivicReady system that sends text messages when major weather events are incoming.
  3. You can purchase a Smart Card for parking in downtown Red Bank. These cards allow you to add money to the balance and then slide the card into the meter when parking. Credit cards and coins are also accepted.
  4. During a significant snowfall event, parking on most streets will be banned. This is to help the snow plows get through. If snow is in the forecast, park in a garage or parking lot.
  5. The Garden State Parkway is a toll road that runs near the west side of Red Bank. You’ll need an EZ Pass to pay for tolls as you go. Most rental cars will come with a device that scans the tolls to add it to your final bill.
  6. You can also download the NJ Transit app to get the real-time train and bus locations while also paying for ticket prices and searching for connecting rides. This is a heavy commuter area, so the rides will likely be crowded during the busy travel times.
  7. Anglers over the age of 15 need a fishing license from the state Fish & Wildlife Division. You can purchase that online or at local vendors.
  8. The closest water ferries to New York City are less than seven miles away in Belford and Atlantic Highlands. You can look up the rates and schedules online through New York Waterway and Seastreak.
  9. If you plan to visit the beach, choose a state or national park (like the nearby Gateway National Recreation Area) to avoid having to get a beach sticker from each local municipality. You won’t be allowed on most town beaches without a sticker.
  10. For those who plan to rent a boat here, you’ll need a Boater’s Safety Certificate. You can find more information about that on the New Jersey State Police website. Some rental companies will offer a safety course on the day of your boat rental, but it will only be good for that day.

So... How Safe Is Red Bank Really?

Red Bank Police haven’t released official crime data since 2020.

Even then, the specifics, like thefts that were pickpockets vs. shoplifters, aren’t part of the data.

While the reporting is optional, it’s also important to be able to track crime trends.

New Jersey as a whole has dropped the ball on this since a new system was implemented in 2021.

What I can tell you is that it would take double the number of violent crimes in 2020 to get the city even to meet the national average.

Thefts were also half the national average.

Barring a gross increase in crime since then, this is a safe place to visit.

Reading through scores of police blotters for early 2023 and late 2022, there are plenty of thefts at businesses, from cars, and in yards, but nothing that simple safety precautions can’t overcome.

New Jersey is one of the worst states for pedestrians being hit by vehicles, and Red Bank is involved with crackdowns.

One event led to 35 people ignoring a pedestrian in the crosswalk, and all drivers were ticketed.

I can’t find a single thing that would suggest this is a dangerous place to visit, but there are some sections of town that might make a visitor feel like they are in a sketchy neighborhood.

Common sense and street smarts will go a long way.

How Does Red Bank Compare?

CitySafety Index
Red Bank77
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

To get through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport or port of entry, international visitors will need a visa/visa waiver and passport. The tourist visa can take the longest. Check the U.S. State Department website to see how long the average wait times are. While you're there, see if you're eligible for a visa waiver to expedite the process.

Currency

Currency

You can only use the U.S. Dollar in America, and currency exchange options will be at local banks, at the airports, and through some local vendors. The best value is to exchange currency at your home bank.

Weather

Weather

This area gets a robust version of all four seasons, so plan accordingly. You'll want bug spray from spring through fall. Winters can get quite cold, so layer up and bring accessories like gloves and scarves. Summer will be humid and hot. Light-colored and loose clothing will be the most comfortable.

Airports

Airports

Newark's airport is the closest major airport, about 37 miles away. JFK and LaGuardia will be 60+ miles from Red Bank.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is a great way to cover all potential pressure points, from weather delays to illnesses to car accidents.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Red Bank Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 0° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 10° C
May 15° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
561015202528282418138
Low
°C
-5-415101619181583-2
High
°F
414350596877828275645546
Low
°F
232534415061666459463728

New Jersey - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Asbury Park54
Atlantic City48
Boonton74
Burlington70
Clifton73
East Orange44
Elizabeth47
Hamilton Township72
Hammonton75
Hoboken73
Jersey City54
Lambertville74
Long Beach Island72
Mountain Lakes74
Mt. Laurel76
New Brunswick64
Newark56
Passaic65
Paterson67
Princeton77
Red Bank77
Seaside Heights48
Toms River43
Trenton46
Upper Township & Ocean City74
West Orange72
Wildwood51

Where to Next?

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