Is Rye Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On August 6, 2023
Rye, United States
Safety Index:
76
* Based on Research & Crime Data

The city of Rye, New York, is a coastal community in Westchester County on the Long Island Sound.

While the words “charming” and “quaint” apply to many small towns, Rye seems to hold the patent.

It has a rich history dating back to the 17th century when it was founded as a farming community.

In the 19th century, Rye became a popular summer retreat for wealthy New York City residents who built grand Victorian mansions along the coast.

Rye retains its charm today with a historic downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The culinary scene is on fire here, with a “Restaurant Row” offering luxury meals and family-friendly options.

Expect upscale options here, with the average income for this city being more than $207,000.

Don’t let the tax bracket scare you off.

There are plenty of fun options that won’t break the bank.

Rye Playland is a historic amusement park right on the Long Island Sound with rides, games, and beach access.

As the first amusement park in the country, it set the stage for those to come and is an official National Historic Landmark.

You get the best of all worlds in Rye, with a beach, entertainment, and the big city of New York just an hour away.

GEOGRAPHY NOTE:

The city of Rye is not the same as the town of Rye, but they are right next to each other.

To further complicate it for a first-timer, the town of Rye is made up of two villages, Port Chester and Rye Brook, along with part of Rye Neck.

Warnings & Dangers in Rye

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Rye, with violent crime levels among the lowest in the nation. Top that with a bunch of things to do and excellent security, this is a great place to visit.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The Westchester County Bee-Line bus system has several stops in Rye. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and rental cars will allow you to explore more of the magnificent coast. The Metro-North Railroad's Hartford line goes through Rye as well.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

The risk is low here, but - wow - there's potential. The city has seen a surge of burglaries by a group known as "tourist burglars," which is an international theft ring. They mostly target high-end homes. You'll be tempted to wear your best jewelry and carry a big name-brand purse, but it's better not to draw attention to yourself.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

You run the gamut of severe weather risks here, so treat this with a medium risk to stay aware of weather conditions. Winters can bring blizzards or snow storms, warm weather brings severe thunderstorms or coastal flooding. Hurricane season runs from June through November. Every potential problem comes with plenty of warning.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with an average of one to three robberies each year. You're much more likely to have your stuff taken by a burglar than an armed suspect. Keep in mind that boarding the train to New York City could increase that risk.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, as a small community without any major attractions to be targeted. While gun crime is rampant in America, it's more random than targeted at certain areas. For overall terrorism concerns, review the latest version of the Homeland Security Department's Terrorism Advisory Bulletin.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Fake construction contractors have been going door-to-door in town, but that and most other scams are targeted at residents. Tourists can expect a low risk, but stay informed on the latest scams through the police department's website to keep it that way.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

This might be one of the safest communities for women to visit, on top of having plenty of great things to do in safe spaces. While you should never fully let your guard down, you can relax here.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report had one little blip for a coliform violation, but otherwise, all passing marks were given, and the violation has been addressed. You'll be more interested in any time-sensitive issue that could impact water quality.

Safest Places to Visit in Rye

The main website to use for researching places to visit is the “Visit Westchester County” tourism site.

There’s a section just for Rye, but all the neighboring cities are included as well.

If you are crossing into Connecticut to visit, use the ctvisit.com website.

Start your trip by touring the Jay Heritage Center on the former estate of Founder Father John Jay.

Wander the grounds of the 1838 Greek Revival mansion and learn about life in the 19th century while exploring the 23-acre property.

Walk in the footsteps of George Washington and Samuel Adams to a former tavern that’s now known as the Square House Museum.

This historic house was built in 1730, featuring Colonial architectural design.

Visitors can tour the period rooms decorated with antique furnishings to learn about life in the 18th century.

George Washington himself called it a “very neat and decent Inn.”

Next, head over to Rye Town Park and Beach to enjoy the breezy boardwalk, golden sandy beach, picnic facilities, and scenic vistas of the Long Island Sound.

Kayak and SUP rentals are seasonally available.

See if you can snag a seat on the deck at the Barley Beach House with a waterfront view.

No trip to Rye is complete without a visit to Rye Playland, a historic oceanfront amusement park with rides, games, restaurants and beach access.

Feel the adrenaline rush on the Dragon Coaster or take in views of the Long Island Sound on the moon rocket.

Families with little ones will love the Lost River Cave Cruise and Music Express.

When you’re ready for some relaxation, stroll through the Marshlands Conservancy, a 301-acre wildlife preserve with trails winding through wetlands, meadows, and woodlands.

Keep your eyes peeled for birds and other wildlife.

Meander through downtown Rye’s cobblestone streets dotted with shops, art galleries, and eateries housed in charming historic buildings.

You can pick up a historic walking tour map at the town park to explore some of the Gilded Age homes.

Places to Avoid in Rye

This one stumps me because I can’t think of a single place you avoid here.

In fact, see as much of it as you can!

Of course, you should stay off of private property, even if you’re looking at your “if I won the lottery” dream home.

You do need to avoid swimming when lifeguards aren’t present as it’s not allowed.

The beaches are prone to flooding during storms and significant rainfall.

Two vehicles were stuck in floodwaters in a recent storm after trying to drive through the rising water.

If I were going to Rye, I’d avoid shopping beyond my limits.

When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to justify a splurge at a fancy boutique.

This city is where you could spend a car payment on a new dress.

I was really struggling to report this section, but then I found a jaw-dropping statistic – between 2020 and mid-2022, Rye had 71 cars stolen from driveways.

Get this—and I quote the police department here—ALL THE VEHICLES WERE UNLOCKED WITH THE KEYS LEFT INSIDE.

Avoid leaving your keys in your vehicle, okay?

Lock the doors too.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Rye

  1. The city of Rye has its own police department. The phone number is (914) 967-1234, and you can find them on Facebook @RYEPD.
  2. Sign up for CodeRED notifications through the Westchester County Emergency Management Department. This will send severe weather alerts and other major safety issues to your mobile device. It’s important to stay informed.
  3. If you notice suspicious activity and want to report a tip to the police, you can call (914)967-1234 without having to leave your name. You can also email tips@ryepd.ryeny.gov.
  4. Use the Passport Parking app to find a parking spot in downtown Rye. This way, you can find a spot and pay for it through your mobile device and won’t need to feed a meter or pull out cash in public.
  5. Those using the Metro-North train can buy a MetroCard with pre-purchased rides on it. This can save you money and keep you from pulling out your wallet at train stations. The MetroCard also works on the Bee-Line system.
  6. Use the Sound Health Explorer website to find a beach on the sound with the best water quality. The interactive map allows you to search by location and see the latest health department readings. For example, I’m currently looking at Rye Playland Beach, which is ranked a C+.
  7. The city of Rye has an app you can download to stay in touch with the departments that work hard to keep the community safe. A calendar of local events is also available.
  8. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issues fishing licenses, and you’ll need one here if you plan to fish in the sound or inland waterways. You can only fish in public areas listed on the town’s website.
  9. Parking at the beach will cost between $5 and $35, depending on when you visit and how long you plan to stay. Time limits are two to four hours, but there’s an option for all-day parking. Arriving after 6 pm gets a discount.
  10. Use NY511 to check real-time traffic conditions and delays before you head out on the road. If you’re going to Connecticut, use CT Roads. And while I’m talking about Connecticut, be sure you research any beach you want to visit there. Many of them are private and not open to the public.

So... How Safe Is Rye Really?

Rye is incredibly safe and ranks as one of the safest in the nation.

While it doesn’t appear the police department has updated crime statistics since 2020 through the FBI portal, even pre-2020 crime rates were historically low.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the community is immune to crime.

Scrolling through the police department’s Facebook page, I see repeated requests from officers in Rye and surrounding communities to lock cars and doors because of burglaries and thefts.

A crime that shocked this quiet community involved a man who assaulted a teenager and was believed to have done landscaping in the area.

He was arrested, but it’s just a reminder that even safe communities can have suspicious and violent people.

By far, the largest category for calls to the police in 2020 was property checks, which makes sense in a community with such much affluence.

You should feel safe in Rye but realize that not all Westchester County communities will be THIS safe.

How Does Rye Compare?

CitySafety Index
Rye76
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Detroit56
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors will need a passport and a visa or visa waiver. You can see which visa option is right for you by using the Visa Wizard option on the U.S. State Department's website.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Currency exchange options are located at each New York City area airport. You will get the lowest fees by using your home bank. In any event, using your credit card will provide the best fraud protection.

Weather

Weather

You'll get a full four seasons of weather here, so pack accordingly, also opting for more layers in case of cold spells (even in summer). Bring sunscreen and bug spray for the warmer months. Winter boots and full cold-weather accessories will be needed in winter.

Airports

Airports

Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY, is the closest commercial airport, approximately 15 miles from Rye. While it's not as robust as the New York City airports, it is served by American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines. It primarily serves domestic routes along the East Coast and Midwest regions. You'll be about an hour from JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a smart way to protect against the unexpected. When winter storms happen on the East Coast, they can shut down travel for hours or days. You also want to protect against theft and illnesses. Comprehensive travel insurance is the way to go.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Rye Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 5° C
Apr 11° C
May 17° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
461117232830292519136
Low
°C
-6-5-14101518171373-3
High
°F
394352637382868477665543
Low
°F
212330395059646355453727

New York - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Albany77
Binghamton61
Brooklyn74
Buffalo58
Cooperstown78
Elmira64
Fair Haven75
Greenport Village78
Ithaca62
Jamestown54
Lake George78
Lake Placid82
Lewisboro88
Long Island83
Manhattan82
Mt Vernon62
New Paltz79
New Rochelle77
New York City67
Niagara Falls63
Oswego75
Poughkeepsie79
Queens73
Rochester67
Rye76
Saranac Lake77
Saratoga Springs74
Schenectady52
Seneca Falls79
Shelter Island85
Sleepy Hollow77
Syracuse71
Utica57
Watertown63
Watkins Glen81
White Plains77
Yonkers59

Where to Next?

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