Connecticut : Safety by City
- East Hartford
- New Haven
- New London
- Old Saybrook
- West Hartford
- Windsor Locks
Southington, Connecticut, is the apple of the state’s eye.
This area is known throughout New England as “The Apple Valley” for its amazing orchards and yearly Apple Harvest Festival.
Southington’s (“suh-thing-ton”) location halfway between New Haven and Hartford makes it a perfect place to stay if you want to explore both of the larger cities.
This is another Connecticut loaded with history and stories from centuries ago, with more than 40 locations marked on the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s also home to another historic attraction that’s still impressing tourists – the oldest amusement park that has never stopped operating in 175 years, known as Lake Compounce.
You can climb vertical rock walls here or ski to your heart’s content.
Enjoy fresh apples or freshen up your dance skills at Music on the Green.
When you think of the perfect Connecticut small-town charm, you think of Southington.
Warnings & Dangers in Southington
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. Crime rates are low and this small city is packed with a lot to do before you even get to the bigger cities nearby.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
CT Transit is the public bus system here and there's now CT Fastrak to get you to the bigger cities faster. Uber is the most dominant rideshare service here and there are many taxi companies. All of these are a low risk, at least when traveling in Southington.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were four pickpockets or purse snatching in 2020. While that in itself is a low risk, we've got a good lesson to learn here from those incidents. Each theft averaged a $530 take for the thief. This is why you shouldn't carry valuables around or a lot of cash in your purse. Especially if you are visiting here during one of the many seasonal activities, the crowds get very large and packed in, so it's easier for a pickpocket to act.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are severe weather risks here, but no natural disasters that would rise to anything above a low risk. You should be prepared for a lot of snow in the winter. Summers can bring severe thunderstorms with the occasional tornado. In the 1960s, Southington was hit hard by a tornado. Storms aren't commonly that severe, but they can happen.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's a low risk. Just 10 robberies happened here in 2020 and only two were in public places. I thought this was interesting - the total take by the thieves in the two highway robberies was just $1.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Just being in this section of the country gives it a medium risk, as terrorists like large population areas. However, Southington itself isn't going to be a hard target.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of a tourist being scammed. The most recent scam report was from a variety of people who said major retailers were calling them asking for money or computer access. It's also important to know that someone asking you to purchase a gift card in exchange for any reason is the first sign of a common scam. Don't fall for it.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This is one of the safest places I've researched in Connecticut, so there's a low risk. There were five rapes reported in 2020, so it's not impossible to be a victim of a crime against women. Don't let your guard down, but you also don't need a death grip on your purse.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2020 Annual Water Quality Report shows there were no violations in the tap water throughout the year and the water meets or exceeds all requirements. There's low risk, so you can feel comfortable using it for bathing and drinking.
Safest Places to Visit in Southington
Lake Compounce might be an odd name for a theme park, but it’s a great place to spend the day in Southington and it has been since 1847.
There are roller coasters and water rides, bumper cars, mini corvettes, and the best-looking bunch of French fries topped with bacon and cheese this writer has ever seen (it’s called Potato Patch Fries).
From surfing down a lighthouse to skiing down a mountain – don’t miss out on Mount Southington.
The seasonal ski resort has 14 ski trails and a smaller half-pipe for snowboarders.
Night skiing is available as well.
While there are several restaurants on-site, I’m told the Waffle Haus has one of the best waffles in the world.
Ragged Mountain is a great place for hiking or to watch rock climbers.
This is only for experienced rock climbers, as the website says in its own rockclimbing language, “Broadway, a classic 5.8 pg13 has seen an improbable number of whippers by leaders who thought 5.8 was no big deal.
Anchoring may be challenging and requires a high level of skill with traditional climbing equipment.
Top roping generally requires a high level of creativity, ingenuity, and 150’ anchor statics.
There are no anchor bolts.” I don’t know what that really means, but if you are a rock climber, you should.
If you don’t, you probably shouldn’t even attempt this.
If you are visiting in the fall, you won’t want to miss the Apple Harvest Festival.
This is the signature event of Southington and one of the best events in the entire state.
In addition to all kinds of apple dishes, there is a parade and fireworks.
If you can’t make the festival but want an apple festival of your own, you can visit Karabin Farms or Rogers Orchard (or both).
You can view the harvest calendars on their respective websites.
Places to Avoid in Southington
Crime maps show the central part of town and the far northwest corner of town have the highest crime rates.
It’s common for a downtown area of any city to have more crime, so don’t let that scare you away from apple fritters galore.
Secondly, some of the attractions close down in the winter, so if you want to avoid visiting during the off-season, make a summer or fall trip to Southington.
Given how low most of the crime numbers are, there really isn’t a bad neighborhood to avoid.
If you don’t like the large crowds, then visiting during the Apple Harvest Festival won’t be for you.
Traffic gets insane and the town is packed wall to wall with bodies of people enjoying the festivities.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Southington
- If you are skiing, you should study the Skier’s Responsibility outline ahead of time. There is no gray area in the rules and you can be kicked out of the resort if you don’t follow them. New skiers should take a class first before hitting the slopes. You also need to be able to safely use the ski lift and must always keep the bar down when riding it.
- If you don’t know how to rock climb, then Ragged Mountain isn’t the place to start. This is a dangerous cliff and even experienced climbers have struggled with these rocks. Just enjoy watching others and maybe pick up some expert tips.
- We can tell you until we are blue in the face how important it is to lock car doors after you park and keep all valuables out of sight, but let the statistics show you as well. You can view the most recent incidents on the Southington Police Department’s “Vehicle Burglary and Theft Dashboard.”
- Sign up for CT Alert just before or when you arrive to get weather, criminal, and civil emergency notifications from across the state and in Southington. You can choose if you want emails, text messages, or phone calls to get the alerts.
- If you want to hunt or fish in and around Southington, you’ll need to get a license. You can get it online at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s website or you can go to the town hall when you arrive.
- Queen Street is the main road through the city but locals tell me it’s always packed with traffic, no matter what time of day. If there is a way you can avoid Queen Street on your GPS, you should do so unless you want to deal with stop-and-go traffic for miles.
- Ticks are rampant in the woods of Connecticut. They also carry Lyme Disease, which is very dangerous for humans. Wear bug sprays when you go hiking and do a full-body scan (even the delicate parts) when you return to make sure you don’t have a tick stuck to you.
- This might be a small town, but this isn’t Mayberry. It can get rowdy at night downtown with the bar scene. The Groggy Frog is one of the most popular places, so be prepared to be in a crowd and keep your purse close and your wallet secured. There are plenty of other bars as well, but it’s just good to know this isn’t a city that rolls up the carpets at nightfall. The party goes on well into the night.
- There was a recent carjacking that happened in Southington showing exactly what not to do if you are traveling alone at night and need to fill up. Always try to park as close to the front of the gas station as possible. Do not leave any car doors open while you are pumping and turn the car off. The incident was caught on tape and it had to be terrifying for the woman who tried to stop the carjacker from driving off. Another lesson? The woman had $2000 in cash in the car that was stolen and most likely will never be returned.
- For those driving or using a car rental, make sure you have AWD or 4WD in the winter. The city gets about three feet of snow each year and the roads can be treacherous at times.
So... How Safe Is Southington Really?
The city is so safe that it has only had three homicides since 2010.
There’s a one in 4350 chance of being robbed and one in 1740 chance of being a violent crime victim.
The violent crime rate is just a fraction of the state average and 86% lower than the national average.
The biggest risk when it comes to theft is having a car broken into or accessories stolen from it.
Half of the 680 thefts were automotive-related.
If you don’t have a car or practice excellent safety practices with your car, the chance of being a victim of theft goes from one in 63 to one in 125.
Southington seems to have somehow found a balance of being a “good time” city and having low crime numbers.
Usually, you will get one or the other.
How Does Southington Compare?
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- Visas - Once you've entered the United States with your Visa, you don't go through more processing in the states or cities. You will need an ID for buying alcohol, checking into hotels, and for some attractions.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. There's little need to carry around large amounts of cash, as most places take credit cards or mobile app payments. Even the apple orchards have the technology to use PayPal, Google Play, credit cards, etc.
- Weather - In winter you'll need full winter weather gear. It's bitterly cold at times, so don't pack light. Even in the summer, the cool evenings might require a jacket. Skiers can rent all the gear they need at the resort, but hikers should bring sturdy, ankle-protecting boots. Break them in at home before wearing them in the wilderness here.
- Airports - Tweed-New Haven Airport is about 30 minutes away and Hartford-Brainard Airport is 25 minutes away, so you've got two good choices close by.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a good idea for Southington since weather or travel delays could make you lose money on pre-paid plans.
Southington Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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