Connecticut : Safety by City
- East Hartford
- New Haven
- New London
- Old Saybrook
- West Hartford
- Windsor Locks
West Hartford, Connecticut is a bedroom community halfway between New York and Boston and just to the west of the state capital of Hartford.
If you’ve ever had to use Webster’s dictionary, you’ve experienced a slice of West Hartford.
The home of Noah Webster is one of the top draws in this community.
It’s that note of history blended with a modern style that makes West Hartford feel comfortable and regal at the same time.
This is one of the foodie secrets that’s quickly getting out.
The opening of Blue Back Square has brought contemporary dining front and center and is standing out from nearby cities.
Here, Mexican, seafood, Italian, French, Mediterranean, and American-style options line the streets.
11 of the restaurants in West Hartford made the list of best in the state.
There’s a World of Beer if you need something to wash it all down with.
There are European and Asian grocery stores here too, paying homage to the diverse community of West Hartford.
All that and you get to walk through a life-sized replica of a sperm whale!
Who can resist?
Warnings & Dangers in West Hartford
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here. The crime rates are low and just 30 violent crimes happened in the whole city of 64,000 in 2020. This is a family-friendly town and pretty low-key. There's not a lot of trouble to find here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
CT Transit is the public transportation service through West Hartford and surrounding areas. Taxis or rideshares might be a better option just because it's faster. There's a low risk in all forms of transportation.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
No pickpockets in 2020 and the majority of thefts were either shoplifting or things stolen out of cars. You have a low risk of getting pickpocketed, but your car has a much higher risk if you don't lock it up.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of a lot of things going wrong with mother nature here. Summers can bring extreme heat, tornadoes, drought, and hurricanes (or remnants of hurricanes). Winters bring blizzards, ice storms, and extreme cold. You aren't in tornado alley here, so any tornado wouldn't be very strong, and a hurricane would have been whittled down to a tropical storm most likely since West Hardford is inland. You should be aware of the dangers, but there's no overwhelming threat of a particular one. It will snow a lot in the winter, there's no getting around that.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There were 22 robberies in 2020 and surprisingly not a single one of them was in public. That's good news and a low risk for tourists.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
I would call it the lowest end of medium risk here. It's in a largely populated area, but West Hartford isn't going to be a direct target. Being so close to New York City and Boston, there's enough concern to raise the risk level a notch.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
There has been a recent rash of "check washing" scams, where thieves wash off the ink from a check and write in their own amount. Accounts can get quickly emptied before the victim even realizes it. The easy way to solve this is don't bring your checkbook with you and you'll have a low risk of getting scammed. Credit cards offer much better fraud protection.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women have a low risk here and there's plenty for them to enjoy here. It's a laid-back town with a sophisticated vibe. The usual "after dark" cautions still stand, so don't walk around alone at night, and if you've had too much to drink, don't let a stranger take you back to the hotel.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The water here is safe to drink, according to the latest water quality report. Reading it I learned that the water here is treated partially by being filtered through sands and stones that catch nasty bacteria and other unhealthy elements. I thought that was kinda cool!
Safest Places to Visit in West Hartford
You’re probably still wondering why there’s a giant sperm whale replica at an inland city attraction.
Conny the Whale has been entertaining children and parents for decades at The Children’s Museum.
The sperm whale is the state animal of Connecticut.
We should also pay homage to the man who helped us learn how to spell at the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.
You can take a tablet-led tour through the home dating back to the 1750s.
Blue Black Square is the most popular gathering place in town and it’s popular day and night.
I mean to tell you, I’m writing this and looking at all the food there and it’s making my stomach growl.
It’s not necessarily going to empty your wallet either, as there are restaurants at all price points.
Westmoor Park is a traditional city park with a twist.
It has a demonstration farm and an education center with live animals and seasonal flowers all available for viewing.
There are classes you can take there, but otherwise, this park is free (they do take donations).
In Elizabeth Park, follow the smell of roses to the Helen S Kaman Rose Garden.
You’ll see more than 200 rosebeds and the map of the garden looks like the layout of a major league stadium.
This is really an embarrassment of rosey riches and it’s also yet another free attraction in West Hartford.
Places to Avoid in West Hartford
There aren’t places to avoid in West Hartford, but crime maps show the highest crime rates are in the southeast section of the city and south of I-84.
Even if you go a little further east and end up in Hartford, the border area of the two cities is very safe as well.
Hartford crime numbers don’t get higher until you get to the central part of the city.
Avoid coming here in winter if you are not used to driving in snow, and make sure you have an AWD vehicle if you are driving around.
You can rely on rideshares or taxis, but there is no guarantee those vehicles will be any better driving in the snow.
Safety Tips for Traveling to West Hartford
- You can’t park your car on the street overnight here without getting an exception permit from the city. Be sure to have that permit or park in the hotel or home rental parking area. Just don’t park on a public street in West Hartford overnight.
- The parking rules here are very particular. There are trash days and street sweeping days that might make it illegal to park on the street during a certain timeframe. To punctuate the first point – just try to avoid parking on the street as much as you can.
- The police department has daily “Arrest Logs” posted on its website. You can get a better look at the kind of crimes happening closer to your visit. The “Comp Stats” list will also show crimes in a given week compared to the year before. These are great tools for someone who wants to get in-depth data about safety.
- If you have information about a crime that happened during your trip but you don’t want to get your name involved, you can report it to the Anonymous Tip Line at (860) 722-TIPS (8477).
- There’s also a great quick dial line for visitors and residents. You can call 311, the non-emergency line (not to be confused with 911), and get all your city questions answered. As the saying goes, “Call 311 to Get It Done.”
- The city streets, especially in residential areas, are going to have speed humps. These are wider and longer versions of the speed bump, but they can still do a number on the underside of your car if you are speeding. Stick to the speed limits when driving so you can stay safe and take in all the great views here.
- If any part of your trip includes fishing, you’ll need to get a license for that through the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
- This is a walkable city with 245 miles of sidewalks. You’ll want to have good walking shoes in the warmer months and good snow boots in the winter. It won’t be fun to have blisters if you choose fashion over function for your wandering tourist days.
- You will need a good weather app while you are here in case of a winter storm or heavy summer rains that can cause flooding. Be sure to check the app before you plan the day ahead, and you can also find your favorite local station for the Hartford television market.
- There are several Facebook groups where you can connect with people in West Hartford, but the one I think is best for tourists after reviewing is the one with the handle “/TownofWestHartfordCT”.
So... How Safe Is West Hartford Really?
It’s a really safe city to visit.
There have been just four homicides in the past decade.
The violent crime rate is 46 per 100,000 people.
The national average is 399 per 100,000.
The theft numbers look high at 1417, but 599 of those were shoplifting thefts.
Another 454 were thefts from cars.
Car thieves are looking first and foremost for unlocked vehicles with the windows being rolled down, so if you lock up the car you’ll have less chance of being a victim of a car break-in.
Almost half of the reported robberies were in a house and none were against strangers.
Some places in Connecticut aren’t very safe, and some are extremely safe.
On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most dangerous, West Hartford is a 2.
How Does West Hartford Compare?
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The Visa requirements get dealt with at the airport or port of entry. You don't need additional processing in West Hartford.
You'll use the U.S. Dollar. This is a place where carrying some cash might help, especially if you are using a pedicab or prefer to tip in cash.
You'll get all four seasons here and that weather app will come in handy for how to dress. Even in spring, there can be snow and bitter cold. Fall can also bring an early winter. Summers get warm, but not above the mid-80s on average. Remember those sturdy walking shoes, okay?
The Hartford–Brainard Airport is the closest and best option. It's about 20 minutes away. If you must fly out of the New York Metro or Boston areas, that's going to be a 2-3 hour drive.
You'll want travel insurance for a trip to West Hartford because bad weather anywhere in the northeast can cause ripple effects across all airports.
West Hartford Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Connecticut - Safety by City