How Safe Is West Lebanon for Travel?

Updated On May 23, 2023
West Lebanon, United States
Safety Index:
79
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
100
* Rated 100 / 100 based on 3 user reviews.

West Lebanon, New Hampshire, is part of the Lebanon community, with nearly 15,000 residents across the city. Lebanon is just five miles from Hanover, where the Ivy League school Dartmouth is located.

This part of New England is known as the Upper Valley, which is made up of nine small towns between New Hampshire and Vermont along a 40-mile stretch of the Connecticut River.

Directly across the river from West Lebanon is Hartford, Vermont.

The Upper Valley boasts culture, artists, higher learning, outdoor activities, and four seasons of things to do.

NOTE: To learn more about the Appalachian Trail in this region, please read our article about Hanover, which is where the 90-mile stretch of the trail enters New Hampshire and goes to Glencliff.

To the northeast of Lebanon, the White Mountains region begins.

The closest access point of the park is less than an hour away at Polar Caves Park.

Staying in West Lebanon puts you close to many shopping options and restaurants while still being at a great base camp for travel throughout either state.

Warnings & Dangers in West Lebanon

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here, especially with so many things to do that are family-friendly. Violent crime rates are less than half the national average. We'll go through Lebanon's crime statistics and information as we dive deeper into this, but you should also know that Hanover is a low-risk city as well.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Advance Transit is the public transportation for the town and throughout the Upper Valley. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and rental cars will give you more freedom to explore. All options are low risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Since 2017, the city has averaged one pickpocket or purse snatching a year, so there's a low risk.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Winter storms, hurricane remnants, and nor'easters are the biggest issues here. You should also know about wildfire risks and flash flooding challenges. Summers can have extreme heat, but it's easy to prepare for that. Treat it with a medium risk since there can be weather issues in every season. The Emergency Preparedness section of the city's website can give you all the safety information you need.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with two to four robberies a year since 2018. None of those incidents was a mugging.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, with no hard targets nearby and no big cities close enough to cause concerns. You can read the Homeland Security website to learn more about mass shooting incidents, as that's an ongoing issue you can't prepare for other than to be vigilant about reporting suspicious activity.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

The Lebanon Police Department (LPD) has a Scams & Prevention website section to review. It details the most common scams and what to do if you are a victim. That said, the risk is low, and no scams here are known to target just tourists.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Nothing in the crime data suggests there's a greater risk for women, but you should always use the standard cautions. The charm of New England's small towns can easily cause people to let down their guard. Don't let that happen to you.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. On top of that, the increase in precipitation helped with the ongoing drought in the Upper Valley. For more up-to-date water quality issues, follow the city's social media sites. That's where you can learn about issues like hydrant flushing and water main breaks.

Safest Places to Visit in West Lebanon

The city of Lebanon’s website has a section for “Places of Interest In and Around Lebanon.”

That does include West Lebanon.

In fact, I can tell you that most tourist sites in this region cover the ENTIRE region, even if it’s just a city or town website.

I noticed this while researching Hanover.

More often than not, sites will send you to Vermont.

As I write travel safety stories about New England, I always find a place in a town that I secretly nickname “The place where a Hallmark movie would be located.”

In Lebanon, that’s Colburn Park.

There’s a bandstand surrounded by a town square with adorable shops, historic sites, and the Lebanon Opera House.

Stop by the historical society to get a walking map tour of Lebanon.

Even though it was incorporated back in the 1760s, 200 years later, a fire would permanently change its footprint.

There’s a lot of history to learn here and too much of it that burned to the ground.

When you get to West Lebanon, it will feel much more big-box suburban.

However, if you forgot something for the trip, you have just about every type of store you can imagine.

This is a good time to tell you that New Hampshire doesn’t have a state sales tax.

If something is priced at $10, you’ll pay exactly $10.

While the Connecticut River forms the state line on the western edge of Lebanon, the Mascoma River runs through and along Lebanon and West Lebanon.

Riverside Park is a great place to enjoy the river and other outdoor activities.

Storrs Hill Ski Area isn’t one of the major resorts New Hampshire is known for, but it sure is the closest option to Lebanon.

Ski rentals are not available at this resort, but you can find some at the Golf and Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon.

(See? I told you they have EVERYTHING there!)

The best Instagram moment in Lebanon is the Packard Hill Covered Bridge.

It’s on Riverside Drive, going over the Mascoma River.

Just east of Lebanon is the Enfield Shaker Museum in the Shaker Village, where immigrants first arrived in 1793.

Overnight accommodations are available in the “Great Stone Dwelling.”

I’ve researched several Shaker villages in America, and I have to say, they are quite fascinating with how they lived and what they believed.

Places to Avoid in West Lebanon

You won’t find a bad part of town in Lebanon or West Lebanon.

The street layout is very simple, and it’s easy to get between the cities and neighboring communities.

Homelessness is a problem across New Hampshire, especially in Manchester, but Lebanon also has its fair share of challenges.

To avoid dating this article, I would recommend avoiding any area that clearly is a homeless camp and steering clear of panhandlers.

Also, if you see advice telling you to visit WRJ and you can’t seem to find it on the New Hampshire map, that’s because it’s a shortened name for White River Junction, just across the river from West Lebanon.

It’s one of the hubs of activity day and night.

For those who want to avoid snow, Lebanon might not be the place for a winter trip.

With more than six feet of snow falling and an average of 92 days with snow on the ground, you’ll likely be dealing with snow.

The good news is that the street crews know how to clear snow quickly and efficiently.

Safety Tips for Traveling to West Lebanon

  1. Lebanon has its own police department, which does cover West Lebanon. The Facebook page is @LebanonPoliceDepartment. When in doubt, look for the 603 area code.
  2. To get emergency alerts, you can sign up for LebAlerts through the city’s website or follow @LebAlert on Twitter.
  3. Look at the Life in Lebanon section of the city’s website to get great details of all amenities in town and see video tours of different districts.
  4. A New Hampshire fishing license is required for any fishing in the region, including the Connecticut River. If you aren’t a New Hampshire resident, your license will only be valid on the New Hampshire side of the river. Learn more about the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department website.
  5. New Hampshire sells Hike Safe cards. For $50, you will get protection against being charged if you need to be rescued. Otherwise, common accidents like exhaustion and twisting an ankle could lead to you paying for the cost of your own recovery. Without health insurance, you’ll also pay all medical bills out of pocket.
  6. As a woman, I’m not sure how I feel about this gender-directed initiative, but here goes nothing – There’s a website called Becoming a New Hampshire Outdoors-Woman, encouraging women to take part in outdoor activities traditionally frequented by men. One positive side of this includes classes and activities just for women to learn at the same pace. I cannot confirm if any mansplaining will happen, but sign me up for the woman’s chainsaw workshop!
  7. The Connecticut River Conservancy has a website asking “Is It Clean?” which provides detailed information about water quality on the river. You should check this before considering any river activity.
  8. The downtown area of Lebanon has plenty of parking, but the closer you are to Colburn Park, the shorter the time limit you’ll get to park. Overtime parking comes with a $10 fine. Use the all-day parking lots if you plan to be there longer than two hours. A winter parking ban is in effect from December 1 through April 1, and that means no overnight parking.
  9. LPD posts daily police logs and monthly activity summaries. You can read those under the Reports, Logs, and Statistics section. There’s also an annual report you can view for the previous year.
  10. It’s not unusual to see bears in town. Don’t ever feed or bait a bear. If you’re staying in a rental property, make sure no bird feeders are out after April 1, and never leave garbage outside unless it’s in a bear-proof container. Don’t leave pet food outside, either. If you feel you can’t resist, you should know that bears getting too comfortable around people could lead to their demise.

So... How Safe Is West Lebanon Really?

I’ll let the good people of Lebanon partially answer this question.

In a 2022 community survey, the following issues were identified as the greatest problems in the community:

  • Drug Abuse
  • Traffic Issues
  • Homelessness

All violent crime categories ranked at 6% or less.

Burglaries and thefts were at 20%.

Nearly 2/3 of all residents believe that drug abuse is the biggest issue.

At least 80% of respondents said that they feel very safe when they are alone outside during the day.

That dropped to 60% when asked if they feel safe at night.

It’s a little too easy to write off drug crime concerns as “If I don’t do drugs, it’s not a risk for me” because drug dealers and users are more prone to theft or violence to feed the habit.

Yes, you should avoid the drug world, but it also means staying aware of your surroundings.

Lock your car, and don’t leave valuables in plain sight.

Even something like an iPhone charger could seem valuable enough to break a window.

If you get a rental car, ask what prevention is on the vehicle to avoid an expensive catalytic converter theft.

All of that is an abundance of caution because crime rates here are nothing to be overly concerned about.

Plus, New Hampshire overall is one of the top three safest states.

How Does West Lebanon Compare?

CitySafety Index
West Lebanon79
Baltimore56
Washington DC56
Boston67
Detroit56
New York City67
Miami55
Calgary (Canada)82
Vancouver (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Toronto (Canada)81
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Montreal (Canada)81

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International guests must have a passport and visa or visa waiver. You can find all the requirements for those on the U.S. State Department or Customs and Immigration websites. The rules are the same whether you fly into the country or cross the Canadian border.

Currency

Currency

You'll only be able to use the U.S. Dollar here. Exchange currency at home to get the lowest fees from your own bank. Most major airports have currency exchange options. Using credit cards for as many purchases as possible gives the best fraud protection.

Weather

Weather

Pack for the appropriate season, but always err on the side of more layers and jackets, even in summer. Bug spray, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes are a must. For winter, bring all the accessories and insulated layers, plus snow boots. You can rent ski equipment here.

Airports

Airports

Lebanon's airport has flights from Cape Air to consider. If you want a major airport, Manchester is 64 miles away, with Burlington, Vermont, and Albany, New York, being 75–100 miles away. Boston Logan International Airport is 109 miles away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance that covers your flight, rental car, and accidental coverage is important here since the weather can be unpredictable, and wonderful outdoor adventures come with certain risks.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

West Lebanon Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -7° C
Feb -5° C
Mar 1° C
Apr 8° C
May 14° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 16° C
Oct 10° C
Nov 4° C
Dec -3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-1161421262827221682
Low
°C
-12-11-517121514104-1-8
High
°F
303443577079828172614636
Low
°F
101223344554595750393018

New Hampshire - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Derry79
Exeter83
Gorham77
Hampton Beach68
Hanover81
Keene76
Laconia74
LinWood78
Littleton78
Meredith79
Nashua78
North Conway76
Pembroke73
Piscataquog73
Pittsburg70
Sunapee82
West Lebanon79
Wolfeboro82

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on West Lebanon

  1. D
    Daleyza Welch says:

    Locals were friendly, and I encountered no issues during my stay. Highly recommend!

  2. N
    Nancy Houston says:

    I recently spent a week in West Lebanon and felt completely at ease. The town has a laid-back vibe, and I had no concerns walking around, even at night.

  3. W
    Willa Moreno says:

    I did extensive research before my trip to West Lebanon, and the low crime rates were a major factor in my decision.

West Lebanon Rated 5 / 5 based on 3 user reviews.

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