Connecticut : Safety by City
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- Windsor Locks
Windsor Locks, Connecticut is a great place to stay if you need to be close to Bradley International Airport.
The airport takes up 1/3 of the landmass in Windsor Locks and the city boundary extends to the Connecticut River.
This is a small town of just 12,000 people but is halfway between Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts.
You won’t have trouble finding an airport as you might in other small towns because of the airport being so close.
At first blush, all you see is an airport city with a prison to the north.
I can tell you – you aren’t looking close enough if that is all you see.
The New England Air Museum is located in this city and is actually part of the airport.
There’s another museum marking the spot of the first decorated Christmas tree in New England.
There’s also a museum of trolleys.
You can visit a sports betting bar and place a bet on a game.
Pool lovers can find some incredible tables at Pool Table Magic.
There are also many unique restaurants in this city, from Polish food to sushi to some of the best barbecue food in New England.
Winter brings great excitement in the nearby mountains with several ski resorts within an hour’s drive and all the rental equipment you need so you don’t have to pack heavy.
Warnings & Dangers in Windsor Locks
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here but there really aren't a lot of things to do that will fill a week's vacation. You're going to deal with airport noise all hours of the day and night.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There are four bus routes in town through CT Transit and there are plenty of taxis being this close to the airport. Rideshares are available as well. There's a low risk, but having your own car would be ideal, so you can venture outside of the city.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There was one purse snatching in 2020 and the thief got away with $1. No pickpockets were reported, so there's a low risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
Windsor Locks was hit hard by a tornado in 1979 and the pictures are just heartbreaking. While it's not common for this area to get tornadoes, there's a chance every spring and summer. Winters can be bitterly cold with nearly three feet of snow throughout the season. There's low risk because this type of weather is just so common here. If you aren't familiar with thunderstorms, tornadoes, or blizzards, review the emergency management plan on the city's website.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk. Six robberies were reported in 2020 and they were either a robbery in a home or at a convenience store.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Windsor Locks is a medium risk because it's near large population centers and it has an international airport. That said, there are bigger hard targets for terrorists in this region.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The main scams here are robocalls, so tourists have a low risk. One of the biggest scams making headlines here is a deaf elderly man who was swindled out of $51,000 thinking he had won a "deaf lottery" with a one million dollar prize. Citizens started a fundraiser to help get money back to the man.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There was just one rape reported in this city in 2020. There's a low risk but you need to be careful here from how it looks on the surface. You've got a lot of people coming in and out of town, plenty of bars to get them liquored up. It's also worth noting that three of the violent crimes that happened in 2020 were in hotels.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2020 Annual Water Quality Report from Connecticut Water states, "We are pleased to report that the water quality results in your system meet all state and federal drinking water standards." There's a low risk, for sure.
Safest Places to Visit in Windsor Locks
The New England Air Museum is the biggest attraction in this city and one of the most popular in the state.
You walk through three buildings with more than 80 aircraft from every era.
There is even a whole section dedicated to airplane engines.
Not to be outdone by aircraft, the Connecticut Trolley Museum is in Windsor Locks, as well as the Fire Truck Museum on the same property.
The Transit Bus Museum is right across the street. You can pay (a lot) extra to drive one of the trolleys if you’d like.
The Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail takes you on the same route used in the early 1800s to build the Windsor Locks Canal.
There is no fee to enter this area, which is a nice change of pace from the hefty park fees for out-of-state residents at other state parks.
You can also fish in this area.
The Noden-Reed Park Museum has two pieces of 1800s architecture and the spot of the first decorated Christmas Tree in New England.
There is a big debate among historians about whether that fact is true.
There are several ski resorts within an hour or so drive from Windsor Locks, with Ski Sundown being the closest at just 35 minutes away.
Mount Southington is an option south of Hartford and is about 45 minutes away.
Places to Avoid in Windsor Locks
The area with the highest crime rate is right along the Connecticut River and then bordering the north side of town.
The rest of the city is in a very low-risk area.
You can enjoy some of the local foods and it would be best to ask someone at the hotel for advice on where to go.
Some of the restaurants might look a little seedy, but be very safe.
I checked the airport flight noise map versus the location of the hotels in Windsor Lock, and there’s really no escaping the noise.
You can ask when booking your preferred hotel if they have any noise mitigation architecture.
To be totally transparent, in 2019, a private flight on a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed shortly after takeoff at the airport.
Seven people were killed and seven were injured.
That’s one of the dangers of staying near an airport, but the crash didn’t happen anywhere near the hotel corridor.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Windsor Locks
- Bring earplugs or a noise distraction machine to drown out the sound of flights coming and going. There’s no way to stay in Windsor Locks without being near the airport.
- If you get information about a crime while you’re in Windsor Locks, call the Police Department’s Crime Tips Hotline at 860-627-1461 ext. 160.
- Sign up for CT Alerts so you can get the latest information on developing weather situations, road closures, or civil emergencies. You can easily unsubscribe when you leave Windsor Locks.
- This is a more rural area of Connecticut, so you might see a bear. There has been one bear sighting reported to the Wildfire Department. Don’t ever approach a bear and if you see one, call the Wildlife Department at (860)424-3011. 7300 bear sightings were reported in 2019 across the state.
- This is tick country, so if you spend any time outdoors, you’ll need to check all over your body for an embedded tick. Yes, even the most delicate areas. Ticks spread Lyme disease with its hallmark “bullseye” mark left behind on the skin.
- If you are flying here in winter, you might want to bring some extra clothes. A winter storm could shut down the airport for a day or two, leaving you waiting at the hotel for the flights to resume.
- For those wanting to fish in Windsor Locks, you’ll need a license from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Should you be traveling to the seaboard, it’s a good idea to get an “all waters” license instead of separate ones for freshwater and saltwater.
- The city names in the surrounding areas can be a bit confusing. There are Windsor Locks, Windsor, East Windsor, and South Windsor. Even if you book a reservation in the wrong city, they are all right next to each other so you aren’t too far away from wherever you need to be.
- Some of the restaurants in town are BYOB, so if you want to save money or make sure you get the drink you want, check ahead at your preferred dining establishment to see if they allow it.
- If you want to ski, the closest resort is just 30 minutes away. Ski Sundown has all the rental equipment you need and you can reserve it online before your trip to make sure all your gear is ready when you get there.
So... How Safe Is Windsor Locks Really?
Looking at the latest FBI data, here’s the risk of being a crime victim in Windsor Locks:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 970
- Robbery: 1 in 2102
- Theft: 1 in 148
There have been just six homicides in Windsor Locks since 2010.
This is a small, relatively safe town, but it’s also a place where you don’t want to just go wandering around either.
There are a few distinct tourist spots and that’s about it aside from the restaurants.
Most of the people you meet will be pilots, flight attendants, or travelers waiting for their next plane out.
Windsor Locks isn’t the place to stay if you’re trying to get the full Connecticut experience, but it’s a great central location to some bigger cities if you can handle the airport noise.
Just be sure to have an AWD vehicle if you are visiting here in winter.
How Does Windsor Locks Compare?
|New York City
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
You will present your Visa at the airport and won't need to do anything else in Windsor locks. Once you're through customs at an American airport, you are free to roam the country.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency that can be used here and there's a currency exchange at the airport. You won't need to carry cash with you and just one credit card is the safest way to have fraud protection and limit theft damage.
Locals will talk about the 1979 tornado, but remember that's a rare occurrence, especially a storm that strong. You will get some thunderstorms in the spring, winter, and fall. Snow can start falling as early as October and might run through early April.
Bradley International Airport is literally right there, so it makes the most sense to use that one. If you need to fly out of Springfield, Mass., or Hartford, those are both an hour away.
Travel insurance will help you rest easy in case a winter weather event or summer storm system causes delays or cancellations.
Windsor Locks Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Connecticut - Safety by City