WalletHub recently released its annual list of the safest cities in America, and this year’s top five are great options for a family vacation or weekend getaway.
The study examined the 150 most populated U.S. cities, including at least two of the most populated cities in each state, for a total of 182 cities.
In order to establish a numerical value for safety, the study rated each city for home and community safety, natural disaster risk and financial safety. Within those categories were more specific factors, such as crime, traffic fatalities, employment rate and growth and other markers. Cities were then scored based on those metrics, with the highest potential score being 100.
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What are the safest cities in America?
According to WalletHub’s study, the top five safest cities in the United States are:
5. Warwick, Rhode Island
At No. 5 is the quaint seaside town of Warwick. Rhode Island’s second-largest city, it’s less than half an hour outside of the capital city of Providence and about an hour and a half away from Boston, Massachusetts.
This sunny Southwestern town was once known as the hay shipping capital of the world but is now a thriving suburban center. It remains an agricultural force despite its dry climate, with several citrus orchards to the south in Queen Creek.
Although it came in at No. 3 overall, South Burlington was rated first in financial safety. The town is home to many thriving businesses — it’s even home to the headquarters of beloved ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s.
Located on the banks of Lake Champlain, South Burlington has a slew of outdoor recreation spots. Wheeler Nature Park has over 100 acres of undeveloped land with pedestrian trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.
2. Columbia, Maryland
Technically, Columbia isn’t a city — it’s a census-designated place, which means it has no official boundaries or city government. However, that doesn’t stop it from being a great travel destination, especially for those with safety in mind. Columbia was ranked No. 1 in home and community safety.
Columbia is a planned community made of 10 villages, with each village consisting of neighborhoods, a community center, bike and walking paths, recreational facilities and a shopping center. Downtown Columbia includes a lakefront area overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi.
1. Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua is conveniently located near the New Hampshire coast and about two hours from the White Mountains. It’s also less than an hour from Boston, so if you’re looking for a day trip, you have your pick of beach, mountain or city.
If you want to stay in Nashua, there is plenty to see. The Riverwalk is a popular pedestrian walkway that takes you downtown and along the banks of the Nashua River, a tributary of the Merrimack River. Nashua is also a great destination for thespians, with the Nashua Theatre Guild and Nashua Center for the Arts offering regular shows.
Do your research beforehand. What are the local crime rates? Where are the nearest hospitals and police stations?
Become familiar with your destination. Look up the areas you want to visit and make sure you know how you’ll get there, whether it’s by renting a car, using public transportation or simply walking.
Make a backup plan. Things often go wrong, no matter how well we plan. The best thing you can do is have a plan B in mind in case you miss a flight, need a new place to stay or have to otherwise adjust plans.
Share your plans with others. Make sure someone you know and trust has your travel information, including the address and phone number of your accommodations, and knows how to contact you.