Is California Safe?

Is California Safe?

In this article

California is a state with a long history, stunning architecture and landscapes, great weather, and a variety of landscapes, including both mountains and beaches. Over 38 million people, as well as numerous celebrities and millionaires, live here. Visitors from all over the world swarm to view movie stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, go to Disneyland, hike well-liked trails like the Willis Tower Trail in beautiful Bakersfield, and explore well-known sites like the Golden Gate Bridge.

In theory, this sounds like any tourist's ideal vacation. But when you travel to California, apart from the palm trees and the sun, there is another very important thing to keep in mind, and that is your safety.

In our safety guide, you will learn which are safe and unsafe places in this state, what are the most common crimes, whether the water is drinkable and much more that will help you prepare as well as possible for your trip.

Is California Safe to Visit? A Quick Answer

California is a pretty safe state to visit. The amusement parks and other tourist spots are quite secure. In several problematic places, property crime rates and violent crime are down over the past few years. In general, people's security is improving in this state.

What Are the Safest Places in California?

Here are the safest destinations in the Sunshine State:

  • 1. San Diego is a fantastic location for travelers wishing to unwind, enjoy beaches, and enjoy sunny days since it is the safest spot to vacation in California and also boasts some of the greatest weather in the state;
  • 2. Santa Cruz is a small city close to San Francisco that provides vacationers with calm beach days where they may enjoy surfing and tanning. Additionally, the city is close to other tourist destinations including Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Santa Cruz Mountains;
  • 3. Napa Valley is a very safe place for all visitors who do not like crowds on beaches or big cities. Here, tourists can enjoy the beautiful nature surrounded by vineyards;
  • 4. Yosemite National Park is among the most secure tourist attractions in California, it's also a fantastic choice for those who want to engage in hiking and camping;
  • 5. Santa Barbara is also considered one of the safest cities in California;
  • 6. Danville is the city in Contra Costa County with the lowest crime rate, making it the safest city to visit;
  • 7. Lake Tahoe is a great place surrounded by mountains and forests. Tourists can ride a boat, swim or do some sports here;
  • 8. Rancho Santa Margarita offers a haven from the enormous, metropolitan growth that permeates most of southern California. It is positioned in the eastern portion of Orange County, alongside theSanta Ana Mountains
  • 9. Moorpark is a small town in Southern California with a population of only 37,000. Placed in Ventura County, it is an extremely beautiful city with a low crime rate;.
  • 10. Aliso Viejo is situated in the San Joaquin Hills. Despite being a suburban area, this place is close to Laguna Beach, making it possible to take use of most metropolitan amenities.

As you can see, California has countless secure destinations to offer to avid travelers. To help you enjoy your visit to this state and experience its most vibrant places, we’ve prepared a 7-day road trip itinerary that includes only cities considered to be safe for travelers.

Places to Avoid

Skid Row is located in downtown Los Angeles and is considered a dangerous area for tourists. Mostly drug addicts, gangs, and homeless people live in this neighborhood. It has the highest violent crime rate in Los Angeles county. Its name comes from a bygone era when locals would "slide" logs down a steep slope there, giving rise to the nation's longest skid row.

Death Valley is a national park that has the most extreme temperatures in the entire state. During the summer, this park has a maximum daily temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and during the winter it is below freezing. Tourists who cannot bear such weather conditions should avoid this place.

Rural regions of central California - the most dangerous among them is the city of Visalia due to its high rate of violent crimes such as armed robbery, rape, assault, and murder. Simply put, visitors should stay away from these regions.

How Safe Is California? Crime Rates

The violent and property crime rate in California tend to fall year over year. California has a higher crime rate than the national average (19.6). Also, compared to the US average, this state has a higher violent crime rate too, but it recorded fewer homicides, rapes, and violent assaults in the past year. Robberies accounted for 26% of all violent crimes.

The property crime rate fell from 23.4 incidences per 1,000 people to 21.4, a decrease of over 9%. Motor vehicle theft, pickpocketing, and burglary can also occur as part of property crime.

The most common property crime is larceny-theft. It happened often in the Golden State, but even here the number of cases is decreasing. Due to frequent mass shootings, Californians are most concerned about gun violence.

The Threat of Terrorism

Since California is one of the most visited areas, numerous terrorist organizations have it on their list of target states. Although tourists have a minimal chance of being victims of terrorism, they still have to be careful, monitor the events around them, and inform themselves about potential risks.

Road Safety and Public Transportation in Californi

California offers an extensive rail, aviation, and road network. To make these means of public transport safer for all passengers, the state is regularly modernizing them. Nevertheless, California has a high rate of vehicle accidents, particularly those involving DUI (driving under the influence).

In addition to the wide network of rail and bus transportation, taxi services are also used in California, which is quite safe. However, they are very expensive and not so easily available. When you're in a hurry, you can't rely on them much.

Climate and Natural Disasters

Overall, the weather in California is hot and sunny year-round. However, in Northern California, rain is very frequent. California has a high risk of natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and forest fires. These kinds of disasters can damage property and cost lives, so it is important to protect yourself from them before traveling here or during your visit.

However, there are places that have cold winters, so if you’re planning a winter vacation in California make sure to dress warmly. Also, in some parts extreme cold, snowstorms and ice can lead to unsafe roads and power outages, so make sure to follow local news and advice on how to stay safe in these conditions.

Is California Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

California is undoubtedly safe for solo travelers, but like any state, there are some tips to follow. It is always better for female travelers to find company when they want to go out at night. In order to reduce the risk, it is necessary to use common sense.

This state is a favored destination for lone travelers. There are several great destinations that are also secure for solo female visitors such as Santa Rosa, Laguna Beach, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

Is California Safe for LGBTQ Travelers?

California is one of the most liberal states in the United States in terms of bisexual, lesbian, gay, and transgender (LGBT) rights, which have received national recognition since the 1970s.

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in California?

California tap water is not potable. Some research indicates that it can increase the risk of getting cancer. That is why visitors should buy bottled water during their visit to this country.

Is California Safe to Live In?

California is a secure place to live. According to FBI data, this country is not among the states with the highest rates of crime. There are several safe cities. Walking on the streets is also secure. In addition, it is a wealthy, safe, and picturesque region.

As always, there are certain risks to living here, for example, the risk of property crimes and pickpocketing.

Stay Safe in California: Top Tips

In order to stay safe every tourist should:

  • Beware gang territory - In California, drug trafficking is a major cause of gang violence. Even yet, if visitors enter their territory or become victims of their crimes, these gangs might still be a threat to them;
  • Make his own emergency kit. Food rations, water, clothes, and first aid supplies are among the necessities;
  • Avoid places prone to natural disasters. Even while certain parts of California appear to be reasonably secure from forest fires and earthquakes, it is far better to stay away from these sorts of locations altogether;
  • Find an evacuation route. Knowing the safest path to go during an earthquake is key to avoiding falling hazardous objects;
  • Be ready for aftershocks. When an earthquake occurs, smaller and much stronger ones follow (These earthquakes are aftershocks). In that case, people get down on the ground and protect their heads from falling objects with their hands;
  • Browse the website of the California Emergency Management Agency. Here, tourists can find out how to protect themselves in the event of natural disaster, and also see what property insurance policies are offered in the event of an earthquake;
  • Take tsunami precautions. In this case it is important to know the evacuation routes leading to high ground and follow the instructions of local authorities;
  • Choose a hotel with good reviews and never go out alone;
  • Wear a money belt to keep cash and credit cards safe from pickpockets;
  • Beware of the sun.

Entry Requirements for California

As part of its border security strategy, the US runs a system that requires visas for foreign citizens. The residents of the 40 countries who are now a part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are permitted to travel to California using an ESTA and won't need a California visa.

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, and it may be obtained by filling out an online form in about 10 minutes. Anyone from a nation included in the VWP who wishes to travel to California for fewer than 90 days may send an ESTA application. It is used for tourist or business purposes and is valid for two years.

If a visitor intends to stay in California for more than 90 days, they must apply for a traditional visa. The visa application process is more complicated and will take longer than obtaining an ESTA, as the applicant must go for an interview at the US Embassy. Also, compared to ESTA, costs for the US visa are higher.

Is It Safe to Travel to California? Final Thoughts

Even though California is one of the most attractive states in the USA, tourists coming here should still follow safety tips. There are numerous risks from national disasters, crime, and weather conditions. Also, robberies and break-ins can happen in shopping centers.

So, before you embark on a trip to California, make sure to do thorough research and prepare well to ensure you have a good time.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.

How Safe Is California For Tourists FAQs

It is generally safe. Except for the Skid Row neighborhood which is located in the center of the city and can be very dangerous.
The safest places are Danville, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Moorpark
Downtown Los Angeles can be dangerous at night.
There is a very high risk of earthquakes in California.
Where in California is safe from fires?
Although traveling in California is typically secure, tourists should nevertheless take the required security measures to prevent petty theft.

Global Entry: Apply for Faster Entry to the USA

Low-risk individuals who need entrance into the USA frequently can do so through one of the following; Global Entry, SENTRI, TSA PreCheck®, FAST, and NEXUS. The Global Entry Visa program allows eligible applicants to enter the US freely without passing through the border officials.

Read More..