Top 10 Safest Large Cities in the U.S.
People imagine all large cities to be a Gotham-like cauldron of crime and dirt. And while we won't deny the stereotype can be true for some places, some cities with populations of 250,000 or more are actually much safer than you'd expect.
Sure, small cities are often more tranquil, but they don't offer as many exciting and diverse things to do as their bigger counterparts. If you're in the mood for an urban getaway that provides both fun and peace of mind, check out the safest large cities in the United States, with some suggestions for where to stay. Many might already be on your wish list.
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10. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Safety score: 43.4 (out of 100, with 1 being the safest score)
Bottom Line: Colorado Springs
Possibly one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the state, Colorado Springs is also very safe. Surrounded by wonders of nature that include the iconic Garden of the Gods and Pike National Forest, you'll never be far from the mountains. If you want to challenge yourself, try to summit Pikes Peak, one of Colorado's Fourteeners (mountains with peaks higher than 14,000 feet).
Where to stay: Garden of the Gods Resort & Club
*Rankings and safety scores are based on GoodHire's "Safest and Least Safe Cities in America" report. Populations come from the 2020 United States Census and are for the city proper rather than the county or metro area.
9. Boston, Massachusetts
Safety score: 37.8
Bottom Line: Boston
You may be surprised to see Boston on here. The city is filled with contrasts. Some, like its juxtaposition of historic and modern landmarks, are good. But there's also notorious inequality, which gives the city a bad reputation. Still, compared to other cities of its size, Boston doesn't fare too badly in terms of safety.
Spend your time on the Freedom Trail, strolling along the waterfront, doing a whale-watching tour or visiting an art museum. Oh, and don't forget to indulge in the city's fine dining restaurants.
Where to stay: The Whitney Hotel Boston
8. Raleigh, North Carolina
Safety score: 32.4
Bottom Line: Raleigh
North Carolina's capital is known for its universities. As a student city, it's lively, fun and modern. Its numerous oak trees provide shade and enhance its good looks. For even more nature, head to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, or go to Pullen Park, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. For some culture, visit the North Carolina Museum of Art. And you can do all of this without fear for your safety.
Where to stay: Raleigh Marriott City Center
7. Fort Worth, Texas
Safety score: 31
Bottom Line: Fort Worth
While Fort Worth is the lesser-known part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it's a city definitely worth visiting. For one, it's safer than its counterpart. It's also proudly western, playing up its cattle history with its nickname, Cowtown. You'll also find a rich legacy of funk, R&B, hip hop and blues. Visit the Fort Worth Stockyards to see several landmarks like the National Cowgirl Museum.
Where to stay: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Fort Worth Historic Stockyards
6. Mesa, Arizona
Safety score: 30.6
Bottom Line: Mesa
Living in the shadow of a state capital is never easy, but Mesa manages to hold its own against nearby Phoenix. If you want peace and tranquility, come here instead. You'll have access to everything in the capital while feeling safer. Visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History to see dinosaurs or the Mesa Grande Cultural Park. And make time to be in the great outdoors, as the city is surrounded by breathtaking desert landscapes filled with saguaros like those you see in the impressive Saguaro National Park.
Where to stay: Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch
5. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Safety score: 22.6
Bottom Line: Virginia Beach
Right on the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is blessed with pretty beaches and historical attractions. You can enjoy its long boardwalk, visit an oyster farm and enjoy the delicious Chesapeake Bay blue crab. Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg are near, so you can take an excursion to the first English settlement in the Americas.
Where to stay: The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club
4. Plano, Texas
Safety score: 20.6
Bottom Line: Plano
Though it doesn't get as much attention as neighboring Dallas-Fort Worth, Plano is coming into its own. Many Fortune 1000 companies are based here, with many others considering a move in recent years. This has meant an influx of new people, ideas and money, which often translate into a better quality of life. For a unique experience, visit the Heritage Farmstead Museum to see what 19th-century Texas looked like.
Where to stay: Sandman Signature Plano-Frisco Hotel
3. Laredo, Texas
Safety score: 18.4
Bottom Line: Laredo
About 95 percent of people in Laredo are Latinos, making the city a center of Chicano culture in the U.S. Rio Grande separates it from Mexico, but intercultural exchange is part of everyday life. This means that besides not having to worry about high crime rates, you'll get to experience Mexican food, music and culture. We'll drink (tequila) to that!
Where to stay: La Posada Hotel
2. El Paso, Texas
Safety score: 17.8
Bottom Line: El Paso
Another safe city situated along the Mexican border, El Paso is sunny most of the year. Norteña music blasts from Chicano Park, where you'll also find colorful murals. Tex-Mex is the food to get here. When you're not stuffing yourself, visit the El Paso Museum of Art or go hiking in the Franklin Mountains State Park.
Where to stay: The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park
1. Saint Paul, Minnesota
Safety score: 6.6
Bottom Line: Saint Paul
One of the twin cities, Saint Paul has the honor of being the safest large city in America. And it comes in third place in the overall safest-city rankings — very impressive! Minnesota's capital is often overlooked by travelers, despite its scenic downtown and its strong craft brewing scene. Pass by the gorgeous Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Minnesota State Capitol. There are also several museums that are worth visiting.
But the coolest thing about the city is its wide cultural diversity. It is, for instance, one of the epicenters of Hmong American culture in the country. The food, as you can imagine, is varied, rich and delicious.
Where to stay: The Saint Paul Hotel