Safe Travels in the New Year
For many travelers, safety will remain a top priority when planning travel in 2022. While risk is everywhere, the latest crime and COVID-19 data reveal that travelers within the U.S. have plenty of safe destinations to choose from. Here’s a look at some of the best based on the latest COVID-19 test positivity rates from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and AdvisorSmith’s most recent Safest Cities in America rankings, which are based on the most recent available crime data from the FBI.
Vermont led the way in terms of COVID-19 vaccination and continues to provide travelers a safe and scenic landscape ideal for skiing, hiking and diving into some of the nation’s most fascinating history in places like Stowe and Plymouth (the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge). Don’t forget about the friendly locals, unique attractions and unparalleled charm on display in places like Burlington and Woodstock.
Alaska also boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 test positivity rates in the country as of January 3. The Last Frontier also offers travelers numerous opportunities to get outdoors and practice social distancing, including visits to some of the country’s least-visited national parks like Gates of the Arctic, Lake Clark and Kobuk Valley.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach earned the best crime score among large cities based on some of the most recent FBI data for violent and property crimes. The beach town offers plenty of notable sites and entertainment for travelers of all interests, including miles of sandy beach and a lively boardwalk as well as vibrant nightlife and history blended with nature at First Landing State Park.
San Diego, California
America’s Finest City ranks fourth among the U.S.’s large cities in terms of its crime score. Like Virginia Beach, San Diego offers couples, families and groups tons of coastal activities and attractions paired with some of the best weather in the country. Visitors seeking a safe getaway will find something to suit every taste, from historic Old Town to the scenic seaside of La Jolla.
Another of America’s safest large cities when it comes to crime, Honolulu and the entire state of Hawaii will continue the Safe Travels program to protect visitors and locals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiencing the destinations’ gorgeous beaches, mouthwatering restaurants, trendy shops and other diverse attractions is more affordable than ever these days with low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines recently adding Hawaii to its network.
New York, New York
New York City is among the safest large cities in the U.S. based on the latest crime data, and while the winter months have forced more visitors indoors, the city has been among the most aggressive in its approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19, requiring guests to provide proof of vaccination against the virus in order to enter many public spaces such as museums, theaters, bars, restaurants, music venues and other attractions.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh’s crime score ranks as the 10th-best among the country’s largest cities. Plus, the North Carolina capital offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do, whether you’re in the mood to explore nature, take in inspiring works of art and history or experience one-of-a-kind places like one of the world’s oldest amusement parks (Pullen Park) or the state’s longest hiking trail (Mountains-to-Sea Trail).
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
America’s national parks are some of the safest places travelers can visit amid the ongoing pandemic as they offer the chance to explore the great outdoors comfortably while safely distanced from others. Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a bucket-list destination for many, and the winter months typically boast fewer crowds as cooler temperatures and snowfall prompt the annual closure of the North Rim. Fortunately, the South Rim offers plentiful opportunities for an unforgettable adventure.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
North Dakota possesses one of the lowest COVID-19 test positivity rates heading into 2022, and visitors will find beauty and fun in excess in the western part of the state inside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park boasts no shortage of scenic overlooks and trails as well as can’t-miss sites, including the spectacular Painted Canyon and the Maltese Cross Cabin occupied by Roosevelt decades ago.