What do you look for when planning a vacation? Ease of access? A plethora of things to do? I love a place that has plenty of unique restaurants and bars. But one thing that, especially domestically, you may not have at the top of your mind- is safety. Now I do consider it when choosing a hotel, it can be easy to find something where the price almost seems too good to be true. And that often can be due to a not-so-great location. I’ve definitely stayed in one or two of those before. But what about the overall safest vacation destinations? There are actually some high-quality places on the list. Ones you may be planning to visit anyway. Would you believe two North Carolina cities were named as some of the safest vacation destinations? It’s not the safety that surprises me, more than people use vacation days to visit.

The Safest Vacation Destinations

Nothing against either of these cities, they are actually the two places I’ve lived in my lifetime so both hold a special place in my heart. And maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time in both that I wonder why people would travel long distances to visit. But both made this list, which was compiled by The Boutique Adventurer. They used FBI Crime Data including the cost of crime, the opportunity cost of crime, incarceration, crime prevention, and more. Only cities that have a population of 100,000 or more that they considered to be “vacation spots” or “tourist hubs”  were included on the initial list by The Boutique Adventurer. The total list included 19 destinations across the US.

Two NC cities were included among the safest vacation destinations. You’ll find those below as well as the top 3 and one other notable place that I bet a lot of you have traveled to or are planning to travel to. Curious about the entire list? You can find that here.

  • 1. Honolulu, HI

    Hawaii beach Honolulu city travel landscape of Waikiki beach and Diamond Head mountain peak at sunset, Oahu island, USA vacation.

    It’s good to know that the island paradise of Hawaii, more specifically Honolulu is the safest vacation destination. While I’ve never been lucky enough to visit, I hope to one day.

  • 2. Virginia Beach, VA


    Aerial view of the Virginia Beach oceanfront looking south at sunset. vacationers on the beach and the boardwalk. ocean waves beaking

    The second safest destination- a beach not too far from the Carolinas. Virginia Beach is a touristy destination complete with a three-mile boardwalk full of whatever attractions you can imagine.

  • 3. San Diego, CA

    Overview from hillsides of San Diego Skyline on the edge of San Diego Bay with all it's boats anchored in the water.

    Third on the list is one of my favorite cities in the US- San Diego, CA. Though this southern California city isn’t quite as warm as you may expect there is no shortage of fun things to do in the area.

  • 6. New York, NY

    Liberty Island, New York City, New York, USA. The Statue of Liberty seen from New York Harbor.

    While not in the top 3, I had to recognize NYC for making this list. A lot of people may not have thought this popular destination is one of the safest as well. And for such a bustling busy city that’s great news. Also great news as I’m planning a trip in the coming months.

  • 9. Charlotte, NC

    Drone Aerial of Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, NC, USA Skyline.

    While I personally wouldn’t rank Charlotte near the top for tourist destinations it’s nice to see the city recognized for safety. I guess there is a lot to see and do if you aren’t from the Queen City, but for the rare unicorn who was born here, I can’t see using vacation days to come here.

  • 12. Raleigh, NC

    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

    Lastly, Raleigh came in at number 12 on this list. And yes, Raleigh is basically my second home. I visit often for sports and friends. So I’m very glad to see if recognized for safety as well.

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