If you live in a city where it takes forever to walk anywhere, you may consider moving somewhere more walkable.
There’s nothing quite like living in a city with beautiful neighborhoods built for walking. Here are nine of the best in the country. We haven’t listed them in a particular order, because these are all excellent cities to get your walk on.
This big northwestern city is a hotbed for arts and culture, with thriving communities of writers and artists, plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, museums, and more. The commercial areas of the city, like Hollywood, Downtown, and the Pearl District, are great places to walk. In addition, Portland has lots of parks with paths.
The suburbs, on the other hand, aren’t as walkable. So keep that in mind when planning your move.
Walkability is high here, with some especially good suburban spots like the neighborhood in South Lake Union, and Bellevue. In many places, you’ll find you can walk to shopping or to work.
Less walkable spots you’ll want to avoid include Rainier View, Arbor Heights, and Matthews Beach. Some of the best neighborhoods to go walking include Ravenna, First Hill, Downtown, and Pioneer Square. For additional walking, and cycling, areas, check out the city parks.
With one of the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters, Boston is often referred to as America’s Walking City. Boston, and suburbs Cambridge and Somerville, are all very walkable, whether in summer or in snowy winter. Just don’t walk to fast, or you might slip on ice! In Assembly Row, you’ll find residences, plus restaurants and plenty of shopping. Other highly walkable areas include Chinatown, Haymarket and Bay Village.
San Francisco, CA
In San Francisco, the weather is generally cool. Right on the bay, it rarely gets very hot, and that makes walking a pleasure. One great thing about San Francisco is how easy it is to visit one neighborhood, then hop on a cable car to another, where you can then walk around and check out more museums, shops, and more. If you live on the outskirts, or outside the city, the BART system will get you to the center of the city in no time. You’ll have a great time walking around the Tenderloin, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Park. Parking is tough in San Francisco, so many residents walk or take public transportation everywhere.
New York, NY
Like San Francisco, walking in New York is how most people get around. In The Big Apple, it’s common not to even own a car.
Of the boroughs, Manhattan has the most walkable areas. In fact, you’re bound to do a lot of walking, and get into better shape, just living or visiting there. If you need to get somewhere fast, you can always take a cab.
In recent years, more focus has gone into making the city even more friendly to pedestrians, including foot traffic friendly modifications to Times Square. Bike lanes are also being added into all urban areas, encouraging more car-less transportation.
When you visit Washington, DC, it will become clear that the urban planners wanted people to be able to walk comfortably in any area. You can spend a few hours walking along and enjoying the sites on the National Mall, or have a nice walk in your local neighborhood.
While many cities have bus tours, Washington, DC has a walking tour, and if you move to the nation’s capital, you may want to take the tour early on to acquaint yourself with its sites. With its new focus on walkability over drivability, DC is one of the most walkable cities in the United States.
Want to live in a sunny city where you can walk or bike in some of the most beautiful beach areas? Then you have to check out Miami. Not only is the city well-maintained and clean, you’ll find the seaside areas perfect for walking. Of course, there are other nice areas to walk around, too, including the Miami Design District with its restaurants, art, and shops, the Lincoln Road Mall, and Bal Harbour. Put on your sunscreen and enjoy your day on foot.
Philadelphia, former home to Benjamin Franklin, is steeped in U.S. history, and has become a center for higher education, shops, and much more. As a city well-established long before the invention of the automobile, it was made for walking.
If you’d like an outdoor introduction to the city, check out The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia. Just how walkable is central Philly? You can walk from City Hall to the Liberty Bell in fifteen minutes, or from Independence Hall to the Betsy Ross House in ten, and stop off at a park or cafe in between.
Long Beach, CA
Long Beach is considered the most walkable city in Southern California. The residential areas near the beach seem tailor-made for walking. Downtown Long Beach has theaters, shops, cafes, and restaurants, and you can easily walk from one to any other. People here enjoy a laid-back, beach-dweller lifestyle.
Walk around Shoreline Village or Belmont Shore, and visit the five-acre Aquarium of the Pacific on Rainbow Harbor. In Long Beach, you’ll find plenty of beautiful areas to walk and enjoy your day.
Of course, there are other cities with great walking areas, but these are among the best. Enjoy your move, and your new, highly-walkable city!