America’s 10 Most Walkable Cities
US & Canada

America’s 10 Most Walkable Cities

Walkable Cities

walkable citiesIf road tripping and car rentals aren’t for you, don’t worry! You can easily see some of America’s best destinations on foot. Here are the top walkable cities in the U.S. as determined by Walk Score.

10. Baltimore, Maryland

Consider a weekend getaway to Maryland’s historic port city of Baltimore if delicious crab and free museums interest you. From April through November in Baltimore, you’ll find festivals for things such as seafood, wine, Belgian beer, oysters, jazz, and rhythm & blues festivals, to name a few.

Walk around Little Italy, bike along the harbor, and wander through downtown on a Segway tour or seafood crawl. Tour the Baltimore Museum of Art or the Walters Art Museum—both are free. On to the next most walkable cities!

9. Oakland, California

If San Francisco is a bit too pricey for you, consider Oakland–the perfect Bay Area alternative. With a thriving waterfront bar scene and unique historic neighborhoods complete with charming spots such as Grand Lake Theatre and Jack London Square, Oakland is worth visiting. Enjoy a beer on an outdoor patio or stroll through Redwood Regional Park, easily accessible by public transit.

8. Seattle, Washington

Seattle offers both hip downtown vibes and adventure-filled outskirts. Stop by Kerry Park for a great view of the Space Needle and the city skyline. From there, jump on a bus downtown to see the view from the skyscraper’s 50th floor. With a new light rail line connecting the city to the airport, Seattle is easy to explore on a day-long layover in between flights.

7. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. has the fourth largest American Metro system, making it very easy to get around. Expect packs of tourists throughout the year visiting the free national museums and even more along the city’s monument-rich Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. Pick up a bike through the city’s public bike share system if you get sick of walking or hop on public transit to explore Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia just outside the city.

6. Chicago, Illinois

The towering skyline, diverse neighborhoods, and urban Lake Michigan beaches make the Windy City a young and lively destination that draws crowds as soon as it warms up each summer. Chicago‘s museums and culinary scene make it a great winter destination, too. With the second largest public transportation hub in the nation, it is completely unnecessary to rent a car when visiting Chicago. From spring until fall, the city hosts music, comedy, sports, and food festivals that are all all easily accessible by foot or transit.

5. Miami, Florida

From relaxing South Beach to street art walks and Little Havana, it’s best to explore Miami on foot to truly experience all of this South Florida city’s vibrant neighborhoods. Leisurely lying on the beach, learning about art deco architecture from the sidewalk, and strolling through lit up Calle Ocho at night are all easily reachable from downtown.

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As the first American World Heritage City, Philadelphia has something to offer everyone. Brush up on your history at the Liberty Bell, indulge your taste buds with authentic Philly cheesesteaks and hoagies and enjoy public art and festivals. Philly‘s SEPTA system is reliable and extensive, but the City of Brotherly Love is also almost entirely walkable and outdoor friendly, with over than 10,000 acres of public green space for your enjoyment.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is by far the smallest city on Walk Score’s top five. Boston is home to the third largest transit authority in the country, the MBTA, beating out D.C. and San Francisco. While the T, as it is known locally, is extensive, the entire city is completely walkable if you’re up for it. Boston’s cobblestone streets and beautiful parks dating back to colonial times are perfect for hopping on a public bike and riding from the harbor to the large green Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Mall, which run from downtown to Back Bay.

2. San Francisco, California

While cable cars are an iconic symbol of this northern California city, tourists use them far more than the locals. Bay Area Rapid Transit will likely get you to your destination faster, but the rickety street cars are wonderful for sight-seeing. You may get tired of walking due to the many steep hills, but San Francisco is still a great walkable city and has plenty of bike and Segway tour options for when that happens. Bike across the Golden Gate on your way to visit Alcatraz or take public transit to see the Redwood trees north of the city.

  1. New York, New York

Manhattan and greater New York City are home to the largest rapid transit system, the MTA, and the easiest place to visit with a car. In fact, having a car here could be as much or more expensive than your accommodation. Walk around Central Park and use the subway or hail a yellow cab if traffic isn’t a nightmare. Walking food tours, outdoor parks, and art museums are a good place to start—but be sure to always obey the crosswalk signs.

Shannon McMahon, SmarterTravel.com | April 20, 2016

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