The 20 Easiest Cities to Walk in America

PHOTO: Pedestrians crossing the street in New York City. (photo courtesy of Orbon Alija via Getty)
Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 8:00 AM ET, Mon February 18, 2019

Walk America

Spring is fast approaching and for travelers that means exploring new destinations-especially cold-weather cities-is about to get a whole lot easier and much more fun. Taking into account recent data from Walk Score, these are the 20 U.S. cities where travelers will want to trade in their vehicle for a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

New York, New York

The Big Apple is just that, big, but there's a ton you can see and do on just two feet. New York City boasts a walk score of over 89, which is by far the best in the country. It also earns the best transit score and ninth-best bike score in the U.S. It should also be pointed out that 2019 will be a monumental year for the city as it celebrates huge events, historic anniversaries, highly anticipated openings and much more.

San Francisco, California

On the West Coast, San Francisco rewards car-less visitors with some of the nation's most beautiful and vibrant walks. Stroll the waterfront, traverse the Golden Gate Bridge, tour any one of the city's scenic parks and take your time exploring the many charming neighborhoods such as the famous Alamo Square, which is home to the iconic Painted Ladies.

Boston, Massachusetts

Walking is undoubtedly the best way to experience Boston and the Freedom Trail is an excellent place to start. The 2.5-mile journey passes through 16 historically significant sites. Self-guided, public and private walking tours are available so choose the one that works best for you and get moving.

Miami, Florida

It should come as no surprise that sun-soaked Miami is among America's best cities for walking. If you somehow manage to get tired of touring South Florida's vibrant streets and avenues, consider kicking off your shoes with a relaxing walk on the beach.

Washington, DC

The nation's capital is chock-full of can't-miss landmarks and while you can tour many by foot at the National Mall, walkers can save both time and energy by taking advantage of the D.C. Metro system. It's cheaper than paying for parking and a great way to escape the blistering heat during the summer.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia's Schuylkill Banks is a phenomenal place to begin your walking tour of one of America's most historic cities, but don't overlook incredibly walkable neighborhoods such as Center City West or Rittenhouse Square.

Oakland, California

Just across the bay from San Francisco, Oakland is another California city that's sure to please patient walkers. Tour Jack London Square, navigate the edge of Lake Merritt or head east to dog-friendly Joaquin Miller Park to hike the Oakland Hills.

Chicago, Illinois

There's so much to explore on foot in Chicago, whether you're shopping and dining along the Magnificent Mile or strolling one of the Windy City's many famous parks. If you're looking for something scenic but not sure where to start, try the Chicago Lakefront Trail, which offers 18.5 miles of pathway for walking, jogging or biking.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle earns a respectable walk score of 73.1, giving it bragging rights among American cities in the Pacific Northwest. First-time visitors will love walking around Seattle Center, where they'll find the Space Needle among other famous attractions. The Emerald City is also home to one of the country's most inviting waterfronts.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is as walkable as cities come and there's a walking tour to suit every interest and passion, including beer walking tours that will introduce visitors to the city's booming craft beer scene. There are also excellent tours geared toward foodies and history buffs exploring the Oregon city.

Denver, Colorado

The Mile High City experiences approximately 300 days of sunshine each year, so finding a good reason to stroll is never hard. Start your walking tour of Denver at City Park for some truly amazing mountain and skyline views before heading to historic Larimer Square later in the day to check out some of the city's best shopping, dining and nightlife.

Long Beach, California

The Long Beach waterfront is among the most inviting walks in the entire country as visitors can point out The Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific, the largest in Southern California. There are also plenty of restaurants nearby such as Gladstone's seafood restaurant where you can fuel up and see more of the city.

Baltimore, Maryland

The scenic and tourist-friendly Inner Harbor, as well as Baltimore's many historic and charming neighborhoods, make it one of the walker-friendliest cities in America. When the temperature warms, visitors will want to lace up their most comfortable pair of shoes and head downtown before venturing to lively places like Fed Hill, Fells Point and Canton.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis boasts the best bike score of any city in the U.S. (81.9) so it makes sense that it's equally as appealing to walkers. Actually, the numbers are pretty astonishing. More than 92 percent of streets in Minneapolis have sidewalks on both sides. Overall, the city possesses almost 1,800 miles of sidewalk to explore.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is all but certain to leave a positive impression on those visitors who choose to do most of their exploring on foot. Plan your visit for late July to take part in Garden Walk Buffalo, the country's largest private garden walk. The more than 400 creative urban gardens on display are sure to inspire you to venture further.

Los Angeles, California

Walking around Los Angeles is not only a great way to stay in shape, but it will also give you a chance to uncover some of the city's hidden gems, including some eye-popping artwork. Areas like Venice, Santa Monica and downtown will reward visitors who opt to explore at a slower pace.

St Louis, Missouri

Easily one of the most walkable cities in the Midwest, St. Louis offers plenty of scenic treks, whether you're touring the zoo, Laumeier Sculpture Park or the Katy Trail, which stretches 240 miles along the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki are among the Hawaiian capital's most walkable neighborhoods, earning walk scores of 95 and 90, respectively. The Waikiki Beach Walk is open year-round for visitors looking to dine, shop and catch live performances from local artists.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

It's right there in the name. Milwaukee is an excellent city to tour by foot, starting with the three-plus-mile-long Riverwalk downtown. The Lynden Sculpture Garden is another great place to grab some fresh air as it's home to an impressive collection of more than 50 sculptures.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Home to nearly 450 bridges, Pittsburgh isn't the easiest city to walk but it's certainly one of the most unique. PNC Park is among the most stunning ballparks in all of baseball and is an excellent reason to cross the Roberto Clemente Bridge after you're finished wandering Point State Park. Walkers will also love the Three Rivers Heritage Trail that follows the city's riverfront.

Take a stroll in one of these inviting cities this spring.

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Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

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