America’s 20 Most Walkable Cities Revealed

The Most Pedestrian-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

Man walking on San Fransisco street
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Exploring a city on foot offers an immersive experience that can’t be matched by any other mode of transportation. From vibrant museums and one-of-a-kind coffee shops to charming neighborhoods, pedestrian-friendly cities in the U.S. invite both locals and tourists to stroll through their streets. These cities prioritize walkability with well-maintained sidewalks, accessible amenities, and plenty of parks and green spaces.

New York City, NY

Busy city street in New York City
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New York City ranks high in walkability, with its dense attractions from Uptown Manhattan to the Financial District. Each neighborhood offers amenities like art galleries, grocery stores, schools, and parks. The city’s extensive public transport system, featuring over 665 miles of subway tracks running 24/7, as well as an impressive bus network, public bikes, and maintained sidewalks, makes car-free living a popular choice for many New Yorkers.

Boston, MA

Boston, MA
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Boston is renowned for being a car-free-friendly city. Its compact size ranks it among the top walkable cities in the U.S. Each neighborhood has a unique character, from the historic Freedom Trail and Beacon Hill’s cobblestone streets to the North End’s vibrant food and arts scene. Downtown is easily accessible by bus, trolley, or the “T” subway system. The city’s dated layout and limited parking also deter driving, making walking a more reasonable option most of the time.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. street
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Downtown Washington, D.C.’s grid-style layout, with lettered and numbered streets, makes it easy to navigate and very pedestrian-friendly. Popular neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Mount Vernon Square offer plenty of amenities and are include access to public transport and bike trails. D.C.’s Metrorail system, with its centralized circular rail, allows for easy train switches and access to nearly any part of the city, even extending to Greater Washington areas like Arlington.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, Washington
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Seattle, known as the “Emerald City” for its lush landscapes, is primarily a car-centric city. While visitors can use the limited rail and bus system, most residents rely on cars for longer trips. However, Seattle boasts walkable neighborhoods with essentials and ample green spaces. Most residents are within 10 minutes of a park, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Even downtown areas like Belltown and the International District offer plentiful waterfront views and beautiful parks.

Portland, OR

City view of Portland, Oregon
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Portland is a highly walkable city, thanks to its compact layout, public transportation, and numerous pedestrian-friendly amenities. The city’s neighborhoods blend residential, retail, and dining options within short distances, making errands and outings convenient on foot. Plus, Portland’s extensive network of parks and green spaces, such as the famous Forest Park, and well-maintained sidewalks enhance the walking experience, encouraging both locals and visitors to explore the city by foot.

San Francisco, CA

Downtown San Francisco in California
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San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., even with its famous hills. Its compact size and high-density neighborhoods mean amenities like restaurants and grocery stores are always close by. Hilly landscapes and narrow streets limit car traffic, making walking an easy option. The city also has pedestrian-friendly features, including wide sidewalks, pedestrian zones, 220 public parks, and an extensive public transit network with buses and trolleys.

Chicago, IL

City street in Chicago, Illinois
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Chicago, known as the “City of Neighborhoods,” boasts over 100 neighborhoods within 77 community areas, each with unique character. These areas, especially those near Downtown, are highly walkable. Pedestrian-friendly sidewalks connect neighborhoods like Ukrainian Village, Oak Park, and West Loop. Waterfront parks and green spaces, such as Lincoln Park and the Bloomington walking trail, are perfect for summer strolls before the cold, windy winters set in.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA
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Los Angeles, often celebrated for its car culture, also features vibrant, walkable neighborhoods. Hollywood offers iconic sights like the Walk of Fame, and its bustling streets are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Nearby, Larchmont Village exudes small town charm with quaint shops, cozy cafes, and a community-focused atmosphere. These areas are well-designed for pedestrians, allowing residents and visitors to easily explore cultural landmarks and local gems on foot. Plus, the city is working on prioritizing its public transit system, with over $900 million already secured to improve public transportation in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA
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Pittsburgh is a wonderful walkable city, thanks to its compact neighborhoods like Shadyside and Lawrenceville, which offer a variety of local shops, eateries, and vibrant street art. The city’s hilly terrain also provides scenic routes, while its rich history is evident in neighborhoods like the Strip District. Additionally, Pittsburgh’s plentiful green spaces, such as Schenley Park and Point State Park, offer beautiful, leisurely walking options.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA
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Philadelphia was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the U.S. by USA Today, largely due to its historic design. Founder William Penn planned the city on a grid for easy navigation. Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West, and Center City East are among the most walkable neighborhoods. Philadelphia’s compact size and mix of residential and commercial areas create lively, walkable communities suitable for both locals and tourists.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Minneapolis-St. Paul twin cities area
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Minneapolis-St. Paul balances urban living and nature well. Neighborhoods like Uptown and North Loop offer shops, dining, and parks within walking distance. Minnesota’s frigid winters are mitigated by the Skyway System, which provides 9.5 miles of enclosed walking paths connecting buildings across 80 city blocks, keeping pedestrians warm year round.

Miami, FL

Sidewalk by the water in Miami, Florida
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Miami’s year-round humidity might make long walks less appealing, but neighborhoods like Coconut Grove, Little Havana, and Brickell offer all necessary amenities locally. You can still explore thanks to the expanded Miami-Dade Metrobus routes in 2024, aimed at reducing traffic and commute times. Additionally, bike and walking trails such as the Underline, Riverwalk, and Snake Creek Path provide great opportunities to enjoy Miami’s natural scenery outside downtown.

Charlotte, NC

Park in Charlotte, North Carolina
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Charlotte, is a great walkable city, featuring pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods like Uptown, which boasts impressive skyline views, local eateries, and cultural sites. South End is known for its lively brewery scene and public art, connected by the Rail Trail, perfect for strolls. The city’s many green spaces, such as Freedom Park and Romare Bearden Park, offer scenic walking paths, making exploring Charlotte on foot both enjoyable and convenient.

Austin, TX

City street in Austin, Texas
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Austin is a superb walkable city, with vibrant neighborhoods like Downtown and South Congress offering an eclectic mix of music venues, boutiques, and eateries. The city’s commitment to pedestrian-friendly infrastructure is evident in areas like the Rainey Street Historic District. Green spaces abound, with Zilker Park providing expansive trails and Lady Bird Lake offering a beautiful waterfront path. Austin’s lively street life and accessible parks make it ideal for walking enthusiasts.

Atlanta, GA

Park walkway in Atlanta, Georgia
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Atlanta, though traditionally known for its reliance on cars, has increasingly developed walkable neighborhoods such as Midtown and Virginia-Highland. In these areas, residents can comfortably stroll to parks, shops, and restaurants. Piedmont Park, Atlanta’s largest green space, offers extensive walking trails and is a centerpiece of Midtown’s walkability. The BeltLine trail also connects various neighborhoods, enhancing pedestrian access and making Atlanta progressively more walkable.

Denver, CO

Street in Denver, Colorado
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Denver is becoming renowned for its walkability, especially in vibrant neighborhoods like LoDo (Lower Downtown) and Capitol Hill. These areas offer a plethora of dining, shopping, and entertainment options within short walking distances. City Park, with its scenic trails and the Denver Zoo, enhances the pedestrian experience. The Cherry Creek Trail also provides a picturesque route for walkers, runners, and cyclists, linking various parts of the city seamlessly.

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, Ohio
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Cleveland is a remarkably walkable city, particularly in neighborhoods like Ohio City and Tremont, which feature bustling streets lined with trendy boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. Downtown Cleveland also offers pedestrian-friendly zones, with East 4th Street being a notable hotspot. The city’s extensive park system, including the Cleveland Metroparks and the scenic trails around Edgewater Park, provides ample opportunities for leisurely strolls amid natural beauty.

Houston, TX

Bike path in Houston, Texas
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Houston is not generally known for its walkability due to its sprawling layout, but neighborhoods like Midtown and Montrose offer pedestrian-friendly environments. Midtown boasts vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions within walking distance, while Montrose is known for its eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Buffalo Bayou Park provides scenic trails ideal for walking, jogging, or biking, enhancing the city’s appeal for outdoor enthusiasts.

Columbus, OH

City of Columbus, Ohio
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Columbus shines as a walkable city with neighborhoods like the Short North and German Village leading the way. The Short North is rich with art galleries, trendy shops, and diverse eateries, all within easy walking distance. German Village captivates with its brick streets and historic homes. For nature lovers, the Scioto Mile offers scenic riverfront parks and trails, perfect for leisurely strolls or active outings, enhancing the city’s walkable charm.

Baltimore, MD

Streets of Baltimore, Maryland
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Baltimore is a walker’s delight with its diverse neighborhoods and scenic parks. Fells Point offers picturesque waterfront views and historic cobblestone streets, while Hampden charms with quirky shops and local eateries. The Inner Harbor provides a bustling promenade with attractions like the National Aquarium. Druid Hill Park offers verdant trails and beautiful landscapes. The city’s compact layout and pedestrian-friendly paths make exploring on foot a pleasure.

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