Walking is good for us. It’s good for the environment, too. And while much of America requires a car or other transportation to get from point A to point B, certain cities are best experienced on your own two feet — with a good pair of shoes.
To find out how things stack up, we consulted Walk Score, a company dedicated to finding, encouraging and promoting walkable cities and neighborhoods. Its scores range from 0–100, awarding points based on pedestrian friendliness and distance to certain amenities like grocery stores.
Below, we’ve got the 10 most walkable cities in America as currently rated by Walk Score. So whether you’re considering a move, thinking about going car-free or just want to enjoy a good stroll on vacation, these are the best places to be a walker.
1. NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Walking in New York means more than just exploring Central Park. The city has the urban density to support walking within and between neighborhoods. Which means that, whether you live in the East Village, Flatiron District or Williamsburg, you’re always close to restaurants, coffee shops, museums and subway stops.
2. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco measures just 49 square miles, so you might as well walk it — and don’t worry about the hills. Explore the Embarcadero to see the iconic Ferry Building and experience Fisherman’s Wharf. Eat and shop your way through neighborhoods like Union Square and the Mission District. Or just take a walk along the nearly 2-mile-long Golden Gate Bridge, which offers a scenic pathway above the water.
3. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Boston crams a lot into a small space, too, which means you can stroll from Downtown to the Back Bay and over to Fenway and still have energy to spare. The Boston Common and adjacent Public Gardens are relaxing spots to while away an afternoon, and the Freedom Trail is the perfect walking path for history lovers.
4. MIAMI, FLORIDA
The Miami metro area is huge — and if you’re traversing between neighborhoods, well, you’re going to need a car. But the city makes the list for its densely-packed neighborhoods like South Beach, Brickell, the Design District and Little Havana. So if you live or are staying in certain areas (and don’t mind the humidity), go outside and stretch your legs.
5. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Whether you’re walking through eclectic neighborhoods like Rittenhouse Square, strolling past theaters along Avenue of the Arts or out to learn some history, Philadelphia is best explored on foot. If you’re new to town, acclimate yourself on the Constitutional Walking Tour, which features 20 important sites on the 1.25-mile journey, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Constitution Center.
6. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
With a navigable downtown and several pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods dotted with grocery stores, pizza joints and craft beer halls, Chicago is a good spot to go for a stroll. Particularly walkable areas include West Loop, Near North Side, East Village, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park and the always fun Logan Square.
7. WASHINGTON, D.C.
Our nation’s capital is a great place to be a walker, with neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, U-Street, Adams Morgan and the Downtown-Penn Quarter area teeming with activity. Or soak in some history by visiting the National Mall, and you can walk a full 2 miles from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, with plenty to see and do along the way.
8. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
Nestled between mountains and surrounded by water, Seattle is an attractive place to take a walk — especially if the sun comes out. More people moving to the city for jobs at mega companies like Amazon and Microsoft has meant more infrastructure and denser neighborhoods, making it easier to get from point to point. Downtown, Pioneer Square and the International District are good places to start, whether you’re there to work or play.
9. OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
More than just the Bay Area’s second city, Oakland is teeming with people, culture, arts and energy. It’s a pretty good place to walk, too, with Downtown, Fruitvale and Chinatown ranking high on the list.
10. LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Located about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, the under-the-radar Long Beach sports a bustling downtown with plenty of walker-friendly streets, sidewalks and crossings. If you’re a biker, there’s room for you, too — just slide into one of the many dedicated bike lanes.