The 10 Most Walkable Cities in America

Walk Score’s 2015 rankings of some of America’s urban areas reveal where it’s a breeze to get around without a car.

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May 5, 2015· 3 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Better health, reduced air pollution, and fewer headache-inducing traffic jams—those are just a few of the benefits of making a city more walkable. But there’s no denying that some metropolitan areas are tougher to get around on foot than others. To find out which communities are a pedestrian’s paradise, the folks at Walk Score measured routes in 2,500 U.S. cities against criteria such as walker friendliness and distance to amenities. Cities were given a score between 0 and 100—the higher the number, the easier it is to ditch your car. According to Walk Score’s analysis, here are the 10 most walkable cities in the nation for 2015.

10. Baltimore
Charm City has been rocked by protests this spring, but recent revitalization efforts have made it possible to navigate its character-filled neighborhoods without a car. With a score of 66.2, Baltimore is the 10th-most-walkable city, meaning some errands can be accomplished on foot.

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9. Oakland
There’s more to this Northern California metropolis than striking views of San Francisco. With a score of 69, Oakland is the ninth-most-walkable city. Residents can explore the community’s diverse neighborhoods and accomplish some daily errands without a car.

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8. Seattle
The Emerald City might not have a yellow brick road, but with a score of 70.8, Seattle is the eighth-most-walkable community in America. Residents are able to get most errands done on foot. Last year, Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was rated the most walkable yet affordable neighborhood in the nation.

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7. Washington, D.C.
With a score of 74.1, the nation’s capital is the seventh-most-walkable city in America. From Dupont Circle to the National Mall, strolling around Washington D.C.’s historic neighborhoods or running errands is a snap.

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6. Chicago
The breeze blowing along Lake Michigan can be fierce, but from Rogers Park on the northern edge to Hyde Park on the South Side, Chicago is the sixth-most-walkable metropolis in the nation. With the city’s score of 74.8, plenty of Windy City residents can get from home to work and pick up groceries along the way—all without a car.

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5. Miami
It’s known for its beaches and for its vulnerability to rising sea levels. But Miami is also the fifth-most-walkable urban area in America, with a score of 75.6. Residents of the Magic City can accomplish most errands on foot.

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4. Philadelphia
With a score of 77, the City of Brotherly Love is the nation’s fourth-most-walkable city—and that’s a good thing. After chowing down on Philly cheesesteak or a piece of the city’s famous cheesecake, residents and tourists alike could use the exercise.

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3. Boston
It’s known for its top-notch universities, but Boston is also pedestrian-friendly. Residents of Beantown can get around Harvard Square as well as neighborhoods such as Back Bay and Beacon Hill on foot. With a score of 79.5, Boston is the nation’s third-most-walkable city—Bostonians are able to accomplish most errands on foot.

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2. San Francisco
Walking this city’s famously steep hills might make your legs burn, but from Outer Sunset to the hip Mission District, getting around without a car is pretty easy in the City by the Bay. With a score of 83.9, San Francisco is the second-most-walkable city in the nation.

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1. New York City
Whether you’re strolling down Broadway or popping over to a corner bodega in Brooklyn, the Big Apple has long been known as a haven for pedestrians. With a score of 87.6, New York City is the most walkable city in America. Gotham residents are able to run most errands, visit museums or art galleries, and generally go about their daily lives without a car. Just watch out for those jaywalking tickets.

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