The 10 best United States Cities to take walks in begins with how beneficial it is for the human body to stretch the legs and do a walkabout. The experience is even better when these walks include some awesome scenery to take in during the process. Usually, when tourists arrive at a new destination, including cities, the desire to walk around in order to get to know it better is too tempting to pass up. Among the cities within the United States of America, which are the top ten that offer the best walking opportunities there is?
When factoring in the list, it’s not always about the walking scores given by experts who use this to determine which are the most walkable cities in the nation. It’s also about the experience a walker takes when choosing to use the healthiest approach possible to explore a city. The best part about visiting any given location on foot is the ability to come across some awesome opportunities and scenery a vehicle simply isn’t able to do. Among the cities listed in this article, it appears as if they really took this to heart as part of their landscaping scheme.
Top 10 United States Cities to Take Walks In
# 10 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
What makes Minneapolis, Minnesota a great city to walk around in is the blend of green scenery and colorful murals. It’s also one of the safest cities in America to walk around in as you take in so much culture and nature at the same time. Granted, walking around during the coldest days of the winter season may not feel so great but among the population who rely on public transportation, Minneapolis seems to have gone above the call of duty to make sure to keep its commuters safe as they travel to and fro between destinations. This Twin City’s longest trail is Luce Line Trail, which is almost seventy-five miles long. As for walkable neighborhoods, Lyn-Lake is at the top which allows businesses and residents of Lowrey Hill East and Upton to enjoy the benefits of what this trail has to offer. If you’re into the eclectic scene, this is the place to go. Downtown and Uptown also offer great walking opportunities for locals and visitors alike to enjoy what they can access there.
# 9 – Seattle, Washington
Speaking on a personal note, Seattle, Washington is a heavenly city to walk around in due to the fact you’ve got mountains as part of the city’s scenery. Also referred to as the Emerald City, this is actually one of the safest cities in the United States of America to walk around in. This is also a phenomenal city loaded with awesome hiking trails where some of which leave you wondering if you’re walking in the city or the wilderness. One of the city’s classics is the Burke-Gilman Trail. It offers so many stopping points along the sandy expanse of Golden Gardens that, speaking from experience, can take up a huge portion of your day. There are nearly thirty miles of pathways found with this particular trail alone. Furthermore, Seattle is a coastal city, so in addition to views of the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, you also have views of the waterways that all connect to the Pacific Ocean.
# 8 – Miami, Florida
What classifies Miami, Florida as one of the best cities to walk around it has more to do with simply its coastline. While on foot, this is a city that feels like one is trekking from one new village to another due to the cultural diversity that exists here. The Everglades National Park isn’t far from here, so, for walkers who prefer natural surroundings instead of an urban one, this is the place to go. As for city pedestrians, the Miami Beach Boardwalk is one of the most popular walks there is in the city. If you’re feeling festive, Bayfront Park is bound to cure that.
# 7 – Chicago, Illinois
Attention shoppers, head over to North Michigan Avenue and check out Chicago’s Magnificant Mile lineup of deals that may suit your fancy. In between, grab a bite at the restaurant. This is a district that was specifically designed for people who enjoy walking. There are also a series of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods such as Near North Side, Ukrainian Village, West Loop, and Wrigleyville. However, if you’re in Chicago, Illinois, and want a walking experience that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime, then it’s a must to visit the Pedway. This is an underground network of tunnels that connect over fifty buildings.
As a city loaded with so much history, Chicago’s collection of Prohibition-era architecture is worth checking out on foot. When arranged by a tour guide, this is at least a two-hour walk but is worth every step. Not only do you take in such historical beauty of the city, but you can also jazz it up with what scores of travelers and tourists agree is a must-see and do.
# 6 – Portland, Oregon
Also known as the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon is regarded as one of the greenest states in the United States. The numerous walking trails and walkways offer an impressive variety of cultural, historical, and scenic opportunities to take everything in while on foot. The Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk is a Portland classic that stretches along the Willamette River from the Hawthorne Bridge to Steel Bridge. There’s a floating walkway, as well as Eastbank Esplanade and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. These are some of the biggest highlights of this pedestrian-friendly walking tour that’s worth taking every step. The beauty of Portland as one of the best cities to take walks in is the fact it’s one of the cleanest in America to do so.
# 5 – Washington, D.C.
As a city, Washington, D.C. is best explored as a pedestrian instead of a driver. Districts lined up with rowhouses are found in neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter, and U Street. Then there is this little building known as the White House. Aside from serving as the official headquarters of the United States of America federal government, all the walking opportunities surrounding this historical building make this one of the most appealing for locals and travelers to hike by foot. Sightseers have the opportunity to walk up to the DC Monuments and Memorials, as well as through Arlington National Cemetary. If one wishes to walk a less political tour, head over to the Adams Morgan neighborhood. This colorful community is lined up with a rainbow of shops and homes that mixes culture, history, and quirkiness as an artistic landscape.
# 4 – Boston, Massachusetts
With one of the highest walking scores in the United States, Boston, Massachusetts offers some of the best pedestrian-friendly walking opportunities there are. Among historians who want to check out the impressive architecture of Federal-style homes, visiting Bay Village by foot won’t disappoint. In Boston, North End is its equivalent to Little Italy and is worth venturing by foot. There’s also the Leather District, which if you’re looking to carry some shopping bags along the way, the opportunity is ripe to do so.
When Boston was first designed as a city, it was originally intended to cater to pedestrians instead of vehicular traffic. One of the best walking tours the city has to offer is Boston Common as it’s loaded with impressive scenery. The old cobblestone streets in some of the city’s older districts are charming enough to win over romantics. Boston’s Freedom Trail offers a trek through history that covers the roots of the city’s revolution period. There’s also Boston Harbor and Castle Island to the city’s south which serves as the home to a historical fort that’s worth checking out.
# 3 – San Francisco, California
Along the West Coast, San Fransico, California has been deemed the most walkable city. It’s also among the best, thanks to the Bay Area Rapid Transit System. This city is loaded with park trails and pedestrian-friendly walkthroughs into neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Lower Nob Hill, and Union Square. Part of the appeal behind San Francisco is some of the challenges that come with some of the foot-friendly trails. Known for some really steep streets, it’s also known for some pathways that will give you quite the workout should you take on the sharp ascent or descent they have to offer.
There’s Land’s End Trail, which is a favorite walk among locals and visitors alike. This is the walk that allows you to explore the historic Sutro Baths, as well as magnificent views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is located at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, as is Seal Rocks Beach.
# 2 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s oldest city, Philadelphia, offers an impressive collection of boardwalks, pathways, and trails that makes this one of the best cities to tour on foot. Should you travel the Schuylkill River Trail, go catch a matinee so you can rest your feet for a while. It’s also worth walking up to and checking out its beautiful City Hall. Some of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia to visit by foot are Avenue of the Arts, Center City West, and Rittenhouse Square. Philadelphia is home to Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. This was also the city George Washington and Alexander Hamilton resided in, so the walking opportunities to take in such history are an absolute must. Walking through the Old City of Philadelphia is worth every step. The mix of culture, history, and trends makes Philadelphia one of the most enjoyable cities to visit as a pedestrian.
In addition to the urban legends that make walking in Philadelphia so awesome are the natural trails that may have a walker think they’ve stepped into the woods. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Tinicum is one such place, which is located near the airport in Philly’s southwest. Walking through there feels like it’s an entirely different world than what’s surrounding it. Should one visit this particular trail, make sure you bring a camera to take in the numerous photo ops you’re bound to encounter while there.
# 1 – New York City, New York
As large as New York City is, this is the best-urbanized community there is when it comes to engaging in walks. Among all the cities in North America, no other has received the amount of attention it has by romantics as New York State’s crown jewel. While the world already seems familiar with Manhattan’s Central Park as one of the most popular and scenic opportunities to enjoy its numerous pathways, there’s also Governors Island just south of it, and the Hudson River Greenway to the north.
Also, Manhattan isn’t the only borough in New York that offers some awesome walking opportunities. Trek over to Brooklyn and you’ll have access to Astoria Park. Despite its popularity, it’s an enjoyable enough walk that doesn’t encounter so much of a crowd. There’s also Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which leads you to Brooklyn Heights. This is the city’s first landmarked district with its stretch of historic homes. While in Brooklyn, it’s definitely worth walking from Brighton Beach to Coney Island. Brighton’s boardwalk offers a quieter walking experience while Coney Island offers the seaside splendor of one of the nation’s most iconic amusement parks.
Staten Island is another one of New York City’s five boroughs. If you’re going to walk around in the city to take in some history and scenery, don’t pass up Wolfe’s Pond Park. If you’re looking for what’s deemed as the “greenest” borough there is in New York, Staten Island is it. There are about twelve thousand acres of green space on an island that sits just north of the state border with the state of New Jersey.
To be honest, getting around New York City is at its best when done on foot. Because it is so compact, this is one of the few cities where a vehicle doesn’t serve to your advantage as a mobility option. You’re better off walking around. The brilliance behind New York City’s design is the public transportation system it has in place. Between the subways, the boardwalks, and the bridges, your feet can cover more distance in a shorter time span than using an automobile. It was as if New York City was purposely engineered as a city meant for people to walk around in.
10 Best United States Cities To Take Walks In published on BigCityReview.com© 2023
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