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10 Most Walkable Cities in the US 2021

October 14, 2021

If you're not into car culture and want to go to work, have fun, and explore, all on foot, you still have options. Walkability can play an essential role in where you choose to call home and save money at the same time. You can get around quickly and live in a highly walkable city where your feet take you everywhere you want to go.

Not sure where to start? We researched for you to help you find the most walkable cities!

1. New York City, NY

There's no need to battle Manhattan traffic when you can walk everywhere you want to go in New York City. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, the city's best neighborhoods are teeming with walkable activities. Hit up Central Park, waterfront walkways, or trendy bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Of course, New York City is expansive, so if your favorite neighborhood is out of reach, you can still hop on the subway, cab, ferry, or rideshare to visit Manhattan's hot spots or outer boroughs.

Winter isn't for the faint of heart in New York City, but walking your way through the coldest months and thriving is still doable. Locals learn to bundle up or budget for more Ubers and Lyfts on snowy days. Make room in your purse or man bag for an extra pair of shoes to slip into for work or to explore the city's nightlife.

2. San Francisco, CA

The Bay Area is filled with tech opportunities, nightlife, nature, and an iconic landscape. San Francisco is a walkable wonderland attracting locals to its hilly backdrop over the Bay and Mediterranean climate. The city’s public transportation is robust, and locals learn to avoid the hilliest streets and choose walkable neighborhoods to live, work, and play in.

The best neighborhoods in San Francisco feature luxury apartment buildings, Victorian single-family homes, and historic buildings. You can also get back to San Francisco's hippie roots and frequent the trendy boutiques in areas like Golden Gate Park. Whether you want to live in the heart of it all or a quieter neighborhood, pubs, cafes, and music venues are never far away from your doorstep.

3. Jersey City, NJ

You may have heard New Yorkers call Jersey City the "sixth borough" for its proximity to Manhattan and its reputation as the epicenter of Jersey's nightlife and fun. You're still incredibly close to Manhattan but can still enjoy your own walkable neighborhood without hopping on the PATH.

Jersey City is indeed home to some of the worst traffic in the country, making its walkability even more desirable. You end up with more apartment space than most of New York City without skimping on urban amenities. Enjoy luxury apartments with gorgeous views in the ever-developing Jersey City.

4. Boston, MA

The capital of Massachusetts has a healthy job market and phenomenal higher education opportunities. Boston's historic neighborhoods also boast some of the oldest pubs in the country, Colonial-era attractions, and walkable streets.

The walkable Freedom Trail sets the scene for how much you can explore in Boston on foot. Shopping the city's trendiest neighborhoods, visiting the Boston Common, and frequenting attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts, is easy when you live in Boston. Like the rest of the Northeast, Boston's weather gets frigid during the winter months. Fortunately, Boston's public transportation and bikeable areas easily connect you to the rest of the city.

5. Newark, NJ

Newark's diverse population and backdrop attract newcomers looking for urban amenities and big-city opportunities. Areas like Downtown Nearsk feature the city's cultural hub, shopping, and business opportunities. It's also the perfect neighborhood if you want to frequent cultural attractions like Newark Symphony Hall.

Newark was once known for its urban grit and working-class neighborhoods. Today, its urban development holds firm but also offers a softer side. For example, Newark hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival each April to enjoy the thousands of cherry blossom trees enveloping Branch Brook Park. There's also plenty of global cuisine and attractions to explore and experience in Brick City.

6. Philadelphia, PA

Leave your car behind if the City of Brother Love is calling you home to its walkable streets. Philadelphia is the cornerstone of American history with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, which you can visit without hopping into a car. There's also plenty of cultural activities, from world-class museums to its symphony and orchestra.

Philadelphia's neighborhoods beckon historic charm, from Old City to Center City. You can choose to live close to the best dive bars and trendy eateries in Queen Village or pick a more residential area for a quiet reprieve. You’re only walking distance away from Philadelphia's best nightlife venues or rideshare away from retro diners to DJ dance nights. Philadelphia's convenient location on the East Coast makes it ideal for grabbing a train or bus to other walkable cities like New York and Boston.

7. Miami, FL

Miami's trendy beaches and nightlife attract newcomers looking for high-fashion finds, job opportunities, and generous tax rates. The Metrorail and Metrobus make it easy to get around when you're not strolling through Downtown, Little Havana, and beyond.

The city deals with serious traffic and makes moving to Miami's most walkable neighborhoods even more desirable. Keep safety in mind when heading out for the evening in Miami, and grab rideshare if you plan to join the party late into the late-night hours. High-rise apartments and upscale boutiques attract celebrities, influencers, and fashionistas looking to soak up the Miami vibe.

8. Chicago, IL

Chicago's diverse population makes it an exciting place to explore on foot. Chicago's most walkable neighborhoods range from historic enclaves to trend-setting communities with skyline views.

The Windy City has more than towering buildings and Fortune 500 businesses. Chicago also boasts over 570 city parks, making green space a score for renters who love to walk everywhere they want to go. Enjoy green space and trails surrounding Downtown Chicago, or stroll the waterfront areas before savoring the city's award-winning cuisine.

9. Washington DC

The District of Columbia earned a reputation for its cutthroat politics and American historical roots. However, Washington DC also boasts walkable neighborhoods with world-class dining and trendy watering holes. You can say no to car culture and save on DC expenses. With a high cost of living, ditching the car means never worrying about parking or rising gas prices.

DC's neighborhoods are easily walkable and offer stunning cultural attractions, museums, and political hotspots. Whether you live in the Civil War-era Dupont Circle or Mount Vernon Square, you can explore the best of what DC has to offer. On weekends, explore local galleries and historical attractions, like the walkable Washington Mall.

10. Seattle, WA

Seattle's rainy weather doesn't keep locals from enjoying the car-free lifestyle. Live in Downtown Seattle or the International District and walk to tech jobs and the global dining scene. Belltown is surrounded by a legendary music scene, galleries, and boutiques that you can walk to from your apartment building.

Wherever you live in Seattle, the outdoors are a big deal. Locals obsess over whether or not "the mountain is out" and explore nearby Mount Rainier. Hiking is a favorite pastime in the Seattle area, and during the week, you can still explore the city's green spaces and area rails without getting in your car.

Learn more about what to expect before moving to Seattle and settling into its best neighborhoods.

Final Thoughts

If walking is part of your dream lifestyle, you can find the perfect place to live with the help of WalkScore's round-up of most walkable cities and Apartment List.

Ready to find your dream apartment? Sign-up with Apartment List now and find a walkable neighborhood.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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