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Save Gas: Find Your Ideal Walking Destination

New service Walk Score helps people find the most walkable cities in the United States, saving them the cost of rental cars and high gas prices.

 

Every good traveler knows that the best way to explore a new destination is to walk it. At least it’s a good way for those destinations that are the most pedestrian-friendly. Now there’s a service that ranks cities based on their walkability, making it easier than ever to find vacation spots that fit your feet, so to speak, so you can explore without the need for a rental car, especially given today’s high price of gasoline.

Walk Score (www.walkscore.com) serves folks by assigning a ‘Walk Score’ to neighborhoods throughout the country, which is determined by an algorithm that awards points based on proximity to nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. The service was created to help people find ideal neighborhoods in which to live, but it works well for travelers too, particularly those looking to explore beyond the most popular tourist neighborhoods of an urban destination.

The site currently ranks 2,508 neighborhoods in the 40 largest U.S. cities, with 138 making the grade of being a Walkers’ Paradise, scoring between 90 and 100. A 70 to 89 score, Very Walkable, is good too—no car needed for either category. Got a neighborhood in mind that’s on your trip list? Type in the address on the Walk Score site and see just how walkable your destination is.

Not surprisingly, New York has the highest number of neighborhoods great for walking, taking up seven of the top 10 slots, with Tribeca, Little Italy and Soho all scoring perfect 100s. Least walkable? Jacksonville, Fla. But that doesn’t mean the city can’t be explored on foot—six of Jacksonville’s main neighborhoods scored 70 or above.

Based on overall scores, here are the top 10 ped-friendly cities in the United States, in order:

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York
  3. Boston
  4. Chicago
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Seattle
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Long Beach, Calif.
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Portland, Ore.

Themes: Ecotourism


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