Tips & Guides

The 13 Most Walkable Cities in the U.S., Ranked

By Landing | Mar 22, 2024
People walking around the city

Great cities have everything you need a short walk away. Grab your best sneakers and lace up, because here are 13 of the most walkable cities in the U.S.

Living in a walkable city changes your whole day.

Imagine starting each morning with a stroll. You grab a flat white from your favorite coffee shop and have a quick chat with a neighbor. It’s a far cry from the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway — and days that go from one parking lot to the next. 

Walking is the best way to get to know a city, no matter how long you’ve called it home. It turns daily errands and commutes into opportunities for exploration and connection. Plus, it lowers your carbon footprint and promotes a healthy lifestyle with each step. 

If you’re dreaming about a move to a metropolitan area that has everything you need close by, here are 13 of the most walkable cities in the U.S. to choose from.

What Are the Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.?

The most walkable cities include San Francisco, New York, and Jersey City. But what exactly makes a place walkable? 

Walkability analysis company Walk Score ranks areas by population density, block length, and distance to amenities. Simply put, the closer you are to all your needs, the more walkable a city is. That includes everything from local schools to dentists to restaurants.

The Most Walkable Cities in the U.S. to Live in 2024

The U.S. gets a bad rap for building car-centric infrastructure that shuts pedestrians out. But cities like Chicago and Miami go against the grain, offering a balance of walkable neighborhoods and great public transport that takes you where you need to go — no vehicle necessary. 

Here are 13 of the most pedestrian-friendly cities, with stats from Walk Score to show you just how navigable they are:

1. San Francisco (Walk Score: 89)

San Francisco's bridge

San Francisco has earned the top spot as the most walkable city in the U.S. — despite its infamous hills. Walking around is a non-stop leg day, but most amenities are so close that you’ll barely break a sweat.

San Francisco owes its walkability to its natural geography. Perched on a peninsula, the city’s compact size encouraged high-density neighborhoods. Whether you live in Chinatown, the Castro, or Nob Hill, you’ll find a mix of restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities nearby. Plus, hilly landscapes and small, one-way streets naturally congest traffic, making walking and getting to know a neighborhood more realistic than hopping in a car. 

The city also invests in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. An extensive public transportation network — including buses, trolleys, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train — lets you move around on foot easily. Wide sidewalks, pedestrian-only zones, and 220 public parks support San Francisco’s walkability. 

2. New York City (Walk Score: 88)

People walking around New York City

At a close second, New York City epitomizes urban walkability, thanks to a dense skyline that extends from Uptown Manhattan down to the Financial District and everywhere in between. From trendy art galleries and grocery stores to schools and public parks, each neighborhood is a self-contained slice of urban living. 

When you feel like getting out of your borough, an extensive public transportation system connects you to nearly every corner of New York City. Over 665 miles of tracks operate 24 hours, seven days a week. An equally impressive bus system, a public bike network, and well-maintained sidewalks make it easy to understand why over half of New Yorkers decide to live without a car

3. Jersey City (Walk Score: 87)

Jersey City's skyline

Jersey City doesn’t bask in the same spotlight as its Hudson River neighbor. But what it lacks in glamor, it makes up for with its livable urban space, making it one of the best walkable cities in the U.S. Whether you choose waterfront views in Fort Lee, enjoy a flair for the arts Downtown, or favor the parks of the West Side, you can accomplish all daily errands on foot. 

Public transportation is also a great option, with plenty of bike infrastructure, a light rail, and the PATH Train that takes you around Jersey City into Manhattan. The best part? You don’t have to fight the Manhattan crowds. 

4. Boston (Walk Score: 83)

Skyline in Boston

Boston works hard to live up to its reputation as a great place to live without a car. Like San Francisco, Boston’s compact size earns it a spot on every list of the top walkable cities in the U.S. 

Boston’s neighborhoods all take on a distinct character, despite being tightly knit together. Explore its more historic districts on Freedom Trail, a historical path through the city. From the old-school charm of Beacon Hill, with its narrow, cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks, to the food and arts scene in the North End, Boston is endlessly enjoyable to stroll around on foot. The downtown areas are accessible by bus, trolley, or the “T” subway system. Plus, its dated street layout and limited parking discourage many from driving.

5. Chicago (Walk Score: 77)

Skyline of Chicago

You’ve probably heard Chicago called the “Windy City,” but did you know it’s also called the “City of Neighborhoods”? Chicago has more than 100 neighborhoods smushed into 77 community areas, each with a unique history and character. And they’re all walkable — especially the closer you are to Downtown Chicago. 

Pedestrian-friendly sidewalks unite neighborhoods like Ukrainian Village, Oak Park, and West Loop. Waterfront parks and green spaces, like Lincoln Park or the Bloomington walking trail, also encourage walkers to take a warm summer stroll before icy, windy winters take over. 

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6. Washington, D.C. (Walk Score: 77) 

Photo of the Obelisk in Washington DC

Downtown Washington D.C.’s grid-style urban planning, with streets named with letters or numbers, makes it extremely pedestrian-friendly. Even if it’s your first day in the country’s capital, finding your way around is easy. And popular neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Mount Vernon Square are full of amenities and close to public transport or bike trails. 

Nearly every line of D.C.’s Metrorail connects with a centralized circular rail, making it easy to switch trains and get nearly anywhere in the city. Some lines even reach the Greater Washington area, like Arlington. 

7. Miami (Walk Score: 77)

Miami shore

Year-round humidity may discourage you from walking long distances in Miami. But popular neighborhoods, like Coconut Grove, Little Havana, and Brickell, have all the amenities you need to stay in the same neighborhood. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t explore. In 2024, Miami-Dade County expanded its public Metrobus with new routes and changed the old ones to reduce traffic congestion and commute times. Likewise, bike and walking trails — like the Underline, the Riverwalk, and Snake Creek Path — are great excuses to escape downtown Miami and enjoy the stunning natural scenery. 

8. Philadelphia (Walk Score: 75)

Philadelphia streets at night

Although it ranks lower on Walk Score, Philadelphia was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the U.S. by USA Today — and its walkability is historic. City founder William Penn designed Philadelphia on a grid, choosing the popular system to ease navigation and create a uniform travel experience. 

The most walkable neighborhoods include Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West, and Center City East. And they’re not just for the tourists looking for their fill of historical cobblestone streets and Americana culture. The city’s compact size and mixture of residential and commercial zones make for lively, walkable communities. 

9. Seattle (Walk Score: 74)

Seattle skyline at night

The “Emerald City” has a reputation for being a car city — and it’s mostly true. While visitors can get around using a limited rail and bus system, most residents prefer cars to get from one end of the city to another. 

However, what Seattle lacks in vast public transport, it makes up for in walkable neighborhoods with basic necessities and plenty of green spaces. Most Seattleites are within 10 minutes from a park, making it a great city for outdoor enthusiasts. Even neighborhoods near downtown, like Belltown or the International District, have plenty of waterfront views and gorgeous parks. 

10. Minneapolis (Walk Score: 71)

Minneapolis streets during the day

Minneapolis sits lower on the Walk Score, but similar to Seattle, it has a nice balance of urban living and access to nature. Neighborhoods like Uptown and North Loop give residents a mix of shops, dining, and parks — all within walking distance of one another. 

Don’t let Minnesota’s frigid winters scare you. The Skyway System pathway keeps pedestrians warm with 9.5 miles of enclosed walking trails that connect buildings across 80 city blocks. 

Bonus Track: 3 More Walkable Cities

  1. Portland (Walk Score: 67): Downtown Portland is full of supermarkets, food carts, and cafes, making it easy to get everything you need in just a few minutes of walking. Plus, if you prefer two wheels, this city frequently ranks as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. 
  2. Denver (Walk Score: 61): Denver is one of the fittest cities in America. Its bike trails and access to incredible hiking areas are the icing on the cake of a walkable city center. 
  3. Charleston: The South Carolina capital is too small to qualify for a Walk Score. But Charleston has a lot to love. Downtown is small and pedestrian-friendly, with restaurants, shops, and historic charm. 

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Ready To Visit the Top Walkable Cities in the U.S.?

Whether you’re a nomad looking for a pedestrian-friendly destination or considering a move to improve your quality of life, consider choosing from one of America’s most walkable cities. And if you want to make sure your neighborhood has everything you need, become a Landing member and find the perfect new home. 

Landing’s network of fully furnished stays covers over 375 cities, so you’ll settle into your home base — wherever you are. Become a member today for flexible housing that doesn’t skimp on stocked kitchens and cozy furnishings.

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