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The 8 Best Cities for Walking to Work

Bye, bye long commute!

By Livability on April 18, 2020


On average, Americans spend 42 hours per year commuting to work. How do you size up compared to that? Are you looking to do away with bumper-to-bumper traffic or the dread of wedging yourself into a subway car during rush hour? Then look no further.

We here at Livability have compiled a shortlist of the best cities for walking to work, according to Walk Score, a company that maintains a public access walkability index of any place in the United States, Canada and Australia. Each of these cities has a superb Walk Score, and their quality of life is top-notch. So sit down and take a gander. Then, perhaps…a stroll?

1. Hoboken, NJ 

Walk Score: 94.82
Hoboken, NJ, is less than 10 miles away from Manhattan, but it has a small-town, family-oriented feel. The gorgeous tree-lined, cobblestone streets include historical brownstone homes, cheery coffee shops and oodles of quaint restaurants and shops. This “small town” is also one of the most walkable cities in the country, with schools, grocery stores, public transit and parks available right outside your doorstep. Bonus: If you want to ditch the small town for a big-city living, you can quickly get to Manhattan via the PATH public transit system.

2. West Hollywood, CA 

Walk Score: 88.7
West Hollywood experiences 283 sunny days per year, meaning: A lot of opportunities to lose your car and walk to work. Aside from your commute, there are many great things to do within the two-square-mile city limits of West Hollywood. Its most popular walking districts include “The Sunset Strip,” a section of Sunset Boulevard that includes fancy hotels, shopping, restaurants and legendary music and nightlife venues. If you’re visiting West Hollywood, check out Visit West Hollywood’s “Walkable WeHo” walking tours, offering you tons of car-free adventure options. Tip: Check out “The Grafton Walk,” a two-hour adventure to witness the best views, parks and tourist traps West Hollywood offers.

Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA
Cambridge / Photo by Ivo Gretener Photography

3. Cambridge, MA 

Walk Score: 86.91
Cambridge is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, such as Harvard and MIT. It’s also a perfect walking city and was voted the Most Walkable City in the United States less than two years ago. Interested in seeing all the Cambridge has to offer on foot? Boston City Walks offers historical tours through Cambridge, including America’s first subway station, Harvard Square, and Cambridge’s Old Burial Ground colonial cemetery.

4. Lancaster, PA 

Walk Score: 80.37
Lancaster is located in south-central Pennsylvania and is one of the oldest inland towns in the United States. Getting around on foot in Lancaster is certainly an efficient means of commuting — at two miles across, the city can be traversed in less than 40 minutes, with plenty of shops, restaurants and galleries along the way.

5. Miami, FL 

Walk Score: 75.63
Miami is a walker’s paradise…in paradise. From South Beach to Miami Beach, most errands can be accomplished on foot. According to Walk Score, every month, the Mayor of Miami closes major roads to cars, allowing walkers and bikers to explore all that the city has to offer.

Oak Park, IL downtown storefronts

6. Oak Park, IL 

Walk Score: 72.81
Known for its high-quality architecture and ties to Frank Lloyd Wright, Oak Park has a small town, Midwestern feel, with the added bonus of being less than 10 miles away from Chicago. Filled with walkable attractions such as Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Madison Street Community Theatre, tons of parks, shops and eateries, Oak Park is perfect for strolling.

7. Arlington, VA 

Walk Score: 67.06
Rated as one of Livability’s 100 Best Places to Live in 2015, Arlington is a perfect city for walking to work. The safety, parks and easy access to D.C. or the Metro make for a quick commute. You can even enjoy some sightseeing along the way, as Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial.

8. University Park, TX 

Walk Score: 57.73
University Park is situated in Dallas County and is four square miles and home to Southern Methodist University. Even though temps can reach 100+ F during the summer months, this Texas town still provides its residents with a plethora of ways to commute comfortably.

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