Whether you’re looking for a new hometown and want to be able to walk to work or are searching out the best city where you won’t need to rent a car for your next vacation, we’ve identified the cities where you can get from point A to point B on your own two feet.
New York City
It might seem overly obvious, but New York is the easiest place in the country to get around without a car. In fact, having a car is probably more of a liability than a benefit in the City That Never Sleeps. The density of the metropolis ensures that you’ll never be more than a couple blocks away from somewhere to get groceries or meet friends for a drink, and the city’s many parks make for excellent strolls. Walk along the 1.45-mile-long High Line, a beautifully curated city park built on an old elevated freight line in Manhattan, or people-watch in Greenwich Village.
Although it’s becoming more and more expensive to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are huge perks to living in the slightly more affordable and relatively greener city of Oakland. Lake Merritt provides a scenic walking loop right by Civic Center and is just a block away from the Oakland Museum of California. You can stroll up Piedmont Avenue where a handful of small bookstores and restaurants, including local favorite Fentons Creamery, provide excellent destinations. For more off-the-beaten-path walks in Oakland, check out the book East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland. If you live in Oakland but commute to San Francisco for work (as so many do), you’ll find it easy to walk to a BART or MUNI train station from almost anywhere in the city to cross the Bay.
Asheville, North Carolina
This medium-sized city has long been popular for its lush foliage and Southern hospitality. The 434-acre North Carolina Arboretum, which lies just to the west of Asheville, is a perfect place for hours of walking through manicured gardens and nearly untouched forest. The city has enthusiastically embraced farm-to-table dining in the last decade, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants that incorporate local ingredients as you explore Biltmore Avenue on foot. Check out the Sunday supper at Rhubarb for a rotating menu of tasty, seasonal fare.