8 Most Walkable Neighborhoods on the East Coast

by Carson BuckMarch 15, 2017

Don’t Own a Car? Here’s Where You’ll Want to Live on the East Coast

Not everybody wants to own a car. From wanting to live a greener lifestyle to not wanting the financial obligation that goes along with car ownership, there are several reasons why some choose to live their lives without relying on gasoline-powered four wheels.

But when you choose this lifestyle, it also impacts where you will want to live. After all, not having a car means that you will need to either rely on public transportation, a bicycle, or your own two feet to get from place to place. So, you’ll most likely do best in a neighborhood with a very high walkability factor. Here are eight highly walkable neighborhoods on the East Coast for you to consider.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The mighty Steel City is one of America’s true comeback stories. Once depleted by the decline in the country’s coal and steel industries, Pittsburgh has reinvented itself into an economically diverse city that’s proven irresistible to students and young professionals alike. The city has a lively arts scene, a vibrant culinary identity, and of course, some of the most passionate sports fans on the planet. And, it is entirely walkable thanks to its interconnecting bridges, walkways, and cross-city trails.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore might be close to the nation’s capital, but it has an identity all its own. From its beautiful harbor to its esteemed sports teams to its renowned cultural attractions, Baltimore has plenty to offer newcomers, especially those without cars. The city has an urban trail system that’s perfect for walkers and bikers alike. And some of its most popular neighborhoods, like Mount Vernon, Charles Village, and Seton Hill are some of the most walkable on the East Coast.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is one of the oldest cities in the United States. As such, it was designed for easy access because most people back in 1607 didn’t have means of transportation other than a horse or their own two feet. And this sense of walkability remains today, especially in the Fan District and the Shockoe Bottom area. Modern Richmond is attracting more and more young professionals as it is now home to more than 60 public and private companies in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park alone.

Cleveland, Ohio

The Queen of the Rust Belt, Cleveland is a lot like Pittsburgh, a city on the rebound. Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland enjoys a walkable downtown, a robust culinary scene, and a revived emphasis on arts and culture. Also like Pittsburgh, Clevelanders love their sports teams. And now is a great time to get in, because Cleveland is still affordable, but with so much good happening here, who knows for how long that will remain true?

Rochester, New York

Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, Rochester is a unique place to live because it offers small-town charm with many of the benefits of big city culture and amenities. And, the city’s network of enclosed walkways ensure its walking residents can get where they need to, even when the snow is piled up high in the winter.

Pearl-Meigs-Monroe and Park Avenue are among the most popular neighborhoods in Rochester for walkers, but with Finger Lakes located just outside of the city, it does pay to have a friend with a car so you can take advantage of the fantastic regional wines there.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo might be notorious for its blustery cold winters thanks to its location near Lake Erie, but it’s still a wonderfully walkable city no matter the time of year. And, it’s fast becoming a hot spot for young professionals thanks to its excellent nightlife, burgeoning culinary scene, vibrant arts, and strong communities. For those without cars, the Bryant and Front Park neighborhoods are prime considerations.

Miami, Florida

With fabulous year-round weather and some of the best beaches sporting some of the most gorgeous looking people in the U.S., it’s no wonder why Miami is such a walkable city. In fact, the city has a walk score of 73. It also offers newcomers one of the most lively nightclub scenes in the country, as well as an innovative culinary identity and all of the culture you could ever want from a city. From Downtown to Little Havana to Brickell, there are several highly walkable neighborhoods in this exciting city.

New York City, New York

With a walkability score of 85 out of 100, New York City is the king of walkable cities. And, it has plenty of neighborhoods that help it earn that reputation, namely SoHo, the Flatiron District, and Little Italy, just to name a few. New York City also has an incredible network of pedestrian-only pathways, bike lanes, and trails that help non-drivers get to where they need to be in a relatively short manner. As if that’s not enough reason to move here, there’s also the city’s unsurpassed dining, entertainment, and cultural scenes to consider.

Honorable Mentions

Don’t see the city you were expecting to see listed above? Don’t worry, there are several honorable mentions that you can still consider, such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Each is a very walkable city that in recent years has expounded on their efforts to attract non-drivers to their neighborhoods through the addition of trails, bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. In Philadelphia, you’ll find Center City West, Center City East, and University City to be extremely walkable; while Boston has Chinatown, Bay Village, and Haymarket. In our nation’s capital, the West End, Dupont Circle, and Downtown areas are among its most walkable neighborhoods.

As our country becomes more focused on energy sustainability and reducing pollution, you can expect more and more cities both large and small to become more invested in the greener population. But, if you’re looking to move now, the above cities make for some of your best choices.

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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.

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