After indulging in all of the Christmas cookies and holiday feasts, it’s not hard to see why most Americans place getting in shape—or some variation thereof—at the top of their resolutions for the upcoming year. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply walk more. Here is a list of cities that will help you meet that daily step goal the new gadget Santa brought you (and for many more or to see how your hometown measures up, check out Walk Score).
New York City, NY
If you weren’t paying attention to where you were going, you could walk across the entirety of Manhattan and not even know it. It’s only a little over two miles wide at its widest point. And if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could walk the length of it—thirteen miles—before dinnertime. It’s all of the things in the midst of those journeys that make New York City great for walking: There the refurbished High Line, the never-sleeping Times Square, the awe-inspiring skyscrapers, and cuisine from every country you could ever imagine.
Many will tell you that it’s far easier to navigate Boston on foot than it is in a vehicle (plus, you don’t have to worry about parking!). From the historic Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile trek through Boston’s downtown with stops at culturally significant landmarks in our country’s past, to WalkBoston, a nonprofit organization aimed at making the diverse neighborhoods more accessible to pedestrians, you’ll be part of the crowd singing the praise of the no-car revolution in no time.
San Francisco, CA
Like Boston, San Francisco has its own organization, Walk San Francisco, fighting to make things easier for those choosing to utilize their own two feet at every opportunity. Not only is it the birthplace of the “parklet”—a sidewalk extension that gives extra space for things other than cars—but also Sunday Streets, an initiative that closes down large sections of streets to automobile traffic to encourage people to walk, run, dance, do yoga, or do any other physical activity—which will definitely come in handy when you’re trying to conquer the city’s killer hills.
No one can say Philadelphia isn’t committed to pedestrians. It’s highly walkable Center City district (home of the Liberty Bell) boasts Walk! Philadelphia, the largest comprehensive pedestrian sign system in North America. With many beautiful historic districts, you can spend hours exploring Rittenhouse Square or pack a picnic and take a sunset stroll along the water near Fairmont Park.
The city of Seattle has done a lot of the legwork for you by creating the Seattle Recreational Walking Map. Like San Francisco, Seattle has a varied, but mostly hilly terrain and the map’s street-grading system can help you plan the path of least resistance (if that’s what you’re looking for). There’s the renowned Pike Place Market—home to beautiful views and the original Starbucks location—and the Olympic Sculpture Park, just to name just a few destinations accessible by foot.