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The Most Walkable U.S. Cities in America for Seniors

Experts reveal which cities are ideal for accessibility.

There are many things to consider when choosing a place to retire. For example, cost of living, healthcare, and taxes. Besides that, you'll also want to account for the quality of life. The city you choose should have a sense of community and feel vibrant, exciting, and accessible. One of the leading indicators of that? Its walkability. Here, we've rounded up the most walkable cities for seniors in the U.S., as ranked by Walk Score. Each score is calculated out of 100 to acknowledge places where most or all daily errands and activities can be done without a car. That means you can stay on your toes—and remain self-sufficient—well into your golden years.

RELATED: Walking Exactly This Much a Week Adds Years to Your Life, Study Says.

Washington, D.C.

washington dc, us capitol building, evening
Von f11photo / Shutterstock

Walk Score: 76.7

The nation's capital is also one of its most walkable cities. With a population of just over 670,000, Washington, D.C.'s Walk Score notes that most errands can be accomplished without a car. The city is relatively flat—making it ideal for strolling at a leisurely pace—and has tons of attractions you can visit on foot. We recommend weekly walks through the National Mall and an annual visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Chicago, Illinois

dusable bridge in chicago

Walk Score: 77.2

As the second-largest city on this list by square miles, Chicago is a walker's paradise (in the summer, at least). Recently, the city has allocated significant tax dollars to increase its walkability. For example, it repurposed 2.7 miles of an abandoned rail line into a park called The 606 and launched the Make Way for People initiative to support open streets and people-centric plazas and alleys. What better way to spend your retirement than by sipping your coffee on a buzzy, open street?

RELATED: 25 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking.

Boston, Massachusetts

cityscape photos of buildings and shops in Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts at twilight

Walk Score: 82.8

If you've ever visited Boston, you know you can tour the majority of its 23 official neighborhoods on foot in the span of a weekend. That compactness also adds to the city's walkability, with Walk Score estimating that most daily errands can be accomplished on foot. If you find yourself near a hub like Newbury Street, Charles Street, Boylston Street, or S Market Street, then you'll never be more than a few blocks away from everything you need. We recommend Sunday morning walks through the picturesque neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and Cambridge.

Jersey City, New Jersey

cityscape photo of buildings in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey

Walk Score: 86.6

At just 21 square miles, Jersey City is the smallest city on our list. The locale's eastern waterfront faces the Hudson River and has jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan skyline. While Jersey City has several walkable attractions—such as Liberty State Park and the Liberty Science Center (the grandkids will love this place!)—it's also just a short train ride to Manhattan. That means you get the peace and quiet and lower cost of living of New Jersey with the excitement of New York, making it great for seniors.

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New York City, New York

New York City

Walk Score: 88

No matter where you are in New York City, you're likely within walking distance of a pharmacy, a grocery store, a deli, and a diner. If that doesn't make this 302-square-mile city walkable, then we don't know what does. So, why should you spend your senior years here? The Big Apple will keep you occupied with unlimited activities, including museums, parks, theater performances, and restaurants—in many cases for little to no money (if you know where to look). Getting your 10,000 steps in has never been more exciting.

San Francisco, California

san francisco bridge and city skyline

Walk Score: 88.7

With a Walk Score of 88.7 out of 100, San Francisco is the most walkable city in America. This stunning Northern California location is known for its mild climate (it never gets much lower than 40 degrees or much higher than 75), panoramic views, and a night concentration of tech companies.

While you should be able to run most of your errands on foot, there's one caveat we'd be remiss not to highlight: the hills. According to SFGate, San Francisco is the second hilliest city in the world. If you choose to spend your golden years here, you can rest assured you'll have the gams to prove it.

RELATED: This Is How Much Money You Need to Retire in Your State, According to Data.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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