Perfectly Walkable Small Towns

Walkability isn’t an urban phenomenon, it’s an everywhere phenomenon.  Walk Score advisor Dan Burden created a great list of walkable small towns.  We decided to build on Dan’s list by finding 10 small towns with locations that have perfect 100 Walk Scores.

Aspen, CO | Key West, FL | Healdsburg, CA | Missoula, MT | Flagstaff, AZ | Brunswick, ME | Lawrence, KS | Juneau, AK | Middlebury, VT | Moscow, ID

This is just a start and we’re hoping to build a comprehensive list in the future—and to create walkability maps for small towns that are similar to the maps we made for the 40 largest U.S. cities.

Tip: want to see some hot pedestrian-centric design? Look at Lawrence, KS or Healdsburg, CA and then click the “Go to street level view” link above the map.

5 Comments

  1. MattF

    My home address: 4801 Hampden Lane, Bethesda MD, gets a score of 97… Note that ‘Bethesda MD’ is an amorphous ‘inner suburb’ of Washington DC comprised of a few zip codes– If you count by area, it’s a classic suburb with single-family homes. But Bethesda has a well-demarcated downtown urban district with an area of about a square mile that scores very high on walkability. Bethesda’s not really a small town or an urban in-town neighborhood, so it doesn’t seem to me to fall into any of your categories. But there’s a population of about 50,000 (if you include the suburban surroundings)– so it’s a significant piece of the population.

  2. Steve-O

    Urbana, IL pop 40,000 and Champaign, IL 75,000 both have spots with walk scores of 100.

    Holla!

  3. Daniel

    In Fairfax County, VA the following areas are very walkable or have high walkscore numbers:
    Falls Church City, pop. 10,800 – walkscore of 98 from it’s center.
    Town of Vienna, pop. 15,000, – walkscore of 92 it’s center.
    Herndon, population of 21,700, – walkscore of 83 from it’s center.
    Reston Town Center – walkscore of 83 from the center of town. Fairfax City, pop. 22,500, – walkscore of 77 from it’s center. Bailey’s crossroads – walkscore of 85 from it’s center and
    Tysons Corner – walkscore of 89, however neither of these two areas are particularly easy to walk in currently – they just have a lot of retail. These are all the ares I can think of in Fairfax County, VA that have the potential to be a walker’s paradise.

  4. CD

    Has anyone seen the new shopping mall concept that is being built? Instead of building a traditional indoor mall, many developers are now building malls using a “campus” concept; there are 7 or 8 buildings, each located close to each other, and the shops are all located in these buildings and you walk from one building to the next. In between the building there is landscaping, sidewalks, water fountains, community space, etc. There is still a large parking lot, but once you walk from your car, you are “in” the mall.

    In Texas, there are two cities that are taking this concept a step further: building centrally-planned “downtowns” from the ground up, and integrating this new mall concept into it, with nice condos/apartments upstairs from the shops: Southlake, Texas (suburb of Dallas/Ft Worth) and Cedar Park, TX (suburb of Austin).

    These are towns that have existed for some time, but sprang up out of no where and had no central planning or city center, but have decided to build a new city center out of scratch.

    What Southlake has done, is to find a large plot of land and has built a centrally planned, traditional city grid (even using old-fashioned street names such as Main St, Elm St, etc), with a central town square dominated by a fountain and a grand City Hall. ALL essential services are centrally located: City Hall, post office, dry cleaners, etc, plus all of the normal mall stores (including the anchor stores) are found within this little “village”. There are upscale restaurants (with sidewalk cafes) and maybe even one bar/pub. Upstairs from these stores and restaurants are nice condos and apartments (there are also additional town homes built out on the perimeter of the village). People can come here to shop, but the idea is to rent out the apartments so that there is a strong walkability factor. There is a parking garage integrated into all this as well, so that visitors and shoppers (as well as residents) will have plenty of places to park, but it is built in such a way as to not create a garish ugly huge parking lot. If you lived in this town, you would never really have to leave (other than to go to work). You have your grocery, your mall, everything right downstairs from where you live. This concept has been very successful.

    Cedar Park is duplicating this, but they are still building out the village; it will probably take 2 more years for it to be completed.

  5. Staunton, VA – two hours south of DC – (pop. 25,000) has a walk score of 94 downtown. Yes, that includes our very-walkable, independent grocery store. I think more people are coming to value walkable neighborhoods. Thanks for making it easy to showcase our little town with your score!

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