Alex Starace

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The 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Minneapolis

Minnesotans love the great outdoors, summer and winter. Minneapolis is no different, with bike trails, lakes and parks that can be enjoyed year-round. But what are the most walkable neighborhoods in Minneapolis? After all, walking to do errands and meet friends is one of the best (and easiest) ways to get under-the-radar exercise. We put together a list of Minneapolis’s most walkable ‘hoods and asked our friends at Redfin for the inside scoop on each one.

1. Lyn-Lake – Walk Score 94

Via Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

Image Via Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

A business district anchored by Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street, Lyn-Lake is centrally located for those interested in its eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and bars; it’s also very near other Minneapolis neighborhoods in the top 10, including Lowry Hill East and Uptown.

It’s also bike-friendly with a Bike Score of 96. “Residents have access to the Midtown Greenway, a fantastic walking and biking trail, that can quickly take you to the lakes and the Midtown Market,” said Redfin real estate agent James Garry.

2. Downtown West – Walk Score 92

One of the primary beneficiaries of Minneapolis’s downtown renaissance, this is what most Minneapolitans think of when they think of downtown. Lucky residents can often walk to work, when they’re not busy enjoying the parks along the Mississippi River, or using the skyways to keep out of the cold.

Downtown Minneapolis, as seen from the Warehouse District. Via Gomattolsen / Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Minneapolis, as seen from the Warehouse District. Image via Gomattolsen/Wikimedia Commons

That said, it’s not for everyone; as befitting the density of a center of commerce, you’ll need to live in a condo to live there. “Options range from a $2.999M 2-bedroom penthouse, all the way down to a more typical 2-bed, 2-bath condo for a little over $200k,” said Redfin real estate agent James Garry.

3. Lowry Hill East – Walk Score 92

Served by several grocery stores, including the iconic Wedge Co-op, within blocks of the Lake of the Isles, and bordered by the commercial hub of Hennepin Avenue South, Lowry Hill East is a mix of single family homes and small condo buildings.

The result is a residential feel. “What draws people to Lowry Hill East is the duality: you can live on a quiet, tree-lined street, yet be steps away from some of the city’s restaurants and nightlife,” said Redfin real estate agent Chris Prescott.

4. Uptown – Walk Score 91

Subject to a condo-building boom over the past decade, there’s no longer any doubt that Uptown is one of the hippest places in the Twin Cities. With the Uptown Theater, Calhoun Square and Chino Latino all right there, the neighborhood shines for those who love nightlight.

However, it also doesn’t skimp on the practicalities with two groceries, Cub Foods and Lunds, one on either end of the neighborhood. And it’s right by Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun, as well as the Midtown Greenway . “Uptown also offers great outdoors opportunities,” said Redfin real estate agent James Garry.

5. Loring Park – Walk Score 89

Radiating from the eponymous Loring Park, this neighborhood is home to the Minneapolis Community & Technical College and the Minneapolis Convention Center, making it a hub of activity. Adjacent to the Walker Art Center on the west, and downtown on the east, residents don’t lack things to do – and many can walk to work.

“Homebuyers looking in the neighborhood will find mostly condos and townhomes,” said Redfin real estate agent James Garry, “while renters will find mostly high-rise opportunities.”

6. Nicollet Island – East Bank – Walk Score 88

View of Mississippi River from Nicollet Island Park, via Angelainmpls/Wikimeddia Commons

View of Mississippi River from Nicollet Island Park, Image via Angelainmpls/Wikimedia Commons

For those who love being along the river, this is the perfect neighborhood. If you’re fortunate enough to live on the island itself, you’ll find an oasis of calm in an oft-overlooked piece of land. On the east bank, there’s the beautiful St. Anthony Main, which includes a strolling promenade, restaurants and a movie theater. And in either place, you’ll only be a hop, skip and a jump away from the happening scene along 1st Avenue NE and Hennepin. Surdyck’s, anyone?

7. Stevens Square – Walk Score 88

Directly south of I-94, Stevens Square is a walkable neighborhood between walkable neighborhoods. With lots of early 20th century buildings, renters and buyers alike will find august, well-crafted residences, in a neighborhood that boasts more than its fair share of restaurants, groceries and hardware stores.

8. Whittier – Walk Score 88

Home of the famous “Eat Street” on Nicollet Avenue, residents of Whittier never lack restaurant options. Nor are they lacking in culture, with the world-class (and always free) Minneapolis Institute of the Arts anchoring the neighborhood.

“For homebuyers, there are deals to be had in Whittier,” said Redfin real estate agent James Garry. “Prices are a touch lower than some surrounding neighborhoods, but you still have great amenities and proximity to downtown.”

9. East Isles – Walk Score 87

Directly on Lake of the Isles, this neighborhood is known for its stately mansions. Almost exclusively composed of single family homes, it abuts busier Uptown and Lowry Hill East.

“Home prices might seem high, but the value is there,” said Redfin real estate agent Chris Prescott. “You have the lake almost in your front yard, yet you’re near everything that’s happening along Hennepin Avenue. There’s also a skating rink on Lake of the Isles in the winter, a plus for people of all ages and, of course, hockey enthusiasts.”

10. North Loop – Walk Score 85

Residents are within blocks of Target Field and Target Center, making this neighborhood a sports lover’s paradise. So get out there are play instead of watching sports online! “The North Loop has really taken off,” said Redfin agent James Garry, “Buyers will find lots of loft conversions, as well as a few townhomes right on the river. It’s also well-located for samplers of the Twin Cities’ high-end restaurant scene, so it’s a foodie’s delight.”

Wondering how your neighborhood stacks up? Click here for a full ranking of Minneapolis’s neighborhoods, or enter your address to get the Walk Score for your home.

Image via: Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Chicago’s 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods

Food-wise, Chicago is known for deep dish pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Delicious, but not-so-healthy fare. Fortunately, some of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods are also very high on walkability, meaning it’s easy to walk to your favorite restaurants – and there will be plenty to do afterward if you choose to walk off your heavy meal.

Using Walk Score, Redfin put together a list of Chicago’s 10 most walkable neighborhoods and asked their real estate agents for the inside scoop.

1. West Loop – Walk Score 96

It doesn’t get much hotter than the West Loop, with its trendy Restaurant Row, hip bars and plenty of grocery stores. Shoppers have their choice between specialty, organic and conventional grocers, and with Google’s Chicago campus moving in, there will soon also be the opportunity to walk to work.

Throw in a transit score of 100, and you have a neighborhood where owning a car is definitely optional. Though, buying in may be tough: homes for sale stayed on the market only 9 days, fastest in the city. “A well-priced home here won’t last long and will often have multiple offers,” said Redfin real estate agent Alex Haried.

2. Near North Side – Walk Score 96

This is a classic walkable Chicago neighborhood, composed of several smaller hoods, notably River North, Streeterville and the Gold Coast. “One of the things that my clients love about searching for a home in River North is that most of them will get to walk to work in the Loop,” said Redfin agent Jenn Kim. “You’re within 15 minutes walking of almost anything – the business district, the shopping district, grocery stores, bars and restaurants and even the Chicago Water Taxi.”

3. East Village – Walk Score 96

This neighborhood’s restaurant and retail offerings have increased over the last several years, most notably along Chicago Avenue, which is quickly becoming one of the hippest areas to spend a night on the town. People are noticing. “Buyers now covet the East Village,” said Redfin agent Al Medina.  “Prices have caught up to the more well-known Wicker Park, and we’re seeing lots of sales here.”

4. Wicker Park – Walk Score 94

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Image via: Thshriver/Wikimedia Commons

Once a bohemia that nurtured the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt and Liz Phair, Wicker Park has long since become one of Chicago’s most well-known and mainstream-trendy neighborhoods. Featuring numerous brunch spots, well-maintained vintage greystones and plenty of over-trendy condos, residents will find a weekly farmer’s market, plenty of shopping, bars and restaurants.

5. Lincoln Park – Walk Score 94

Adjacent to the well-known park of the same name, Lincoln Park features high-rises with spectacular views of Lake Michigan to the east, and historic, late 1800s brick row homes to the west of the neighborhood. Residents also have access to plenty of green space, the El’s Brown and Red lines, and nightlife along Lincoln Avenue.

With a median home price of nearly half a million, Lincoln Park is the city’s third most-expensive neighborhood – but those who live there get a lot.

6. Noble Square – Walk Score 94

One of the city’s lesser-known neighborhoods, Noble Square benefits from the popularity of nearby Wicker Park and East Village. “Noble Square is seeing a lot of new construction, as developers take advantage of the neighborhood’s burgeoning popularity and its in-fill possibilities,” said Redfin real estate agent Al Medina. “Historically it had been priced at a discount compared to its neighbors, but that’s changing in many areas.”

Touching upon sections of commercial corridors along Milwaukee, Chicago and Grand Avenues, Noble Square offers a cross-section of area nightlife, easy access to the expressway and the Blue line.

7. The Loop – Walk Score 93

Contrary to popular belief, many people live in the Loop. Approximately 14,000, in fact. With spectacular views, luxury penthouses and easy access to the Art Institute, Millennium Park, and a variety of high-quality restaurants, living among skyscrapers has its benefits.

“The convenience of living in the Loop can’t be beat. Most buildings have doormen and luxury amenities, which appeals to buyers who value concierge services and a high-end touch,” said Redfin real estate agent Jacqueline Colando.

8. Ukrainian Village – Walk Score 93

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Image via: Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Known for its relaxed residential character, Ukrainian Village is well-located for walkability: next to Wicker Park and East Village, the neighborhood also has its share of restaurants along Division and Chicago Avenues, as well as a Mariano’s grocery.

However, as walkable as it is, Ukrainian Village has a transit score of only 69, the lowest of any neighborhood on the list – it’s also the only neighborhood without at least one El stop. “More people who live here rely on a vehicle,” said Redfin real estate agent Al Medina, “but the neighborhood does have great bus routes.”

9. Fulton River District – Walk Score 92

Once a center of industry and shipping, the Fulton River District is growing in popularity. “Buyers here will find a combination of new construction condo buildings and converted lofts and warehouses,” said Redfin real estate agent Niko Voutsinas.

Served by three El lines, the Ogilvy Transportation Center, and near to River North, the West Loop and the Loop, it’s very well-located. A growing bar and restaurant scene makes it even more walkable for residents, plus there’s always cocoa wafting through the air, thanks to the Blommer Chocolate Factory.

10. South Loop – Walk Score 91

At the heart of a high-rise building boom, expect the South Loop to get even more walkable in the next ten years, as more retail and food options come to a neighborhood already near the lakefront, museums, Millennium Park, Soldier Field and downtown.

“After being hard-hit by the real estate crash in the late 2000s, the South Loop is once again the focus of increased development,” said Redfin real estate agent Jenn Kim. “With its dense urban environment, and close proximity to downtown, it’s once again top-of-mind for buyers who want an easy commute to work.”