All posts in “Local Living”

Know the Neighborhood

Adding to our recent release of 10,000 new city and neighborhood pages, we’re excited to announce two new pieces of local insight: Social Neighborhood Tags and Crime Reports.

Social Neighborhood Tags

For over 3,000 neighborhoods in almost 200 cities we’ve analyzed millions of tweets to let you know what people are talking about and what makes a place unique.

For example, people in Bellevue, Washington are talking about delicious Din Tai Fung dumplings:

Social Neighborhood Tags

Social Neighborhood Tags for Bellevue, WA

People in the North End of Boston are talking about the Bruins (and oysters)!

Social Neighborhood Tags for the North End, Boston

Social Neighborhood Tags for the North End, Boston

Crime Reports and Maps

Today we’re also launching Crime Reports in Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago with more cities on the way soon.

Crime is complex.  Other real estate sites have crime maps that look like population maps.  They simply show you that more crimes are reported where there are more people. This can be misleading since it doesn’t tell you anything about your odds of being a victim of a crime — and this can makes cities, especially downtowns, look less safe than they really are.

Today we’re launching the first crime statistics that let you accurately compare crime at the neighborhood level.  Our crime data comes directly from police departments that release geotagged reports for every crime in a city.

In order to provide apples-to-apples comparisons between neighborhoods, we normalize our crime statistics by how many people live and work in the neighborhood and weight crimes according to severity.  This allows you to assess your individual crime risk.  For example, a downtown may have a lot of reported crime, but if it has a large number of residents and workers, your individual risk may still be low.

Crime Reports for Fremont, Seattle

Crime Reports for Fremont, Seattle

Boost Your Child’s Education: Walk or Bike to School

Guest post by Anne Taylor Hartzell, Hip Travel Mama blogger

Families bikingEveryone knows the benefits of exercise–but did you know that your child’s exercise regimen actually impacts how well they perform in class? In a recent study by Professor Niels Egelund of Aarhus University in Denmark, it was discovered that children who walk or bike to school concentrate far better and longer than their carpooling counterparts.

The study of 19,527 school children ages 5-19 found that there is a strong connection between diet and exercise and a child’s ability to concentrate. It also showed that children who exercise more than two hours a week outside of school have an advantage over other students during the school day.

That advantage has garnered the attention of parents all over the United States, and in response, several different programs are now being implemented in communities across the nation, hoping to inspire young children to ditch the daily car commute to the classroom.

One program, Safe Routes to School, contributes to this cause nationally. They help communities build safe routes to schools so that parents and their children can feel comfortable heading to school on bikes or on foot. Safe Routes also provides school and community groups with funding for training, awareness, and strategies to encourage children to walk and bike to school.

Inspired to get your kid on the road to better health and a better education? Here are a few tips to get moving:

  • Find Your Walk Score: First, do a search to get your Walk Score and map out your neighborhood’s walk/bike to school routes.
  • Form a Community Walk Group: Safe Routes suggests forming a community group with families in your neighborhood and working together to begin the process of making transportation without a car a great option.
  • Engage Your School: Speak with your child’s school about the possibility of joining a program like Safe Routes to make sure that all aspects of your child’s life support trying a new commute—and reaping the rewards.
  • Join International Walk to School Month in October and commit to walk/bike with your child to school throughout the month.

What are ways you are making walking or biking to school a priority? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Wisconsin Bike Fed

National Walking Day and Walk to Work Day

American Heart Association hosts National Walking Day April 3, 2013 to get people moving.

American Heart Association’s National Walking Day April 3, 2013 and National Walk to Work Day April 5, 2013 aim to get people moving.

Walk. Stroll. Gallup. The US Department of Health and Human Services has designated the first Friday of April as National Walk to Work Day. American Heart Association and many other national organizations embrace the cause as well, and the American Heart Association created National Walking Day (first Wednesday each April). We at Walk Score whole-heartedly support these efforts. No surprise. Walking is one of the easiest ways to boost your health and prevent physical and mental illness. It’s free and with spring in the air and winter waning, now is the time to walk more. Suggestions for how to easily participate in National Walking Day or National Walk to Work Day:

  1. Walk to and/or from work.
  2. Walk to a public transit stop that’s a little further than your normal stop.
  3. Walk during lunch. Take a picnic and eat at a park. Vitamin D will drown any sorrows and new scenery will refresh your mind.
  4. Hold a walking meeting instead of conference room gatherings.
  5. Walk with a friend after work.
  6. Stand more often while working. Make any phone calls while standing.

Kudos to the US Department of Health and Human Services for creating such a simple and good day in which everyone of any age and ability can participate. The American Heart Association recommends you “ditch your desk” in April to take a 30-minute walk around your office or office neighborhood.

See Walk Score’s top 10 health benefits of walking. Walk Score gives more reasons to embrace walkability and drive less and live more.

Photo: American Heart Association

Seniors: Walkability Benefits for an Aging Public

Baby boomers are retiring in droves in an unprecedented American demographic shift. The last Baby Boomer turns 65 in 2030, so we still have two decades of an aging chunk of the public. A growing body of research points to the importance of designing or retrofitting communities for walkability to accommodate senior citizens and allow them to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle upon retirement. Walkable neighborhoods help seniors remain active, healthy, social and free to move around. How?

1. Quality of Life While Aging in Place

Many retirees choose to age in place—to avoid moving and remain in their homes as long as possible. But since baby boomers were the generation that built suburbia, many will want to maintain a quality of life in unwalkable neighborhoods.

Older adults socialize more when living in walkable neighborhoods. According to the EPA, in an age-friendly walkable neighborhood or town, regular social interaction is possible, convenient and more frequent. The American Journal of Public Health published a study published a study that reveals older people living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have higher levels of social interaction compared with those residing in car-dependent burbs. Living in walkable neighborhoods means you are more likely to know your neighbors, participate in politics, engage socially and even trust people.

2. Transportation + Mobility to Leave the House

Independence builds self-worth and being able to move around your neighborhood is freeing. “More than 20 percent of Americans age 65 or older do not drive. Of those, more than half — about 3.6 million people — stay home on any given day because they have no transportation, AARP says,” from a Washington Post article. Men outlive their “drive-ability” by 7 years, women by 10 years. Public transit becomes key for allowing seniors to remain independent. “A 2002 study by the National Institute on Aging found that about 600,000 people who are 70 or older stop driving every year and become dependent on other forms of transportation.”

A 2003 Brookings Institution study found that 79% of seniors age 65 and older live in car-dependent suburban and rural communities. But older adults increased their use of public transit by 40% between 2001 and 2009. About 15% of those over age 65 use public transit at least once time per month and more than half of them need specialized transportation, according to Placemaking article.

AARP’s report Advancing Mobility Options states, “One of the keys to economic and health security for adults age 50+ is their continued access to a range of viable mobility options within the community. Lack of such options can have a profound impact on how ‘livable’ communities are and have a negative impact on the quality of life enjoyed by older adults in those communities.” Public transportation boosts mobility of seniors. The Street used Walk Score to determine 10 cities where you can retire without having to use a car—around the country from Seattle to Miami.

3. Control Your Own Schedule

Being able to create your own schedule and meet people to socialize, shop when you want or get out of the house means living a life you want in retirement. The less one has to depend on others, the more freedom you can enjoy. The EPA’s Growing Smarter report highlights, “Having the choice to get to downtown shopping or cultural events on our own terms and schedule, rather than waiting for a friend or an on-call van can ensure independent living for much longer.”

Don’t think you have to worry about this? Imagine one day getting a call from your mom who says, “My doctor doesn’t think I should drive.” Fast forward a couple decades later and imagine your own eyesight gets worse, coordination and reflexes stall and you, too, need to find an alternate to a car. All of us will someday find we should no longer be driving and rely on public transportation. Let’s plan for it now for all ages of people.

4. New Trend – Active Seniors Stay Active Longer / Renewed Sense of Purpose

Don Dillon of Pennsylvania, now age 75, picked up the hobby of disk golf six years ago and slowly integrated himself into the sport. His hobby turned into a life goal as he eventually worked to win a Professional Disc Golfing Association world champion title for his age range. Aside from the active nature of the sport, Dillon found a new challenge in life that kept him going, “…a reason to get up in the morning.” He founded and chairs the association’s senior committee to get more retirees into the sport.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that only 32.5 percent of Americans over the age of 65 don’t have regular physical activity. That means more seniors than ever desire an active lifestyle and seek opportunities to stay active. Living in a walkable neighborhood gives options for walking right out your front door.

5. Adopt a Walkable, Healthy Lifestyle and Live Longer

People living to 100 years of age are increasing in the US. There were 96,548 centenarians in 2009, up from 38,300 in 1990, according to the Census Bureau. A Swedish study of identical twins separated at birth who grew up apart concluded only about 20 to 30 percent of longevity is determined by genes. Lifestyle is a more dominant ingredient.

Health benefits abound for those who walk, especially for people older than 50. Physical activity may actually add years to your life. Elderly adults who walk are less likely to suffer mental deterioration or dementia, based on a Pittsburgh University study. Walk Score’s Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking are especially valuable to seniors.

6. Urban Planners: Walkable Cities for Seniors = Walkable Cities for All

Cities leading the way in planning for universal walkability for “lifelong communities” and our aging population include New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Portland. Most cities are built for the young and other cities will need to play catch-up. “It’s shocking how far behind we are, especially when you think about this fact – that if you make something age-friendly, that means it is going to be friendly for people of all ages, not just older adults,” said Margaret Neal of Portland State University’s Institute on Aging.

A 2002 survey by AARP Public Policy Institute found that people over age 50 listed lack of walkability part of barriers to walking. “Older adults perceive poor sidewalks, the absence of resting places and dangerous intersections as barriers to walking.” Likewise, a 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health found areas with higher walkability scores were linked with older residents doing more walking for exercise.

Allen Glicksman, director of research and evaluation at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, says government programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, “largely ignore one big part of the health equation: neighborhood.” A walkable environment benefits seniors, keeping mind and body healthy through their surroundings and neighborhood.

7. Economic Impact of Seniors Living in Walkable Places

Auto insurance. Car payments. Mechanics and maintenance. Gas that guzzles your money. Retirement means living on a fixed income for the vast majority of seniors and car-related expenses take a bigger chunk of retirees’ money than for working adults. A car can end up being a large drain on finances.

Living on a fixed income makes owning an automobile challenging and increases the need for affordable alternatives. AAA reports in “Your Driving Costs 2011” that the average annual cost of owning an automobile and driving between 10,000 and 15,000 miles ranges from $7,600 to $8,700. These estimates were based on an average fuel cost of only $2.88 per gallon. Imagine what those costs are today and how they will spiral. See Transportation for America’s report Aging in Place, Stuck without Options: Fixing the Mobility Crisis Threatening the Baby Boomer Generation for more information.

Now what? Prepare for life ahead. What to do when grandma, dad, your sibling or yourself want independence after retirement so you can age in a home comfortably? Choose a walkable neighborhood or city using Walk Score. Find the Transit Score or transportation alternatives (car shares, publis bus, train) near any address.

Check out Assisted Living Source’s Top 100 Walkable Communities where assisted living facilities are listed by their Walk Score.

Photo: EPA

Walkability Humor: Pedestrian Penalty Cards

Pedestrian and walkability fails exist far too often. Clueless saunterers weave slowly along a sidewalk blocking path of more purposeful power-walkers. Umbrellas stretch the length of the sidewalk, threatening to take out an eye unless one uses a stealthy walking defense. Tourist groups clumped together studying maps or gazing around block locals en route to work or appointments.

Rest assured. You are no longer powerless. Now you can hand out pedestrian penalty cards to these sidewalk offenders. Writer and artist team Cory and Andy paired up to sell packs of cards for $1. But careful with your karma. Be judicious with your new policing power. Someday you might find yourself on the receiving end of a walking penalty.

Three of my favorite cards… escalator offender, clue-free umbrella walker, sidewalk bicyclist.

Cards: © Cory and Andy of Pedestrian Penalty Cards

Find Hotels Near Destinations, Meetings, Amenities

By popular demand, we’ve extended our unique commute time apartment search features to travel planning. Skip opening multiple browsers to research hotels in close proximity to business meetings or vacation attractions. With our new Hotel Search Demo you can now find hotels by travel times (by car, bus, bike or foot) to the people and places you’re visiting.

Location matters when deciding where to stay. Enter up to four places (e.g., business meetings, events, friends’ homes, attractions) and we’ll sort hotels by travel time. For each hotel you can also see nearby amenities (restaurants, coffee shops, etc.), public transit and car shares.

Example #1: Find hotels by travel times to/from the attractions you will be visiting. Here’s a sample hotel search by travel time to and from popular Manhattan art museums.


Example #2:
Find accommodations by proximity to meetings. For example, if you have business meetings in Seattle at Walk Score, Amazon, Starbucks and Zillow headquarters, you can find a hotel that minimizes commute time to each location.

 

Example #3: If you’re planning an event or group trip and have side trips planned to Universal Studios, the zoo and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, for instance, find hotels near those key attractions.

 

Example #4: Explore the amenities, transit stops and car shares nearby hotels you’re considering. Plan your ground transportation options, save money by eliminating the need for a rental car, and optimize your hotel stay based on nearby amenities.

 

This hotel search demo is just a first step. We look forward to your feedback. And, if you’re interested in adding travel times to your website or mobile app, check out our new Travel Time API.

Oscar-Inspired Walkable Travel Ideas

Conde Nast Traveler created tantalizing tips for travel based on Oscar-inspired destinations. What if we wove walkability into their list? Here’s how Walk Score would rank the Academy’s most walkable Oscar-inspired vacations of 2013. All quotes below are from Conde Nast Traveler.

1. Les Misérables and Amour – Paris, France
“No, you don’t have to dress like a circa-1800s street urchin—or even sing—to become a character from Les Misérables.” Stroll past historical relics, museums, sights and be grateful for a non-miserable vacation in the City of Light. Paris is a Walker’s Paradise, with a heart of 95 Walk Score.

“If there’s one thing that Amour teaches us, it’s that—even if you’ve lived a long, full life—in the end, life is still too short to scrimp on your vacations.” Splurge in Paris, where Amour takes place. Romantic spots abound in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to the Moulin Rouge show to restaurants and sidewalk cafes in abundance.

2. Silver Linings Playbook – Philadelphia, PA
“Though he’d never own up to it in so many words, Silver Linings Playbook‘s Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is mostly preoccupied with finding love. Honor his quest in his home city—the City of Brotherly Love….” Check out Philly’s quaint alleys and other walker’s delights. Philadelphia outranks Washington, DC (just barely) with a Walk Score of 74.

3. Lincoln  and Zero Dark Thirty – Washington, DC

“After the obligatory visit to the Lincoln Memorial (which was built long after his assassination), seek out relics from the president’s actual life in Washington.” The National Mall itself is a Walker’s Paradise, with enough culturally enriching museums, monuments (both inside and outside) to warrant a full weekend or week of exploration. A very walkable city in general with a Walk Score of 73.

“Visiting CIA black sites in Islamabad is obviously out of the question. And no, you can’t take a tour of the CIA headquarters in Virginia. But, if you’re an admirer of Zero Dark Thirty‘s Maya (Jessica Chastain), you can visit the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.”

4. Argo – Los Angeles, CA
“In Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) creates a cover as a Hollywood producer by strutting around Los Angeles.” Strutting is a cool-cat form of walking, but you must pick your neighborhood visits in LA wisely, as the city on whole has a Walk Score of 66, fairly car-dependent, but walkable depending on your location.

5. Beasts of the Southern Wild – New Orleans, LA
Beasts of the Southern Wild centers on a fictional Louisiana Bayou community that calls itself ‘The Bathtub.’ And if there’s one thing that the denizens of the Bathtub like to do—for better or for worse—it’s drink.” We all know drinking and driver are big no-nos. Set yourself up in a hotel in a walkable New Orleans area to explore the city. New Orleans’ Walk Score is 56, but the French Quarter is a Walker’s Paradise.

6. Django Unchained – Austin, Texas
“In Django Unchained, Django (Jamie Foxx) makes a scene in a Texas town simply by riding in on a horse. If you want to take a trip to the Lone Star state and show off your own equestrian prowess, head to… Austin.” Horseback ride in the day, walk around to Austin’s music scene at night. Austin’s Walk Score, however, is 45, so plan your trip accordingly.

Photo: Paris Tourist Office

Sweethearts: Factor Travel Time into Your Love Life

Valentine’s Day is just as swell a time for couples as it is for those who celebrate their singledom by having anti-Valentine group gatherings. I’ve enjoyed February 14 both ways over the years.

Love in two cappuccino cups.

The past several decades saw a big spike in single households and adults delaying marriage until later in life, which means more people live alone (or with roommates) and date from a distance.

“In 1960, married couples comprised a full 75 percent of total American households. By last year, that number had fallen precipitously to 48 percent, or less than half. The decrease corresponds to a similar rise in non-family households: single people, roommates and unmarried, co-habitating couples.” Source: CBS News

We at Walk Score wonder—what’s the ideal distance to live from your lover? Is there an optimal amount of space to maintain your independence and keep romance alive?

45-Minute Commutes Kill Romance
Research at Sweden’s Umea University shows couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40% more likely to divorce. Yikes. Keep your commutes to less than 45 minutes, mates. It could make or break your relationship.

Do you agree a 45-minute commute is a breaking point for relationship harmony? What about the time traveled to or from your partner’s place?

Pick a Travel Time to/from Your Partner
Believe it or not, Walk Score has tools to factor travel time into your love life. At least tools to find any apartment, condo or house distance you prefer. Better to reside one or two neighborhoods away from your partner? Or rent within a few blocks to minimize travel time and gain cuddle time?

Search for apartments by travel time. Or find locations in which to live by travel time.

Coffee photo: Jocelyn Milici Ceder

Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking

Sitting is the smoking of our generation, according to a Harvard Business Review article. Walking is the answer. A mountain of research brings this fact to light. Walking is a free, easy, low-impact way to combat adverse health effects of prolonged sitting, and so many other health ills. You don’t have to train for a marathon to combat unhealthy impacts of sitting. Just walk. It’s good for the body and mind.

“Walking is the closest thing to a magic bullet for health,” says Dr. Graham Colditz of Washington University School of Medicine. Put another way by Mayo Clinic obesity expert Dr. James Levine, “You don’t have to join a gym… You just have to switch off the TV, get off the sofa and go for a walk.”

1. Lose Weight by Living in a Walkable Neighborhood
Want a quick and easy way to lose weight? Find a walkable place to live. The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. Neighborhoods with poor walkability are barriers to physical activity, while research shows people walk more if living in a walkable neighborhood.

Walkability impacts public health by “…affecting the relative convenience and viability of pedestrian travel and biking for both recreational and utilitarian (trip) purposes, and thus they influence the levels of physical activity,” reads a study from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Offset obesity by walking: A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that people genetically prone to obesity can offset that tendency by walking. A brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the influence of obesity by half.

2. Walk to Combat Cancer
Women who walked 1 to 3 hours per week had risk of death from breast and uterine cancer reduced by 19%. When they walked 3 to 5 hours per week, their risks of the same cancers were reduced by 54%, according to a study by Harvard University.

Men who walk briskly for at least 3 hours a week after being diagnosed with prostate cancer were 57% less likely to see the disease progress.

3. Walk to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center writes, “An analysis of numerous studies on walking and heart disease concluded that the risk for developing heart disease decreases as the amount of walking increases.” Retired men who walk more than 1.5 miles per day had a significantly lower risk for heart disease (compared to men who walk less), according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. Walking at a moderate pace (3 to 4 miles per hour) for up to 3 hours each week (equates to 30 minutes a day) can cut women’s heart disease risk by 40%, according to a Harvard study.

4. Walk to Reduce Blood Pressure
A Korean Institute of Sport Science study proved a decrease in blood pressure in those who followed a walking exercise similar to the recommended 30 minutes per day, five times a week given by the American College of Sports Medicine.

5. Walk to Reduce Diabetes Risk
A New England Journal of Medicine study tied walking with reduced risk of diabetes. The study of more than 3,000 overweight adults found that walking 2.5 hours per week (along with a healthy diet) reduced the risk by 58% of getting diabetes. For overweight adults 60 years and older, the reduced risk was 71%.

6. Walk to Keep Arteries Unclogged
A Journal of the American College of Cardiology study found that exercise before a meal may help stem the effects of high-fat foods on blood vessel function. Walking is good for the heart and its arteries and vessels in many ways, including stemming build-up and clogging of arterial walls. Unclogged vessels and arteries keep blood circulating throughout the body, to organs and limbs.

7. Boost Mental Health by Walking
Many studies prove that exercise can improve mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Depression, a disease that afflicts 9% of the American adult population according to the Centers for Disease Control, is reduced by walking, an activity that replenishes endorphins that influence the feeling of well-being. Physical activity also boosts self-esteem and cognitive function, according to research in the National Institutes of Health.

Want more joy? Cities with good public transit and access to amenities promote happiness.

8. Walking Combats Arthritis and Strengthens Joints
Knee arthritis sufferers were able to increase the distance walked by 18% and gained nearly 40% boost in joint function after finishing an 8-week walking study. They also experienced significantly less pain and needed less medication after walking, based on research in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

9. Enjoy a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy doesn’t have to mean your health decreases. Walking just half an hour every day helps pregnant women prevent back pain, swelling, constipation and other pregnancy-related irritations and health conditions, according to research by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

10. Walk for a Healthy Brain
Walking regularly reduces brain atrophy and mental decline, resulting in a 50% reduction in risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia where thinking, memory and behavior deteriorate over time. This according to Rush University Medical Center research.

Seniors, take note: Exercise, including walking, in your 70s may stop brain shrinkage, a sign of aging linked to dementia, according to Edinburgh University research.

Tools that make it easy to live a healthy life:

  1. Move to a more walkable neighborhood.
  2. Discover places and nearby amenities within walking distance.
  3. Find a place to live where you can walk, bike or take public transit to commute or get around.
  4. Advocate for better walkability in your neighborhood.

Live in a walkable neighborhood to boost your health and prevent disease. Walkability matters. We have partnered with many researchers to explore the value of walkability. Find a place to live in a walkable neighborhood on Walk Score.

Walk Score Integral to America’s Top Art Spots

Where are the best spots in cities across the US to discover art? Walk Score was part of the criteria used for ArtPlace’s Top 12 American Art Places. We’re honored. Walking is more enjoyable when beauty surrounds you.

ArtPlace writes, “Art is inspiring and motivating. But it is also a powerful catalyst for change within communities, invigorating neighborhoods, supporting local businesses, and creating vibrant places.” We agree.

We compiled a variety of art shared on Walk Score near 10 of the 12 art places known for its art. Your favorite? What art gallery, public art or street art are missing? No photos of art in Brooklyn, New York or Miami Beach, Florida have been shared on Walk Score yet, two of ArtPlace’s top 12 communities. Add a photo to Walk Score’s site or iPhone app.

Dallas, TX – Cattle Sculptures

On hot summer days, people might want to join the cattle cooling their hooves in water.

Los Angeles, CA – Metal Sculpture Dangles Above Walkers

Precarious art that requires you to experience it in a new way can delight walkers of all ages.

Milwaukee, WI – Sculpture Facing Lake Michigan

Public art and a sweeping water view. What could be better?

New York, NY – Street Art

Graffiti-esque street art of this sort makes one want to hit the play button and dance.

Oakland, CA – Metal Sculpture on Lawn

This lawn sculpture entices children to climb inside, around (maybe even on) it. Ready?

Philadelphia, PA – Mural Art

Mural “devoted to the owner of a local restaurant” and right near a car share.

Portland, OR – Modern Sculpture

A colorful pole rises above pedestrians, offering photo ops or stroll eye candy.

San Francisco, CA – Mission District Mural

Art like this begs for interpretation, giving creative spark to passers by.

Seattle, WA – Dragon Sculpture

Nothing cues walkers near Pioneer Square that they’ve arrived in the International District like a fiery dragon.

Washington, DC – Phillips Art Museum

This relatively small-sized museum packs more than enough world-renowned art into its walls. A must visit.