These Streets Were Made For Walking :: San Francisco

An historic SF cable car As a native-born son, I enjoy walking around the different neighborhoods of San Francisco with 40 hills and bay views. Each has its own personality. But I’m not the only one who loves the streets of this city. The city is the most “walkable” in the nation, according to rankings released by, a service designed to help those seeking a less automobile-dependent life.

For example, Union Square, The Financial District, SoMa, Chinatown and North Beach are all within just a few blocks of each other. The Marina offers Union and Chestnut Street shops and restaurants. My youth’s Sunset has cool foggy breezes and eclectic ethnic stores. The Haight-Ashbury still draws hippies and looky loos. Japantown, with its noodle and sushi restaurants, is near my former Pacific Heights apartment.

Anyway, WalkScore, a division of Seattle software company Front Seat, evaluated the 40 largest U.S. cities based on residents’ proximity to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters and other amenities. Hills were not taken into account in the rankings, just distance and concentration.

According to a story at, San Francisco scored an 86 out of 100, besting New York’s 83 and Boston’s 79. Seventeen of San Francisco’s neighborhoods ranked 90 or above – considered a “walker’s paradise” – including Chinatown, the Mission, Nob Hill and Haight-Ashbury. Read more.

Posted by Gil Zeimer on July 19, 2008 in Travel

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