There are lots of holidays dedicated to getting outside, getting some fresh air, and pumping those heart muscles with a walk or ride to wherever you’re going. The American Heart Association promotes walking as a simple way to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, lower the risk of obesity, and enhance your overall mental well-being.
We have to say we agree, our favorite part of taking a walk is getting the chance to clear our mind and take in some awesome views—especially when hitting the pavement in a new city. Lucky for us (and you) InTown Suites extended stay properties across the country boast some pretty central locations with fantastic walking scores. So lace up your sneakers and get ready to become more familiar with our top 10 favorite cities to take a walk in.
North America’s fourth most populous city is a visitors dream. Aside from hosting some out of this world attractions at the Space Center, there’s also plenty to do at ground level. Tucked behind skyscrapers and freeways are as several parks, preserves, and scenic walking trails. Stroll amongst native wildlife at George Bush Park while exploring nearly 22 miles of trails. Discover the Waugh Bridge bat colony from the heart of downtown Houston at Buffalo Bayou Park. Or, act like a local and walk through Discovery Green, packing a picnic and watching out for concerts and other community events.
NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA
The best way to learn more about America’s history is with a walk through Newport News. Spy a number of traditional buildings and historic plantation houses as you stroll through this quaint city shaped by the Civil War. From zoos to art galleries, there’s so much to see and do. Walk along Chesapeake Bay at the decommissioned Fort Monroe. Explore the archeological remains of Virginia’s first English settlement, Historic Jamestowne. Or, spend a full day working those gams across 550 acres of natural wooded wonderland at the Mariners’ Museum Park.
East of Denver is an outdoor paradise called Aurora. With 97 parks and over 5,000 acres of open space, there’s plenty of ways to see this gem tucked beneath the Rockies. Numerous recreational trails join together the town’s parks, neighborhoods, commercial districts, and golf courses, as well connect Aurora to the rest of Central Colorado and nearby Denver. Take the Sand Creek Greenway to get downtown and peruse quaint restaurants and cafes while getting to know the area’s neighborhoods better. Take a lengthy 8-mile stroll and keep that heart-rate up with stunning views of the Aurora Reservoir. Take a break, sidle up to a picnic table, and keep your eyes peeled for the flora and fauna that call the high prairie home.
Famous for so many things, Dallas serves up big Texas-style wherever you wander. Travel the Katy Trail along the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, stopping for a snack at one of the many nearby restaurants at trail level. Pound pavement to Fair Park to take in 277 acres of recreational land, including the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in North America. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are a no-brainer for a visually stunning walk, while White Rock offers a green oasis in the middle of Dallas’ urban setting.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Welcome to the home of the Alamo! For a modern city, San Antonio packs quite a bit of historic value within its downtown core. Stroll cypress-lined paths and beautiful stone bridges at the San Antonio River Walk and get to see the city’s top attractions, outdoor art, and neighborhoods all from a lush natural setting. Go off-trail and venture into the main plaza to discover community events, water features, and America’s oldest cathedral, the San Fernando Cathedral. For a sensory experience, tip-toe through the 38-acre San Antonio Botanical Garden, or set your heart aflutter with the stunning architecture of the King William Historic District. We’d be remiss not to mention it, but if you’re dogs aren’t already biting, a visit to Brackenridge Park is a must.
Small town charm abounds in Carrollton. Enjoy a break from busy city life in this quaint, community-oriented town that offers plenty of outdoor parks and recreation areas to explore. Make tracks to Carrollton’s historic downtown for a nostalgic taste of classic Americana. Walk along the pleasant town square, taking in views of the gazebo and stopping to pop into little antique shops and mom and pop restaurants serving up home-cooked eats. For a day of fun, visit Rosemeade Park for some outdoor play or venture inside to explore the expansive recreation center.
Ohio’s capital city packs a lot to see and do on foot, including one of the county’s best municipal park systems. Tour the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to explore over 88 acres of colorful flora and lush landscaping. Take a city walk of the Short North Art District, soaking up the eclectic vibe of this university neighborhood that boasts stunning pre-war architecture, vibrant murals, and quirky dining and entertainment venues. Make like a local and head to the Scioto Mile to stroll along 145 acres of parkland, trails and the Scioto Audubon set along the river.
Just minutes outside of New Orleans is the quiet respite of Harvey, Louisiana. Set out across the Mississippi River to get closer to the action of the French Quarter. Once in New Orleans, take a walking tour of the city’s many sights including the Garden District to spy French and Spanish inspired architecture or a spookier stroll through the city’s famous above-ground cemeteries. For some fresh air and greenery, stroll along City Park to discover its 12-acre New Orleans Botanical Garden and the world’s largest grove of mature oaks—some dating as far back as 900 years. If time allows, a jaunt to the Audubon Nature Institute zoo and aquarium is highly suggested.
This sprawling “Capital of the South” offers urban landscapes intermingled with historic monuments at every turn. Explore the city’s important role in the American Civil Rights Movement with a walk along the Freedom Park Trail towards the Martin Luther King Jr Historic District. See the stunning 21-acre Fountain of Rings as you pad around the Centennial Olympic Park. To beat the midday sun, head to Underground Atlanta to discover the history of the city from beneath the streets. Above ground, there’s plenty to see at Grant Park, home to emerald parkland, Zoo Atlanta, and a huge mural depicting the Battle of Atlanta.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
One of America’s most scenic destinations, Salt Lake City delivers its own unique brand of outdoor adventure and culture. Hit the pavement to explore this valley high above the Jordan River. Here you’ll discover Temple Square, a holy location for Mormons that offer 10 acres of tree-lined monuments including the Mormon Temple, Mormon Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, and Assembly Hall. Don’t worry, Salt Lake isn’t all religious monuments. Stroll Liberty Park and luxuriate in a lush 80 acres of shaded parkland complete with an aviary. Downtown you’ll find zoos, museums, planetariums, and the architecturally stunning Marmalade Hill Historic District. Join a walking tour and get a peek at how Salt Lake City once looked.