Boston is “America’s Walking City” and, in terms of walkability, our city is ranked third in the nation. Every day, Bostonians can be seen walking for exercise or simply to get from point A to point B. However, some areas of the city are especially well suited for strolling. Here are 11 streets that you’ll want to explore on foot:
1. Newbury Street
Appealing architecture and unique stores – many tucked below street level - make Newbury Street an ever-popular area for pedestrians. It’s easy to spend an afternoon here viewing the galleries, seeking refreshment in the juice bars, or just watching your fellow Bostonians.
2. Day Boulevard
It’s the Pleasure Bay/Castle Island loop path running alongside part of Day Boulevard that's a draw for walkers. Beach and water views, Fort Independence Park, and a pit stop at Sullivan’s – a Boston institution – make this an ideal area to explore on foot. You’re close to Logan, so you can watch the planes taking off and landing and it’s a good spot for dog-walking as well.
3. Charles Street
Boston Common and the Public Garden don’t count as just one street, but it’s always an enjoyable place to start a walk. Afterwards, veer off down Charles Street, which is lined with popular Beacon Hill eateries like Tatte Bakery, The Paramount, and Figs by Todd English.
4. Centre Street
Foodies know and love Centre Street in Jamaica Plain for its Dominican, Cuban, and Ethiopian restaurants. Another stretch of this same street offers bookshops, comic stores, record shops, and consignment boutiques.
5. Commonwealth Avenue Mall
Mosey along a European-inspired boulevard right here in Boston. This tree-lined road connects the Public Garden with the Back Bay Fens. In fall, there’s plenty of foliage to admire on Comm Ave and you can create your own public art-themed walking tour year-round as you check out the various sculptures scattered throughout this green space.
6. Salem Street
Fair warning: you’ll probably spend more time eating than exercising on this bustling thoroughfare that cuts through the North End. After dining, waddle towards the Old North Church then cut over to Hanover Street, where you’ll find… bakeries. Let’s face it: you’ll gain ten pounds on this walk, but going down in flames has never been so worthwhile (or delicious)!
7. Memorial Drive
Admire the buildings of Boston from across the water as you amble – or jog – along the path beside Memorial Drive in Cambridge. It’s easy to forget you’re in an urban environment with such enticing views of the Charles to distract you.
8. Boylston Street
The stretch of Boylston Street running through Back Bay from the Prudential Center to Copley Square provides everything you could ask for and more. From the sight of Trinity Church against the soaring John Hancock Tower to the stunning exteriors – and interiors – of Boston Public Library and Old South Church, this is an architecture lover’s dream. Pause for some chocolate decadence at Max Brenner’s as you make your way towards the shopping empire inside the Prue Center.
9. Beach Street
Boston's Chinatown is one of our city's more underrated attractions. Start at Beach Street and let yourself get lost discovering the neighborhood's narrow streets and appealing restaurants. You'll eventually find your way out of the warren of streets but when surrounded by the flavors of China and Vietnam, you'll be tempted to linger for a while.
10. Market Street
Full of tourists? Definitely. However, the streets surrounding Faneuil Hall Marketplace are pedestrian zones where you don't need to worry about traffic, there are always street performers around to keep you entertained, and the hum of energy here is invigorating. As an added bonus, it transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays.
11. Harvard Square
Admittedly, a triangular plaza isn't just one street, but the roads surrounding Harvard Square are all highly walkable, as you'd expect given the large student population. From Harvard Square, venture into the university to admire the campus or over to Cambridge Common.