Texas cities don’t have a great rep for walkability. Like, you technically can walk around most cities in Texas, but doing so isn’t always super pleasant. Blame it on the relentless sunshine, the lack of sidewalks, the fact that everything is spread out because it was mostly built with cars in mind, or a population that would rather drive—but the fact is that, when you compare any city in Texas to, say, New York, San Francisco, Miami, or Chicago, you’re going to wish you had your car.
Still, even with that in mind, the real estate website Redfin compiled a list of the ten most walkable neighborhoods in the state of Texas—and though cities like Austin and Dallas, which have well-defined pedestrian neighborhoods, place multiple areas on the list, there are some unexpected cities there, too: El Paso’s Virginia neighborhood, just north of I-10 between Mesa and Cotton Streets, gets a “walk score” of 78, good for tenth on the list, while San Antonio’s under-appreciated downtown places at seventh.
The scores used to rank each neighborhood aren’t generated by Redfin—they come from WalkScore.com, a website that analyzes any neighborhood or address in the country to determine a numerical score, 1 to 100, assessing its walkability. (It also offers a grade for public transit and bicycling, but we’ll leave that out for now.)
The top-ranked neighborhood on the list is downtown Dallas, which would be a surprise but for all of the development that the city’s core has seen. Klyde Warren Park provides a nice way to enjoy the day while staying outside and on-foot, and it’s just a short walk from there Uptown, which keeps bars, restaurants, and shopping nearby. (Oak Lawn/Uptown and Knox/Henderson also represent Dallas on the list.)
Austin does well, too, with usual-suspect neighborhoods. Almost every major Texas city has a walkable downtown, basically, and downtown Austin—which is accessible on foot and offers plenty of slightly overpriced groceries to carry back to your unobtainable downtown condo or apartment—is no exception. West Campus, too, with its array of Thai restaurants and moderately priced clothing stores—which is most of what UT students demand access to—places on the list, as does East Austin.
Houston, despite its reputation as the most traffic-snarled city in Texas, maybe the whole dang country, has parts of the city that are comfortable to get around on foot. Specifically, it has Midtown, where residents can walk to Randall’s or Fiesta when they need groceries, or restaurants and bars when they need to escape the crushing pressures of a life that allows them to afford the rent in Midtown. It’s also got Montrose, which is an extremely walkable neighborhood for a person to hang out in and acquire all of the vintage clothing and/or handmade accessories they need without setting foot in a car.
The full list can be found here, complete with each neighborhood’s WalkScore number.