Pennsylvania’s Most Walkable Cities

By Hope Walborn | Oct. 20, 2023 | 3 min. read

Walk Score, a site that scores locations based on walkability, scores Lancaster, Philadelphia and West Chester as the top three most walkable cities in Pennsylvania.

For many prospective buyers and renters, walkability is an important factor in the decision of where to move. There are many appeals to living in a walkable city or town, such as eliminating the need for cars, car pollution and car-related expenses. People also favor the convenience of living in walkable areas. When work, school, appointments and everyday errands are only a walk away, you can save commuting time and time spent sitting in traffic. Generally, many people also just enjoy being nearby to everything they want and need, such as shops, restaurants, nightlife and more.

Walk Score ranks locations on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the most walkable. Scoring takes into consideration the number of walking routes to nearby amenities and awards points based on the distance to them. Population density and road metrics are also accounted for.

According to the scoring site, Lancaster is the most walkable city in Pennsylvania (out of the state’s 37 largest cities) with a Walk Score of 81 and around 59,000 residents. Walk Score labels the city as “Very Walkable” and says that most errands can be accomplished on foot. In five minutes, people in Lancaster can walk to an average of seven restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The most walkable neighborhoods are Lancaster Central Business District (score of 98), Musser Park (96) and Chestnut Hill (92).

Richard Boas Jr., a member and past president of Lancaster County Association of Realtors®, says, “Lancaster City is thriving again post-COVID and has a lot to offer. There are dozens of restaurants within a few blocks of the square and plenty of options to suit your taste and budget. There is always live music to be found downtown on weekends.”

Boas highlights walkable attractions in downtown Lancaster including Lancaster Central Market, the historic Fulton Theater, the Marriott Convention Center, the historic walking tour and “First Fridays,” where people gather downtown on the first of every month to enjoy art galleries, restaurants and bars, downtown businesses and more.

For those who enjoy biking, Lancaster has a Bike Score of 58.

The second most walkable city in Pennsylvania is none other than its largest city. With a Walk Score of 75 and a population of 1.5 million, Philly is also deemed Very Walkable. Its most walkable neighborhoods include Rittenhouse Square, Avenue of the Arts South, Washington Square West and Center City West, which are all tied at 99 points and have Transit Scores of 100. Philly overall has a Transit Score (regarding public transportation options) of 67 and a Bike Score of 67.

Pennsylvania’s third most walkable city is West Chester, with a score of 74 and a population of about 18,000. In five minutes, residents can walk to an average of eight restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The city has a Bike Score of 74.

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