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.
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: including San Antonio’s under-appreciated Downtown placing sixth.
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.
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. Almost every major Texas city has a walkable downtown, and downtown Austin—which is accessible on foot — offers plenty of slightly overpriced groceries to carry back to your unobtainable downtown condo or apartment.
The full list can be found here, complete with each neighborhood’s WalkScore number.
- Downtown Dallas – Walk Score 89
- Downtown Austin – Walk Score 88
- West Campus, Austin – Walk Score 87
- Oak Lawn, Dallas – Walk Score 86
- Midtown, Houston – Walk Score 82
- Downtown San Antonio – Walk Score 81
Downtown San Antonio has all of the arts & culture of an urban core — retail shops and businesses, restaurants and fun-filled happenings — but the River Walk is the real draw for pedestrians. The lined pathway sits one story below street level and stretches from downtown to Mission Espada, with pet-friendly bars and lively restaurants, as well as more tranquil sections without businesses all along the way.
While the River Walk is certainly a top attraction for visitors local residents make use of it, too. “The River Walk is an especially popular destination for local families and fitness enthusiasts,” said Dustin David, a real estate agent with Alteza Residences above the Grand Hyatt. “There are plenty of Downtown residents living in condos and lofts, and a lot of new developments are coming into the area. The River Walk creates a gathering place and a sense of neighborhood that’s very different from the hustle and bustle of the downtown streets.”
- Knox/Henderson, Dallas – Walk Score 81
- East Austin – Walk Score 81
- Neartown/Montrose, Houston – Walk Score 80
- Virginia, El Paso – Walk Score 78
Walk Score Methodology: Walk Score analyzes hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities to determine a neighborhood’s Walk Score, which is a number between 0 and 100. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5 minute walk (.25 miles) are given maximum points. A decay function is used to give points to more distant amenities, with no points given after a 30 minute walk. Walk Score also measures pedestrian friendliness by analyzing population density and road metrics such as block length and intersection density.
Edited from an article in Texas Monthly By Dan Solomon