Monday, June 27, 2011

Hotels Within Walking Distance

A Dangerous Looking Stroll (Photo by JC Henkes)
Urban sprawl is a buzz kill, especially on vacation. You've booked yourself into what seems like a decent hotel in Dallas or Fort Lauderdale or Billings, and though the hotel itself is fine, you find that to get anywhere--a restaurant, a theater, a drugstore--you have to drive it. So instead of taking a relaxing stroll, you find yourself battling commuters on the interstate just to get a bite to eat.

A relatively new website called WalkScore has the solution. Enter in any address and it will return a numerical ranking of how car dependent you'll be if you choose this property. A rank of 90-100, for example means "walkers paradise--daily activities will not require a car". Choose a property with a score of 0-24 and you can be sure that "all activites will require a car."

I tested WalksScore out with a Marriot that I thought was in the heart of Tampa but returned a dissapointing score of 45, meaning "car dependent". A map showed me my options for restaurants, coffee joints, groceries, shopping, etc and the pickings were slim. Yes there were two restaurants in walking distance, but one would necessitate crossing a highway!

Obviously, the site has uses beyond hotels. For those looking to buy second homes, or spending a day in an unfamiliar area, the perks of this type of info are obvious.

Apparently, AARP has partnered with WalkStop for info on its travel site, though frankly I searched and couldn't find any of the walk scores. For now, go directly to when you want that type of info.


  1. So helpful. Love your blog. Thanks,Pauline.

  2. This place is one of the best to spend my Christmas vacation together with my family and children. Thanks for sharing this!

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