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 WalkScore.com when you want that type of info.

3 comments:

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

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

    Hostel Buenos Aires

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