When my wife and I moved to Southern California, we decided we would do everything we could to ensure we lived in a neighborhood where it was easy and convenient to do most errands and chores on foot. We had previously lived in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of years while she finished graduate school, and as the city is famously known, is “America’s Walking City”. We actually lived completely carless for the time we lived out there, which most definitely had its inconveniences, but overall it was a very rewarding experience.
Los Angeles is infamous being a place that nobody walks, but using online message boards and Web sites such as Walk Score, we discovered that there were in fact quite a few pedestrian-friendly districts in the city that were well-connected to each other, giving us a large area to choose from. We do have a car this time around so luckily we do not have to do every single errand on foot, but having so many amenities within a mile or so of my home is an incredible luxury. I would highly recommend using tools like Walk Score and other city research sites to find what a neighborhood tailored to what you are looking for. Even if you plan on driving most of the time, it is really nice to know the grocery store is just a 10 minute walk away.
Not only is living somewhere that is walkable a great benefit to your lifestyle, it is actually a great way to add a little exercise to your life. According to the Surgeon General, the average person should have about 30 minutes of activity a day. When walking to the grocery store or post office is a regular habit, it becomes very easy to reach that requirement! In fact, the neighborhood we ended up choosing to live has so much so close by, that my wife and I can actually walk there. It makes for a really great warm up to walk the three quarters of a mile to the gym.