As I’ve traveled the world, most of the places I love have one thing in common … they are walkable. City centers throughout Europe have streets blocked off to automobile traffic and defined as pedestrian zones.
A few cities in the US have walkable city centers, too, or simply tree-lined sidewalks. Older cities on the East Coast are classic examples. Boston’s Freedom Trail, for example, wanders along sidewalks with markers to point out the historical significance of the sites you are passing.
King Street in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, has myriad shops and restaurants amid classic Federalist architecture. The cobblestone sidewalks meander under the shade of trees and past temporary outdoor dining rooms, set up during COVID. There is talk of keeping them with their inviting views and fascinating people-watching opportunities.
South of Alexandria is the Civil War stronghold of Fredericksburg. Let your feet guide you along Caroline Street and you will pop in and out of antique shops and boutiques or just wander through the blast of cold air blowing out the doors of the stores and restaurants.
There’s nothing quite as magical as strolling along a sidewalk on a perfect spring day. Whether you’re in another country, the other side of your country, or just in your neighborhood, a walk can clear your mind and fill you with a sense of calm. I am always grateful for those strolls and joyful at the interesting sights I spot as I let my feet guide me.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Grab your walking shoes and get out there and explore it.
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