There are many ways to judge a city”s “greenness” as a travel destination. One is to see how much renewable energy it uses. Reykjavik, Iceland, is run almost entirely on sustainable energy sources such as geothermal power and hydrogen. Another is its infrastructure; San Francisco has green buildings, a variety of transportation options and a ban on plastic bags. Yet another is how much you can walk to see all the sights. Though London is huge, you could walk from Buckingham Palace to the British Museum and see the amazing parks and architecture along the way.
There are plenty of walkable cities to visit in the United States, both large and small. New York and San Francisco are famous for their tourist destinations that are easy to get to by walking or public transportation. How about the rest of the country? Here are a few smaller and larger favorites that may get overlooked.
Ideal Green Destinations: Charleston, S.C.
Known for its rich preserved history, this gem on the South Carolina coast is great for walking. In fact, with all its amazing restaurants, visitors need to walk so they can enjoy the next great meal. Indeed, the local food movement is strong here, with award-winning restaurants and chefs informing you right on the menu exactly how far the grains, fish and meat have traveled to get to your plate. History, from the city”s beginnings as a shipping port through the Civil War and beyond, is celebrated here in walking and carriage tours. Wandering the streets of the historical downtown is a great way to explore the city and soak in its charms.
Ideal Green Destinations: Monterey Peninsula, Calif
Monterey and Pacific Grove are connected towns along the Monterey Bay – one breathtaking vista after another. Visitors can walk or bike along the waterfront, from Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove, past Lovers Point, along Cannery Row to Old Fisherman”s Wharf in Monterey. Along the way is one of the best-designed aquariums in the world, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a leader in teaching consumers about sustainable seafood. Be sure to pick up its wallet-size Seafood Watch guide for the most sustainable choices when you buy or eat seafood.
Ideal Green Destinations: District of Columbia
All the museums, galleries and monuments can keep visitors walking for days, and online casino canada there”s no better place to learn about American history, the good and the bad. The best news is that many of the attractions are free and clustered near each other. Visit the Smithsonian Institution”s National Museum of Natural History and National Air and Space Museum, both on the National Mall, or take in a play at Ford”s Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Remember that to visit the White House you have to arrange a tour beforehand through your member of Congress or embassy.
Ideal Green Destinations: Seattle, Wash
True, downtown Seattle is hilly, but it”s compact and scenic to make up for the inconvenience. Visitors can spend hours in Pike Place Market – it”s a combination of fresh food, little shops and funky attractions (yes, the fish really do fly). After you”ve had your fill, you can walk down to the waterfront and then on to Pioneer Square. This historic neighborhood with a mix of galleries and shops is where you can tour underground Seattle – actual subterranean passageways from the city”s colorful past. If you want to visit the Space Needle, you can get there via monorail – one of the few in North America outside of an amusement park and the only publicly owned example that makes a profit.
(Image by Smudge 9000)