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I don't know about you, but being able to travel without the hassle of bringing/renting a car is a huge plus to me. No need to worry about where to park or if your car will get banged up driving in an unfamiliar place (this just happened to me). Plus, car rentals are still super expensive on top of sky-high gas prices.

While not all travel destinations are tailored to go carless, many cities large and small offer great experiences on foot alongside decent transit options.

This Penny Hoarder article looks at 10 U.S. cities that you can easily get around in without a car. Here're my very brief experiences traveling to the cities on the list:

  1. Seattle – Totally drove here. Bad traffic, but not too hard to park and walk around when in quieter areas.
  2. New York City – I've both driven here and have been completely carless. One of the few U.S. cities where taking public transit is easier than driving in most cases.
  3. San Francisco – I do not recommend driving through SF! But it is very walkable with decent transit.
  4. Boston – Similar to SF. Not the worst experience driving in Boston, but it's a much better experience to walk the historic streets.
  5. Washington D.C. – Haven't visited since I was a kid. Driving through suburban D.C. traffic is a nightmare, however...
  6. Burlington, VT – Haven't been! Sounds lovely.
  7. Portland, OR – Flew in here once and took the light rail around. Decent experience.
  8. Minneapolis – I live here! I drive here a lot. Especially when heading to errands in the suburbs. That said, I do take the bus/light rail when heading to bigger events or to/from the airport. Or just for fun.
  9. Philadelphia – Drove into Philly once. Yikes. Not fun. Parked my car at a very expensive overnight garage and walked around the city the rest of my time there.
  10. Key West – Haven't been here since I was a kid, but remember it being small and very walkable. Of course we got there by car...

What are your experiences going carless while traveling?

Last edited by Will S.
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The only place I plan on driving to would be to the airport, get on a plane, and pick up a rental car that I reserved prior to the plane trip. Wow, not a single city listed interests me, because I've been to them all.

Travel without a car, Paris, Nice, Cannes, Palma de Majorca Spain, used taxis and trains, and most places in Hawaii, just got onto the transport buses at the airport.

Third World countries, Manila, Philippines, Mexico City, Tiajuana, Mexico, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Mombassa Kenya, Karachi Pakistan, Colombo Sri Lanka, used taxis.

I have been to all those listed above.

This list is awesome! Based on my experience in these cities:


New York City - definitely walk, take the bus or subway.

San Francisco - walk or Uber/Lyft. I have yet to take the trolley.

Boston - walk and Uber/Lyft. I’d love to live there, but it’s expensive and lots of snow!

Washington, D.C. - I laughed when I read this! I used to live in NOVA and work in DC. I keep reconsidering moving back for work opportunities, but the traffic, congestion, snow and cost of living are deterrents.

Philadelphia - drove with a rental car, and parking was expensive. Can take the train to Philly from outside the city. Lots of restaurants, shops and museums within walking distance.

Key West - drove with a rental car and walked a lot. Such a fun place! Only concerns are when the water is not swimmable, and I wonder what everyone does for work. Maybe a remote/online job would make living there affordable.

My wife and I have been on numerous cruises. I recommend them highly. We have gone to many beautiful places for a good price, with little trouble. We also go to motorcycle and car events (MD,.FL,. PA., ETC.). My wife can no longer ride on my motorcycle. We either haul / tow it or she stays home with the dog. I have a few hobby cars to drive to car shows and I am currently working on another one. I am hoping to build a VW trike, to take her and the dog to bike events. We recently bought a 32' camper to pull behind the truck. This avoids hassles about where to stay. Nothing beats the freedom of the open road!

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