For some, these 12 best small towns to live without a car would seem like paradise. City life isn’t for everyone, and the slower pace of a laid-back town where you know your mailman and your barber can be very appealing.
It’s comforting when your neighbors watch out for you and your property, and as long as your town has a coffee shop, a bookstore, and a good grocery, what more do you really need in life? The simpler life is becoming increasingly desired among fast-paced Americans these days, and we can help you find the town that embraces that simplicity. Though we did only include American small towns, these are also some of the best places in the world to live without a car. Because the US undoubtedly has some of the most charming small towns (although the European cities where you don’t need a car can’t be half bad either).
To rate our towns, we used a website called Walk Score. This website allows you to type in any city or town in the world and calculate it’s “walk score.” A city with a walk score of 0-24 means that almost all errands require a car. Scores of 25-49 mean the city is relatively car-dependent as well, with most errands requiring a car. A score of 50-69 indicates that some errands can be accomplished on foot, 70-89 means most errands can be accomplished on foot, and a score of 90-100 is a walker’s paradise. (Walk score’s methodology is credible, and to find out more about it, visit the site.) This website also gives a “transit score,” but since most of the towns we’re examining are small, public transportation is nonexistent. Walking is the better exercise, anyways. And some people just prefer not to drive. We feel you. The less traffic and road rage stress, the better. That’s why we’re giving you some of the best places to live if you don’t drive.
We also had to find our towns. For this, we used lists from two more sites: Livability‘s 10 best small towns of 2016 and House Beautiful‘s 50 beautiful small towns we want to live in. Both had recent and accurate lists of “best small towns,” so we took all of the towns mentioned in their lists and calculated their walk scores. But before we give you the results, the best walkable small towns, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, Walk Score only gives general scores per town, so much depends on which part of town you live. If you’re on the outskirts of even a small town, walking to your destinations might get a little more inconvenient. Also, please do not use our list as a determining factor for whether you’ll purchase a car or not. Much of this decision depends on the individual and their personal needs or preferences. While these are also some of the best places to retire without a car, an older adult in the picture might be a huge pro to owning a car. So, make sure to do your research before you move to a small town just because you don’t want to have a car payment.
Lastly, we tried to make the pictures shown in this list as true to each small town as possible, but since these towns are so small, we had to generalize a bit. For instance, the small town in Nebraska just has a picture of a scenic backdrop in Nebraska, though it might not be the specific town. And for more perfect small towns, see our lists of easiest cities to live without a car and best places to visit in USA without a car.
We won’t hold you up any longer – here is our list of best small towns to live without a car. If you can’t move to one, at least you can dream.