Image: Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C.
All Canada Photos / Alamy  /  Alamy
Vancouver, B.C., is often called one of the world's most livable cities, it has more than 13.7 miles of paved paths along its waterfront that allow for walking, cycling and inline skating.
By
updated 6/10/2010 9:18:35 AM ET 2010-06-10T13:18:35

Flat, paved, and picturesque — that’s just how my feet, in strappy sandals, like it. At least when on the island of Capri, off Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where I was dressed more for Prosecco sipping than a heart-pounding trek.

The Via Tragara, an enchanted pathway that snakes from bustling Capri Town to the vista point at Belvedere Tragara, provided the perfect mid-morning stroll for a traveler with a digital camera and a twitchy index finger.

Within three minutes, I’d left the crowds behind and stumbled upon a cinematic paradise: tangerine and magenta bougainvillea, whitewashed villas with glimmering pools, and every now and then, tantalizing glimpses of the azure vista.

That’s the beauty of the scenic amble: It frees the mind and awakens the spirit. Writers from Wordsworth to Whitman waxed poetic about the joys of trekking. “Two or three hours’ walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect to ever see,” said Henry David Thoreau, who never tired of his daily constitutionals.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Luckily for modern wayfarers, most cities — Vancouver, Hong Kong, Sydney, and San Juan among them — have pedestrian pathways that allow visitors to swap honking horns and bus tours for cool sea breezes and self-guided jaunts, set to the rhythm of their own footfalls.

“Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world, and a big reason for that is how walkable we are,” says mayor Gregor Robertson.

In fact, Vancouver has more than 13.7 miles of paved paths along its waterfront. “Exploring the city by foot allows you to get to know different neighborhoods and interact with people in a way that you can’t do if you’re driving.”

In Newport, R.I., the 3.5-mile seaside Cliff Walk — designated a National Historical Trail in 1975 — now provides public access to one of the most stunning pathways in the Northeast. But the walk is more than just visually appealing.

“It serves as an important social space for the city, where locals and tourists can connect,” says Susan Cooper, director of the Newport Recreation Department.

Pack a comfy pair of shoes and discover the world’s most breathtaking views on one of these 10 walking itineraries.

Copyright © 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments