Walking trends in Charleston

Average daily walking trips dropped by 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022 — see how Charleston compares.


White Point Garden | Photo by @station28.5

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If you’ve been singing the lyrics “I walk a lonely road” a lot lately, you’re not… alone (well, in a sense). Charleston roads are actually less lonely than many, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

If national averages indicate anything, it’s that roads overall may have been more lonely during the past few years. According to a recent data report by Streetlight, annual average daily walking trips dropped 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022.

How does that national average shake out in Charleston, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

    • -36% | Percent change in walking trips in South Carolina
    • -35% | Percent change in walking trips in Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville
    • 99 | Downtown Charleston’s score out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

    What does a percent change in walking trips mean? Say a metro area sees a -50% change in walking trips. This means, on average, walking trips declined by 50% in that area. (For the record, none of the top 100 metros in the study saw that much of a decline — the biggest dip was 49% in Akron, OH.)

    King Street in Charleston, SC

    Walk here to get your steps + window shop.

    Photo by @jonpuckett

    Where to walk the walk

    Wondering where you can get your steps in? Check out these pedestrian-friendly spots around town, from local parks to protected streets.

    • King Street, King St., Charleston | Doesn’t matter if you’re window shopping or indulging there is plenty to explore in this stretch of the peninsula, which is packed with shops, restaurants, and history.
    • White Point Garden, 2 Murray Blvd., Charleston | This waterfront park has 5.7 acres to explore in the historic district and offers views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor.
    • Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Rd., Charleston | This historic site has six miles of trails, 664 acres of scenery, and an alley of oaks.
    • Edisto Beach State Park, 8377 State Cabin Rd., Edisto Island | This 1,255-acre park has an Environmental Learning Center with interactive displays and 1.5 miles of beach.