Out for a Stroll, With Menus in Mind

As Walk Score has pointed out, many of our country’s major cities are becoming more walkable, and thus, more sustainable. It’s becoming more popular to ditch the car and walk to the grocery, dining, shopping, and other errands. Here, we will share with you some fantastic walks with dinner destinations in mind in some of the most walkable cities in the United States!

BALTIMORE
Woodberry: Urban Revitalization Done Right
Distance:
1.25 miles
Difficulty:
Easy
Parking:
At Meadow Mill or along Union Ave.
Public Transit:
Woodberry Light Rail; MTA bus #22 stops at Druid Park Dr. and 41st St. and Druid Park Dr. and Parkdale Ave.; MTA bus #98 (the Hampden Shuttle) stops at Druid Park Dr. and Clipper Rd.

  • Begin at Meadow Mill, built in the 1870s by William Hooper and Sons. Meadow Mill hosts a popular athletic club, the terrific Stone Mill Bakery, the theater troupe Mobtown Players, and the Potters Guild of Baltimore. 
  • Cross the Jones Falls from the Meadow Mill parking lot and head left. Look for wildlife in the river!
  • As you reach Union Ave., you’ll see Union Mill, Maryland’s largest stone mill. Today, the mill meets green standards and offers more than 25,000 square feet of office space to non-profits, as well as discounted residences for Baltimore city teachers.
  • Turn left on Union Ave. and approach the Woodberry Light Rail stop. Cross the tracks and head right on Clipper Rd. As you walk up the hill, you’ll see Woodberry’s oldest houses–stone beauties from the mid-19th century, built for mill workers. Woodberry proper stretches all the way up to Television Hill, where you’ll see the towers that transmit broadcasts for five Baltimore television stations.
  • Turn around and head back toward the Light Rail. On your right will be the entrance to Clipper Mill, along Clipper Park Rd. As you will see as you walk, the complex has many original buildings, but new construction marks the places where the fire of 1995 destroyed some 19th-century structures.
  • Inside of Clipper Mill you will find one of Baltimore’s hottest restaurants, including the farm-to-table Woodberry Kitchen (and ‘hottest’ deservedly so–Baltimore Magazine named it one of the best for 2012). Enjoy some stellar Maryland Rockfish or the Marvesta Shrimp & Grits, but be sure to make a reservation far in advance!

(Excerpted from Walking Baltimore, Wilderness Press 2013)

PORTLAND

Industrial Southeast: Produce Row
Distance: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: Free on street, $3 in lot at OMSI
Public Transit: TriMet Buses 4, 6, 10, and 14 at Hawthorne Bridge; Buses 12, 19, and 20 at E. Burnside St. and NE Sandy Blvd.

  • Start at the bus stop at NE Couch St. and 12th Ave. Take in the scenery, such as the gigantic rotating loaf of bread that designates Franz Bakery, and the yellow-and-blue house from Kelly Reichardt’s movie Old Joy. 
  • Turn left and head down NE 12th Ave., then cross E. Burnside St. and turn right. On the left is Hippo Hardware, which is a treasure hunt of a store!
  • Two blocks down on the left is the Jupiter Hotel and Doug Fir Lounge, sure to please many visitors with its decadent interior.
  • In the next block you’ll find one of the most talked-about restaurants in a much-talked-about restaurant scene: the always-packed Le Pigeon, run by James Beard Award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker. It’s a beautiful, smallish space with an open kitchen and a meat-heavy dinner menu. Zagat listed Le Pigeon as #2 Best Restaurant in Portland for 2013. Again, be sure to make a reservation! You can enjoy high quality, French-inspired food sure to rock your socks off.

(Excerpted from Walking Portland, Wilderness Press 2013)

MINNEAPOLIS

Minnehaha Parkway/48th & Chicago: Green Space, Relaxation Space
Distance: Approximately 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free parking on Chicago Ave. S. and Minnehaha Pkwy. E.
Public Transit: Bus line 22

  • Three of the city’s landmarks rich in natural geography combine for this walk: first, a lovely section of the Grand Rounds, Minnehaha Parkway; second, a charming business district, 48th Street and Chicago in McRae Park; and finally, a lake, Lake Nokomis. The proximity of nature and small town-like business districts is relatively common in the Twin Cities, but this walk stand out. Minnehaha Parkway is one of the seven byway districts in Minneapolis’s Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Minnehaha Park passes through the neighborhood en route to Minnehaha Falls a few miles away, and just over the hill lies a quaint and quirky shopping district with numerous independently owned business. Nothing could be better on a hot summer day than enjoying a delicious organice ice cream at the Pumphouse Creamery after exploring the parkway and Lake Nokomis. On this walk, you will end up near many shops and restaurants, one being Café Levain, a reasonably priced neighborhood bistro that made its way onto MSPmag.com’s Best Restaurants of 2013 list. Dine on French-inspired bistro items from a young, budding chef with serious dedication to the art of food.

(Excerpted from Walking Twin Cities, 2nd Edition, Wilderness Press 2013)

For more information on these books, or to find a dining-destination walk in your city, please check out the entire series from Wilderness Press. Cities include Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Cincinnati coming soon. The Walking series is a must for the inquisitive urban adventurer.

Each tour features history, culture, and local architecture, plus recommendations on eateries, galleries, and nightlife. The guides have detailed maps, parking, and public transit info, at-a-glance summaries, and “Points of Interest” appendixes. There’s no better way to discover a city!

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travis@keencommunication.com
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