Walking trends in San Diego

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

Hiking at Mission Trails in San Diego

Trek Mission Trails with family and friends.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

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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). San Diego 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 San Diego, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

  • -31% | Percent change in walking trips in California
  • -30% | Percent change in walking trips in San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
  • 53 | San Diego’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.)

Civita Park

A glance at Civita Park.

Image via @rosie619sd

Where to walk the walk

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

  • Japanese Friendship Garden | We love a stroll along the tranquil loop trail, where we can gaze at the gardens, listen to the birds and streams, and take time to reflect.
  • Mission Trails Regional Park | From casual strolls to longer hikes, there’s a path for everyone at this local gem.
  • Civita Park | This pretty park in Mission Valley is an excellent spot for a walk; you can bring your pup, too.
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