2018's Worst Cities for Driving Are Still Worth the Trip

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NYC traffic
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People Mover train between the Guardian Building and One Woodward
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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit may be the worst city for driving in the country, but the city has tools to help commuters. Drivers can utilize a site called Mi Drive to monitor traffic updates, or people can opt to bike share rentals, car sharing services, shuttles and the city's automated light rail system. Once you get past the transportation obstacles, Detroit offers relaxing riverfront activities; museums, zoos and aquariums at Belle Isle State Park; and group fun on the Detroit Cycle Boat.

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Cable cars in San Francisco
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San Francisco

One of the most notable things about San Francisco is the city's public transit cars. The cable and streetcars are located downtown, where passengers can explore Union Square, North Beach and Chinatown. Visitors can also hail a taxi and check out the Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry Building Marketplace and the Painted Ladies which famously appeared on the "Full House" TV show. 

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Bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco
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Oakland, California

Why use a car in Oakland when you could walk? The Oakland Urban Wine Tail connects multiple renowned wineries that are surrounded by various shops and eateries, making it easy to explore the city. If you're into the craft beer scene, Oakland also has an ale trail. The area also has a booming nightlife scene with hipster dive bars, upscale lounges and retro cocktail bars. If you'd prefer not to walk, the city's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system has you covered. 

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Traffic downtown at city hall
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Philadelphia

Philadelphia is another city known for its public transportation and walkability. Where should you start when visiting Philly? Catch a baseball game, head to the zoo and explore the city's various acclaimed museums. Plus, when you get hungry and need a quick break, the city also has many fast-casual dining options

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Seattle skyline
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Seattle

Transportation options in Seattle seem endless: the city has a Link Light Rail system, downtown metro buses, streetcars, and monorail trains. Once you've mastered the navigation system indulge in Seattle's arts culture, eat at the restaurants you've seen on TV and discover all the cool attractions the city has to offer. 

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Boston skyline
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Boston

As another perfect cycling and walking city, Boston is home to some great neighborhoods including Kendall Square, Back Bay and Allston. It's also the perfect destination for lovers of rock 'n' roll, craft beer and—of course—seafood.

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Traffic in NYC
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New York City

Most people are aware of New York City's driving reputation, but most natives will tell you that subways, Citi Bikes, cabs and walking are the way to go. The world-class museums, restaurants and culturally-rich neighborhoods are one of a kind. Iconic sightseeing opportunities include One World Observatory, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, The High Line and Top of the Rock

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Newark skyline at night
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Newark, New Jersey

Just a short day trip from NYC, Newark is the place to go for sports fanatics and shopaholics alike. Catch the New Jersey Devils play hockey at the Prudential Center or the New York Red Bull soccer team at the Red Bull Arena. Meanwhile, shoppers can get their fix at a huge premium outlet. If you're a foodie,  head to Newark for the Portuguese restaurants. Parking in Newark is expensive, so car sharing is the way to go if you can swing it.

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Traffic in California
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Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the place of movie stars, fine dining, thrilling attractions and historic landmarks, so getting around is easy via the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Los Angeles is home to Universal Studios Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier and Beach, Warner Bros. Studio and the Beverly Center

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Aerial view of Chicago
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Chicago

Opt to use the city's Divvy Bikes program to enjoy a scenic bike ride down Lakeshore Drive and explore Navy Pier. Travelers can also take advantage of the city's public transit options—the CTA buses and trains—that go through Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. Use the transit to explore Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park or one of the city's many Michelin-rated restaurants

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Traffic in Washington D.C.
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Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is jam-packed with some of the country's best museums. Many of the city's monuments are within walking distance of each other and visitors can explore the using the metro. Washington D.C. is the perfect place to up your photography game, as it's home to the National Mall, White House, Jefferson Memorial, Kennedy Center and National Zoo

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Baltimore at night
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Baltimore

Who needs to drive in Baltimore when the city offers free bus shuttles? That's not the only thing that's free (or cheap) in Baltimore. The city—also known as "Monumental City"—is filled with art and history museums, historic monuments and public parks that are easy on your pockets and definitely worth exploring.

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Palm trees in San Jose
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San Jose, California

Eco City Cycles, VTA Light Rails, the Caltrains and Dash Shuttles are considerable alternatives to driving in San Jose, California. The city is located in the center of Silicon Valley, home to Apple Headquarters, Apple Park, the Computer History Museum, the HP Garage, Google Garage and—a fan favorite—the Tech Museum of Innovation.

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Skyline in Honolulu
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Honolulu, Hawaii

Don't fret should you get caught in traffic in Hawaii, as you'll be treated to stunning scenery along coastal highways. Plus, Honolulu is a very small area on Oahu where most of the traffic is caused by commuters; meaning busy times occur Monday through Friday from 6:30-8:30 am and 3:30-6:30 pm. This makes traffic easily avoidable. Wait until the traffic dies down and you'll find that the area has many exciting places to visit including museums, aquariums, shopping malls and spas.

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Street sign in San Bernardino
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San Bernardino, California

Located along the famous Route 66 highway, San Bernardino is known for its outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, parasailing and more. Need help getting around? Use the city's transit system

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Cleveland skyline
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Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has a growing cycling scene, which includes bike share programs and guided cycling tours of the city. While you're in town, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Plus, sports fans will tell you that getting a ticket to a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game or a Cleveland Indians baseball game is a must. And let's not forget breweries, art and music are also at the forefront in Cleveland. 

By Jasmyn Snipes Louis on 07/30/2018

Each year, Wallethub releases a list for the Best and Worst Cities to Drive in according to factors including gas price, traffic congestion, theft and auto repair shops per capita.

While the rankings may be exciting for those cities that fall within the "best" portion of the list, it leaves the places listed as "worst" with a bad reputation.

What people may not know, is that many of the cities with poor driving records offer other great transportation options. So don't be deterred from discovering all that these cities have to offer. Metros, light rail systems, walking and bike sharing in these areas will get you to some fantastic attractions ranging from top-of-the-line dining options to world-class museums, theme parks and shopping experiences.