Enter your address and press GO at Walkscore.com and you are presented with a Google map mashup showing you all the local walkable grocery stores, restaurants, bars, schools, libraries, etc. You also get a “walk score”. On a scale of 0-100, the walk score gives you a general idea of how walkable your neighborhood is (here’s a full explanation of how it works).
It’s not perfect (it cannot, for example, determine if that freeway cuts you off from otherwise nearby businesses, or if your street lacks sidewalks), and of course some of the Google map information is inaccurate, but in general I’ve found it to be a useful tool.
I grew up in a not entirely unwalkable suburban neighborhood that scores a 60 now (though would have scored much lower when I was a kid), but my current residence (downtown) scores a 98. Check out that pretty cluster!
Next month I’m moving to the Boise Eliot neighborhood, however, and my new address only scores a 74, but I’ll be right on Mississippi Avenue, so I think it’s a fair trade (see some reasons to the left).