You don’t have to take part in races to find amazing places to run.
I’m thinking of places like Colorado’s Garden of the Gods, Atlanta’s Beltline Trail, Charleston’s Battery, Italy’s Dolomites and Havana’s Malecón — what are some of your favorite places to explore as a runner?
Love to hear what you guys have found, or where you’d love to go. 😊 — Terrell
(P.S. — I made a mistake in the first email I sent out; please use this one. Thanks!)
I love to run the monuments in Washington DC. Usually starting in Georgetown and running down along the Hudson and up to the Mall. I stop off to see Mr Lincoln before running past the rest of the monuments and up to the capitol building. Just a great run. central park is the second fave. As far as destination runs, I'm planning a trip to Patagonia in Sept. to run the half there and can't wait.. The pictures look amazing. I'd love to know if anyone has done it already....
So many places! Paris is probably my most recent favorite. Last Christmas my family spent two weeks there and I made it my mission to run in every arrondissement over the course of the trip, and it was SO fun.
Around the long, straight streets of the historic colonial area of Williamsburg, Virginia. Beautiful scenery all year, great history on the roads that Washington and Jefferson walked, pancake flat except for a few dips, and lots of young runners from the adjacent College of William and Mary. You can do about a three-mile lap without repeating. You may have to dodge a road muffin or two from the horse-drawn carriages. Afterwards, some great restaurants and pubs for recovery.
I live in New Hampshire and love to run when I am up North in the White Mountains. The views are amazing.
I went on a retreat in Moab, Utah a few years ago and fell in love. I’ve been back there and also southern Utah a couple of times since. My favorite race was the Fueled By Fine Wine 1/2 in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. I ran it in 2010 during its inaugural year. At the time it was the hardest race I have ever run... and only my second half. My husband and I are going back to run it again this summer. I’m so excited! I expect it to still be hard (although I’ve run 34 halfs, 8 fulls, and 5 ultras since then, so at least I won’t be so naive!), but I also expect it to still be breathtaking. ...And I think in summer, nothing beats the trails at home in NE Wisconsin. It’s frigid here now, but our summers are gorgeous.
Santa Monica beach at sunrise
Drop 13, Cottonwood Canyon in Utah is a gorgeous run. Sun comes up over snow capped mountains and it is gorgeous every step of the way! But, I must admit I am a lifelong resident of Mississippi where our highest hill is 800 ft. One could say we get easily impressed by mountains!!!
My two favorite places to run are 1) around Niagara Falls State Park, NY and 2) at Black Moshannon State Park, PA.
I have ran in some beautiful areas, we live in a scenic country but my favorite race was the Fargo Half Marathon. It had rained all night and the streets were flooded. The rain continued through the race, it was cold with wind gusts at 30mph. I got a PR and finished with a sense of accomplishment! I realized I am tougher than I thought I was and now I brave the cold weather instead of retreating to the treadmill which leaves me with that satisfaction all over again. There were 6,000 bad ass people on the streets of Fargo that morning and I learned a lot about what I am capable of that day.
I love the Chicamauga Battlefield Park and the several races held there. It is so peaceful, beautiful and historic, running by the cannons and the big stone lookout towers.
The best setting (views + race experience) I ever had was the Big Sur half-marathon, which "technically" is not in Big Sur, bur is close by. It starts/finishes in the city of Monterey, with many lovely miles spent coast-side between Monterey and Pacific Grove. I would run this on my own without the support of an event staff, but the race was extremely well supported which made it all the more enjoyable. My #2 choice for lovely views + race experience is the Livermore (CA) Valley half-marathon. Many miles of the event were on paved park trails, winding through vineyards. Try it and see! This wine-producing region is 50+ miles south of Napa and just as beautiful, with fewer crowds.
I would like to discover more amazing places to run. I always enjoyed running along the coast of Southern California. The trail between Encinitas and Solana Beach was very scenic. I would also like to explore more scenic areas in the area around Charlottesville, Virginia and the Blue Ridge mountains.
We have some beautiful trails to run in Arizona , The desert runs are the best when the winter rains make everything green up on the trail ..best time is our winter LOl months ., not much winter just cooler temps... Oct /Nov thur March/April ...after that 90-116 degrees..but as we do in AZ , were still running in the heat ...just remember to hydrate well and know your limits ....
Recent "pinch me" runs would have to be Sydney and Vancouver. Maybe because we don't have a lot of water to run by in downtown Atlanta I am always stunned by the beauty of running by water. Favorite races would be Athens 1/2 -- fun even if you aren't a Dawg fan and the Freedoms Run in WV and MD. Both races are hilly but very pretty. Eugene and Covered Bridges are close on that list as well. Always fun to read about other places.
I am a hometown girl and we have a beautiful nature trail in a local county park, Dorothy Carnes Park. I grew up right near the area before they turned it into a park so it has even more meaning. It is out in a meadow area and the trail goes along a small lake and up into a wooded area. It is out in the country and just provides a quiet place to run, walk, enjoy nature while improving your trail running experience and stamina.
I ran the San Francisco half marathon and it was epic. We ran past Pier 39, Ghiradelli Square, the Presido, across the Golden Gate Bridge and finished in Golden Gate Park. Weather in July was beautiful. There are 2 halves that you can pick from that each run through different parts of the city.
Tomorrow I’ll run Gasparilla Half Marathon in Tampa. We live her 9 months out of the year, and love the mix of bay views, river walks, and residential running. In the summers were on Cape Cod. It’s tougher to find good running on Cape, because drivers basically suck. But there’s 6+ miles of safe-ish running along the canal, where I can see boats, water, people, and occasional marine wildlife. The beach near our home is good running too, with an occasional seal wallowing in the sand. I often say I run with seals. It sounds like I’m a commando. But I’m not lying.
I started following Vacation Races around for their scenic Half Marathons & have never been disappointed. Zion (when it was a trail run up in the hills near cow pastures), Lake Powell 2ce, & Grand Canyon trail. All so beautiful. Ran a local race at Bryce Canyon that was fun & a local one at Sedona recently. Both also beautiful. Reading thru this open thread made me realize that I enjoy scenic races far more than city ones. Who knew?
New to distance running. At 58 years old did these Halfs- Inaugural Lynchburg Desmond Doss (MOH recipient) rolling hill Road run. Terrapin Mountain single path Trial. Ohio Spartan Beast mostly deep mud. Still in that delightful happy place that EVERY Half is great. 😃
My favorite place to run is Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, FL🥰. It’s a short run but the flora, fauna & sunrises are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
These are such fantastic suggestions! Thank you all so much. My fav run has got to be Garden of the Gods in CO. My son is in graduate school in CO so I ran there a few times on a visit. Awe inspiring majesty that takes your breath away.
Living in CO, there are a lot of great places to run but I love the Evergreen area. There are a lot of trails close and you have lots of diversity. Plus you see a lot of wildlife and an occasional llama.
Ran at Niagara Falls this morning. Great run with awesome views.
Well it's nothing new and no surprise I like Italy... I love running at lake Como 😍😍.
Venice has a night run... I've never done it yet, but I've heard it's fantastic....
My “neighborhood “ 8300’ elevation in the Uintah foothills. My doggos and I love running all the game trails - heaven on earth
Tweetsy Trail in Johnson City TN is a great greenway to run.
Monument Valley in AZ and UT. That was a tough trail run, but incredibly gorgeous.
Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pa. The view and the beach are fantastic!
Sunrise on the boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean in Long Branch, NJ. NYC is in the background and it never gets old!
Used to live in Hawaii and have run the Honolulu Marathon and the Hapalua and Hibiscus 1/2 Marathons
we have some very beautiful and awesome trails to run in Arizona , best to do that from say , Nov to March / April as our temps will hit 90 - 116 in our hotter months ....but we still run and we do ..just need to hydrate well and watch for rattle snakes LOl....
Big River crossing, The greenline or anywhere near water.
Does anyone have a favorite run/runs in Scotland? My daughter and I are planning a trip there on July and would love to go on fun runs. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.