There’s no doubt that some cities seem as if they were made just for runners. Whether it’s the weather, the scenery, the trails or iconic races, if you’re an avid runner who’s thinking about moving or just wants to enjoy a great place to visit while you’re also logging miles, you might want to consider these destinations. Knowing where you're going to be running, is important, know the best cities for running is even more important, especially if you're on vacation and don't want to disrupt your schedule.
The Five Best US Cities for Running
While you might think Seattle would be far too wet to be considered a great running city, all that water makes for some beautifully lush scenery, not to mention the gorgeous views which also including soaring mountains in nearly every direction. And, it’s probably not as rainy as you think. While there may be more cloudy days, Seattle gets just 37.5 inches of precipitation on average- compared to other places that’s a drop in the bucket. Atlanta gets an average of 49.7 inches per year, while Houston sees 44.7 and Hilo, Hawaii an astounding 126.7 inches. The Emerald City was ranked at No. 2 among Runner’s World best running cities, noting its 100 miles of trails, four running stores and over 150 races hosted in 2016.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque enjoys four seasons, but it’s famous for its frequent sunshine and blue skies as well as opportunities for outdoor adventure, including running, with 16 miles of trails along the Rio Grande River right downtown, and some 150 miles of trails in the nearby Sandia Mountains. As it sits at around 5,200 feet in elevation, it also offers a great opportunity for training. Competitor.com calls it a year-round running paradise, which means you might want to consider checking out some of the open houses in Albuquerque while you’re here if you’re serious about running.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, the No. 1 city for running as ranked by Runner’s World, is famous for its hills and its scenery that makes it ideal for runners. It also has nine running stores in the city limits, 16 running clubs, and hosted nearly 250 races in 2016. Not only can you run those steep streets, but trails through beautiful Golden Gate Park, the paved waterfront path that runs along the Pacific at Ocean Beach, and across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
When SmartAsset.com conducted a study on the best cities for running considering walkability, parks and gyms, it ranked Madison, Wisconsin at No. 1. It’s home to 59 gyms, hosts about 90 races each year and lots of scenic trails to run while enjoying lake views, including the local favorite, the 11-mile Lake Monona Loop. The three-mile waterfront run along the bay is also popular, providing picturesque views of Brittingham Park and the Capitol.
There are miles and miles of trails lining the Colorado River in Austin that draw lots of locals and visitors to run, including the Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail, a flat 3.2-mile loop from the South First Bridge to the Mopac Bridge, which include stretches for viewing the skyline of the capital city or to jump in the water for a swim. If you like to race, Austin hosts plenty, with one nearly every weekend.
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