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The 12 Best U.S. Cities For Runners

#2 San Diego

Population: 1.4 million

san diego

Waterside runs are not difficult to find in San Diego, especially with fun beach towns lining the coast from historic Camp Pendleton to the downtown Gaslamp Quarter and all the way to Mexico.

Must Run
If you’re visiting, everyone will recommend a run or hike at Torrey Pines. The reserve is cluttered with eager tourists on weekends, so go early to minimize weaving and maximize Zen. If you’re hanging out downtown, run from Seaport Village to Spanish Landing Park along the beautiful bay. A second option is pancake-flat Mission Bay, a quick Uber ride from downtown. Head a bit north and make like a local: Cruise through coastal beach communities (La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas) and wave at the friendly folks who reside in every nook along the way.

Get Away From It All
If you’re itching for a workout, seek out Lake Miramar, where you can follow a 5-mile paved loop that’s marked every quarter mile. For a bit more elevation and complete solitude, drive an hour east, park on Sunset Highway and trot along the trails of Mount Laguna.

Destination Racing
Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and Half brings thousands of runners to the Balboa Park start line. For an earlier spring option, the San Diego Half is a fun way to sightsee as you sweat. The Cardiff Kook 10K/5K helps hundreds of football fanatics kick off Super Bowl Sunday, just a few miles north of the city proper in the surfing community of Encinitas. —CP


“San Diego is an epic place to run! There are endless amounts of scenery to take in. It’s a great motivator to also always see others run in this beautiful area. Bonus: The weather is close to perfect year-round.” —Fara Rosenzweig, WR contributor

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