It doesn’t get much better than the beach. The sun, sand and crashing waves combined create a perfect atmosphere, whether you’re a local or a visitor on vacation. But the beach is good for more than just relaxing with a tropical drink in hand — it’s also a fine place to go for a run.
All around the world, you can find people running on the sand or alongside beautiful beaches. With a little planning, you can be one of those people. To help you make it happen, we’re narrowing things down to 10 of the world’s best beach-running locales. Lace up your shoes and enjoy the scenery.
LA JOLLA SHORES TO TORREY PINES
San Diego, California
With enviable year-round weather, San Diego is a runner’s paradise. The excursion from La Jolla Shores to Torrey Pines State Beach in particular is a can’t-miss route. It offers five miles of uninterrupted beaches, dramatic cliffs and firmly packed sand as you pass by Black’s Beach and make your way north. Just remember it’s also five miles back.
The popular tourist destination along Honolulu’s beachfront is home to many hotels, making it an easy place to run if you’re staying nearby. Head outside and hit the 2-mile-long beach, taking advantage of the path on the main avenue, and you’ll get views of the ocean as well as the Diamond Head volcano in the distance.
This beautiful beach is a great place to surf and sunbathe. If you’re up for something more strenuous, try running south from Bondi Beach to Clovelly Bay. As you wind along the water, you’ll run alongside sandstone cliffs and pass through numerous parks, so there’s always something to see.
SAN MIGUEL DE COZUMEL
Located just off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel offers a wealth of opportunities for runners. That’s thanks chiefly to the island’s 65-kilometer cycling path that hugs the southern half of the island. Whether you start on the west, south or east side of the island, you’ll find miles of car-free coastal roads and picturesque ocean views.
This lively beach stretches for miles along the coast, with a paved path running beside the beach. Starting at the southern tip — South Pointe Park Pier — you can head north, taking in the sights and sounds along the way. Once you’re too tired to continue, you’ll be in a prime position to take advantage of the area’s many restaurants or cool off in the ocean.
Western Australia’s capital city is a trove of coastal scenery. For runners, not much beats a nice jog on Cottesloe Beach. If you’d like to log some miles, head south to Fremantle Harbor, and you’ll rack up 10 miles roundtrip. Once you’re back, you might as well do some snorkeling in the crystal-clear water.
SANTA MONICA TO VENICE BEACH
Los Angeles, California
There are miles of running routes on L.A.’s beaches, so you could pick just about anywhere along the coast and go for a jog. But if you’d like to make an actual game plan, the route from Santa Monica Pier to the Venice Beach Boardwalk is a fine 2 miles. Feel like adding some strength training to your cardio? Muscle Beach is nearby.
PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS
People flock to the South of France for beautiful beaches, good wine and relaxed living. Part of the appeal — if you’re a runner, at least — is the Promenade des Anglais. This iconic strip stretches nearly 4 miles along the Mediterranean Sea and is the perfect place to do some coastal exploring on foot.
Though less iconic than Ipanema and Copacabana, Barra features all the sand with fewer crowds. Run along the paved path, which stretches for more than 10 miles, and enjoy the waterside views in all directions — you’ll have the beach on one side and a lagoon on the other.
You don’t have to go far for a beach run in Barcelona. Situated near the city-center and the famed Las Ramblas strip, you’ll find miles of waterfront. Keep your head on a swivel for historic sites, grand architecture and numerous marinas.