10 Best US Cities for Runners

 |  Running  | 

Runners from around the country have long debated which US cities is the best to live in or travel to if you are a runner. Which cities have the best trails? The best atmosphere? The best races? The best clubs? If you are looking to lace up and hit the ground running in a new city, read more on the 10 best US cities for runners.

10 Best US Cities for Runners

Here are the 10 best US cities for runners to check out:

1. Chicago
Chicago may be known as the Windy City, but Chicago is also a great city to explore for running. Whether you are traveling to Chicago, just moved there or have lived there for ages and never ran in the heart of Chicago, Chicago is home to a paved 18-mile path that runs along the shore of Lake Michigan.

While running this 18-mile path, you can experience the cooling breezes of the summer, great skyline views and gorgeous park scenery. The scenery itself is motivating to keep pushing yourself harder and harder. If you forgot your water bottle, there are water fountains scattered throughout the path. Consider joining the Chicago Runner’s Association or sign up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. If you aren’t a marathon distance, consider the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K.

2. New York City
The hussle and bussle of New York City can also be a great place to run. Runners can enjoy the 6-mile loop around Central Park or join the New York Road Runners club. New York City is home to the largest marathon in the country. Spanning all five boroughs, you can expect to see runners training all year round in New York City. While there is not much green space, NYC runners can hit the pavement while enjoying views of the skyline and surrounding themselves with the chaos of city living.


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3. Portland
If you are heading to the west coast, Portland, Oregon is a great place to pack your running shoes for. Portland is a great runner’s haven because running shoe mega-brands Nike along with Adidas have headquarters in Portland. If you ask a native of the Portland area where you should head to run, most will quickly respond a run along the Willamette River. Additionally, there are a large number of tree-lined trails, with gorgeous views of the Portland, just outside the heart of the city. Portland is home to a number of running events including the Portland Marathon, the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon and a number of trail racing series.

4. Boulder
Boulder, Colorado is another beautiful place to run on the west coast. While the high-altitude may present a challenge at first, a few jogs in this altitude will help to transform your lung capacity in no time at all. If you are serious about training for a race, Boulder is an excellent location. When you train at such a high-altitude, your lung strength will definitely have increased when you return to sea level. The varying terrain and scenic trails are bound to make training enjoyable as well as a challenge. To train with a group, join the Boulder Road Runners club.

5. Washington, DC
Our Nation’s capitol is home to one of the largest running events in the country; the Marine Corps Marathon. If you aren’t quite ready to run a marathon, Washington, DC is a great running location for individuals of all levels. With a 5-mile trail that passes sites such as the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool, you can take in our Nation’s history while training or enjoying a casual run. If you are visiting Washington DC, be sure to check out Rock Creek Park; this park is especially scenic during the springtime, with the Cherry Blossom festival.

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6. San Francisco
Known for its hills, San Francisco, California may seem like anything but a runner’s paradise. However if you are heading to San Francisco, you may want to think twice before leaving your running shoes at home. There are plenty of flat terrain paths to be found along the San Francisco Bay. For extremely scenic runs, go for a run across the Golden Gate Bridge or run through Sausalito. Join the San Francisco Road Runner’s Club and enjoy Saturday morning runs along the beach.

7. Austin
Despite the sometimes, extremely warm temperatures, Austin, Texas is a great place for runners. Enjoy a run along the 10-mile Town Lake Trail. At any given time, this gravel trail is packed with runners. If you are worried about the hot, Texas heat, water jugs are placed along the trail so that you can refill your water bottle and stay hydrated as you run. From the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon to a number of 5ks and fun runs, there is a running event in Austin for individuals of all skill levels.

8. Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota is another U.S. city where you may be tempted to leave your running shoes at home if you are planning a trip to this area. With snow-packed and icy winters, distance training can be a challenge, but a large number of running groups help to keep the residents of Minneapolis motivated. With over 50 miles of trails to run, the scenery is Minneapolis is beautiful during a snow and all year along. When springtime hits, the path around the Chain of Lakes is a beautiful place to take in the scenery.

9. Boston
Boston is home to the most prestigious marathon in the country; the Boston Marathon. Not only do people come from all over the country participate in this race, but the Boston-area itself has a thriving running community. Even if you do not qualify for the Boston Marathon (you must qualify to run the race), there are a large number of ways to take in running in Boston. Enjoy the red-bricked Freedom Trail, which will take you on a run through historic downtown path along the Charles River, for a relaxing and scenic run.

10. Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia is a great place to pack your running shoes for. Pack your running shoes and enjoy the 17 miles of paved trails that take you through a Civil War battle site. You can also enjoy the Peachtree Road Race. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned marathon runner, Atlanta, Georgia has a large number of scenic, challenging and even less challenging trails for you to enjoy. Join the Atlanta Track Club for inside information on all of the various Atlanta races throughout the year.

Which US city do you run in? Share your city with us in the comments below.