Best U.S. Cities for Running

If you live in a city and want to go running, all you have to do is go out your door and follow the sidewalk around the block a time or two, right? If only that were true. Fortunately, some U.S. cities have invested heavily in the sport of running as a way to keep their citizens happy and healthy.

So what are some of the best cities for running?  Maybe you should consider making room for your running shoes in your carry-on if you’re heading to one of these U.S. cities:

1. Chicago, Illinois.

One of the perennial favorites, the Windy City has an impressive 18-mile running path that winds its way along the shore of Lake Michigan. The cooling breezes off the Lake are a blessing in the summer while the spectacular park scenery and the amazing Chicago skyline keep you going, regardless of the season. There are water fountains dotting the path to help keep you hydrated while you run.

2. New York, New York

No list would be complete without the Big Apple. This concrete jungle is runner friendly, from the 60,000 members of the New York Road Runners club to the spectacular six-mile track around Central Park. You’ll always find plenty of other runners training on this track year-round. The city boasts the largest marathon in the country with a route that spans all five boroughs.

3. Portland, Oregon

Trek across the country to Oregon to find the running trails winding along the Willamette River. The multiple trails here all have one thing in common: tree-lined running paths with incredible views of the city and surrounding terrain. If you need some gear before you start your run, you’re in luck. Nike and Adidas headquarters are found in Portland.

4. Boulder, Colorado

There’s running, and then there’s running in the altitude of Boulder. It doesn’t take many jogs over the different local terrains, from flatland to Rocky Mountain trails, to get you into shape for any upcoming races you were thinking of tackling. If you train at altitude, your lungs will think they’re on vacation when you run at sea level.

5. Washington, D.C.

You can’t talk about cities and running without mentioning Washington, D.C., home of the Marine Corp Marathon. With a five-mile trail that takes you past the Capitol, the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, it simply doesn’t get much better than this. In the springtime, be sure to hit the Rock Creek Park trails. The cherry blossoms in bloom is a can’t-miss event!

6. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Any city that offers up over 50 miles of trails for runners is serious about attracting the runner crowd. Training this far north can be a challenge in itself so to run here you have to be committed and hearty. A bevy of running groups work together to keep each other motivated through the winter months, and the view around the Chain of Lakes in the spring makes it all worthwhile.

7. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta offers a variety of places to run but the most popular is by far the 17 miles of paved trails that take you on a tour through a Civil War battle site. Several popular races are organized every year by the Atlanta Track Club.