Destinations

California Coast: All Routes

This is a comprehensive list of all our best runs along the California Coast. There are nearly 100 routes, from north of San Francisco to San Diego! The common theme: they’re along the Pacific Ocean or have a great view of it!  In addition to the list of routes, we’ve put together all the California Coastal routes in the accompanying map. Click the top right for a full page view, and on the top left square to see the list.

We’ve also culled a top 20 list of our favorites — click the box below.

Top 20 California Coastal
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes

Coyote Point

California Coast: All Routes

This is a great run easily accessible from the highway and only 7 miles south of SFO. There are jaunts out to a beach, a promenade through a lovely green park, and a quick hike up a hill with redwood trees and good views.
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Hendry’s Beach Loop

California Coast: All Routes

For an iconic run along a long stretch of beach, look no further than Arroyo Burro Beach County Park — more commonly known as Hendry’s Beach. Feel like California’s Rocky Balboa while sprinting up the steep steps that connect the beach to the return path.
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More Mesa Loop

California Coast: All Routes

Run through stands of scented eucalyptus trees in More Mesa Park, with gorgeous views of the volcanic Channel Islands on this nearly 3 mile loop of coastal Goleta. Beach is a good option, and for a longer run add the Obern Trail Bike Path.
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The Presidio

California Coast: All Routes

A former military installation, now a gorgeous park with miles of trails for walking and running. There are hills, wooded trails, and scenic vistas out to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. Also some great loop options involving Crissy Field.
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The Bay Bridge Trail

California Coast: All Routes

It's NOT possible to run all the way from San Francisco to Oakland, but this newly opened path from Emeryville to Yerba Buena Island is 4 miles of running glory. Great views of the Bay, bridges, and skylines. Separate bike and pedestrian lanes.
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Berkeley Marina

California Coast: All Routes

Wonderful running in this area, 2 miles west of downtown Berkeley. A series of three parks and 8+ miles waterside trails along shores, tidal marshes, and beaches, with views out to SF Bay, the Berkeley Yacht Harbor, and South Sailing Basin.
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Crystal Cove State Park

California Coast: All Routes

Run a beach and a canyon all in one run! Fantastic state park has a 2.5+ mile paved coastal trail and 10+ miles of backcountry trails in Moro Canyon. You can enjoy the promenade, with great views, or do a more strenuous trail run with 2,000 feet elevation gain!
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Morro Bay

California Coast: All Routes

The San Luis Obispo area, though not as popular among tourists as its surrounding cities, is a fantastic destination for a beach run. The favored route follows the 6 mile course of the Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to Pier Run.
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Point Reyes

California Coast: All Routes

If you are near San Francisco, one of the most memorable detours you can take is up to Point Reyes, the National Seashore just north of the bay. The best trail for glimpses of the sea is the Coast Trail.
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Mackerricher State Park

California Coast: All Routes

Mackerricher State Park is one of the last opportunities for a long coastal run in Mendocino before northern California blends into Oregon. The highlight is the five mile Haul Road Trail, a former coastal route stretching from Fort Bragg to Inglenook.
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Point Lobos

California Coast: All Routes

Point Lobos is a popular spot for good reason — it’s one of the most scenic public locations along the length of Big Sur. The Perimeter Loop, which covers about 4.5 miles of the park’s most scenic trails, is in great condition for running.
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Old Coast Road

California Coast: All Routes

The Old Coast Road is a beautiful dirt track which covers about 10 miles from Andrew Molera State Park in the south to what is now the Bixby Bridge. Fantastic views. Hilly. It's a great alternative to Rt. 1, which is not safe for running.
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