In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve been thinking about what a ‘romantic’ run might be. Certainly not some super challenging hill run, or one that would leave you so exhausted that you might not have time to enjoy the day’s ‘festivities’. Many spots one might consider to be ‘romantic’ are also great places to run — think beaches, views, sunsets, snowflakes. So in that spirit, below are five romantic themes with four favorite runs in each. Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in or will be traveling to one of these spots. Or at least the idea might get your romantic running wheels spinning.
What’s more romantic than a long
walk run on the beach? Recognizing it is the middle of winter, let’s leave New England out of it for now and think about great beaches in warm weather climes. Our picks:
- Cocoa Beach, Florida. 10+ miles of beach running heaven on firm, packed sand, 1/2 hr. drive from Orlando.
- Miami Beach, Florida. One of the best urban beach runs in the country. And lots of spots nearby to have a lovely drink or dinner post-shower.
- Strand Beach, Santa Monica/L.A. Sun, beach, stars, palm trees. What could be better?
- Ocean Beach/Sunset Cliffs, San Diego. Combo beach run, cliff with views, and sunsets.
What is it about bridges and romance? The iconic bridges are great to look at or run along. Here are some favorites.
- Brooklyn Bridge, NYC. One of the world’s iconic bridges, setting of famous movie scenes. Combine it with Manhattan Bridge for a nice loop.
- Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Run along Crissy Field to get a great view of it, or run on the bridge over to Marin.
- Lion’s Head Bridge, Vancouver. Another great run-able bridge in N. America, with fantastic water and mountain views. Finish off in ultra-romantic Stanley Park.
- Thames River Bridge Tour, London. This run has it all: river views, architectural wonders, history…and great pubs to enjoy post-run.
There’s nothing more romantic than watching a sunset with your sweetie. Here are a few great spots where, if the weather’s good and you time it right, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset while running.
- Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas. If you find yourself in Las Vegas, get off the Strip for a few and enjoy the incredible colors when the sun hits the rocks in the Mojave Desert late in the day.
- Fort Myers Beach, FL. If you think sunset in Florida, it’s gotta be the west coast, right? This is a great beach for running, too.
- Hudson River Greenway, Manhattan. Great light, skyline, and sunset views. Pack an extra layer and enjoy!
- La Jolla, California. Actually, we should proclaim any spot in the Pacific in San Diego as a sunset landmark. La Jolla, Sunset Cliffs, Torrey Pines. They’re all fantastic.
For those bothered about the warm weather tilt of our romantic runs so far, there’s something awfully pretty about a fresh blanket of snow and twinkling lights, right? Here are some romantic winter spots. Think white, not slushy.
- Old Montreal. Montreal is one of the world’s snowiest major cities. Cobblestone streets, french restaurants, and fresh snow makes this the quintessential winter run. Mount Royal is also the quintessential romantic run.
- Church Street, Burlington. Vermont this time of year is another spot with almost guaranteed snow. A run through central Burlington, with its narrow, snowy streets and great food & bar scene makes this a great winter running spot.
- Emerald Necklace, Boston. Really pretty when there’s snow, given the canopy and the way the trail was laid out. An Ode to Olmsted.
- Rideau Canal, Ottawa. Combine this with a skate and grab a hot chocolate or a crepe at one of the warming shacks.
Getting to a spot with a view is another romantic thing thing to do. We’ve selected four routes with particularly scenic views.
- Crissy Field to Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Run north, and you see the ocean, Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Turn around, and there’s the fantastic SF skyline and Bay Bridge.
- Central Park, New York City. A loop or two around “The Res”, with great skyline views is one of the best.
- Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle. We love runs with both water and mountain views. On a clear day, the view of Mt. Rainier is unparalleled.
- Banks of the Seine, Paris. OK, we couldn’t have a piece about romantic places to run without including something from Paris…Views of the famous Seine and landmark buildings make this one of the best.