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Best ‘City Beach’ Runs in North America

Running on the beach one of life’s true pleasures. Millions head to the beach for a vacation, but any city that features a major beach is something special. We’ve put together this list of the best beach runs in North America cities. The criteria are that: the beach has to be in or near the city (not in a vacation resort, such as Daytona Beach); one can run on the beach, not just by it; that the beach itself is ‘runnable’ (times of firm, packed sand); and that it be at least one mile in length. Nearly all of these beaches are on the ocean, except for a few runs along major lakes (Chicago, Burlington). The list is in alphabetical order by city. If we had to pick a ‘top five’ in North America:

  1. Miami Beach
  2. The Strand, Los Angeles
  3. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
  4. La Jolla Shores to Torrey Pines, San Diego
  5. St. Pete Beach, Tampa-St. Petersburg

Boston Waterfront

Boston, MA

As a result of the Big Dig project and development of the Seaport district, it's possible to run about 16 miles from Charlestown to Quincy, about 80% of it really pleasant along the water.


Honolulu, HI

One of the iconic runs in Hawaii. This route tours the 2 mile long beach, Honolulu’s beachfront neighborhood, with views to the water, crashing surf, and the Diamond Head Volcano.

Miami Beach

Miami, FL

One of the great urban beaches. The wide sand beach stretches for nearly ten miles from south to north with a running path along most of the way. South Beach is where the action is .

Fort Myers Beach

Naples/Fort Myers, FL

Seven miles of beach running heaven on Estero Island. Cross the bridge, find a parking place, and enjoy running this wide, flat beach. Can be combined with 5 miles of trails at Lovers Key State Park at the southern end.

Ocean Beach

San Francisco, CA

On the west side of the Golden Gate Bridge is the Sunset/Ocean Beach area. It is very different in look, feel, and even climate than the Marina/Golden Gate area.

San Juan Running Overview

Puerto Rico

Highlights of San Juan running include two beaches, a tour of lovely Old San Juan, historic Paseo del Morro out to the Fort, and a linear path around Isla Verde. See our separate guide for all the best runs in San Juan.

Seacliff State Beach & More

Santa Cruz, CA

Classic California beach running in this spot 8 miles south of Santa Cruz. There are ~2 miles of beachside path, some 12 miles of continuous beach with great firm sand, and 150 stairs opposite the pier if you want to get the heart rate up.