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The 3 Best Places to Run in Santa Monica

Published on November 8, 2018

For runners in Los Angeles, Santa Monica is the ideal location to put some miles in. The City offers no shortage of options for people who want to get out and run – parks, beaches, stairs and hiking trails all offer different terrains and difficulty levels to get you sweating. With city sidewalks and safe crosswalks, you can run almost anywhere in Santa Monica, but we’ve found some of the best running routes for you to try.

By the Ocean

Want to get your workout in with the sound of the waves the background? Start at the Santa Monica Pier and run south towards the Venice Boardwalk for a 2 mile paved trail along the beach. The path is officially known as “The Strand,” and takes you past popular landmarks such as muscle beach and the Venice Skatepark. Make sure to stay within designated areas when running on the path, and to listen for people on bicycles passing.

Looking for a more difficult run? Take a few steps to the west and run in the sand! Just looking to enjoy more of the scenery? The full Strand path is 22 miles long, extending north from Santa Monica, and south past Venice.

In the City

Locals looking to get away from the ocean breeze on cooler days often opt to run around Douglas Park. There will be plenty to watch while doing laps if you decide to run at Douglas – lawn bowling, playgrounds, reflecting pool, fly fishing area & tennis courts. About 2.5 miles inland from the Santa Monica Pier, this is a very popular running location for locals in the mornings and afternoons.

In the Mountains

Just north of Santa Monica runners can find the Temescal Canyon Trail in Topanga State Park. Just a mile off of PCH, the park entrance is located at Temescal Canyon Road and Sunset Blvd. With a distance of 2.9 miles and elevation change of 875, this trail is considered moderate difficulty. For your efforts you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a waterfall along your jog.

Don’t Stop Running There

These are just 3 of many places to run in and around Santa Monica. Exploring the City on foot is the best way to really get to know Santa Monica! Switch up your running routes and create your own path the next time your shoes hit the pavement – or sand.