There are so many amazing places to run that we want to help spread the word about some of your favorites. Maybe you will be visiting a new area and looking for a great running trail or in search of your next racecation. Whatever the case, we hope to highlight a few of the best places we have found to lace up our running sneakers and head out for a few miles!
First up to share her favorite place to run is Carlee, aka @CarleeMcDot. She loves running along the Pacific Ocean in Oceanside, CA (and from her recount of the area, we can totally see why). The laid back vibes, beach town feel, flat elevation and serene views make for a perfect place to get in a run.
Favorite Run: The Strand in Oceanside, CA
Location: Oceanside: The Strand
At 1,942 feet, the historical Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast.
You can make this run anywhere from a short jog to a 8 mile route without having to do much doubling back or weaving. I normally start at the south end of the Strand (at Wisconsin Street), will run northbound along the Pacific Ocean, up onto the Pier, back onto the Strand, towards the Harbor, around the west side of the Harbor and then around the east side before heading back towards Wisconsin Street on the Strand.
There is very little elevation gain or loss along the Strand (unless you run up onto the Pier), so I would consider this an easy route with plenty of drinking fountains along the way (in the summer there is even a snack bar and shaved ice stand, along with food carts near the Pier).
Why You Love It:
Not only are the views amazing (I mean, it is hard to beat the Pacific Ocean, no matter the time of year), there is a large bike/ pedestrian lane along the beach. There are no stop lights along the route and the vibe is very ‘beach town chill’. I try and run by the beach at least twice a week. The sea breezes, stunning scenery and relaxed vibe are a must when you are overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of life.
Since I normally start the route at the south end of the Strand, I park along Pacific Street as close to Wisconsin Street as possible (watch for the Street Sweeping hours on Mondays). There is normally plenty of parking and there are stairways along Pacific Street down to the Strand if you have to park a little further away. Parking near the Pier is also an option, but most of the lots now have a fee.
Favorite Place To Eat Post-Run:
One of my favorite places to eat after a workout is at Swami’s Cafe which is right up the street from the Pier. I love their Pitaya Bowls and also appreciate that they offer vegetarian options for a lot of their sandwiches (mock bacon, chicken, turkey, etc).
A big thanks to Carlee for sharing about her favorite runs with us. We hope that this series turns into a list of super cool runs across the country and even internationally – that way if you are ever in the area you know of a recommended route from a fellow #teamsparkle member.
If you’d like to be featured on an upcoming Sparkle Athletic “Favorite Runs” post, please email us at favoriteruns@