I was running on the beach last week, and just started reminiscing about all of the amazing places that I’ve ran, sans shoes, while clearing my mind and listening to the waves. I also took a mental note that it might be cool to do a post on my favorite spots to go for a good ‘ol beach run. Because to me, a beautiful beach run is such a slice of sweaty fresh air bliss, that it’s exercise that doubles as a mental retreat as well. Then, throw in some eye candy…and boom. It’s one of my favorite healthy combos in life. Spread that love baby.
So here we go. My top five beach runs. The criteria: you have to be able to run for a while, it can’t be too busy, the sand is flat (not at an angle) and you don’t need shoes. Sounds fair, right?
Note: these are all places I’ve been to or lived, so don’t worry, I know in the globe there’s plenty more. Just promise me that if you find yourself in one of these places, you’ll go for a run, however long or short it may be.
Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
This is where I was running last week where I though of this post. Hanalei Bay is one of my favorite spots on the planet. So, not much of a shock that it’s a stellar place to go for a run too. The run = all the way across the bay and back. I like to park in the middle, then go left until you cant run any more, then run all the way to the pier, then turn around and end where I started. It’s a little over 3 miles when you go down and back, and I prefer running up past the tide line where the sand is soft for the extra work. You will also cross a stream, and have to wade across, but that’s the refreshing part. Be sure to smile, look up and soak up your surroundings.
*Grab a chai smoothie at the Harvest Market Hanalei afterwards. Yum.
Poplar Beach, California
This place was pretty much my haven when we lived in the Bay Area, and is dear to my heart because I could bring my pup along for the run. I recommend going early in the morning and if it’s foggy, consider yourself blessed. Park at the lot on top of the cliffs, then walk down to the beach, take a left and run until the beach ends at the big cliffs, then turn around. And please be nice to any pups that run up to say hi. Or stop and give them a pet for me. Gosh I loved that spot. You might see whales right off the shore, and dolphins, and find a few tennis balls my pup left there as well. The waves can get gnarly so stay up on the beach in the soft sand away from the shorebreak.
*I’d always grab a coffee from AJ’s drive through on the way back home too.
Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii
I think the secret’s out about Waimanalo ever since that Travel and Leisure dude named it the best beach in the US….or world? He was right. Even though I wish he’d never let the secret out. Well, it’s an awesome place for a beach run too. Here’s a video I made a while ago running there. It was my weekly run spot the we lived on Oahu. Turn at the Mc Donalds and park at the end of the road. Then, once on the beach, take a left an run until you end up at the military base. then turn around and soak up the view on the way back. Note. Don’t leave anything on the beach. I was a total dumbass once and left my whole beach bag then came back and it was gone.
*I rarely left without a stop at 7-Eleven for a manapua and Ito En…Or Big Gulp. It was my guilty pleasure.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Whenever anyone says they are going to Cannon beach, I say YOU MUST GO ON AN EARLY MORNING RUN FOR ME!!! (Yes, all caps were necessary there.) Cannon beach is a magical place, and the early mornings there are strait up phenomenal. I went for a foggy early morning run the first time we went there, and It was something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. It was misting rain, a little foggy (so you could barely see the ocean and rocks), there were tide pools full of big fat starfish all over the place, and you could seriously run forever. We were staying at a place near haystack rock. So I’d recommend staring near the rock, taking a left going as far as you want, or can, then turning around. Gosh, that run is heavenly.
*If it’s cold, grab a good coffee and breakfast at the Lazy Susan Cafe in town afterwards too.
Navarre Beach, Florida
I was on the fence about even sharing this one, but yeah, my new hometown has a beach run that’s captured my heart. I recommend going around sunrise or sunset. Park near the pier, and go left (why I always go left, I have no clue, just realized this) then run as far as you can or want, then turn around. Don’t be surprised it you stop to pick up some shells, watch some rays in the waves, or just say WOW to yourself for a few minutes. Plus the squeaky sand adds some added amusement too. Oh yeah, if you see me, be sure to wave and say hi.
*If it was a good run and you’re hangry, grab a breakfast burrito at Shark Bite and listen to some reggae while you wait.
There you go.
I heart beach runs…on any beach, really. But, there’s something special about all these places. So if you find yourself near any of them, I hope you see the beauty in them too.
And have a great run.
Have a favorite beach run spot? I’d love to hear about it, so I can be sure to go break a sweat if I’m ever there. Or it’s just fun to share this kind of stuff too.