Whether you’re hoping to run off the quesadillas you ate at Cha Cha Chicken, or you simply love exploring new cities on foot, sometimes the most relaxing thing you can do on vacation is work up a little sweat. Santa Monica is known for attracting people with fit, active lifestyles, likely due to its abundance of scenic hikes and coastal running trails. Next time you’re in the area, be sure to check out a few of its most popular Santa Monica running routes.
Our Favorite Santa Monica Running Routes
The Strand beach path winds down the I-405 for 22 miles, beginning at Will Rogers State Beach and ending in Redondo Beach. This path is a distance runner’s dream, as it’s flat, has scenic coastal views, and offers water fountains and restrooms along the way.
Hills Behind Main Street
You probably already know that Santa Monica’s Main Street has great shopping, but did you also know that you can get a killer hill workout just a few blocks away? Heading south on Main Street, you’ll run into a few Eastern-moving offshoots (Bicknell, Pacific, Strand, Hollister, etc.) with hills of varying difficulty. They’re perfect for working up a little sweat before cleaning up, and joining the shoppers.
Situated on the bluffs running parallel to I-405, Palisades Park offers runners killer views of the ocean, the Santa Monica Pier, and the beach. Locals recommend going around dusk so that you can catch all of those views set against a cotton candy sunset.
Temescal Canyon Gateway Park
For a little bit more of a challenge, head north towards Pacific Palisades, and try out the 3-mile trail in Temescal Canyon. It’s only moderately trafficked, features a few little waterfalls and, with a little hard work, can end with a stunning view from Skull Canyon.