Being able to simply tie on your running shoes and head out the door is one of the best things about running. No fancy gear or pricey gym memberships required! This ease also makes running the perfect exercise to do when you're traveling—shoes are easy to pack, and you get an up-close view of all the cool things your new city has to offer. But finding a running route that's safe, uncrowded (but not isolated either!), interesting, and the right difficulty level can be daunting, especially if this is your first time in the area. Fortunately we've got your back with five tips to help you find the best run wherever you go.
1. Talk with a local. If you're staying at a hotel, the concierge is your best friend. Not only do some hotels provide back-up running gear if you forget to pack yours, but the people at the front desk usually know their city inside and out. Ask what running routes are popular and what sites you want to make sure to hit and you'll have an educational workout planned in minutes.
2. Run like the locals. If you don't have someone immediately available to ask about great running routes, the next best thing is to check out which runs are most popular in your area. Map My Run not only allows you to see routes mapped by other people in the area, but it lets you search for routes based on criteria like distance, trail surface, and key words.
3. Run like the pros. Runner's World offers a route finder that includes the running routes for local races and other popular runs, as ranked by other runners. The advanced search feature lets you specify distance, change in elevation, trail surface, and even what type of run you're doing.
4. Yelp for help. If you find the websites too impersonal or are confused by the dizzying array of options, posting a question on Yelp is a fast and simple way to get recommendations. Simply go to Yelp, enter the city you are visiting, and click on the "talk" tab. You can either leave your query under general or file it under sports.
5. Find a buddy. Checking out the scenery solo can be fun, but nothing beats having a local person act as your guide. Check out CoolRunning to find running groups in your temporary city and either check out their calendar to see if they'll be hosting an open event during your visit or message them to see if anyone would be up for having you tag along.