We love everything about San Diego — the beaches, the hikes, the burritos, the sunny vibes, and of course the places to run. San Diego is a runner’s dream. Always sunny, always 70. Whether you’re just visiting San Diego or live here, these are the top 5 spots to get your run on!
With its endless views of the Pacific and mixed terrain, this is the perfect spot to get a little bit of everything. Start at the base of the reserve and make your way up via the concrete road or start beach side and run on the sand towards Fletcher’s Cove.
There are six main trails to choose from, all varying from .4 miles to 1.5 miles. This is great for newbie runners or the more experienced– as you can link the trails together to add more distance or just take the shorter trails for a quick workout.
San Diego Running Co.’s insider tip:
Avoid the parking fees! Free parking is always available next to the beach.
2.Mission Beach/Pacific Beach
This is one of San Diego’s signature spots. You can run along the boardwalk or challenge yourself in the sand. Start at Mission Beach and make your way towards Pacific Beach (3.1 miles, one way). This is a great run to sight see and stop at local shops along the way too, or just people watch as you run along with the rollerbladers, bikers and surfers.
The name says it all, this is the perfect place for an evening run as the sun sets over the ocean. This scenic one way run of cliff views and beautiful waves crashing against the rocks is 1.5 miles of pure bliss. Turn around and make it a 5K!
And did we mention it’s dog friendly? Directions here.
Mission Bay is known of know for its wide bike path and constant views, while the paved path circles around 12 miles — as you can make your run as long or short as you want.
We recommend this for your longer runs because there are plenty of restrooms and parking areas and grass lawns to stretch on, rest and soak up the rays. Feeling a shorter run? We also recommend the flat 4-mile loop around Fiesta Island.
5. Balboa Park
A staple in San Diego, it’s a must see for everyone. The trail is relatively flat, with a few inclines sprinkled throughout the park. You’ll find views of downtown San Diego, beautiful architecture, and shady trees. Balboa Park is the home of the longest consecutively run race in San Diego and the only one that offers a full tour of Balboa Park! The race starts and finishes in the Pan American Plaza, located near the San Diego Hall of Champions. 8 mile participants will enjoy a unique and challenging route through Balboa Park’s scenic trails, bridges, and windy roads. Check it out here. (update link with new site)