In honor of National Running Day, we’re sharing the best outdoor running routes in big cities across the US.

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Happy National Running Day, everyone! Whether running is your exercise of choice or not, this day definitely calls for a celebratory run (or jog, if you’re just starting out!). Because this holiday falls just when the spring weather is really starting to feel perfect, we’ve decided that there is no better way to celebrate than by going on a run outside. While this may seem daunting at first if you live in a big city with lots of hustle and bustle, don’t fret! We’ve mapped out the best outdoor running routes in big cities nationwide to help you get moving in honor of National Running Day.

New York City

Wikimedia Commons: Beyond My Ken - Own work

Wikimedia Commons: Beyond My Ken – Own work

When you think of the Big Apple, an ideal running route might not immediately spring to mind (especially for out-of-towners). Instead, you’re probably picturing swarms of people, crowded sidewalks and aggressive traffic. What you may not have realized, however is that this city is home to plenty of great outdoor running routes so that you can exercise while enjoying the beauty of NYC. There are two running paths along the East River that provide beautiful scenery and just the breeze you need in this heat! You can enter these trails at 91st or 60th Street, and then farther south at 34th or 14th Street.

Houston

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If you’re visiting the beautiful city of Houston, there is no place for an outdoor run like Memorial Park! One lap around the park will get you almost three miles and the route is lined with distance markers for your reference, making training there a cinch. After your run you can enjoy the rest of the park’s amenities like the tennis courts and a swimming pool to cool off.

Los Angeles

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan Beach Pier 2008, ChildofMidnight

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan Beach Pier 2008, ChildofMidnight

This one is not for beginners! Manhattan Beach is a great location to take a more difficult jog through the sand, with the ocean breeze acting as the perfect way to combat the LA heat. The Manhattan Beach pier is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset and stretch out those post-run cramps after your workout.

Chicago

By Alanscottwalker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alanscottwalker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Another run with a view comes in Chicago—perfect for spring days and hot summer mornings. Check out the Lakefront Trail down the shore of Lake Michigan—perfect for distance training, as it stretches over 18 miles! This is the ideal way to witness some of Chicago’s most famous views and enjoy the city’s beautiful spring weather.

Washington DC

By Andrew Bossi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andrew Bossi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Check exercise off your list for the day while taking in some of the country’s most important and famous sights, all at the same time! That’s right; we’re suggesting a run of the National Mall. Beat the crowds by heading out at an off-time like early morning or evening, and believe us-you won’t regret this choice.

Do you have any suggestions of great outdoor running routes in other cities? Tell us in the comments below!

Arielle Sidrane is the Associate Editor of Spa Week Daily.
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