On Your Feet! 8 Great Running Cities Around the World

Lace on your trainers from Austin to Alicante.

If you’re not sweating in the gym a la the Work Out New York bunch, get outside and burn those calories in the light of day. Whether you're about sprinting, jogging — or, OK, strolling — these urban environments around the world provide some serious #fitspo to start the year off right... by seeing the world on your feet!

1.  Washington, D.C.

Sneakers are ubiquitous in the nation’s capital. Jog towards the White House and along the National Mall with Smithsonian buildings by your side and historic monuments surrounding your legendary legs. If you want to mingle with the animals, cut through the National Zoo. The Capital Crescent Trail up from the Georgetown waterfront is a bit more secluded for nature lovers.  

2.  Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's great city parks are modeled after NYC’s Central Park Conservancy. At the Frick, try the Nine-Mile Run, and continue onto the Fitness Circuit among playgrounds and creeks. Schenley can be a rigorous workout through the forest with its sloped terrain among meadows, memorials, and museums.

3.  Fort Lauderdale

Year-round sunshine and flat lands will keep you in running shape. Hugh Taylor Birch Park State Park provides wide, shaded paths down Route A1A, which ends with some inspiration at the Swimming Hall of Fame. If you’re training for a marathon and make it to Hollywood twenty miles away, find the boardwalk that features a crushed-shell jogging path. 

4.  Austin

You can always find people of all ages as motivation around the Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. Cross multiple bridges zigzagging the blue water by yourself, with your dog, or with several training groups on a variety of terrains in hill country. Hydrate along water stations, cool off at Barton Springs, or swim at Deep Eddy. During Christmas, there’s a trail of lights for your feet to follow. 

5.  Alicante

In Spain’s southeastern port city, swing through palm trees along the energetic Esplanada. Head down to the beach, or Canalejas Park for the sight of even bigger trees to inspire you. Up for a natural stair machine? Walk or jump up to Castell de La Santa Barbara and enjoy the great view at the top.

6.  Rio

Nothing beats running on the boardwalk in Brazil’s busy but carefree Copacabana. It’s slanted — so one leg will work harder than the other, and it evens out on the way back. Stop for fresh coconuts along the way or drop into a beach volleyball game as the tan, fit girl from Ipanema. 

7.  Toronto

This Canadian city feels like a mix of Chicago and New York. Music Garden serves as a meditative spot to stretch even over the mild winter mornings. You’ll feel safe crossing the railroad tracks in the city center. Snap pics of the WaveDecks or HTO Park. Watch out for different ducks, Canadian geese, and bats at night if you head for Sunnyside Pavilion at sundown. 

8.  Sydney

Stroll through the botanical gardens down under and catch your breath on a stone bench called Mrs. Macquarie’s chair, jutting out into Sydney Harbor. Look left at an incredible backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. If you want to sink your toes in the sand, Bondi Beach holds a magical footpath. Centennial Park is akin to New York’s Central Park with its horse riding, bike riding, and running path options. 

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