Vacation is for relaxing, sleeping in, maybe overindulging in good food and fancy drinks.
So why would anyone want to put all that on hold to lace up their sneakers and go for a jog?
I’m not a hardcore runner. I do a few 5Ks a year and I’ll occasionally challenge myself with longer race. But when I’m packing my suitcase, no matter the destination, I always make room for my running clothes and sneakers. I like to explore my new surroundings on foot and get a little endorphin-boosting exercise in while I’m at it. A jog always cheers me up and helps me to appreciate the atmosphere of my location.
Five of my favorite spots to go for a run:
If you are up and out early enough, the bleary-eyed all-nighters still stumbling down the strip make for great entertainment. Plus, the many overpasses that criss-cross the boulevard make it a great workout. (Hello, stair climbs.) Add bright lights, the Bellagio fountains, and a (mini) Eiffel Tower, and you barely recognize you’ve worked up a sweat.
There are so many wonderful places to explore in Central Park, and this is one of my favorites. The 1.5 mile loop is one of the best spots in the city to feel like a local. It’s free of pets and strollers, and you can enter and exit the dirt pathway at different points. Obey the rules, enjoy the sun off the water, and take a minute to remind yourself you are in NYC.
3. The Desert in Arizona
I’m from the East Coast, so the idea that I could go for a 4-mile run and not be dripping in sweat is bizarre, and awesome. Welcome to the desert. I was in AZ in January, so the temps were cool when my friend Beth and I started out. We wove through cacti and other desert plants on our jog, and I think the signs warning of rattlesnakes helped boost our pace a bit.
The Florida climate is not ideal for running, granted, but with 9 days of Disney madness ahead of me, I knew I needed it. Luckily, the French Quarter at the Port Orleans Resort had a great running trail that took me through its sister resort, Riverside. Just me and the birds out by the river, a moment of peace in the happiest place on earth.
The promenade deck of a cruise ship can get pretty crowded with s-l-o-w walkers, so I waited for the morning we were scheduled to disembark to try it out for a run. While others were haggling over their “sea pass” bills, I was happily circling the ship. All the while I was breathing in salty air and thinking, “How cool is this? I’m running laps in the middle of the ocean.”