Running Routes in Santa Monica, CA

We moved to Santa Monica the end of June in 2017 and lived there till August of 2018. I hadn’t been running for a few months, but the LA area has a vibe that makes you want to get out and get active. (Check out this post if you need help with how to start running. There’s a lot of tips in there I wish someone had told me back when I started getting into distance running while living in Santa Monica!)

When I started running, initially I was just going for 30 minutes, so the Palisade Park along Ocean Avenue was perfect! Not to mention is has an amazing view of the ocean.

Running down California Incline off of Palisades Park

When I start running 5-7 miles I still stayed in the park mainly because I didn’t have a GPS watch, and I knew the park was a mile and half, so it was easy to know how many miles I was running. In November I bought the Garmin Fenix 5S, and I don’t want to sound dramatic-but it changed my life. My first run with the watch I ran down Ocean onto San Vicente and back for a total of 8 miles. I was (and still am) so impressed with what this watch can do! I don’t think I’d be where I am running wise if it wasn’t for this watch.

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Beach path at dawn

As I increased mileage I started running on the beach path just below the Palisade Park. The path is about 6 miles total (once in Venice it kind of ends, I’ve been told it picks up again and you can run even further down, but I personally never did that) and there are bathroom and water fountains all along it. It’s very flat though, so If you’re looking for something more challenging this isn’t it.

While running along the beach path is when I got my first running injury. After two months off, when I got back into training I had to find something hillier than the beach path because I was training for the SF marathon. I started my run at California and Ocean, and from there would run to Will Rogers State Park and then run to Temescale Canyon Blvd in the Palisades. I would run up to Will Rogers at least twice and run up Temescal Canyon 2-3 times. Then from there run onto the beach path.

Another route I would do would be from Ocean Avenue and run down Washington, once Washington came to an end, I would turn either to the left usually and keep going as long as needed. I would also run down San Vicente on some runs.

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I loved running in Santa Monica, beautiful views and very runner friendly. The weather is always sunny, and it’s warm/hot so you always get a good sweat on. The LA area also has amazing food, and as you know, us runners love our food! Check out this list of the best restaurants in Santa Monica!