I’m an avid runner. When I’m traveling, I try to run as much as possible. Not only is it the easiest way to stay fit on the road, but it’s also a great way to see a new city.
One question I get asked a lot is: Where’s the best place to run in (insert city name here)?
Obviously, I haven’t been to every city on the world (now that would be impressive), but of the ones I have been to, I have found plenty of great places to go for a run.
And after a good run, I usually indulge with a nice meal of a local specialty and a craft beer. That combination sparked an idea for a blog post, and so I’m starting a new series: Run-Eat-Drink. In these posts I’ll highlight a couple great running paths in cities I’ve been to, followed by some suggestions for local fare and great breweries.
I’ll be starting the series off with…Boston.
On my last visit, I stayed in Davis Square, a neighborhood in Somerville a few miles northwest of downtown, just a short ride on the red line. The best place to take a jog here is the Somerville Community Path, which runs directly through Davis Square, connecting to Alewife, the next station along the red line. Right now, the path isn’t too long, but if you run from one end to the other, you can get a good 2-mile run in.
They are planning to expand the path further, but until then, you can spend part of your run on the path and then veer off to other areas of the neighborhood. We continued northwest on the path, past Alewife, until it ended at Brighton Street. We turned left and headed to Fresh Pond, a small reservoir and park in Cambridge. Fresh Pond has a nice running path that circles the body of water, which is another great spot to take a run. We only ran on part of that trail, and then twisted and turned through city blocks to meet back up with the original path to get back to our starting point. In total, a little over 5 miles.
Another option is to take a right onto the Minuteman Bikeway, which connects to the Sommerville Community Path and Alewife Linear Path. This path, known as America’s Revolutionary Rail-Trail, runs about 10 miles through Arlington, Lexington and up to Bedford. It’s also, as the name suggests, a great bike path.
If you’re visiting Boston, you’ll most likely be closer to the downtown area, and there are a number of great paths there. The Charles River Reservation has one of the most popular trails in the city. The Paul Dudley White path runs 18 miles from Science Park to Watertown Square, right along the Charles River.
The Boston Harborwalk is another great spot to run, especially if you’re training, since it’s the longest trail in the city at 46.9 miles. After living in Chicago for a few years and running along the lake, this is a path I definitely would enjoy due to its waterfront views.
There are so many great dishes to have in Boston: Lobster rolls, crab cakes, Boston cream pie. I could go on. But one of my go to meals when I’m there is New England Clam Chowder (Chowda). And probably one of the best bowls I’ve had is at Legal Sea Foods. It’s simple, but absolutely delicious. This was the perfect lunch to re-energize us after our morning run.
Not much of a clam chowder fan? Not a problem. Head over to Faneuil Hall for a lobster roll or some other great seafood options. Check out my post about the top things to do in Boston to see the best spots to go for lobster rolls.
Top off the day with a cold beer from a local brewery. We decided to visit Harpoon Brewery, located in the Seaport District. The brewery has a large beer hall where you can sit at the bar or at one of the long tables. You can enjoy a pint poured fresh from the source along with a warm pretzel. Tours are available daily, but schedules vary depending on the day. You’ll learn all about Harpoon’s past, how it brews its beers, and get a look at the whole process from conception to creation. Tours cost $5, and that includes a beer tasting in a special back room where you can get samples of as many beers as you’d like.
There are many other breweries you can visit if you’re not in the mood for Harpoon. Sam Adams, Cambridge Brewing, Trillium Brewing Company, etc. Or you can stop by any of the pubs in the city and get a pint…that’s always a good option.
There are obviously many other great running trails, restaurants and meals, and amazing breweries in Boston. If you have suggestions for Boston running trails, local food and great beer, please share them!
Stay tuned for the next installment of R-E-D.