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Thanksgiving sets the tone for all the overindulgence of the holiday season. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself to the fullest, if you live a healthy lifestyle you’ll probably want to work off the calories. And if you happen to be on the California coast, you can enjoy a stunning view while you work up a sweat.

There’s hardly a bad place to go for a run in California. Our beach towns are full of beautiful paths perfect for working off that turkey dinner or preparing for your Christmas feast. These six are especially scenic.

Santa Monica to Venice Beach

The distance from Santa Monica to the Venice Beach Pier is about 3.5 miles. Starting at the Santa Monica Pier, you’ll wind on a cement path through the sand all the way to Venice Beach. This path couldn’t be easier or more beautiful.

Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur


Located 22 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast, this peaceful park is largely undeveloped and has 15 miles of trails to choose from. This is the path to take when you need to get away from it all.

San Clemente Beach Trail

El Portal Beach San Clemente Bryce16 (17)

This stunning San Clemente path in 2.5 miles each way, giving you plenty of time to take in the beach scenery and the train tracks. Park near the local Amtrak station and run south.

Ventura Boardwalk Area

IMG_4862-ventura-promenade (Custom)

This Ventura trail can really be as long as you’d like, so it’s a good place for distance running. This is some of the most beautiful stretch of coastline in Southern California, and you can simply park and run until you’re tired.

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz

Strawberry Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

Wilder Ranch State Park has 34 miles of trails to explore. The Old Landing Cove Trail is an easy 2.4 mile loop near Santa Cruz that’s perfect for a good beach run. While you’re there, check out the 1897 Victorian home and the dairy ranch from the 1800s.

Balboa Park, San Diego

Not only is Balboa Park one of the most amazing places in San Diego, it happens to be a beautiful place to go for a run. The 65 mile long park has plenty of different trails, and you’ll have your choice of jogging through the woods or in a more urban setting. While it’s not on the beach, it is close to many of the best beaches in Southern California.