By Matthew Goodman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of St. Augustine’s beauty is found downtown, but that’s all most people ever see. Many of my favorite spots in St. Augustine have been found during the miles I’ve traveled while running.
With the new year coming up, many are sure to make resolutions. If your resolution includes staying healthy by running, and your travel plans include St. Augustine, look no further for these spots that you absolutely need to hit.
10. Maria Sanchez Lake
Located in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood, Maria Sanchez Lake offers a small, beautiful loop in the heart of St. Augustine. It is about 1200 meters around the perimeter and has outlets to several beautiful Lincolnville streets. It is also very close to the bay front.
9. Davis Shores
The Davis Shores Neighborhoods on the north and south sides of A1A have different features. Sand driveways on the north side offer soft terrain for training without the impact of pavement. There is also an 800 meter paved loop on the north side. The south side has long sweeping roads and tree canopies. It is both beautiful and shady.
You’ll probably want to drive to Treaty Park but it is definitely worth it. The public park has wonderful athletic facilities including a mile loop around the perimeter that is perfect for training on softer surfaces and running mile repeats. Though it is also a dog park, the people that walk their dogs are usually very attentive and move their dogs to the sides when they see runners coming.
The St. Augustine bay front is one of the most popular places to walk and run for good reason. It is absolutely stunning at any time of day. There is a perfect view of boats in the intercoastal. The sunsets and sunrises are incredible. During nights of lights, you can see the town in all its illuminated glory. Combine all that with the energy from the tourists and people of St. Augustine, and this is easily one of my favorite stretches to run in St. Augustine.
The Fort may be a relatively small area, but it is perfect for grass loops with varying elevations and steps. There is a small hill on the north side that makes for a fun speed bump when doing short loops. The sunrise over the fort is spectacular.
The neighborhoods north of town have plenty of intertwining streets. Many have some of the oldest and most beautiful homes in St. Augustine. They are also very shady. Magnolia street is in these neighborhoods and is considered one of the most beautiful streets in the area.This shot features a bridge on the eastern edge of the neighborhoods.
Shaded streets and hidden drives abound in this beautiful section. A short excursion at the end of Ocean Way will bring you to the shoreline in the picture. The sand is more difficult here but it is better on your body as far as impact goes. The area is stunning and quiet. Further into the neighborhood is the historic lighthouse as well as a small park with a soccer field.
The Anastasia State Park has several of trails. They vary in degree of difficulty but all display the natural beauty of Florida; dirt, sand, hills, turns, canopies and much more. The park has it all. There are multiple short routes or you can combine them all for a longer run. The end of the park has beach access as well. It’s a great facility that you should absolutely take advantage of while you’re in St. Augustine.
This area has a mile stretch from the entrance to the back of Lands End Drive that is absolutely amazing. It is completely flat and alternates between incredible houses and terrific displays of natural beauty. It has wide roads and isn’t very busy so despite the lack of sidewalks, it is safe. It’s also very quiet and serene. The mile stretch is perfect for a two mile out and back run, or even for adding on to another run on Vilano or A1A.
For runners, the best views and sites often come after we put in our hardest work. For that experience, look no further than the Vilano Bridge. The bridge is about a mile long and has a long steady climb, but the view from the top is incredible, the Atlantic Ocean and A1A on one side, and all of St. Augustine on the other.