One thing I love to do (almost) as much as travel is to run. Before kids, all I needed was a good pair of running shoes and a trail. After kids all I need is (deep breath) jogging stroller water bottle sippy cup snacks extra blanket emergency diapers extra clothes extra shoes toys sunscreen bribery treat so that I can get one last mile in and….a stroller-friendly jogging route.
That said, I have found ways to simplify, and I’ve discovered that the most successful way to get a good run in without your kiddo getting bored and antsy is to a). find a route that offers great scenery and distractions and b). find a route that includes pit stops (parks, beaches) to include during or after a run.
Lastly: I love to run near water. Wherever I’ve traveled, if there’s water nearby, I’ll run there. From Chicago to Barcelona or Charleston to LA, I’ll take the water view. Here are six of my favorite jogging routes (I’m not including Greenlake here, since I’m fairly sure we’ve all done it. Many, many times 🙂 )
This is the run I did this morning:
Juanita Beach/Juanita Park
Juanita Beach has made a new name for itself. After a huge renovation, it reopened last summer and has since then been attracting families and beachgoers alike. The shallow water is great for wading and there’s plenty of white sand and green grass for playing. A boardwalk leads to Juanita Bay Park, a wetlands habitat with paved trails and two additional boardwalks that offer superb wildlife viewing. On any given day we’ll see ducklings, turtles or eagles. The park is never crowded but you’ll most likely be in the company of other parents with their kids and at least one serious bird-watcher.
This morning I turned around and ran back through Juanita Beach, stopping at the playground so Graham could get some swing time in.
Other days I extend run through the Market neighborhood of Kirkland and, if I’m feeling especially amped up on coffee, I’ll run to the…
About 3 miles round-trip from the Kirkland Marina to Carillon Point, this waterfront route is one of the prettiest in all of the Eastside. Make a pit stop at Houghton Beach Park or have the kids do a little jogging of their own along the grassy lakeshores or at the Marina.
An awesome city jog. Start at Gas Works Park and make your way around the 6-mile route. You’ll pass over two bridges so there’s plenty of opportunity to watch boats go by. Stop in and take a peek at the Center for Wooden Boats at the southern part of the lake before heading back to Gas Works Park for playtime or a picnic.
This lovely 2.4-mile loop circles around the Bailey Peninsula while presenting some of the best views you could hope for during a morning jog. Seward Park has over 300 square miles of old growth forest, providing lots of opportunity for spotting wildlife, and the playground is always a hit.
Five miles of paved walkway makes for a great beachside stroller jog. There’s lots of people-watching to be had at Alki Beach, and after your run, dig out some sand toys or make a snack stop.
Myrtle Edwards Park
For anyone living close to downtown Seattle, Myrtle Edwards can be a pretty jog and an unlikely escape from the city. Stretching from the Olympic Sculpture Park and right along Elliott Bay, it’s got great views, a charming little rose garden and a small beach for the kiddos to stop and stretch their legs.
These are just a handful of the many wonderful jogging routes you can find in and around Seattle. I’d love to hear your favorites!