Want to stretch your legs with a run on the beach near Beantown? Escape the crowds, concrete and confines of the city by beelining to a sandy playa to make some miles, leaving your worries behind with your footsteps. Relish the cool onshore breeze, serene open-water views and the lower-impact feel of sand underfoot as you zigzag your way around the incoming tide on one of the following best running beaches on Boston’s North Shore. Just check the tides first so your chosen route isn’t underwater.
Designated as a National Historic Landmark and officially recognized as “America’s First Public Beach,” Revere faces Massachusetts Bay, just 5 miles north of Boston. With its sand forming a giant crescent that slopes gradually out to the sea, and the Nahant and Winthrop peninsulas framing the horizon, it’s as perfect a running beach as you’ll find. While it’s only 1.5 miles one-way, you can turn it into a roundtrip with a few added side-excursions to justify the jaunt from the city. And it’s a simple one at that, thanks to convenient public transportation access via the Blue Line to either Revere Beach or Wonderland.
Upon arrival, it’s also easy to jog through the shore’s history, which dates back to 1895 when the state legislature turned nearly 3 miles of private seacoast land into the Revere Beach Reservation, designing it “for the best use by the public.” Added original landscape designer Charles Eliot: “We must not conceal from visitors the long sweep of the open beach which is the finest thing about the reservation.” With the beach protected in the 1930s, it hosted dance marathons where couples would dance 45 minutes of every hour, with some lasting for weeks. If that doesn’t motivate you to add length to your run, know that recent facility upgrades restored a paved walkway/boardwalk that parallels the beach if your ankles can’t hold up to the sand. And for a bonus slice of history, hit Kelly’s Roast Beef afterward for a post-run snack from the beef sandwich originators. More info: reverebeach.com