11 Best (and Most Scenic) Half Marathons in the U.S.
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11 Best (and Most Scenic) Half Marathons in the U.S.

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If you’re looking for a place to run 13.1 miles, why not choose a race with spectacular views and beautiful scenery that will help you forget that your legs are tired and sore? From Key West, Florida to California wine country, these scenic U.S. half marathons make all that training and racing worthwhile.

11 Best Half Marathons in the US

  • Covered bridges Half Marathon (June)
  • Key West Half Marathon (January)
  • Bluegrass Half Marathon (May)
  • La Jolla Half Marathon (May)
  • Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon (June)
  • Kauai Half Marathon (September)
  • Golden Leaf Half Marathon (September)
  • Newport Half Marathon (October)
  • Mount Desert Half Marathon (October)
  • Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (October)
  • Big Sur Half Marathon (April)


Covered Bridges Half Marathon (Woodstock, Vermont)

Called “the best 13.1 miles to run in New England,” the Covered Bridges Half Marathon takes runners on a tour through some of Vermont’s beautiful covered bridges and quaint countryside. This community race benefits many local Vermont charities.


Key West Half Marathon (Key West, Florida)

If you’ve always wanted to visit Key West, the January Key West Half Marathon is the perfect excuse and an excellent chance to see the natural beauty of this popular Florida destination. You’ll run a large part of the race on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, which overlooks the turquoise Atlantic Ocean, and also grants a tour of Key West’s picturesque Old Town.

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Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon (Lexington, Kentucky)

Called “America’s prettiest half marathon,” the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon gives runners a 13.1-mile tour of Lexington, Kentucky’s majestic Thoroughbred Farms. Part of the course features Kentucky’s historic Old Frankfort Pike, the birthplace of American thoroughbred racing and a beautiful stretch of road with rolling hills and scenic views.


La Jolla Half Marathon (San Diego, California)

One of America’s most picturesque, beautiful races, the La Jolla Half Marathon starts off at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Runners then follow a stunning coastal route before climbing to the summit of Torrey Pines State Park. The course continues atop Torrey Pines Mesa, then takes runners through the residential neighborhood of La Jolla Shores and finishes at La Jolla Cove.

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Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon (Sonoma, California)

The Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon features a point-to-point course through gentle hills and past some of California’s most well-known vineyards. Runners start at Cuvaison Carneros Winery, where they congregate in one of the most beautiful start areas anywhere.

As they run, they're treated to beautiful vistas of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area, the San Pablo Bay, and the hills of Marin County. Each finisher receives a race shirt, finisher¡¯s medal, and an etched wine glass, and access to a fun post-race party.


Kauai Half Marathon (Kauai, Hawaii)

The Kauai Half Marathon begins in Poipu, a resort at the sunny southern end of Hawaii’s fourth-largest island. The course follows the scenic coastline, offering magnificent views of the island¡¯s picturesque beaches, untouched wilderness, rugged volcanic peaks, and green tropical rain forests.

As the sun rises about 30 minutes into the race, runners experience lush green vistas as they approach the shade of the century-old Tunnel of Trees. They'll then make their way through misty Omao before entering Kukui¡¯ula Resort, which features spectacular ocean views for the last few miles.


Golden Leaf Half Marathon (Snowmass Village, Colorado)

The Golden Leaf Half Marathon takes runners on a scenic tour of fall foliage from Snowmass Village to Aspen, Colo., as they run through the breath-taking Rocky Mountain ski areas. Yes, there are some serious elevation changes as well as some technical trail running. But the hills are worth the spectacular vistas and brilliant fall colors.


Newport Half Marathon (Newport, Rhode Island)

Another race for fall foliage lovers, the Newport Half Marathon starts at Easton Beach and then takes you on an incredible tour of Newport, with beautiful waterfront views and those spectacular Bellevue Avenue mansions that Newport is known for.


Mount Desert Half Marathon (Bar Harbor, Maine)

Starting in the picturesque village of Northeast Harbor, the Mount Desert Half Marathon course gently rolls along the mouth of the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast, which is lined with the pink granite that makes up most of the area. With its breathtaking vistas of Maine’s rugged coast, the race has been called the prettiest in the Northeast. The natural beauty and small-town feel make the numerous hills worthwhile.


Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

The Myrtle Beach Half Marathon has a flat, fast course that features the best of Myrtle Beach with over five miles of oceanfront running. The course takes runners on a tour of one of America¡¯s most scenic beach communities. 


Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay (Monterey, California)

Often called the world’s most beautiful marathon, the Big Sur Marathon is high on many runners’ bucket lists. But if you have no interest in running a full marathon, the Big Sur half offers equally stunning views. Like the full, you’ll run most of the course along the untouched, rugged coast, with spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean.

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