Friday, February 17, 2017

Four Winter Runcation Ideas

It may reach 60 degrees in Denver today, but a recent opportunity to spend weekend in Phoenix for a Oiselle team meet up was a great escape from winter weather. It got me thinking about how amazing and energizing it can be to get away from the cold of winter for a few days of sun and warmth. Even though I saw flowers starting to bloom during a walk the other day, the snow will be back still this season.

A change of scenery and new places to explore through running can provide a big motivation boost for runners, any time of the year, but especially now. Here's a look at a few winter getaways we've enjoyed that make perfect mid-winter runcation destinations.

Charleston, SC
With a temperate climate, quaint charm complete with cobblestone streets, an impressive food scene and packed with history, this is clearly a great city to explore running with plenty of non-running diversions.
Early Morning Run - Charleston, SC

Early Morning Run - Charleston, SC

Savannah, GA
Savannah oozes history and southern charm. You can't help but feel like you've been transported to another time and have walked into the film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." With parks and gardens around every corner, stunningly elegant homes and southern cooking, it's easy to start your day with a run exploring the city then filling the remaining hours with any number of activities.
Early Morning Run - Forsyth Park Savannah

Early Morning Run - Owens-Thomas House Savannah

Santa Fe, NM
Yes it can snow in Santa Fe but the area still provides a great getaway during the colder months and plenty to keep you busy for a long weekend. This is a great option if you particularly enjoy trail running, art, margaritas and soaking tubs.
  • Where to run & hike: The Dale Ball Trail (below bottom) system offers 22 miles of well marked but challenging trails with stunning views and varying terrain. Additional trail options can be found here.
  • Where to eat: Maria's, The Shed, The Teahouse, Plaza Cafe
  • What to do when not running: See all the art - there are more than a hundred galleries to explore along Canyon Road and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is not to be missed while the Loretto Chapel's staircase is a mysterious work of art. Schedule time in a soaking pool at Ten Thousand Waves for after a long run (tip: try to get a private pool/sauna and arrive early to enjoy the foot soak). Stop by the farmer's market at the Railyard (below top) for fresh food, chilis, spices and more.
  • Where to stay: Casita Hopi through Airbnb is a bit out of downtown but incredibly comfortable and a perfect home base if you like to prepare some of your own meals and enjoy privacy. La Fonda on the Plaza, Hotel St. Francis and the Old Santa Fe Inn are steps from the Plaza, restaurants, and more.
Early Morning Run - Santa Fe Railyard

Early Morning Run - Dale Ball Trails

Phoenix, AZ
Alright, 75 degrees is the middle of January and to go out for a run in shorts and a tank is pretty nice. It almost feels luxurious. What most surprised me about Phoenix is that while it's mostly flat, there are mountains in and surrounding the city. While the 1,000-ish ft elevation was a nice change for our group from Colorado, it might add a little challenge for those coming from sea level.
Luci's at the Orchard

View from Piestewa Peak Phoenix

What are your favorite runcation destinations? * How do you stay motivated in the winter?

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of these spots!

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