When visiting Oakland, we know you’re going to want to indulge. There’s a nationally-acclaimed restaurant on nearly every corner, a classic dive bar or new brewery calling your name.

Not to worry – just outside your hotel room door, there are also several simple and fun running routes to help you maintain your exercise regimen, while also giving you a chance to explore the surrounding neighborhoods. And, with 260 sunny days a year, it’s always a good time to hit the pavement in The Town. 

Here are 3 easy runs from your home base in Downtown Oakland.

Lake Merritt Loop

From Broadway and 11th Streets, Oakland’s crown jewel, Lake Merritt, is a short jaunt away. Head east on 11th Street for about 1 mile until you reach Lake Merritt Boulevard. You can’t miss the grandiose lake at the heart of the city, by far the most popular running and walking destination in Oakland. From there, opt to jog the entire 3.4 mile trail around the lake (highly recommended), or keep it short and sweet with a run to the stunning Oakland Scottish Rite Center just to your left.

Uptown Architecture Tour

Did you know that Uptown Oakland is home to two iconic theaters from the 1900s? Less than 1 mile down Broadway toward 19th Street, the beautiful Fox Theater and Paramount Theatre reside (side note: you should probably check their calendars to catch some of the best live entertainment around).

Pass Oakland City Hall on your left and you’ll hit Latham Square, an intersection between Telegraph Avenue and Broadway. Here, two of the best local examples of 20th century architecture -- the Rotunda and Cathedral buildings -- tower over the streets. Veer down Telegraph Avenue to pass the Fox Theater, a stunning movie house-turned-music venue built in 1928. Make a right on 19th Street and head back down Broadway toward 21st Street to find the Paramount Theater, Oakland’s famed Art Deco darling from 1931.

Jack London Bay Views

You don’t need to head to San Francisco for iconic views of the Bay. Take a short run to Jack London Square, Oakland’s own bustling waterfront destination. Head down Broadway toward 2nd Street and keep going ‘til you hit the unmissable square, home to some of the area’s best events, restaurants, and outdoor recreation.

Pop your head in to Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, where Jack London himself made notes for future books. Today, it’s a National Literary Landmark and favorite dive bar (and, yes, a bit crooked). Jog along the waterfront to enjoy views of sailboats and ferries coming in and out of the estuary.

Looking for more ways to get fit in Oakland? See our Sports & Outdoors guide!