8 Killer Cities to Explore Before & After Your Race

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1) Chicago

Eat — Chicagoans will let you know their favorite, but touristy Pizzeria Uno or Gino’s East are legendary in their own right. Probably best to eat after the race, but the crust does have carbs!

Relax — Head down to the shores of Lake Michigan and relax on a boat tour. This is an iconic way to see the city and obtain a little bit of history about the Windy City.

Walk — There are so many great museums in Chicago that it seems wrong to choose just one, but The Field Museum of Natural History is a universal favorite.

See a list of half marathons in Chicago »

2) San Francisco

Eat — Since 1849, Boudin Bakery has been selling sourdough to San Franciscans. We won’t tell if you go both before and after the race.

Relax — Buy a visitor Passport and ride the cable cars all day. They are a wonderful way to relax your legs while seeing the city from a unique vantage point.

Walk — Take the stairs up or down Lombard Street, the world’s most crooked street. With 8 hairpin turns, watch as drivers navigate the steep and tight city block.

See a list of half marathons in San Francisco »

3) Seattle

Eat — It is extremely touristy and always busy, but Pike Place is full of food stalls and restaurant options. Create your own smorgasbord by shopping the various vendors or sit down to fresh seafood.

Relax — Being surrounded by water means there are tons of options for boat tours. Plan for a sunset dinner cruise after your race as a way to relax and refuel.

Walk — Visit the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre park filled with rare trees and a Japanese garden. If the weather is cooperative, this is one of the beautiful ways to spend a few hour in the Pacific Northwest.

See a list of half marathons in Seattle »

4) Boston

Eat — Head to the North End for can’t-go-wrong-with-your-choice Italian food and stop by Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli for an appetizer or dessert.

Relax — Duck Tours are silly things that only tourists do, but hey, you’re a tourist. They offer a few different tour routes that cover not only the streets of Boston, but a dip in the Charles River as well.

Walk — The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walk through historic Boston. Covering 16 historic sites, you can do a self-tour or go with a guided group.

See a list of half marathons in Boston »

5) New Orleans

Eat — New Orleans is a city full of post-race food options. Snack on oysters or a shrimp po’ boy at Acme Oyster House and wander over to Cafe Du Monde for a pile of fresh beignets and chicory coffee.

Relax — You cannot go wrong with New Orleans jazz. There are numerous options every night in the French Quarter, but Preservation Hall is the most iconic.

Walk — Take a walking cemetery tour to learn about the history of the most famous people buried in New Orleans and those that might still be hanging around in spirit.

See a list of half marathons in New Orleans »

6) Denver

Eat — Head to the artisan market The Source for numerous choices all inside a landmark 1880s building.

Relax — Catch a professional baseball game (Rockies) or football game (Broncos) 9 months out of the year. Spend a few hours relaxing while watching athletes of a different sport.

Walk — With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, there are hundreds of hike options around Denver. Mills Lake and Bear Creek Trail are two of the most popular and easy enough for the whole family.

See a list of half marathons in Denver »

7) Charleston

Eat — Shrimp and grits are a Charleston favorite and while they can be found all over the city, Hominy Grill and Poogan’s are two favorites.

Relax — Charleston Harbor tours are abundant along the water’s edge. The 90 minute version is the perfect length to get off your feet for a short while and relax on the water.

Walk — Fort Sumter is just outside of Charleston and is the site of the beginning of the American Civil War. Plan in advance for this one as tours are limited.

See a list of half marathons in Charleston »

8) Austin

Eat — It’s Texas so we have to include either Tex-Mex or barbecue. We recommend getting your fix of both by heading to Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ food trailer.

Relax — The hop on/hop off double decker bus is a perfect way to spend a couple of hours relaxing in Austin. See the sights on the full tour and then make stops when you find something that interests you further.

Walk — Guided brewery tours are abundant in Austin and one like Austin Brewery Tours will take you to 3 separate breweries in a day. Check out how beer is made and of course, sample the finished products!

See a list of half marathons in Austin »

Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on StravaInstagram and her blog.

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