Sweat it Out! Best Places to Run in Oahu

Whether you’re training for the Honolulu marathon that happens every December, or are just looking to keep up your fitness routine while on your Hawaii vacation, check out some of these places to run in Oahu. And then when you’re done, head over to some of the spas in Oahu for some relaxation!


Ala Moana Beach Park, 2 miles

This paved path is part of the Honolulu Marathon course, and it’s popular with locals and tourists with lots of free parking, restrooms, water fountains, and safe pathways. Enjoy beautiful views right along the beach and through the busy park. If you want an additional mile of running to take in some of the sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head, add the route around Magic Island.

Lanikai Loop, 2.4 miles

An easy, flat course through the upscale neighborhood of Kailua takes you along beach access roads on Mokulua Drive. Take a break and head down to the beautiful sandy shore while you’re here. The beaches in this area are not to be missed!

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Diamond Head, 4.5 miles

You’ve seen some of the views from Diamond Head on postcards, but how about getting up there to see it for yourself? This longer and more difficult route is part of the Honolulu Marathon course, but offers the most scenic views outside of Waikiki. Start at Kapiolani Park where you’ll find metered parking and restrooms, and run east up Diamond Head Road. This is a great place to watch the surf or see migrating humpback whales if you’re there at the right time of year. And if you hit the trail early enough, you’ll find a farmer’s market at Kapiolani Community College on Saturday mornings.

Kapiolani Park, varies

This athletic hot spot is home to the start and finish of many local running races. Nearby you’ll be able to see other fitness-minded folks taking part in tai-chi, yoga, soccer, or frisbee games. Feel free to join in the fun! Located just east of Waikiki, off of Kalakaua Ave., the perimeter of the park is sidewalk paved and frequented by runners all hours of the day and night. For a longer route, continue your run around Diamond Head. Some of the amenities are water fountains and restrooms, but parking is scarce on the weekends so get there early!


Tantalus, 10 miles

Only serious runners are up for this challenge! This extinct cinder cone that overlooks Honolulu and reaches 2,014 feet at its summit has a brutal uphill run where you’ll bump into serious bikers, as well. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. The paved run up Tantalus Drive and down Round Top Drive takes you through lush rainforests and groves of fragrant eucalyptus trees that offer plenty of needed shade on this difficult path. Park at the Makiki Pumping Station, a little park on Makiki Heights Drive and then walk about a mile to Tantalus Drive, where you start the 5-mile uphill trek. Bring water and watch out for vehicle traffic, and maybe bring a camera for some great photos, too!


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