We all know that the typical hot and steamy New Orleans Summer is not conducive much outdoor activity, let alone exercise! But no matter how long Summer may seem to drag on —even into fall—there will always come a time when it finally decides to chill out and leave us with some ideal opportunities for leisurely strolls, lunch on the levee or even... running. You may be shocked to hear us say that, but we do love switching things up with a run! Not only does running give us some much needed time outdoors, but it's also a great form of cardio to partner with our studio's more toning-focused classes like Barre, Megaformer & Pilates. We are very grateful to have Jeff, one of our killer RIDE instructors, take over this post and give you an insight to some of the best runs all around New Orleans... Also don't forget—one of the most important parts of running is making sure you fuel your body properly, so keep reading to check out some of Romney's favorite eats to fuel your body!
Happy exploring, y'all :-)
Penned by Jeff Schiffman
Route I: St. Charles & Carrollton Ave
JS: Perhaps the most famous running route in all of NOLA, the St. Charles streetcar line provides perfect shade and a nice straight route through some of the prettiest neighborhoods in town. Just be sure you are always running facing the oncoming streetcar so you can hop out of the way as needed. Start at the Carrollton Riverbend and take a run either downtown or towards the lake up Carrolton Ave. Both provide great views of some of NOLA most historic houses.
Romney's Distance Options* (starting at S. Carrollton & St. Charles**):
- Tulane Sign (2 miles)
- Jefferson Ave (3.5 miles)
- Napoleon (4.8 miles)
- Racking up miles? Add on an 1.8 extra miles by running the Audubon Park loop!
*Round Trip Distance!
**Includes Satsuma Grub Stop!
Route II: Esplanade and Decatur
Start at the base of the French Quarter at the bottom of the French Market and cruise all the way out to City Park and back. The neutral ground of Esplanade Ave. will provide you with a great shaded path that will take you through three historic NOLA neighborhoods: The French Quarter, The Treme and Mid City. End up at NOMA in City Park, where you’ll loop around the back side of the museum and head right back the way you came.
Romney's Distance Options (from Esplanade & Decatur):
- 1000 Figs & Back (4.2 miles)
- Racking up miles? NOMA & back (6 miles)
Route III: Lakeshore Drive
Nothing beats a weekend run along Lakeshore Drive which is closed to automobile traffic during the weekend. Park in one of the lots near West End Park and the run the length of Lakeshore, taking in the amazing views of Lake Ponchartrain. On your way back, be sure to run out to the point by Breakwater Park and take in the view of the Southern Yacht Club harbor. Then, time to dine at The Blue Crab. Springtime is a great time to grab a plate of hot boiled crawfish and nosh on the while feeling that great spring breeze off Lake Pontchartrain.
Romney's Distance Options (from West End Park):
- Starting right outside of West End Park and running the entire distance of this street is a whopping 5.7 miles in one direction! Think you can handle the challenge of going there and back? If you're looking for a shorter version of this route, keep the same starting point but end your run and turn around at the Ponchartrain Lake Front Playgroud. This shorter version is just 3.6 miles round trip, opposed to the almost-half marathon listed above.
Route IV: Lafitte Greenway
One of the newer runs in town is the Lafitte Greenway. Conveniently connecting mid-city to the French Quarter, the greenway is a rails-to-trails park that spans a few miles through the heart of the city. Park out near Bayou St. John and run the trail all the way into the Quarter.
One of the newer runs in town is the Lafitte Greenway. Conveniently connecting Mid-City to the French Quarter, the Greenway is a rails-to-trails park that spans a few miles through the heart of the city. Park out near Bayou St. John and run the trail all the way into the Quarter. Do a loop around Armstrong Park and then head back out to Bayou St. John were you’ll reward yourself with the beautiful view!
Romney's Distance Options (from Orleans Ave & Moss St.):
- To the end of the Greenway (4 miles)
- Want extra mileage? Do a loop around Armstrong Park for an extra ~1/2 mile!
Route V: The Levee Path
Park your car near the intersection of Oak Street and Leak Ave. and then hop on up to the levee trail. The levee trail runs parallel to the mighty Mississippi and can take you all the way up to Baton Rouge if you are ambitious enough. I’d recommend a run from Oak Street up to the Huey P Long Bridge, a total of just over 4 miles.
Romney's Favorite Eats to Fuel Your Body!
Running is no joke! Whether you go on a 2 mile run or an 8 mile run, it is so important to fuel your body to perform well and recover properly! It's no secret that our great city is loaded with delicious spots in every neighborhood... But healthy eats can be hard to come by. Check out some of our healthy spots to fuel up along each of the routes from above.
For route #1, check out Satsuma on Maple St., just off Carrollton, for everything from scrambles, to fresh juices, and much more. We can promise you that Satsuma never disappoints, we are craving it just typing this.
Routes II & IV
Remember we mentioned all of those great restaurants on Ponce de Leon St along the Esplanade route, you MUST pop into 1000 figs for a post run lunch or dinner. This is an absolute all time favorite spot in the city which features the freshest and most delicious Mediterranean style food - think falafel, carrot and beet slaw, toum, and the best brussel sprouts ever. You can thank us later.
Tucked away in a cute alley way in the Quarter, Green Goddess offers unique options using the best of the best ingredients. The menu also features lots of vegetarian and vegan options so there is something to please everyone!
What better way to end a long run along the water than with some fresh seafood? Check out Blue Crab on the waterfront along Lakeshore Drive to enjoy all the seafood your heart desires, not to mention the view from their back deck is out of this world!
Breads on Oak:
Priding themselves on being a top notch vegan cafe, Breads on Oak is an absolute must. From fresh as can be baked goods, to made to order sandwiches, and coffee that any coffee lover will rejoice in, Breads on Oak is a perfect stop after a morning run on the levee. Whether you are vegan or not, their health conscious nature and ample selection will leave you itching to come back.