There are all sorts of reason to travel: discovering an up-and-coming art scene, eating your way through a gourmand-minded city, or simply getting away from America's current state of affairs. Recently, however, there has been a notable uptick in people taking vacations and traveling for health purposes (which I, personally, attribute it to the aforementioned political climate). They do this in order to work out more and reset the body nutritionally or to go off the grid to reconnect with themselves, spiritually.
And then there's running. Lately, my Instagram feed has been clogged by seemingly everyone I know taking photos all around the world, with destinations chosen based on racing events. Even the less fitness prone of the bunch have been guilty of posting photos of the Paris Marathon, Florida's Disney Princess Half Marathon, and New Orleans' Jazz Half Marathon finish lines before embarking on more traditional vacations in the respective cities. With our very own New York City Half, that saw 20,000-plus participants from near and far descending on the course this past weekend behind us, we've been wondering what other cities host races worth making a vacation out of.
From a run made for oenophiles to one that will have The X-Files-obsessed sprinting to the end, ahead are 10 marathons and half marathon worth the sweat and travel miles. Plus, where to stay, eat, and drink at and what to do to recover in each of the cities afterward.
Marathon du Medoc, Medoc, France
The most buzzed (literally) about race among runners, Marathon du Medoc sees wine-loving participants sprinting through Bordeaux's iconic vineyards and boasts 20-plus stations where you can taste some of the best wines from the region, as well as quintessential French eats like oysters, foie gras, and cheese, all while completing the course. Act fast: This event consistently sells out.
Where to stay: Realize your dreams of staying at a castle at Château Ormes de Pez, a cutesy bed and breakfast with a Call Me By Your Name-esque outdoor pool and terrace, quirky rooms featuring floral wallpaper and tapestries, and complimentary bikes which you can use to live out your best la vie en rose life.
Where to eat/drink: If you decided to abstain from drinking during your run, make your way to the many famous vineyards in the area for tastings. For those short on time, stop by the creme de la creme of the region: Chateau Margaux and Chateau Palmer. To hit three birds with one stone, head to Château Cordeillan-Bages, a chateau-turned-high-end hotel, a vineyard, and the host of a two Michelin star restaurant.
Where to recover: Grapes are known to hold amazing antioxidant properties when it comes to skin care. Witness it firsthand at the Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie spa, the French skin-care brand's original spa located in the Bordeaux region. Indulge in one of the vino-centric treatments like the merlot wrap, or try the wine maker's massage, which recreates the steps of the wine-making process on the body.