For many runners, the half marathon offers the perfect distance. It’s not as competitive or challenging as a full marathon and not as short-lived as a 10k run.
And for the runners out there who like to take in scenery along the way, these half marathons are not to be ignored!
Below, we round up the top 25 half marathons in the US. If you’re a diehard half marathoner, you might have checked off a few of them already. But there’s a good chance you haven’t completed all of them.
In no particular order (well, alphabetical order), here are the top 25 half marathons in the US – join the next half marathon on the calendar and start checking each one off this list!
25 Of The Best Half Marathons In The US
1. Amica Newport Half Marathon
The Amica Newport Half Marathon takes place in June in Newport, Rhode Island, with one big advantage: stunning ocean views!
For oceanview lovers, Amica Newport Half Marathon offers a course that takes participants along oceanside esplanades as well as through New England countryside and quaint Rhode Island neighborhoods.
The route is largely flat, with ideal June weather conditions that are made cooler by the sea breeze.
Overall, it’s one East Coast half marathon that shouldn’t be missed for any runner who loves a good view as much as running itself.
2. Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon
Held in Anchorage, Alaska each June, the Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon is as much a summer celebration for Alaskans as it is a running event.
And although it’s not in the US, it’s worth checking off for the celebratory summer solstice vibe and picturesque views the course delivers.
The Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon follows a route guided by forested trails with surrounding views of Denali National Park & Reserve. And if that’s not enough, you may even catch sight of a moose!
3. Big Sur Half Marathon
In Big Sur, California, the November-held Big Sur Half Marathon is another one for oceanview lovers and beach lovers, passing several awesome Californian beach towns across a perfectly flat coastline.
We’ll go ahead and say it: you’ll probably be too distracted by the view to even notice how tired or not you are!
Taking place in November, the Big Sur Half Marathon also offers milder temperatures that make the run more pleasant than challenging, ideal for first-timers.
4. Boston Half Marathon
The Boston Half Marathon, also called Boston’s Run to Remember, is held in May in Boston, Massachusetts.
It takes place alongside a 5-mile run but the half marathon is the one to join if you’re yet to take in Boston’s sights!
Close to Boston Harbor and a number of historical buildings, the Boston Half Marathon is a sightseeing experience as much as it is a remembrance of those lost in lines of duty.
Due to this, it’s also a popular fund-raising event, offering a spirited atmosphere and all kinds of runners taking part.
5. Chicago Half Marathon
Held in Chicago, Illinois during September, the Chicago Half Marathon passes many of Chicago’s famous sporting venues – making it a must-attend annual run for sports fans of all kinds.
But that’s not all; the route is also right near museums, parks, and iconic restaurants, in addition to Lake Michigan!
For city runners of all ages and abilities, the Chicago Half Marathon offers an atmospheric experience (a good annual turnout) and, overall, a course that’s especially perfect for first-time half marathoners.
6. Covered Bridges Half Marathon
If the name doesn’t give it away, the community-based Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Woodstock, Vermont offers a course that takes runners through a number of quaint and picturesque covered bridges!
This half marathon is held in June (one of the best times to visit Vermont, by the way) and is a favorite for its rural course that, in addition to covered bridges, offers sights of farms, farmland, and farm animals.
Despite its rural setting, the Covered Bridges Half Marathon doesn’t involve too many uphill climbs (total elevation between 100 and 200 feet), making it ideal for most half marathon runners.
7. Disney Princess Half Marathon
The Disney Princess Half Marathon is, needless to say, held in Florida, and themed around all things Disney (You might also want to check out Key West Marathons here). So for the runners out there who love to get in costume and run, this is the half marathon for you!
Held in February in Orlando, Florida, the Disney Princess Half Marathon is an experience like no other as all participants dress up and run as their favorite Disney characters.
Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Animal World, and Sea World are right near the course, with a palpable race day energy that truly sets this half marathon apart.
8. Glacier Half Marathon
The Glacier Half Marathon is held in Glacier National Park, Montana in June and is, simply put, the perfect excuse to check off a half marathon and take in the gorgeous sights of the National Park at the same time.
For national park lovers and outdoorsy types, it doesn’t get any better than this half marathon, which takes you over hills, through meadows, and along still, picturesque lakes.
It comes with high elevation changes, however, which is something to note if you prefer flat courses!
9. Golden Leaf Half Marathon
Held in September, Golden Leaf Half Marathon in Snowmass Village, Aspen, Colorado is another high elevation course that’s ideal for half marathon runners who don’t mind uphill sections and changes in terrain.
Due to this, the Golden Leaf Half Marathon isn’t super beginner-friendly, but worth checking out for its route that offers stunning views of snow-topped hills making up Snowmass and the surrounding areas of Aspen.
September is, in fact, one of the warmest times of the year for Colorado, so don’t expect to freeze!
10. Kaua’i Half Marathon
Kaua’i Half Marathon takes place in September in Hawaii.
It might be a far distance to travel for most US residents, but an experience that isn’t easily forgotten – especially when you’re running surrounded by beaches, jungles, mountains, and resorts!
This is a must-attend event for the holidaymakers who also happen to be runners with a few half marathons in the bank.
There are some uphill paths involved, but the ocean views you get at the end (the “Tunnel of Trees”) are well worth the full 13 miles.
Just take note: the Kaua’i Half Marathon does take place in high heat and humidity, so make sure you’re prepared.
11. La Jolla Half Marathon
California’s La Jolla Half Marathon is another coastal 13-mile run for beach and ocean lovers. You can catch this half marathon in April, starting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and ending at La Jolla Cove.
This half marathon features a mid-course climb to the top of Torrey Pines State Park, offering breathtaking coastal views for those who don’t mind some elevation.
The year-round hot and dry climate of San Diego also means you won’t want to leave your hat, suncream, and water bottle behind!
12. Missoula Half Marathon
The Missoula Half Marathon is one of Montana’s most popular half marathons, taking place each July among the surrounds of Glacier National Park, Yellow National Park, and Grand Teton National Park.
Needless to say, if you love national parks, this half marathon is worth hitting up. The course features elevations, a change in terrains, and views that offer a nice snapshot of Montana’s rural side.
There’s a beautiful river stretch, plus distant rolling hills to take in along the way, before the course finishes in downtown Missoula.
13. Napa To Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is as the title suggests: a half marathon from Napa to Sonoma that actually starts at Cuvaison Estate Wines.
We don’t recommend you savor the local wines until after the race, though, but one good thing is that the entry gives you unlimited wine tastings post-race!
So, if you love wine as much as running, the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is going to be right up your alley.
The same applies if you’re someone who likes to have a reward waiting at the finish line!
The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is held in July, with a scenic countryside route from Cuvaison Estate Wines to Sonoma Plaza.
14. Race To Robie Creek Half Marathon
Held in Boise, Idaho, the Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon is, hands down, one of the best running events in the state.
It is definitely a challenge, it has to be said, but well-worth the experience if taking in the scenery is something you aim to do whenever running.
This annual April half marathon starts at Fort Boise Park, combining 8.5 miles of uphill elevation and 4.6 miles of downhill track.
It’s no walk in the park, of course, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it slow – especially since this course offers some stunning remote views.
15. Rock And Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Ever wanted to run at night, surrounded by gleaming city lights? The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon is one to set your sights on.
Held in November, this half marathon boasts an electric atmosphere, with a huge turnout running a super flat course that stretches most of Las Vegas Boulevard.
November is the coolest time of the year in Las Vegas, and the fact that this half marathon is held after sunset is another reason to join if you’re someone who doesn’t like running in heat.
The race ends at The Mirage Casino, the ideal spot to celebrate if that’s your vibe!
16. Rock And Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
The Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon is your chance to explore New Orleans and its jazzy, charming neighborhoods. Oh, and get some miles in!
Held in March, this half marathon—part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series that also hosts the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon—offers a few sightseeing points across New Orleans, with an overall flat course that isn’t too demanding.
The race starts and finishes at the University of New Orleans where, as a bonus, the event provides a vibrant Mardi Gras celebration with entertainment and live music.
17. Route 66 Half Marathon
You might have organized a road trip along Route 66, but there’s a good chance that you’re yet to run it.
The Route 66 Half Marathon offers that opportunity, taking all participants on long, open stretches of the iconic roadway, starting in downtown Tulsa and finishing at Guthrie Green.
What makes this half marathon really stand out is the crowds and spectators that gather along the course, making this one a must-attend if cheering onlookers always helps you reach the finish line quicker.
This November half marathon is hillier than you might think, however, so just be prepared!
18. Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon
Held in October in Hill City, South Dakota, the Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon is named after the Crazy Horse Memorial.
And with the picturesque surroundings of South Dakota to take in along the way, it’s a half marathon that’s worth putting on your to-do list.
This unique half marathon starts with a short uphill climb before finishing with a largely downhill course.
The downhill section isn’t steep, however, so don’t think that you’ll need to activate your quads for 8+ miles.
This is a countryside race, overall, so expect rural scenery and an off-the-beaten-path feel from start to finish.
19. Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon
Make your way to Lexington, Kentucky in March for the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon – an event that reflects the area’s horse racing roots with a rural course featuring lots of rolling farmland.
All in all, the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon is 13 miles through Kentucky history – you’ll really get a sense of the state’s agricultural roots, as well as exactly why Kentucky was the state that made bluegrass famous.
20. San Francisco Half Marathon
There’s nothing quite like running across the Golden Gate Bridge – something that the San Francisco Half Marathon offers as part of its 13-mile race through the historical “Golden City”.
As a result, if you’ve never experienced San Francisco before, the San Francisco Half Marathon is the perfect opportunity – that is if you like to run, of course!
The San Francisco Half Marathon takes place in July, with the bonus of having two half marathon routes to choose from – along the coast or through the city itself.
21. Sedona Half Marathon (Run Sedona)
RunSedona in February is a full running event that comprises a 5k run, 10k run, and half marathon.
The Sedona Half Marathon is arguably the best course to really take in the scenery, which includes the stunning Red Rocks formations.
Due to this, the course involves street paths and off-road terrain, delivering a unique experience that makes this half marathon one of our official recommendations.
Registration always opens from June, so consider getting your name on the list.
22. Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon
The Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon is as the name suggests: a 13-mile run offering beautiful maritime views of boats across the New England waterfront.
Held in Portland, Maine each June, the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon is, needless to say, a must-attend race for waterfront runners and anyone who appreciates all things nautical.
23. St Jude Rock And Roll Nashville Half Marathon
Another half marathon that’s part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series is the St. Jude Rock and Roll Nashville Half Marathon.
This Nashville, Tennessee-based half marathon is held in April, offering countryside sights and country music all the way to the finish line at Nissan Stadium.
For a real southern charm, the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon offers that and more, including a huge following due to its annual hosting since 2000, as well as the fact that there’s an evening country music concert to enjoy post-race.
24. The Cowtown Half Marathon
At Fort Worth, Texas, the Cowtown Half Marathon is one of the region’s biggest half marathons, enjoying a large turnout each year due to its course that offers a historic journey through the Fort Worth Stockyards.
If you like crowds, energy, and, well, everything that encompasses Texas, The Cowtown Half Marathon is definitely one to add to the list, held in February with plenty of museums and restaurants to check out in the area.
25. Zion Half Marathon
Last but not least, the Zion Half Marathon held in March! This half marathon takes all participants through beautiful Zion National Park in Utah, offering a memorable sightseeing experience that, overall, is just as rewarding as passing the finish line.
Hosted by Vacation Races, the Zion Half Marathon features steady elevations but gorgeous views of cliffs and mountaintops during sunrise.
The start line is at Virgin, finishing at Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale.
And there you have it: the top 25 half marathons in the US to add to your calendar and check off one-by-one.
For the diehard half marathon runners out there, these half marathons offer the best routes, weather conditions, and turnouts, each delivering an atmosphere and experience like no other!
Join the next marathon on the calendar and, if you’re up for a challenge, complete each one on this list for a total of… wait for it… 325 miles around the country.
If that’s not a unique half marathoner’s achievement, we don’t know what it is.