brewery towns

Beer Lovers Unite: 7 Awesome Brewery Towns in the US to Add to Your Road Trip

In case you haven’t noticed, craft beer is becoming what our current president’s favorite word is: “HUUUUGGGE”. From wheat beers, IPAs, lagers, and even stouts, Americans are drinking craft beer more than ever. I hardly see anyone grabbing the ole Miller Lite these days. It’s all about the most unique flavors you can pack into a 16oz glass. Hey, as a beer lover, I’m not complaining. Which is why I’ve got my own list on some awesome brewery towns you have to add to your next road trip.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh may seem like a surprise, but with over 15 breweries, it’s worth checking out. You can grab a Camp Slap Red IPA from the family owned and ran Grist House Brewery, where you’ll be sure to spot some dogs at this dog and kid friendly hangout. Or you can grab a Ginga Wheat, for the folks not obsessed with IPAs like myself, at Roundabout Brewery. Be sure to save room for dinner, because you’ll want to fill up on some meat pies at this brewery.

Louisville, KY

That’s right y’all, Kentucky isn’t just known for the derby, fried chicken, and amazing bourbon. It’s time to hit up Louisville for some amazing brews too. Venture over to Bluegrass Brewing Company, the oldest brewery in the city, and grab a Dark Star Porter, or even a Raspberry Mead. Or try out Apocalypse Brewery, where the beers are created with the environment in mind, even down to the recycled equipment.

brewery towns

The fresh smell of beer is easy to spot in beer towns.

Bend, OR 

Portland’s friendly neighbor, Bend, is the place for beer and adventure. Whether you spent a long day hiking the trails, or are partaking in apres-ski, the beers here will warm you up or cool you down, depending on your preference. This small town has over 20 breweries, all ready for you to explore! Take your dog to the ever popular Deschutes Brewery with its two story tall pub. Grab some Mirror Pond Pale Ale and relax after your afternoon adventures. Or enjoy some Dark Side Stout with live music over at Silver Moon Brewing.

Cleveland, OH

So yes, this is my current town, but this beer town reputation has been hard earned. Whether it’s from Great Lakes Brewing Co. opening up in the 1980’s, thus starting Cleveland’s Renaissance, or the new breweries popping up like Forest City, you cannot go wrong with beer in this town. In the neighborhood of Ohio City, there’s several breweries on one street! Brewery crawl anyone? First things first, you have to grab either a Barrel Aged Alberta Clipper or Christmas Ale (depending on the season) at Great Lakes while looking over at West Side Market. Then, have a beer flight or glass of mead over at Forest City. I could go on and on, but the beer here is amazing.

brewery towns cleveland

The brewery that started them all in Cleveland: Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Seattle, WA 

Okay, we get it Pacific Northwest, not only do you have gorgeous mountains, you’re on the coast, there’s tons to do outdoors, but you’re also known as being the catalyst of the craft beer movement! Not sure why this portion of the country is full of some of the best breweries around, but I won’t complain, so long as I can get a flight of beers at Fremont brewing. Or head to Reuben’s Brews for the Crikey IPA. Either way, a town with amazing beer and coffee is an alright town to me.

fremont brewing seattle

Tasting fresh Seattle beer at Fremont Brewing.

San Diego, CA

Aside from the wonderful year-round sunshine, the brews in this town are next to none. Check out Green Flash Brewing Company for their IPAs and Belgian ales. Or take your taste buds on an adventure with The Lost Abbey, where they come up with  new barrel aged or sour beers.

Asheville, NC

 I’m so glad I got to check out this smaller city. I heard so much about this place and came in with high expectations. Thank goodness they not only met, but exceeded all of them! Great beer? Check. Great views? Check. Oh and food? Double Check. A visit to this town means stopping by the ever so delicious Wicked Weed and trying out the Barrel Aged Milk and Cookies or whatever you prefer. Then, you have to check out Bhramari Brewhouse and the amazing Native Violet. You don’t have to wander far to find breweries in this town. They are everywhere and I love it!

twin leaf Asheville

Hanging out at Twin Leaf.

So there you have it. Amazing brew towns in the US you need to visit. Which ones have you been to? What’s your favorite beer? Let me know in the comments!

Bhramari Brewhouse asheville

A great day is made better with beer.

ate drank asheville wicked weed

What I Ate (And Drank) in Asheville

Asheville has less than 90,000 people but packs a punch with delicious food and tasty drinks. This is a foodie city, and if you don’t believe me, check Yelp for food. I’ll wait.

Convinced yet? I went last weekend with my sister, mom and sister-in-law and I swear I did not have a bad meal in this city. So I’m here to break down the eats, treats and booze I had during my time there.

Food

  • Vortex Donuts: My sister and I arrived a little early in Asheville and decided to grab some much needed coffee and donuts. We stopped by this gem and needless to say, we gobbled these up fast. I got the maple bacon cake donut, and my sister got the blood orange chocolate. So so good. 
vortex donuts asheville

Vortex Donuts.

  • Wicked Weed: So this is an amazing brewery, but also serves up some good food. We got an amazing kale salad with chicken and farro. I don’t even like kale that much (does anyone really?) and loved this salad.
  • The Marketplace: The epitome of farm-to-table cuisine, I tried quail for the first time here and loved it! I tried the salmon as well and I wish I had more of that versus the uncrustable I just ate right now.
marketplace Asheville

Trying quail at The Marketplace.

  • Chestnut: Another fantastic dinner restaurant, with awesome cocktails, craft beer, and good wine. I got the bacon wrapped scallops (who doesn’t love bacon wrapped anything?) and tried some mussels that were mouthwatering. I’m telling you, this city cannot go wrong with food. The prices were super affordable for the fresh seafood too!
  • Sunny Point Cafe: A little outside of downtown, this place is popular and was even featured on Good Morning America as the winner of the Best Breakfast Challenge for their huevos rancheros. So go early to get a seat. I got the huevos rancheros and was not disappointed. In fact, it was pretty darn tasty. I could eat that everyday. If only I couldn’t gain weight… but I digress.

Asheville has less than 90,000 people but packs a punch with delicious food and tasty drinks.

Drinks

With tons of breweries in such a short distance, it’s hard to choose which ones to go to. We ended up going to 4 the first day and then explored Biltmore the next day. I wish we could’ve gone to every brewery, because they are all rated super well. Again, check it out on Yelp, or Trip Advisor, or wherever you check out delicious places.

  • Wicked Weed: The beer here is amazing! I had the Barrel Aged Milk and Cookies beer which I believe was a stout. Either way, it was delicious. I wish they had flights here, because I would’ve loved trying more. We got there just before lunch and beat the crowds, but this place fills up fast.
  • Bhramari Brewhouse: This was probably my favorite. The Native Violet Saison was all I could ever want in a crisp, spring day beer. We sat outside on the patio, got a flight of beer, and met so many cute pups in this dog friendly place. From the beer to the atmosphere, I would recommend this place for sure.
Bhramari Brewhouse asheville

Bhramari Brewhouse flight tasting.

  • Twin Leaf: Another great place to grab a flight of beer to taste and sit outside. Twin Leaf offers small snacks too. Perfect for lightweights like us who are trying delicious beers and don’t want to get hammered. They have board games too, which we obviously played and chatted about how chill Asheville is.
twin leaf Asheville

Hanging out at Twin Leaf.

  • Hi Wire: Our last brewery before dinnertime. This place was okay. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go here next time, as there isn’t outdoor seating, or much seating for that matter. The vibe was fine and the beer was good, but not nearly as great as the other three. I would skip this and try out other breweries like Funkatorium, Wicked Weed’s sour beer brewery, or Burial, Asheville’s oldest brewery.
  • Biltmore Estate Winery: On Saturday we visited the Biltmore, and the ticket includes a free wine tasting (SWEET). I should mention that you can try as much wine as you want to (aside from the premium wines). They suggest 6, but I got like 10 tastings. We love wine in our family. I tried 10 because the wine was so good! I ended up buying 4 bottles to bring home. The Spring Rose is a must try right now! I got a glass of that, and we sat enjoying the sunny day out on their patio.
wine asheville

Not a bad view before drinking wine.

So there you have it, the food and drinks of Asheville. I can’t wait to go back in April. This place is that good. This foodie city is everything you could ever want and with the weather turning to spring, who wouldn’t love to sit outside and enjoy a good beer?

pike place seattle

Seattle in Pictures: A Weekend is Plenty of Time in this Gorgeous City

Seattle: the most photogenic city. A weekend in Seattle is plenty of time to catch the main sites in and around the city. I ended up in Seattle for a work trip, and flew up the weekend before to check it out. I’m so glad I did, as I got to see the sites, eat the freshest salmon I’ve ever tasted, and even go hiking on Mt. Rainier. I present to you, Seattle in pictures. Warning: extreme wanderlust may follow.

Sites in Seattle

seattle from flight

Views of Seattle from my flight.

pike place seattle

Pike Place Market seafood stand.

pike place seattle

Pike Place Market.

pike place seattle

Flowers at Pike Place Market.

Space Needle seattle

Visiting the Space Needle.

chihluly seattle

Visiting the Chihuly Museum next to the Space Needle.

ferris wheel seattle

Views of Puget Sound and the ferris wheel.

seattle gum wall

Leaving my mark on Seattle’s famous gum wall.

fremont troll seattle

The Fremont Troll. You may recognize this from 10 Things I Hate About You.

Seattle sunset

Sunsets over Seattle.

Food and Drink

salmon seattle

Elliot’s Oyster House and the freshest salmon I’ve ever had.

coffee shop seattle

My favorite coffee in Seattle: Cherry Street Coffee House. They make an amazing dirty chai latte.

starbucks seattle

You obviously cannot forget about the original Starbucks. However, this shop is very crowded with no sitting room. If you want to try out their rarer coffees, go to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room instead in Seattle.

starbucks seattle

Coffee and chocolate tasting at the Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.

starbucks seattle

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.

Visiting Bainbridge Island

bainbridge seattle

Views on the way to Bainbridge Island.

brainbridge seattle

Taking the ferry to Bainbridge island.

bainbridge seattle

Walking around Bainbridge Island.

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt rainier seattle

Viewing the mountains and waterfalls on Mt. Rainier.

Mt rainier seattle

Mountain lakes are divine.

mt rainier seattle

Not a bad view in the park.

mt rainer seattle

It was a tree hugging kind of day.

waterfall seattle

Exploring streams around Mt. Rainier.

waterfall seattle

Waterfalls and rainbows at Mt. Rainier.

waterfall seattle

Mt. Rainier National Park.

There is so much to see and do in this fabulous city. Whether you are walking around downtown, or hiking in the awesome national parks, a trip to Seattle is a trip to remember.

protestant church berlin germany

Top 10 Museums to Visit in Your Lifetime

For the history or art lovers among us, I present some of the most kickass museums to visit in your lifetime.

van gogh museum

Starry Nights of Van Gogh.

10. Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Yes, pot is legal in Amsterdam. Yes, so are ‘shrooms…so is prostitution. BUT Amsterdam is wayyyyyy more than that. It’s a city of canals that light up at night. It’s a city full of flowers and color in the spring like you wouldn’t believe. It is also a city where Anne Frank hid, and it’s a city where Van Gogh has his paintings displayed. You know, the painter of Starry Night, Bedroom in Arles, Sunflowers, and many other masterpieces. Well, this city has blessed us all with a museum full of his masterpieces, drawings, and even his personal letters. It’s well worth visiting if you’re swinging by this crazy town.

acropolis museum

Statue at the Acropolis Museum.

9. The Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece)

Ahh the arts of antiquity. This little but mighty museum has so much inside, from Acropolis reliefs to busts of famous leaders. There are even ruins under the museum as you walk inside. If you’re in Athens and want to take a peek at more art around the Acropolis, this is the best spot to look (other than the Acropolis itself).

dinosaur natural history museum

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

8. Smithsonian Natural History Museum (Washington, DC, USA)

If you’re a natural history museum lover, this is just the place. It’s a Smithsonian museum, which means it’s free! Yay! It also has a wide variety of exhibits, from fossils and various animal species to gems and the Hope Diamond, as well as mummies and displays about evolution. Be sure to check out the special exhibitions while you’re there!

George Seurat Art Institute Chicago

The Art Institute Chicago is a must-see if you’re in the windy city.

7. The Art Institute Chicago (Chicago, USA)

This is a museum I just keep on visiting, and for good reason: it’s amazing! If you have used all your time off, but are dying to see the famous French paintings you’d typically see in Paris: go here. There’s a whole wing for impressionists here, including my favorite painting! Think Degas’ ballerinas, Monet’s gorgeous French fields and sunsets on the beach, and George Seurat’s lovely pointillism paintings. Also, you can’t miss the modern art, including some Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso pieces.

Met museum

For the love of fashion.

6. The MET (New York City, USA)

Whether you’re a Gossip Girl fan, follow celeb gossip and hear about the Met Gala each year, or you just appreciate fine art and fashion, this is the place for you. Each year in NYC they put on an exhibition regarding fashion in which the Met Gala celebrates. I visited a couple of years ago when the exhibition was China Through the Looking Glass. This year: Man X Machina. These are only on display for a few months, so be sure to check the website before visiting. Aside from the fashion, there’s also wonderful art from around the globe to appreciate there.

holocaust museum

Shoes collected from Concentration Camps.

5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC, USA)

While a visit to this museum is incredibly sad, it’s also very moving. It educates you regarding the Holocaust, what the victims went through, and the timeline of events. It is a place to remember and honor the victims, and educates visitors about genocide and how to prevent it. This museum does a wonderful job; it even gives you a pamphlet about a person who went through the Holocaust. You turn the pages as you change floors to learn about their story, what they went through, and how they ended up. It gives you a more personal connection. Make sure to reserve your visit online, as it’s a crowded museum.

pergamon museum

Gates of Babylon artifacts at the Pergamon Museum.

4. Pergamon Museum (Berlin, Germany)

When you think of Berlin, most don’t think about the amazing museum island this city offers. Berlin has such an incredible history with the Berlin Wall, TV Tower, Brandenburg Gate, etc. However, a trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without a trip here. This museum in particular is badass. Ever thought about walking through the gates of Babylon? You can do that here! Want to act like you’re in Greece thousands of years ago hanging out on the Pergamon Altar? You can do that too! Anyway, there are tons of really awesome historical pieces throughout this museum. They have the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Museum of Islamic Art all included here.

vatican museums

So much to see and do at the Vatican Museums.

3. Vatican Museums (Vatican City)

If you’re ever in Rome, the Vatican is a must-see. The Sistine Chapel alone is worth the visit. There are rooms and rooms full of Renaissance paintings, altar pieces, and sculptures. It’s enough to be overwhelmed, but be sure to book a tour guide and go early; this place gets crowded fast.

mummies british museum

The mummy exhibit at the British Museum is so interesting.

2. British Museum (London, UK)

So we all know that the British basically ruled most of the world at one point, right? Well, they have a museum dedicated to a lot of the antiques, art, and artifacts they’ve collected over the years. Sound pretty cool? That’s because it is! Let’s not forget that they have the Rosetta Stone, sculptures from the Acropolis in Athens, and even mummies… lots of mummies. Seriously, this is a cool museum.

monet l'orangerie

As it’s prohibited to take photos of the paintings here, it’s worth it to go check it out on your own!

1. Museum L’Orangerie (Paris, France)

A museum list wouldn’t be complete without an art museum from Paris. While they have many notable museums (D’Orsay and Louvre being the most popular), this is easily the best, and hardly anyone knows about it. Monet gave his most famous paintings to this museum and even helped design the rooms the Water Lilies would be placed in. So that alone is pretty sweet. Combine that with their acquisition of the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collections of art, this museum, while small, is stocked full of impressionist and post-impressionist art. If you’re into French Impressionist paintings, love Monet’s Water Lilies, and are in Paris, you have to see this place.”

Minnesota travel for work

Making the Most of Traveling for Work

This past year I got to travel to Dallas, Minneapolis, and Seattle. I have even made side trips to DC and NYC. I paid $0 for my plane tickets and took zero days’ time off. How?! Work travel.

As someone who was an auditor, occasionally I got to travel to client sites. Sometimes this meant traveling to the middle of nowhere like Metropolis, Illinois, which wasn’t too exciting. However, occasionally, I would score a sweet trip to a fun, new city.

You may have a career where you are required to travel. This could be every once in a while or even the lucky ones who get to explore the world. Some people dread the thought of taking a work trip and being away for an extended period of time. My thoughts? You get a free flight and a new chance to explore a place you probably haven’t been to before!

work training dallas

Catching a Texas Rangers game after work training in Dallas!

For instance, I had to travel for two weeks, the first week to Minneapolis and the second to Seattle. I had never been to either city, so I made the most of it. Of course I had to work during the week, but having nights and even a weekend free in a new city is a lot of fun. I ended up seeing the Mall of America, the outside of Paisley Park (where Prince lived), and Lake Minnetonka while staying in Minneapolis. Then, I got to see the Space Needle, go kayaking on the Puget Sound, visit Pike Place Market, drink all that delicious beer and coffee, and even hike on Mt. Rainer in Seattle.

puget sound work travel

The stunning Puget Sound.

Here’s what you can do to make the most of work travel:

  1. See if you can fly out there a couple of days early and spend the weekend. I flew straight from Minneapolis to Seattle, rather than flying back home that weekend. That gave me 3 days (they gave me that Friday off for travel) to explore Seattle before even going into work that Monday! The only thing I had to pay for was my 2 night hostel stay and meals over the weekend. I even ended up saving my company money by not purchasing a return flight home in between both trips.
before work travel space needle

Exploring Seattle during the weekend before work.

  1. Ask if you can fly to/from another location on the way to/back from your trip. I got to fly from Cleveland to Dallas for work training and then Dallas to DC for the weekend. If the cost of two one way tickets is less than a roundtrip flight, a lot of the time your company will allow you to book it. Or if there is a slight price difference, you just pay the difference. You then only have to pay for a one way ticket back home, which is typically cheaper than a roundtrip flight.
DC travel for work

Exploring canals in Georgetown after my free flight to DC.

  1. Want to save your precious time off? Again, utilize those weekends! If your travel time is falling on a holiday weekend, utilize that! I had a work training in Dallas the week before Memorial Day weekend and ended up flying to DC and spending 3 days before coming back to Cleveland. No taking time off needed. It was glorious and so satisfying knowing that I took zero time off and could save that time for even more trips.
work travel DC

Long weekends in DC.

  1. Rack up those mile/hotel points. Typically, your work doesn’t have a miles or points account set up, but you can collect those! When I travel for work, I typically fly Delta, and so far, I’ve racked up 5,000 miles just from work flights. Most domestic roundtrip flights are about 25,000 miles, so, depending on how often you travel for work, you could be flying for free in no time on your own personal vacation! Setting up a frequent flyer account is free, and super easy. Just go to the airline’s website and go to their frequent flyer page. This also works for hotels. Join the hotel loyalty program, and collect those points to earn your own free night stay somewhere.

These are just some ways to make the most of your work travel. But, be SURE to run this by your employer or read your policy manual before doing so. Most of the time, there shouldn’t be a problem. So get out there and travel for free!

Enjoy your newest travel hacking strategy! Where is work taking you?

work travel

Work hard and travel harder.

Wine vineyards

When You Can’t Get Away to the Famous Wine Regions of the World

Picture yourself lounging with the sun on your face, sipping on the most delicious wine you’ve ever tasted, and then walking through gorgeous vineyards. Is it just me, or is this what I dream about all the time during the summer months? Or pretty much any time of year.

Unless you’re living in Napa, Cape Town, Florence, or even most places in France, getting to these places cost time and money. While there’s always Travel Hacking, the art of scoring free or dirt-cheap plane tickets and hotels, taking the time off is a challenge when you’ve got other travel plans. Lucky for you, the secret to trying new and delicious wine is in your backyard.

Okay, maybe not directly in your backyard.

wine grapes

Grapes on the vine, oh so divine!

At the very least there’s probably vineyards less than an hour’s drive away for most people. For instance, I’m from a small town in Kentucky, and there’s a winery only 10 minutes away!

I’ve done wine tastings all over Kentucky, Ohio, and even Virginia. Who says the only wine region is in California? Did you know Washington actually has fantastic wineries?

Here are some of my favorites:

  1. South River Vineyard (Ashtabula, Ohio: 45 minutes from Cleveland)- Probably my favorite vineyard ever. The wine is fantastic, but the setting is even better. It’s set in an old church renovated into the winery, with a huge terrace in the back perfect for sipping wine and admiring the rows and rows of beautiful vines. They even have religious themed wines such as Trinity, Exodus, Creation, Temptation, and Karma to name a few.
  2. Zephaniah Farm Vineyard (Leesburg, VA: 45 minutes from Washington, DC)- This is another wonderful winery with a family that has been running the place for generations. The day we visited we sat in their tasting room in the house that was built in 1820 and chatted with the son for 30 minutes. Their passion for wine making and the story of their farm is amazing, not to mention the stunning vineyards in their backyard. Let’s not forget the Cab Franc-which was amazing!
  3. Elk Creek Vineyards (Owenton, KY: 1 hour from Cincinnati)- This is a large vineyard with a stage for summer concerts and even a lodge for overnight visits. The wine is great, and the views are spectacular! The tasting room sits on top of a hill overlooking the vineyards. It’s perfect for catching a brilliant sunset before heading down the hill for a concert.
wine and friends

Wine + Friends = Perfect day.

Wine and cheese

Wine with cheese and charcuterie is the best thing ever.

What’s another huge bonus about visiting your local wineries?

The tastings are typically super cheap! Tastings in Napa Valley at one winery can sometimes be $50! That’s just for tastings- that doesn’t even include a full glass of wine! So if you’re trying to get the most wine per dollar (which is always my goal), your local winery can definitely provide.

So whether you’re living in Bordeaux or Northern Virginia, there’s a beautiful winery not far away. Now get out there and start sipping!

vines and wines

Happy sipping!

Running

12 Badass Races You Need to Sign Up For

There is nothing more satisfying than completing a race. You’ve trained so hard for it. You’ve saved money for the race, ate the super foods to get ready, and even researched the best running shoes. Hundreds and even thousands of people are racing for the same cause. I get emotional every race. Some are racing to lose weight or achieve a personal goal. Some are also running to check out a new location. Whatever your reason, these are some awesome races to complete in your lifetime.

12. Rock N Roll Las Vegas Series

This is as epic as it sounds. Awesome music + Vegas Strip at night = PERFECT recipe for a race. The Marathon and half marathon have headliner concerts that have included Kid Rock, Snoop Dog, and Macklemore. They also have other events such as “Run Thru Weddings” and “Run as Elvis”. It couldn’t be more Vegas if it tried. Also, the Rock N Roll Marathon series has the coolest race medals.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 4:30PM on Sunday, November 12, 2017
    • Half Marathon: 4:30PM on Sunday, November 12, 2017
    • 10k: 4:00PM on Sunday, November 12, 2017
    • 5k: 6:00PM on Saturday, November 11, 2017
    • Run Thru Wedding: 5:45PM on Sunday, November 12, 2017
  • Website
Vegas Races

Vegas at night.

11. United Airlines New York Half Marathon/TSC NYC Marathon

Imagine looping around Central Park, running past Times Square, down to the World Trade Center and Memorial, past Battery Park where you can see the Statue of Liberty, and ending on Wall Street. That’s just the half marathon! The full marathon explores the boroughs starting on Staten Island, goes through Brooklyn and the ever so trendy Williamsburg neighborhood, then into Queens, across Roosevelt Island into Manhattan, a quick trip into the Bronx, then back in Manhattan where you run through Harlem to the Upper East Side and into Central Park. Not to mention the New York Marathon is the largest marathon in the world! If you want to sightsee New York in the same fast pace as the city itself, you have to try one of these races.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: The race has several start times as it is run in waves. However, the race begins at 8:30AM on November 5, 2017
    • Half Marathon: 7:30AM on Sunday, March 19, 2017
  • Important note: As these are popular races, you have to qualify. This means that you have to have proof you finished another race in the appropriate amount of time required. These times differ based on age and gender.
  • There are also several races among the boroughs should you wish to explore NYC further.
  • Website:
NYC Races

Brooklyn Bridge.

10. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Races

The magical world of Disney, complete with princesses, castles, and people racing in their best Mickey Mouse ears. Let your inner child fly free this marathon weekend. You can treat this as a weekend getaway to see the various parks within Disney. The marathon runs through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park). The half marathon races past Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. The 5k and 10k take place in Epcot. Basically, if you can’t go see the world, you may as well run past all of it in Epcot. If you grew up watching the best of Disney, you have to run this race.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 5:30AM on Sunday, January 7, 2018
    • Half Marathon: 5:30AM on Saturday, January 6, 2018
    • 10k: 5:30AM on Friday, January 5, 2018
    • 5k: 6:00AM on Thursday, January 4, 2018
  • For the super ambitious: Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is comprised of 39.3 miles starting Saturday, January 6 and ending Sunday, January 7, 2018. You can run the half marathon and marathon.
  • For the crazy super ambitious runners out there: Dopey’s Challenge. If you’re really wanting a workout, this is where you run all of the 4 races (5k, 10k, half-marathon, and marathon).
  • They also have races for kids!
  • Note: These races book up fast, so book early! Registration opens February 14th!
  • Website
Disney Races

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World.

9. Virgin Money London Marathon

This city is full of history, ready for you to run. Run across Tower Bridge and past the Tower of London. Pass by Big Ben, the Shard, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Run along the River Thames, toward Westminster, ending at Buckingham Palace. If you’re looking to see London from East to West, this is the perfect way to do it.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 10:00AM on Sunday, April 23, 2017
  • Important information: If you are not a resident of the UK, you will have to book via Overseas Entry. The event website has a tab where you can locate your country of residence to register. The US requires you to go through a marathon tour company.
  • Website
London Races

Big Ben in London

8. Athens Marathon

This list would be remiss if I didn’t include the marathon to rule them all! This bad boy is the original, the first marathon to have ever occurred. While the original runner died of exhaustion, well-trained athletes are proving up to the challenge. But it is a challenge. You start in Marathon, you know, like what this whole race is named after. Anyway, you run across hills, roads, towns, and all the way into Athens, where you end up in the Ancient Olympic Stadium. You’ll see the Acropolis along the way. Want to feel a part of history? This is the race for you. Thank the gods they have smaller routes too.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 9:00AM on Sunday, November 13, 2017
    • Power Walking: 9:00AM on Sunday, November 13, 2017
    • 10k : 8:35AM on Sunday, November 13, 2017
    • 5k: 7:45AM on Sunday, November 13, 2017 AND 4:00PM on Sunday, November 13, 2017
  • They also have races for kids!
  • Website
Athens Races

Imagine ending your race at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

7. Napa Valley Marathon Weekend

Who doesn’t love wine? Running and wine may be some of my favorite things. After running along wineries and vineyards, it’s enough to make you so excited to taste all of the wine after. Whether it’s red, white, or rose, all are enough to keep you motivated to cross the finish line.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 7:00AM on Sunday, March 5, 2017
    • 5k: 8:00AM on Sunday, March 5, 2017
  • Hint: This race is downhill- perfect for first timers!
  • Website
Napa Valley Races

Napa Valley Vineyards.

6. Galapagos Marathon

Yes all of you Darwin/Science nerds out there! There truly is a race for everyone in the world. If you’re looking to run among Galapagos Giant Tortoises and on a beautiful, tropical island full of diverse species, this is the race to run.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: 6:00AM on Sunday, August 13, 2017 and Sunday, August 15, 2017
    • Half Marathon: 6:30AM on Sunday, August 13, 2017 and Sunday, August 15, 2017
    • 10k: They offer this, but do not discuss a time. Offered on Sunday, August 13, 2017 and Sunday, August 15, 2017
  • Website
Galapagos Races

Slow and steady wins the race.

5. Big 5 Marathon

This is for the truly wild at heart runners. If running along giraffes, wildebeest, and the Big 5 (lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, leopards, and rhinoceroses) sound like a dream come true, you have to try this race. This combines a safari and a good, long run into one amazing race day. Remember you don’t have to be the fastest runner, just be sure to outrun your friends.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon: June 24, 2017
    • Half Marathon: June 24, 2017
    • No times established yet
  • This is an event that is best to book through a tour company
  • Be sure to be properly vaccinated and drink plenty of water!
  • Website
Big 5 Races

Dare to run wild with these guys.

4. Midnight Sun Marathon/Polar Night Marathon

Think summertime in the artic circle: you’re running close to midnight with the sun still shining. Then think again about running at night and looking up to see the Northern Lights. These take place in the same spot, just different times of year. Either way, both look extremely captivating.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon:
      • Midnight Sun Marathon: 8:30PM on Saturday, June 17, 2017
    • Half Marathon:
      • Midnight Sun Marathon: 10:30PM on Saturday, June 17, 2017
      • Polar Night Marathon: 3:00PM on Saturday, January 6, 2018
    • 10k:
      • Midnight Sun Marathon: 7:00PM on Saturday, June 17, 2017
      • Polar Night Marathon: 3:15PM on Saturday, January 6, 2018
    • Mini Marathon:
      • Midnight Sun Marathon: 6:00PM on Satruday, June 17, 2017
      • Polar Night Marathon: 3:20PM on Saturday, January 6, 2018
    • Note: They do not have a marathon for Polar Night.
    • Important: As the Polar Night run is in the winter in the Artic circle, you must dress warm, and wear shoes with spikes and traction for the snow.
    • There’s a kid’s race for the Midnight Sun Marathon!
  • Website
Arctic Night Races

Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights during the Polar Night race.

3. Antarctica Ice Marathon

Are you trying to cross off that seventh continent from your bucket list? Do you LOVE running in the cold? Maybe you’re crazy? Either way, a race in Antarctica is not for the faint at heart, but is said to be an amazing experience. Want to really impress your friends? This is the ticket. Just don’t anticipate setting a personal record.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon and Half Marathon: Friday, November 24, 2017
      • They do not have times established yet
    • Important: This is a super expensive race as it is a far-flung destination and you can’t just fly in. It’s easiest to book through a tour group like Global Running Adventures.
    • Note: Wear the appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather.
  • Website
Antartica Races

It’ll be cold, but for views like this, it may be worth it.

2. Great Wall Marathon

Want to visit the Great Wall of China? Check. Want one of the most challenging races to run? Check. One word to remember: stairs. Yup, it’s quite a challenge. Again, don’t expect to make your best time, but it’s worth it for the beauty of the Great Wall of China.

  • Races Offered:
    • Marathon, Half Marathon, and Fun Run (5.5 miles): All take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017. No times established yet.
  • Important Information: You will need a visa to get into China. Also, you will have to book through a tour package.
  • Website
Great Wall Races

See more of this wall during this race.

 1. Inca Trail Marathon

Whether you’re looking for the perfect Instagram photo, want a real challenge with elevation, or you love history and all things Incan, you have to run this ancient trail. But again, this is another one of the most challenging marathons. Be sure to train, because when you’re hitting that runner’s high at the end, you’re running into Machu Picchu.

  • Races Offered: This is unique as you run almost every day of your tour from 4.5 miles until the actual race day where you run either the marathon or 30k (18.6 miles). The race day is Thursday, June 8, 2017 or Thursday, August 10, 2017.
  • Important Information: Like most international races, you have to book through a tour package.
  • Website
Inca Trail Races

Amazing views and high altitudes: You may get more of a runner’s high than you bargain for.