A:BEST FOR: Sunshine
WHEN TO GO: October through April
When I think Tri Town, I think Tucson. Ironman World Champion Peter Reid and pro triathletes Olympian Sheila Taormina and Lance Armstrong have all logged miles in this desert town. Triathlon retail giant TriSports.com is based there, and high-profile coaches like Cliff English host annual Tucson training camps.
So what’s the draw? For starters, you’re almost guaranteed to have perfect, sunny weather that won’t interfere with training. (U.S. News pegs the annual number of sunny days in Tucson at 340, with an average high of 65 in January.) Throw in hundreds of miles of cycling routes—varying from pancake flat all the way to Mount Lemmon’s 19-mile climb up 8,000 feet—and you’ll never run out of challenging, scenic terrain to inspire your long rides and runs.