I say it all the time: We are so blessed to live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There’s so much for you and your family to enjoy, including some amazing outdoor activities right at your doorstep.
The weather has been perfect for outdoor physical activity. Daylight savings time is here, so we have more time in the sun. Take advantage of coastal living this season and get out there!
Here are some great activities for all ages along the Gulf Coast:
1) WALK THE BEACH OR BRIDGES
With 26 miles of beautiful beach available, you can strap on your shoes and enjoy a brisk walk along the water or on many local bridges — a perfect way to get exercise and take in the landscape. Turn up your headphones and get moving!
2) BIKE OR HIKE OUR BEACHES AND GREENWAYS
The beach is the perfect pathway to ride your bike. From Bay St. Louis to Biloxi Beach and beyond, the sidewalks are very bike friendly. You also can take it off road and bike through some of our beautiful parks and trails.
One of my favorite bike rides is on the beach, from Bay St. Louis to Waveland to Claremont Harbor. There’s so much history along this route, and the bike and walking path offers miles of beautiful scenery.
3) HIKE THE NATIONAL SEASHORE
A hike through any of our local parks and nature trails can be educational for you and your companions. My favorite trail to hike is at the National Seashore in Ocean Springs, which offers miles of trails and lots of beautiful scenery.
4) BEACH YOGA
We have several places that offer sunrise and sunset yoga. Find one, grab your mat and take it to the beach — the perfect place to get grounded and take in some amazing views.
5) PADDLE BOARDING
This is truly one of my favorite activities. You can see so much on a paddleboard here — wildlife, historic landmarks and beautiful scenery. The Gulf Coast is the perfect place to put your board in and go. One option is the Pascagoula River Blueway, the longest free-flowing waterway in the nation, or take a leisurely paddle along our shores.
6) PADDLEBOARD YOGA
This has become increasingly popular, and I know why. It’s the perfect combination of fitness, stretching and sightseeing. Ocean Springs has some ideal waterways to try it, and some great classes are available locally — even some at Deer Island.
I have so enjoyed getting in the kayak and exploring our rivers and bayous, the Back Bay and the Mississippi Sound. Many vendors along the coast offer kayak rentals; they are not very expensive and make for a great family activity.
8) KITE BOARDING
This one is on my bucket list, and I’m hoping to learn how to do it this summer. Kite boarding is one of the fastest-growing water sports, especially along the Coast. You see them when you drive along the beach; they go airborne, sometimes up to 50 feet above the water, and I so want to do that! Talk about a serious workout!
We have some great waterways to sail here, and some great yacht clubs across our Coast filled with sailors young and old. Sailing can be a physical sport, and it’s bountiful in our area. I love driving down the beach and catching a regatta out on the Mississippi Sound. If this activity interests you, you can find sailing lessons, from beginner to advanced, at several locations. It gets you out on the water and is a great workout at the same time.
10) EXPLORE AN ISLAND
Grab the kids and go coastal! Several nearby islands are accessible by boat and offer swimming, hiking, fishing and the perfect adventurous getaway. I have taken an educational schooner trip to Horn Island for some swimming, shelling and hiking, and the scenery looks like the Caribbean past the barrier islands.
11) FIND A POOL, JUMP IN AND SWIM
Swimming is one of the best ways to get exercise, and your body will thank you. Here we can swim year round, thanks to the several indoor pools along the Coast. Get your swim on!
12) GREEN HOUR (FROM MGCCC ESTUARINE EDUCATIONAL CENTER IN GAUTIER)
I definitely will take a walk on the quiet side and see what all the buzz is about; I love this concept! Green Hour promotes the outdoors as a way to experience positive health effects like maintained focus and reduced stress levels. The goal is to work up to 60 minutes a day of being active, and what a perfect setting for this.
We live and work in an ideal location, so gather the entire family and take advantage of the fun activities we have available in our own backyard. Get out with your family this summer and enjoy all the Coast has to offer!
Brandt is an executive host with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, as well as co-author of the Amazon best-seller “The Struggle is Real: Finally Break the Dieting Cycle, Transform Your Mind and Body, and Evolve into The Person You Have Always Wanted to Be” and the “30-Day Evolve Challenge Journal.” Contact her at email@example.com, Facebook/ The Struggle Is Real or Instagram at karolbrandtnola.