You love sand and surf, but the thought of lying on a towel for hours makes you twitch. Good thing the Gulf has plenty of outdoor activities to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie.
In Panama City Beach, Florida, divers appreciate the numerous wrecks—including a large British tanker—that earned the area its reputation as the Wreck Capital of the South. Check out octopus, grouper, and schools of baitfish, and save time for dry-land exploration at the Man in the Sea Museum, the only deep-water diving museum in the country.
Kiteboarding is also a big deal on the Gulf. Thanks to its calm waters and consistent winds, it’s the perfect place for thrill-seekers to zip across the water on a board while a power kite pulls them along. Kiteboarding companies all over the Gulf will help with lessons and launches (the toughest part of the sport).
If stand-up paddleboarding is more your thing, you’re in good company. YOLO, one of the pioneers of the sport, is headquartered in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and offers lessons for all levels in nearby Sandestin. You can even take a yoga class on your paddleboard, if you’re so inclined.
In Pascagoula, Mississippi, bike the town’s historic ten-mile trail , a scenic loop that follows the waterline. The second Saturday of each month, join the Singing River Cyclists on their ride from Anchor Square downtown to LaPointe Krebs, where you’ll celebrate the ride’s completion with beignets.