Get out there!

Everywhere you turn, the outdoors beckons in Hampton Roads.

The region's mild climate and flat terrain offer the perfect combination for walking, hiking and biking. And the many bodies of water that surround us, from broad rivers to narrow inlets, present a watery playground for sailing, surfing or soaking up the sun on area beaches. So find your passion and get moving.

Most of the outdoor activity happens during spring, summer and fall, but many people enjoy their consuming hobbies year-round. On warm winter days, you'll find bicyclers racing along the highways or warm-suited surfers plying the waves offshore.

Many of the beaches dot the coastline along the broad James and York rivers that bracket the Peninsula. Boaters can kayak or paddle on lakes or along the shoreline of these rivers. The rivers and bay give way to the Atlantic Ocean that abuts Virginia Beach, where surfers, swimmers and boaters enjoy the waves and salt air.

The region hosts many organized sports activities, including rugby, baseball and soccer. Golf is another popular sport, with each locality contributing to the network of courses.

Poquoson baseball fields stay busy throughout the summer, and county lakes and rivers fill up with canoes and kayaks. At The Mariners' Museum, the Noland Trail gives hikers a brisk five-mile walk.

Hampton Roads' outdoor playground is made possible by a partnership of public and private resources that take advantage of our natural resources. Every community supports a network of parks and playgrounds for picnicking and playing community sports. In Newport News, people can find parks for horseback riding and mountain biking. Hampton's nature trails offer great opportunities for studying plants and wildlife. Wherever you turn, outdoor activities keep us happy and healthy. Now explore!

• About Hampton Roads: Our communities, page 10

The story content of "Living Here: Summer Fun" was written and compiled by staff writers: David Nicholson, Kathy Van Mullekom, Lapraya McCoy, and Billy Fellin.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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