Social distancing means spending a lot of time by yourself – or too much time with your family. One of the joys of coastal living is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful natural environment. Coastal towns tend to offer many outdoor recreational opportunities. Take a break with some of the best outdoor activities you can do alone.

Go To a Farmer’s Market

Most towns that host farmer’s markets have figured out a way to do it following social distancing and other CDC guidelines for the summer of 2020. You’ll have to wear a mask and wait your turn spaced at least 6 feet away from others, but the booths and tables will likely be arranged in a new way to provide plenty of space between vendors. Everyone will try to go early to avoid a crowd, thereby creating one. Try going at the halfway point, when there might be a lull.

Walk on the Beach

Be safe by keeping an eye on the tide tables and tell your family where you’re headed. Then take a stroll on the beach. You can just walk, breathe, and let your thoughts roll by, or you can go with a mission to collect shells or driftwood (if it’s legal to do that on your beach.) Bring a small pack with a snack, water, and a towel so you can take a break and listen to the waves.

Go for a Bike Ride

Many coastal towns maintain scenic bike trails and are close to rural roads with low traffic, or up into hilly areas. Tune up your mountain bike and enjoy and invigorating, refreshing cruise out to the trails. If you must pass through areas with traffic, or along narrow, heavily shaded lanes shared with cars, wear bright or reflective clothing. Don’t forget your helmet and make sure your phone is fully charged.

Tend Your Garden

Coastal towns boast many lovely cottage gardens. Alongside the flowers, many have planted vegetable gardens to supplement their table when the market runs low on fresh items. Gardening is good exercise, too – you’ll bend, stretch and carry things, all while getting some sunlight to up your Vitamin D level (alleged to boost immunity.) Wear a hat and don’t stay in the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and enjoy the blooms and the veggies.


A lack of light pollution is one of the best features of coastal living. A great way to get some alone time outside is stargazing. Get a reclining deck chair and creep several hours after sunset for a celestial light show. Summer people can enjoy the Perseid meteor shower in mid-August, while yearlong residents can bundle up and look for the peak of the Leonids November 16-17. In 2020, the moon will have set long before the best viewing hours, after midnight until dawn. If skies are clear, it should be a good show.