By NATE THOMPSON
If you’re cooped up inside during the summer months with nothing to do, it’s your own fault.
There’s dozens of spring and summertime athletic activities in West Michigan that will keep the pulse racing and burn a few unwanted calories. Or at least take full advantage of the pristine beaches, waterways and great landscapes that the area offers with these top 5 activities:
1. Golfing galore
Golfers can be extremely picky in the area, because there are plenty of courses to choose from. The most popular public course options are: Grand Haven Golf Club in Grand Haven, Pigeon Creek Golf Course in West Olive, Terra Verde Golf Course in Nunica, Evergreen Golf Course in Grand Haven, Fruitport Golf Club in Fruitport, and Oakridge Golf Club in Muskegon.
2. Life is a beach
The Grand Haven City Beach and Grand Haven State Park beaches provide a plethora of activities for the entire family. Beach volleyball is a popular option, but an open court is tough to find on summer nights when recreation matches are played through the Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority. On the water, skimboarding and paddle boarding are fun pastimes for the kids, while adults prefer kayaking, but only when the whitecaps aren’t present on Lake Michigan, Spring Lake or Pigeon Lake.
3. Get the legs moving
There are several road races offered throughout the area, and three of the major events that draw hundreds of runners in 5K and 10K competitions are the Tri-Cities Family YMCA Kick-Off to Summer Run on May 25, the Patriot’s Day Run at Grand Haven High School on June 29, and the Tri-Cities Family YMCA Coast Guard Run on July 27. Another popular test of endurance is the Grand Haven Triathlon, which is on July 7.
4. Set sail
The Grand River Sailing Club is enthusiastic about getting newcomers interested in sailing. To experience the sport on Lake Michigan or to catch a regatta during its summer series, call the club at 616-837-6896.
5. Fun in the park
For families, maybe the best option is to visit a local park, where there’s plenty of space to play catch, tag or just let the kids burn some energy. Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg features a playground, basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields and a baseball/softball diamond. Many of the same attractions are found at Hofma and Mercury Parks in Grand Haven Township, and Rycenga Park in Spring Lake Township. For hiking on the sand dunes or for a venture to the beach, check out Rosy Mound Natural Area in Grand Haven, Kirk Park in West Olive, North Beach Park in Ferrysburg, or PJ Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon.