The most obvious day-trip is to the beaches. Head for the small one between the promontories; north to San Lorenzo, with fine, soft, gently shelving sand; or, just south of town, to sandy Pizzomunno. They all go in for the grill-pan variety of sunbathing with rows and rows of sunbeds. Slightly less crowded, if you’re lucky, is the marvellous Scialmarino beach, 4.5km up the coast towards Peschici. Nicest of all is the small Baia di San Felice, squeezed between two headlands and backed by pine trees, just before you get to the Testa del Gargano, several kilometres south of town.
If you want to swim away from the crowds, consider an organized boat trip to the grotto-ridden coastline around the headland of Testa del Gargano. Boats leave for the three-hour grotto excursion from next to San Francesco church. Alternatively, you can rent your own boat for the day from Noleggio Gommoni, at the port (t347 133 9125, wmarinavieste.it).
Inland, the Gargano promontory can make a cool break from its busy coast, although there’s not much public transport, apart from the odd bus from Vieste. The tourist office in Monte Sant’Angelo, however, can help organize bike rental, jeep safari and pony-trekking, and Noleggio Gommoni rents scooters.