Art galleries, beaches, history and family fun all at Palm Coast Flagler Beach

Palm Coast and Flagler Beach Attractions and Things to See and Do

Riding the two-lane A1A scenic coastal byway through Flagler Beach is a trip back to the Florida of the 1950s, before overbuilding obscured the views. Family owned restaurants and motels line the road, and the beach beckons yards away. There's even a fishing pier. The town of Flagler Beach and Palm Coast sit midway between historic St. Augustine and revved up high octane Daytona. It's still quiet, but the area offers plenty to do when you leave the beach.

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Intracoastal Waters

The Intracoastal Waterway affords visitors experiences that makes a visit to Florida unique. A navigable route along its entire length of Florida, the Intracoastal provides the joys of water without the hazards of the ocean. It's home to a plethora of marine life, including dolphins who find it an agreeable habitat.

Visitors can rent everything from kayaks to yachts to enjoy the waterway. One of the highlights for me was the kayak tour of the estuary (complete with dolphin sighting) offered by Ripple Effect Eco Tours. You can also rent kayaks at several locations including Tropical Kayaks.

Trails and Preserves

The towns of Flagler and Palm Coast are justifiably proud of the extensive system of trails and preserves. Washington Oaks Garden State Park offers the Bella Vista Trail System running 1.7 miles. Meander along the marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway over nearly 2 miles including a boardwalk section at Betty Steflik Preserve Trail. Of course, the Florida Agricultural Museum offers 20 miles winding through forests and along the creek. The Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area offers nature trails as part of the 145-acre park that spans Intracoastal to ocean (there's also campsites). Enjoy 16 miles of trails in the beautiful waterside Princess Place Preserve. Birders have their Great Florida Birding Trail at St. Joe Walkway and Linear Park (which also has a handicap accessible trail. Visit and Discover Palm Coast for more information

Florida Agricultural Museum

This was probably one of my favorite experiences. After too many visits to south Florida I began to believe that Florida had no real history at all. But the real story of Florida can be found here at the Florida Agricultural Museum with farms, Cracker horses, and Cracker cattle. You'll be fascinated.

The Arts

The towns offer galleries and shops, but definitely stop in at the Baliker Gallery. You can watch him at work, or enjoy a look at some of his (and others) huge and beautifully created pieces in bronze as well as cedar.

Flagler Playhouse offers the county's only community theater and is generally open September through end of April. The Flagler Auditorium is a performance arts center in Palm Coast.

Resorts and Lodging

Oceanshore Blvd in Flagler Beach offers beachside motels and inns. Palm Coast Villas, although not on the ocean, is a historic coquina motel. There are vacation rental properties and several lodging in several nation-wide chains. But for real luxury try the Hammock Beach Resort, with villa and condominium accommodations overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There's a 91,000 square-foot multi-level water park with lazy river, signature golf courses and a spa. Plus plenty of on-site dining. This is truly a destination resort.


Because Flagler Beach is still very much Old Florida there are plenty of fun and local places to eat. High Tides, a/k/a Snack Jack has been offering great food since 1947. The Flagler Fish Company is a restaurant and market so you can pick out your fish for cooking.

Don't miss the great BBQ at Captain's BBQ at Bing's Landing. Save room for their ohmygosh delicious New York Cheesecake. My sole regret is that I couldn't take home a whole cake. While you're there, explore the adjoining and free Mala Compra Plantation that tells the story of the Hernandez plantation through the archeological displays.

Stop by Sally's in Flagler Beach for the ice cream - a great way to end the day (or celebrate the middle of the day)

Getting to Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches

You can get to Palm Coast and the Flagler beaches by flying into either Jacksonville or Orlando. If you choose not to rent a car at the airport, an excellent alternative is Palm Coast Transportation Services - it is a limousine service that stresses great service.

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Neala McCarten

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author

Updated: October 29, 2016

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