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4 Reasons to Visit Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches in 2017

When people think of Florida, they think of the warm weather, gorgeous beaches and fun theme parks. But if we told you there’s an idyllic spot to experience the best of Florida’s beaches along with a dose of history and lots of unspoiled nature, would you believe us? That’s Flagler County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. If you’re planning a trip to Florida next year, you should be considering Flagler County. Why Flagler? The better question is, why not? Here are four reasons #WhyFlagler should be on the top of your vacation destinations list in 2017.

1. Updated Accommodations

Flagler is home to affordable beachside properties including Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, where comfort meets luxury. If you’ve been to the resort before, you know you get access to a private beach, a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and a fun water park with its own lazy river. But the resort recently underwent renovations on a brand new lobby and one-bedroom rentals, meaning you can see the newest updates at Hammock Beach Resort in 2017.

White Orchid Inn and Spa is another place to consider staying, this time in Flagler Beach. The rooms at White Orchid include full kitchens and private balconies, and the inn has a new and improved spa that offers a variety of services from deep tissue massage, to reflexology, to couples massages. Other services include facials, lavender wrap and Watsu (water shiatsu).

2. New Restaurants

The dining scene in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is one of the reasons people come back year after year to visit local faves like the Golden Lion Cafe and The Island Grille. But there are a few new restaurants coming on the scene in 2017 you should know about.

Swillerbee’s Craft Donuts opened in Flagler Beach in December 2016. These aren’t just your standard doughnuts; Swillerbee’s has innovative recipes like Jalapenos Sweet Cream, Bourbon Brown Sugar, Matcha Tea and more. Order coffee to go with your pastries; the roasting beans are brought in from six different countries. Take your time at Swillerbee's—it offers complimentary Wi-Fi and comfy seating. The shop opens 7 days a week from 6 am to 6pm.

My 5th Element at European Village in Palm Coast opened in September 2016, serving authentic Indian buffet cuisine including butter naan, tikka masala and lamb sag. The locally owned, casually elegant restaurant is full of white tablecloths, swanky booths and artistic paintings. Take advantage of the restaurant's outdoor dining patio to enjoy the Florida weather during lunch or dinner.

Fifth Element

Traveling with the kids? Then you cannot go wrong at Rosie’s Pizzeria & Ice Creamery in Palm Coast. The restaurant recently revealed a new menu (including new pizza concoctions like Jersey Pie and Buffalo Chicken Pizza) and dining hours (noon to 9 p.m.). Diners can try fun pizza creations like Philly Cheese Steak, BBQ Beef and Da Works (“the works,” so you can imagine what comes on it). Afterwards, order the Hershey’s ice cream that comes in many flavors like Yum Yum Bubble Gum, Birthday Batter and Orange Blossom. Classic Italian ices are also popular at Rosie’s with unusual flavors of Root Beer Float and Orange Creamsicle.

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3. New Ways to Explore the Outdoors

There’s plenty to do in Flagler beyond the beaches. The area has recently opened two new trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Hidden Lakes Community Park and Palm Coast Park US-1 will be accessible to hikers, cyclists and skaters in 2017.

Flagler Bike Run and Fun Shop

Head over to Flagler Bike Run and Fun Shop, a brand new store opened by married couple Tom Nugent and Kelli Bledsoe, where you can rent bikes for as low as $30. The shop is conveniently located by the beach across from Veterans Park, making it easy to ride along the coast and return your rental at day’s end. The shop has bikes for guests of all ages and sizes.

4. Fresh New Boutiques

Get your beachy finds at SeaCasas Unique Boutique in Flagler Beach, where you’ll find Florida-inspired items like seashell coasters, tropical pillows, locally made body scrubs and beauty products. Jewelry and accessories can also be found at the shop. Among the popular lines that the shop carries are Badash, Natural Nirvana and Devall Sculptures.

Frankie Alice’s Beachside Boutique on 2nd Street in Flagler Beach is another beachside boutique where you can stock up on cool clothing items like leather flip flops, sundresses and tote bags. They carry local vendors including BeachGypsy NSB and Katin. All clothing items in the store change each season, so you’ll find something new each visit.

Find out more about what to do in 2017 in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches here.