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Top Free Things To Do

9 of the Best Free Things to Do This Summer in Flagler County

kites on flagler beachNamed by Budget Travel as one of America’s coolest small towns, Flagler Beach and the surrounding area is a popular spot for summer vacationers each year. And the best part is some of the top things to do in Flagler County cost very little or even nothing at all. From hitting the beach to visiting local museums, here are nine of the top free things to do this summer in Palm  Coast and the Flagler Beaches.

1. Hit the beach. Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Easily the most popular spot during the summer is the 19-mile stretch of pristine beaches that are free and open to the public. Lots of activities are available along the beach; you can go surfing, build a sand castle or fish from the iconic Flagler Beach Pier. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles that inhabit the area. Additionally, Flagler Beach doesn’t discriminate against your four-legged family members. It has some of the most dog-friendly beaches in Florida.

Check out common beach FAQs here.

sea turtles on flagler beach2. Witness a sea turtle nest hatching. Early May to the end of October is sea turtle nesting season in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches, and it’s possible to see one of the five different species of sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs during that time if you’re lucky. During nesting season, look out for signs along the beach put there by the Flagler Turtle Patrol protecting the nests. Flagler Turtle Patrol is a local nonprofit organization that also gives curious travelers the ability to monitor its Facebook page to check for scheduled turtle nest cleaning (hatching) so you might be able to witness this amazing, natural occurrence as dozens of baby turtles make their journey to the sea from their beach nests.

Learn more about sea turtle season here.

3. Spend time with your four-legged friend in Flagler County. As mentioned before, Flagler Beach is among the best dog-friendly beaches in the country, but the beach isn’t the only thing you can do with your pet in Flagler County. Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches are home to dozens of dog-friendly hotels and oceanfront restaurants with outdoor patios overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and multiple trails in several nature parks (many with free or low cost entry) in the area are also open to pets to explore and play with their owners. 

Read more about some of the top things you can do with your pets in Flagler County here.

biking in flagler county4. Go biking. A fantastic (and free!) way to get up close with the best nature and scenic sights that Flagler Beach area has to offer is by bike. Bring along your bikes and tackle some of the routes (125 miles in total) from different levels and scenery. One popular route is the A1A Scenic Highway that stretches for 72 miles along the coast, going past various cafes, restaurants and bars in Flagler County. It runs parallel to the beach, making it easy to make quick rest stops. Serious cyclists may want to consider joining the A1A Byway Spoonbills & Sprocket, a large group ride through the route before stopping to celebrate with beers, burgers and barbeque.

For a quieter nature view, the Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve is 217-acre wide marshland with a bike trail running through it. Another option: History buffs may want to trek through Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park to explore a defunct sugar and molasses mill before embarking on a wilderness trail through towering magnolias and oak trees.

5. Try fishing. Pack your fishing gear head over to the historic Flagler Beach Municipal Pier for an afternoon of fishing. With a small admission fee, you can explore the 806-foot pier built in 1928 and find a spot along the pier to drop a line. If you don’t own your own fishing rod, supplies can be rented at the bait shop that sits at the front of the pier for a low cost.

6. Cruise the A1A Scenic Byway. The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway is 72 miles of gorgeous beach views bypassing cafes, restaurants and shops. In Flagler County, the byway travels along a strip of land where drivers can see gorgeous water views. The byway leads to neighboring coastal destinations like St. Augustine and passes through nature parks and by attractions like Gamble Rogers State Park, Varn Park and Marineland Dolphin Adventure. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in Florida, and makes for a fun road trip option.

shopping in palm coast7. Stroll through art galleries and unique shops. Check out the local art scene by hitting some of the independent galleries in the region. The Ocean Art Gallery in Flagler Beach, for example, features both local and international artists. Among the art pieces for sale at the gallery are acrylic paintings, scratchboard, woodburn, hand-blown glass and sculpture.

Another popular destination to get your art fix is Baliker Gallery in Palm Coast for sculpture, bronze and wood art. The gallery features the works of Paul Baliker, a well-known sculptor who uses his studio to showcase his larger-than-life pieces.

Flagler County is also home to a number of one-of-a-kind shops for affordable and unique finds like shark tooth necklaces, ukuleles, taxidermy alligator heads, and mugs with Flagler Beach logos on them. It doesn’t cost anything to look!

8. Visit the Flagler Beach Historical Museum. Learn about the area’s rich history at the Flagler Beach Historical Museum, where prehistoric bones are on display along with space artifacts, making it one of the most unique collections in the state. Other exhibits to look for are Native American artifacts, historic photographs and artwork. When visiting the museum, you can ask for a personal tour through the premise and learn about each of the unique finds from the area. The museum is open seven days a week and admission is free.

9. Attend a local event. During weekends and some weekdays, the Palm Coast area is always rocking with summer events and festivals. The wide range of exciting events include the Palm Coast International Festival, Moon Rise at the Beach (a nighttime tour along the beach), Movies in the Park, Crabbing Basics (training to learn how to catch crabs) and a series of 5K races for local charities.

Whether you’re traveling with friends or with family, the Flagler Beach area has plenty of year-round events to pique your interests. Keep yourself updated with upcoming events and deals, download the Flagler Stay Play Eat app. Armed with this feature, you will be ready to take on the town.