If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway, consider camping along the shores of Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. There are multiple campgrounds and resorts where you can wake up to the sun rising over the Atlantic, spend the day enjoying the water, and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing along the shore.
Don’t consider yourself a camper? No worries. Some of the campgrounds and resorts have cabins and other rentals that are similar to staying at a hotel. Here are four of the most popular spots for waterfront camping in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.
Flagler By the Sea Campgrounds offers a laid back beachfront camping experience. Guests rave about the family-friendly atmosphere and welcoming staff. The campgrounds are fully equipped with restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi and of course the best amenity of all: instant access to the Atlantic Ocean. How you spend your days here is up to you. From seeing the local attractions to biking on the beach and exploring the shoreline, this campground offers it all. The campground is located near hiking trails and wildlife viewing spots, as well as places to rent canoes and kayaks. You can even learn how to windsurf or take an aerial tour of the surrounding rivers and conservation areas.
Want to venture out to the city? All of the restaurants, shops and historic sites of St. Augustine are only a 30-minute drive north. After a day of exploring, finish with dinner under the stars back at the campsite. The spots with picnic tables allow you to create your own private waterfront restaurant. If you’re not in the mood to cook, order some takeout from the nearby Turtle Shack Cafe, a Flagler Beach landmark known for its fresh homemade specialties.
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area has a variety of on-site activities you’ll love. Strike up a game on the volleyball courts or explore the nature trail that winds through the park. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and paddle along the Intracoastal, or hop on a bike to explore more than 140 acres in the area. With the Atlantic Ocean only a few feet away, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to fish, swim and soak up the sun.
While the beach is a relaxing retreat any time of year, a visit during the summer offers a special treat: turtle hatching. During the warmer months, female turtles swim ashore to lay dozens of eggs in the sand. If you’re lucky, you might catch a momma turtle laying her eggs or see hundreds of baby turtles making their way back to the ocean to start their lives. Don’t worry. If you miss the annual turtle hatching, there are plenty of opportunities to spot other wildlife throughout the year so don’t forget your binoculars! The recreation area is a popular nesting spot for herons, storks and ospreys. Ever wondered how the park received its name? Gamble Rogers was a famous Floridian folk singer who passed away in 1991 while trying to save a man from drowning. The campground was renamed in honor of his memory.
One of the few RV resorts in America located on the beach, Beverly Beach Camptown offers you the chance to get back to nature while still enjoying easy access to big city amenities. Pull up to the resort, pitch a tent or park your RV along Beverly Beach Camptown’s quarter mile-plus of beachfront. With the Atlantic Ocean as your backyard, you’ll enjoy front-row views to colorful sunrises, dolphin spotting and evenings under the stars. You’ll also love to know this campground is pet-friendly, and the Beverly Beach Camptown’s convenience store is completely stocked with everything you and your four-legged friends need for a relaxing vacation, including fishing supplies, snacks and fresh coffee each morning. The campground also features two laundry facilities (complete with TVs to keep you entertained during the spin cycle) and two full-service bathhouses. You can also arrange to have groceries delivered to your campsite. If you’re looking for a less rustic experience, Beverly Beach Camptown also has cabin rentals.
The best aspect of the campground is the location. And we’re not just talking about the close proximity to the beach. There are several delicious restaurants nearby, including the new Kimos Hawaiian Food located across the street from the campground. The shops of Flagler Beach are just a quick bike ride south, and you’re also within a short drive to all the attractions in Daytona Beach and St. Augustine.
When it comes to waterfront camping in Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches, the Atlantic Ocean isn’t your only option. There are also several rivers, creeks and estuaries that make for relaxing retreats including Princess Place Preserve. This pristine and beautiful campground is the crown jewel of Flagler County’s preserves. It’s a 1,500-acre campground and historic site located at the junction of the Pellicer Creek, Moody Creek and Matanzas River. The preserve offers miles of hiking trails and unique fishing spots, including the salt marshes of Pellicer Creek. The confluence of several rivers and creeks offers plenty of paths to kayak. The grounds are especially popular with equestrians and have a special site dedicated to campers with horses.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll appreciate how the preserve received its name. Princess Place Reserve is home to Flagler County's oldest intact structure and Florida's very first in-ground swimming pool. Henry Cutting originally purchased the site in 1886. After he died the property was bequeathed to his widow, Angela Mills Cutting Worden. She eventually remarried, and her new husband happened to be an exiled Russian prince, which made Angela a real-life princess. The site was called Princess Place to reflect its owner’s royal status. You'll feel like royalty yourself relaxing on the rocking chairs that line the building’s front porch while enjoying excellent views of the Matanzas River.