It isn't long after arriving in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches for the first time that many start to wonder why they haven't spent more time in this wonderful Florida destination.
When summer turns to fall, and the temperatures start to fall up North, and the southern parts of Florida begin to get crowded, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches shine as an amazing place for seasonal snowbirds to spend part or all of their winter.
Beautiful Weather Year-Round and Beaches
A common phrase that Florida residents hear is: 'How do you handle the heat?' In truth, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is relatively temperate year-round because it's in the northern part of Florida and close to the Atlantic Ocean. There is a chill in the air in the late winter months but rarely gets near freezing, let alone snow.
Whether you find your spot downtown by the pier in Flagler Beach or further north near Jungle Hut or Marineland, there are plenty of beaches to stick your toes in the sand and live that salt life you didn't know you're missing.
Birding and Nature Trails
With more than 100 miles of trails, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is a nature lover's dream especially because so many of the trails are easily accessible, and the area is far away from the hustle and bustle of larger Florida cities without being too remote for comfort.
Six of the trails are listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Check out Princess Place Preserve, which features a massive bald eagle nest. Or you can visit Waterfront Park that has a beautiful linear path along the Intracoastal Waterway. It's a quiet retreat where you can admire nature as well as boats passing by. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional playful manatee that usually makes an appearance. And Washington Oaks Gardens State Park has almost 2 miles of some of the most gorgeous trails Florida has to offer. Look to the tree line and you'll spot one of the over 100 species of birds both migratory and indigenous that call the park home.
Unique Florida Eco Adventures
Thanks to the area's miles and miles of coastline and the Intracoastal running through town, you have plenty of opportunities for an aquatic adventure on a boat or kayak. Everything is customizable to your skill and comfort level out on the water, so you don't have to worry about being out of your depth. And as you spend more time in Flagler, you'll love all the exciting and more challenging adventures ahead!
With plenty of salt and freshwater areas, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is also a fishing paradise. Start your morning at the Flagler Beach Pier and you're likely reel in a few good catches. Or head over to Bing's Landing in the Hammock area and grab a boat rental, some bait and spend a day relaxing in nature.
Hit the Links
Located halfway between the headquarters of the PGA and the LPGA, Palm Coast is a golf lover's dream! The area has courses of all shapes, sizes and skill levels designed by golfing legends like Tom Watson, Jack Nicklas, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and others.
If golf isn't your game, pickleball is a fast-growing game among all ages; it's a mashup of tennis, badminton and table tennis with a hint of wiffle ball. Palm Coast offers a free program for pickleball at Belle Terre Park tennis courts, and more courts and programs are popping up all the time. Or you can enjoy a good tennis match at one of the many well-maintained courts.
Enjoy World-Class Restaurants
All this action is sure to whip up an appetite! Thankfully, a great bite to eat is just a short drive away.
Enjoy fresh Italian and Greek food, as well as fantastic views of the sea, at Oceanside Beach Bar & Grill. This restaurant serves favorites like pizza, Greek spaghetti and flaming cheese. Or feast on delicious seafood from JT's Seafood Shack, which has a fun, locally inspired menu and is a great place to relax, listen to live music and karaoke and unwind after an exciting day.
For a taste of the East, Mamaling has an eclectic menu of Asian street food that includes adobo pork steam buns, pad thai, lemongrass coconut curry and more delicacies. Owner Hung Huynh won Bravo's Top Chef in 2007 and has been featured in numerous Food Network appearances, so you know his food is the best.
Farmers Market Finds
Prefer cooking your own gourmet meal? Explore the diverse farmers market; you never know what you may find.
Start at Flagler Beach Farmers Market where you can shop for anything, from produce to seafood to freshly baked bread. The soothing, familiar sounds of a steel drum playing in the background melding with the faint crashing of the waves on the nearby beach add to the experience.
Or head to European Village, which has plenty of specialty shops and restaurants every day of the week but really shines when its farmers market is in session. These vendors can be a little more artisanal than your typical market, with plenty of beautiful handcrafted items that complement the high-end wares like oils, chocolates and small-batch roasted coffee.
You also can't miss the Salt Air Farmers Market in Marineland. It's a unique experience with vendors selling everything, from wood-fired pizza and hot sauce to local honey and organic produce. Because shopping in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches can be an adventure all on its own.