With the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches has plenty of Instagram-worthy spots for you to check out. But if you go beyond the beach, you’ll discover the area is filled with a rich history and picturesque parks. Have your camera ready to create memories to share with family and friends. Here are the top historic and Insta-worthy sites in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
The ruins of a sugar mill create a striking setting for a photoshoot. At Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park you can wander around a former plantation dating to the early 1800s. Arched entryways, tall coquina rock walls and crumbling foundations remain surrounded by mature oak and palm trees. Owned by the Bulow family, the plantation was the largest in East Florida and the largest sugar mill in the state. Sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo were grown here. You can read accounts about life at the Bulow Plantation and see artifacts from the era at the outdoor museum. One notable guest was naturalist John James Audubon, who was hosted by the family while studying American birds. A fire destroyed the plantation during the Seminole War of 1836. In addition to the ruins, the state park has 150 acres to explore.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Whether it’s the crashing waves of the Atlantic you’re looking to capture or the gentle flow of the Matanzas River, visit Washington Oaks Gardens State Park to experience both. Set between the two bodies of water, the park is brimming with Instagram-worthy spots. Take a selfie in front of fragrant roses in the 20-acre Formal Garden, or snap photos of the birds of paradise and other colorful and exotic plants. A giant live oak tree estimated to be 200 to 300 years old creates a dreamy spot for pictures. The coquina rock formations on the Atlantic side are a must-see, along with tidal pools and the river’s tidal marshes. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, so you’ll have excellent photography opportunities, especially during the migratory seasons. The park is named after former president George Washington— the former owner was a distant relative.
Princess Place Preserve
Take a seat in a rocking chair on the porch of the preserved 1880s hunting lodge and picture yourself as royalty at Princess Place Preserve. You’ll be treated to a stately and serene view that will melt away any stress. The 1,500-acre preserve is located at the confluence of three rivers in Flager County. It was indeed the home of a princess. Originally purchased by Henry Cutting in 1886, the land was passed on to his widow, Angela Mills Cutting Worden. She later remarried an exiled Russian prince and assumed the title of princess. In addition to the abundance of natural beauty, have your photo taken at two unique Florida landmarks: The lodge at the preserve is the oldest intact structure in Flagler County, and the in-ground swimming pool was the first in the state.
Old Brick Road
It’s an unexpected sight in the middle of Florida: a long brick road. Part of the original Dixie Highway that ran from St. Augustine to Volusia County, the 9-foot wide road is lined entirely with vitrified bricks. It was constructed in 1914 as part of a major route along the East Coast of the United States that extended from Florida City all the way to Ontario, Canada. The Old Brick Road also predates Flagler County, which was established in 1917. Once the New Dixie Highway (known as U.S. 1) opened in December 1927, the original road lost much of its traffic. Today a stroll along the Old Brick Road feels like a trip back in time, as the road has changed very little since it was constructed. Take a closer look and you can still see the name of the Birmingham, Alabama, manufacturer on the bricks. Strike a pose in the middle of the road since traffic is infrequent. You can drive on the Old Brick Road; just be prepared for a bumpy ride!
Flagler Beach Historical Museum
From the Stone Age to the Space Age, the past comes alive at the Flagler Beach Historical Museum. Take a break from the Florida heat and see the sights of Flagler Beach as they were decades ago. See what life was like in centuries past and beyond with pottery, arrowheads and prehistoric bones displayed at the museum that are native to the region. The museum also offers the chance to get up close to a Flagler Beach city flag that traveled into space on board the shuttle Endeavour. Bonus tip: The museum’s knowledgeable docents can give you the inside scoop on more Instagram-worthy local sites.
Flagler County Historic Bus Tour
You want to see it all, but where to start? Luckily the Flagler County Historic Bus Tour can guide you. Hop onboard and you’ll be taken to the must-see places in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. Led by a local historian, the tour takes you on a 100-mile journey to the area’s most unforgettable and lesser-known sites. When you don’t have to do the driving, you’ll be able to enjoy more views—or get a jump-start on sharing your photos on social media. The bus tour includes a stop for lunch at Bull Creek Fish Camp restaurant, which serves delicious and photo-worthy Southern fare with lake views. If you are hoping to snap a picture of an alligator during your visit, this is the place to do it.
We can’t wait to see what you think are the most Insta-worthy sites in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. Share your pictures with hashtag #VisitFlagler.