No matter what your summer agenda involves—swimming, laying on the beach, fishing, tubing, biking, hiking, shopping, dining, picnicking or strolling along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway—Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is ready to show you a good time and officially kick off an infinite summer.
Your summer vacation may have started later than expected, but you can extend beautiful beach days well into the fall this year. July through October are prime time months along the beautiful Flagler Beaches, and the area is known for good year-round weather for vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is a hidden gem for many reasons—most notably the pristine, uncrowded beaches and our laidback vibe. Located within a half-day drive or less from Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Nashville, Charlotte and other cities across the South, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches are a close respite for some fun in the sun.
When it comes to Flagler’s appeal, the 19-miles of beach and coastline are no doubt the stars of the show. The sun-kissed cinnamon sand is enhanced by the forests and streams inland, which complete the visual splendor and feature all the necessities for a summer getaway. Couple all of that with outdoor adventures, family bonding and wildlife encounters and there’s never a dull vacation day here. But, above all else, we think it’s the funky, small beach town vibe that keeps couples, families and friends coming back and staying longer.
Drawing those repeat visitors in could be some of Flagler’s unique, one-of-a-kind lodging options like White Orchid Inn and Spa that you can’t find anywhere else along the coast. The adults-only property overlooks an unspoiled stretch of beach and has a heated mineral pool and on-premise spa services. No two guest rooms are the same here. Some have covered lanais and other rooms have verandas facing the water. Equally as charming, the Si Como No Inn with nine tropical-hued guest rooms is a dream spot. It is a reminder of Old Florida and is a renovated 1947 inn with unobstructed views of the ocean. From colorful bungalows and funky murals and characters painted on every imaginable surface to a Tiki Hut gathering spot in the middle of the property, there is no place like Si Como No Inn.
Down the road, Island Cottage Oceanfront Inn, Café & Spa is another unconventional spot to chill for the weekend. White-washed walls, with enough pops of pink and teal to spark joy, this lovely little gem has eight retro rooms all appointed differently. Snag the penthouse suite with ocean views and hang out around the pool when you come in from the beach across A1A.
Although we’ve got funky alternatives to the typical beach destination lodging, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is also home to a stunning beach resort with family-friendly activities.
Hammock Beach Resort is the ultimate Florida family vacay spot and is the place you could spend an infinite summer. Drop the kids off at Kids Crew (ages 4-12) or on the lazy river and set up a #WFH office in your hotel room. You can spend mornings doing yoga on the beach or hitting the golf course. In the evenings, enjoy a night swim at the pool or delight in one of its six dining experiences. Summer can last as long as you want here.
Colorful Local Businesses
You’ll love dining at the brightly colored row of oceanside eateries—Beach Belly Bob’s Sandwich Shop, Break-Awayz at the Beach and Golden Lion Cafe are some of our favorites. There are plenty of spots to enjoy world-class views of the Atlantic Ocean while devouring seafood and frozen drinks. And the hip enclave of local art galleries and a slew of adorable boutiques and small shops along six blocks of downtown Flagler Beach are always a favorite with locals and visitors alike.
If you’d rather unplug for a while, here in Flagler Beaches, we say, “go where the Wi-Fi is weak” and get away from your devices. There are plenty of ways to disconnect in this bohemian beach town. The Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Laboratory is a remarkable place where you’ll find injured sea turtles are being released back into the wild. You can also connect with wildlife or swim with the dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure. There is no better place in Florida to get up close and personal with these exquisite animals than at the world’s first oceanarium that opened in 1938. Marineland was the first place to train dolphins, and its legacy of protection and standards for dolphin care is unparalleled.
If you’re avoiding crowds and want to get out in the water alone, leave your phone in the hotel room and explore by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. The area is chockablock with guided tours of the river and estuary. Tropical Kayaks at the Palm Coast Marina can outfit you and offer kayak rentals and guided tours throughout the Intracoastal Waterway and nearby wetlands. Ripple Effect Ecotours also has kayak rentals and tours, which are guided by master naturalists and can launch from a handful of different stunning spots. If you venture out to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, you have the option to rent a kayak or canoe and venture out to the southern end of the county.
For social distancing fun with the kids, take them horseback riding on the beach or horseback riding at the Florida Agricultural Museum (and explore the 1930s-citrus farm and a dairy barn that belonged to a former governor). You call can also fish off the Municipal Pier (they handle the fishing license for you) or swing over to the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic Park where they can wander through 150 acres that are perfect for fishing, birding, kayaking or hiking. If summer camp is canceled, then stay here a bit longer. You’ll find so many things to see and do with the little ones in Flagler Beaches—we put a list together of our 25 top suggestions.
Ready to experience the best summer vacation? Cruise down A1A and find the perfect place to spend your infinite summer in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. From the colorful, funky businesses and hotels ready to welcome you to the friendly downhome locals and laidback vibe, this is the beach vacation you deserve.