Cruise along Scenic Highway A1A and you’ll eventually find yourself in what Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches’ locals affectionately refer to as “The Hammock.” The nickname is derived from the area’s ecosystem—a coastal hammock is a hardwood forest that develops on the back dunes of barrier islands. In coastal hammocks, sprawling live oaks, dripping in Spanish moss, create enchanting overhead canopies. Our own “Hammock” is no less enchanting, with plenty of eco-friendly adventures, charming roadside eateries, and accommodations that range from retro to ritzy.
Set back off the road and surrounded by towering trees, Rodie’s feels like a hidden gem—and it is. Here, breakfast is an all-day affair, with specialties like the sweet and crunchy French toast and corned beef and hash. Lunch options include the Rodie’s Foil Dog: a beef hot dog topped with spicy Key Lime barbecue sauce, jalapeno Havarti, chopped onions, and bacon, then wrapped in foil and heated. Truly a dynamite bite. Insider tip: order the homemade potato chips.
Hole-in-the-wall heaven right off A1A. JT’s Seafood Shack serves up Old Florida, one seafood platter at a time. Dine on hearty helpings of hand-breaded, golden-fried shrimp, scallops, and catfish, accompanied with sides like hot hush puppies and coleslaw. The tin-roof restaurant’s ambiance is, like its food, down to earth. Just good eats and good vibes.
Casual elegance—the best kind of fusion. 386’s menu is a mélange of culinary favorites from across the country and around the globe. Tender steaks, fresh seafood, and southern comfort foods like shrimp and grits are prepared and plated to perfection. Enjoy upscale flavors without the pretense.
Unwind with a glass of grapes and plenty of delectable nibbles at this trendy little patio hangout in the heart of The Hammock. Locals and visitors flock to Bartlett's Gatherings and Gourmet for the stellar flatbreads, gourmet cheese boards, and wine selection. There’s also live music from Wednesday to Saturday.
Soak up the serenity as you pedal under the evergreens and around the foliage that covers the Mala Compra Greenway Trail. This 5.5-mile biking trail offers technical features that range from easy to very difficult. BYOB (bring your own bike) or rent one from a local outfitter, like Palm Coast Bicycle Trail Shop. If biking isn’t your thing, Mala Compra also boasts a 1.5-mile hiking trail.
Stumble upon Bay Drive Park and you’ll feel like you’ve found buried treasure. The beachfront park has an elaborate dune walkover, including a two-story (ADA accessible) platform for breathtaking views. Other amenities include a bocce ball court, horseshoe pit and a walking trail. This lesser-known spot is ideal for a romantic stroll or picnic. For the ultimate experience, Lavish Honey, a luxury picnic company, will even set up a beautiful tablescape, complete with chic pillows and wicker rugs.
Marvel at nature’s wonders as you paddle your kayak through the Matanzas River. Join Ripple Effect Ecotours for a guided two-hour journey, spotting dolphins, fish, birds, and other wildlife along the way. Morning and sunset tours are available.
A first-class experience awaits at this beachside resort. Accommodations range from one-bedroom suites to luxurious three-bedroom villas to a boutique-style hotel. Many of the rooms offer views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. If lounging on a stretch of warm sand isn’t your thing, then the resort’s pool complex just might be. Families can float down the lazy river, while couples enjoy a quiet dip in the adult pool. Onsite dining options include a sushi restaurant, an Italian chophouse, and a sports pub.
For nearly a century, this little inn, with its iconic coquina rock exterior, has lured in weary travelers off A1A. Palm Coast Villas was built in 1930 and today features fourteen historic rooms and 20 modern villas and suites, complete with kitchenettes. On-site amenities include hammocks, a pool, complimentary bicycles and more. Live out your Golden Age movie fantasy at this picturesque spot.