Now that the busy holiday season is over, it’s time for relaxation and self-care. The new year is the perfect time to rediscover your true self, and there’s no better place to do this than in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. With Mother Nature as the main attraction to this coastal oasis, Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches’ scenic parks and 19 miles of beautiful beaches will let you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Stay true to your nature and start planning a soul-satisfying vacation to Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches today. Here are the top ways you can refresh, recharge and #StayTrue.

Relax and Reflect at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Set in an idyllic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a top destination if you’re looking to reconnect with nature and yourself. The formal gardens are a must-see, with a mix of native and exotic plants including birds-of-paradise, azaleas and fragrant roses. Pack a picnic and relax under one of the giant live oak trees. If you wander a little farther, you’ll find trails that lead to the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River. The park is famous for its unique coquina rock formations and tide pools on the Atlantic side. Reflect at this picturesque place as you take in the sights and sounds around you. You can explore Washington Oaks Gardens State Park by foot or by bike and fish in both the river and ocean.

Make Yourself at Home at Princess Place Preserve

As you sway back and forth in a rocking chair on the porch, let the peaceful water views at Princess Place Preserve help you unwind. Located where the Matanzas River comes together with Pellicer Creek and Moody Creek, this 1,500-acre preserve has a unique history. It was purchased by Henry Cutting in 1886 and then passed on to his widow, who later married an exiled Russian prince. The original lodge still stands and is the oldest intact structure in Flagler County. Princess Place Preserve also has the distinction of having Florida’s first in-ground swimming pool. You’ll enjoy hiking, biking, paddling, camping and fishing in the salt marshes, and the preserve also has miles of horseback riding trails and an equestrian campsite. New in 2019 are three eco-cottages that can be booked for a minimum two-night stay. The 1,000-sq.-ft., two bedroom cottages are climate controlled and have kitchens, screened porches and outdoor fire pits. If you need to “connect,” the preserve does have Wi-Fi.

Explore Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreational Area

Your soul-satisfying getaway continues at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreational Area. The 145-acre park is another place in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches that has the best of both worlds—the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the Intracoastal Waterway to the other. With these prime waterfront locations, Gamble Rogers is a beautiful site for camping and RVs, though the area offers more than a place for you to lodge. Hike, picnic, fish or go bird-watching. Explore the park by bike or by boat; bicycles, kayaks and canoes are available for rent. Hit the water and sign up for guided kayak tours of the salt marsh. The park also hosts plenty of family-friendly programs throughout the year including Gamble Jam, acoustic jam sessions held every second and fourth Saturday of the month, and Turtle Talks, where you’ll learn about sea turtles' life cycle as well as their habitat, behavior and the important role they play.

Unwind in Flagler Beach

No visit to Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is complete without a trip to the beach. What better way to relax than by watching the waves and listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean? From the enchanting sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean to an exquisite dinner with a view, you’ll fall in love with everything Flagler Beach has to offer. Collect shells with the family, build sandcastles with the kids or relax with a beach read.  When it’s time to eat, try some of the area’s delicious seafood restaurants. You can also unwind as you cast a line from the Flagler Municipal Pier, or take a seat and enjoy the panorama as you spot birds soaring above. In addition to birds, keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and crabs. You may even be able to spot right whales, which migrate to the area from December through March.

Find Your Zen with Meditation Mama Yoga

Mamas, papas and yogis of all experience levels are invited to find Zen on the beach with Meditation Mama Yoga. The mobile yoga studio hosts hour-long yoga classes just steps from the surf every Saturday at 8 a.m. The class ends with an extended Savasana that includes a soothing chilled lemongrass essential oilcloth. Classes are held at Old Salt Park, off 16th Road in Palm Coast and cost $10. Bring a mat, towel and water and get ready to find your inner peace.

Feeling inspired just thinking about getting away to Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches? Click here for resources to help plan your vacation, and here is more on where to stay and things to do. Share how you stay connected to yourself and nature in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches by using #StayTrue on social media.