Starting to plan for that long overdue beach vacation to Florida? There are lots of options, yes, but not all beaches are created equal. Here are nine reasons why Flagler’s beaches are truly the best in Florida.
1. Pets are allowed!
There are very few places in Florida where pets are welcome on the beaches. Well, they are in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. Not only are they allowed on the sand, but we also have a number of pet-friendly overnight accommodations, too. Hit the beach and let your dogs romp around at Flagler’s designated dog-friendly beach (north of N. 10th Street and south of S. 10th Street). Local restaurants nearby also allow pets on their outdoor oceanview patios as well.
2. Free beaches and parking!
Hard truth: Many Florida beaches can be difficult to access and will usually have a hefty fee to park. But here, parking is free along the public areas of Flagler Beach, so don’t worry about your parking meter racking up. You’re on island time!
3. You can surf here!
Surfing in Florida? Yes, at least in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches, where the area is home to the third best waves for surfing in the entire state. Water conditions here are near perfect with lively waves that draw surfers from across the globe. This is a destination that often hosts surfing championships, but it’s a fun spot if you’re a novice, too. Visit Z Wave Surf Shop or Flagler Board Shack to rent surfboards and get private surfing lessons from certified professionals.
4. The sea life is amazing!
Frolicking dolphins, swooping pelicans… sea life is a constant here in Florida. But there are some special times of year when the sea life is especially interesting on Flagler’s beaches. Between December and March, and you might see gorgeous right whales off the coast as they migrate to warmer waters. These whales are rare, with reportedly only 490 in existence. And between May and October, it’s possible witness the hatching of hundreds to thousands of baby sea turtles (from a safe distance)—a natural miracle that occurs in only a few places in the country. During sea turtle nesting season, The Turtle Patrol invites the public to observe any of their scheduled nest evaluations for a first-hand look at these magnificent creatures. Follow them on Facebook for scheduled nest cleanings and evaluations. When the little guys and girls hatch, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see them.
5. The beach beauty is natural!
In Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches, you can have a beach experience the way it’s supposed to be—without large condos or high rises blocking the sun. Many areas are strictly preserved and don’t allow for development, which means Flagler beaches are pure and beautiful, with gorgeous cinnamon-colored sand and natural vegetative dunes.
6. The beach weddings are so fun!
Have the wedding of your dreams by saying “I do” directly on the beach. Flagler Beach is one of the few places in Florida that permits couples to get married directly on the beach, with affordable wedding venues by the water. Best of all, these beaches are uncrowded most of the year, so you can feel as if you have the entire beach to yourself.
7. Oceanview Dining!
One of the best things about a Florida vacation is being able to dine outdoors almost any time of year. Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches have several cool restaurants with patios—two of which sit directly on the beach. Located on A1A, High Tides @ Snack Jack is a cabana-like building that faces the ocean, serving crab cakes, coconut shrimp, fried oysters, and kid-friendly dishes like a corndog-on-a-stick. The Funky Pelican is the other beachfront dining spot, located at the end of the famous Flagler Beach Pier. If it’s a creative fish dish you want, the Funky Pelican probably serves it.
8. You can camp on the beach!
Flagler Beaches are among the most popular destinations for camping, thanks to those areas where campers are permitted to pitch their tents directly on the sand or park their RVs overnight by A1A. There are quite a few campsites to choose from (many are for RVs), where campers have access to electric hook ups, washrooms and are within walking distance to hiking trails. If you’re camping along A1A, you’ll also have seafood restaurants, and shops for bait and tackle at your convenience.
9. You can get cozy with a beach bonfire!
In Flagler, you’re allowed to build a bonfire on the beach as long they follow the local guidelines and timeframes. Permits must be obtained by the Flagler Beach Fire Department, and the bonfire must be built with specific tools to provide safety for everyone and the surrounding environment. There’s nothing quite like making s’mores as you watch the moon reflect off the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.