Are you planning a trip to northeast Florida? Flagler beach is a hidden gem! Just south of Jacksonville and St. Augustine, and north of Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach offers a seaside hometown charm, without the high rises and multitudes of condominiums that tower over Daytona Beach.
Flagler beach, in Flagler county, is named after the railroad developer and oil mogul Henry Flagler. Flagler beach sits between Florida state road A1A and the intercoastal waterway. It is a beautiful and calm seaside community featuring incredible beaches, excellent fishing, and plenty of dining with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Notably much less developed than its neighboring cities Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Flagler beaches are the place to be if you’re looking to skip the crowds and enjoy the beautiful orange hued beaches. The color is from coquina shells.
Don’t get me wrong: Flagler beach may not have as much spring breakers as Daytona does, but it’s still an incredibly fun and funky seaside town! You won’t run out of quirky burger and taco joints and ice cream parlors.
Budget Travel magazine contained Flagler beach as a finalist in a contest for the “Coolest Small Town”. And that’s not flagler beach’s only feature. In the December 2012 issue of Where To Retire, Flagler beach was ranked as one of Florida’s top retirement destinations.
1. Flagler Beach Fishing Pier￼
For only $1.50 per person, you can take a walk on the Flagler beach pier. If you’ve never been on a pier at the beach, you are missing out on a spectacular experience. The Pacific Northwest coastline does have boardwalks and fishing piers, but they’re almost always on a bay. It’s an exciting thing to be on the southeast coast and be able to go on one of these grand ocean fishing piers.
Sit down and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean views from the pier, bring a picnic or a snack. Benches line the perimeter of the pier. Watch the fishermen in action, or join in on the fun and do some fishing yourself. Observe the surfers hanging ten, and maybe even spot a dolphin.
2. The Funky Pelican
That brings me to #2 on our list: have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Funky Pelican! Conveniently located…right at the Flagler beach fishing pier. The theme here is casual ocean front dining, featuring seafood, American and Caribbean cuisines. If you want a dining experience on the east side of the Florida road A1A in Flagler beach, this is one of the best spots.
Too hot? Dine inside. However I’d recommend the outdoor patio tables for an extra treat: delicious food with a glorious view of the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area￼
Between the intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean sits the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park. Enjoy sunbathing, kayaking, swimming, and coastal camping. Once you’re done at the beach, take a canoe down the intracoastal waterway to one of the small islands.
This recreation area is a safe haven for sea turtles, and between the months of May and October the sea turtles are part of the wildlife you can observe. Just be careful not to disturb the sea turtles by limiting lights and flash photography at night, filling holes in the sand and making it level, and never disturbing a sea turtle nest.
Pass the large parking lot, and you’ll find a quaint park that includes a playground, tennis courts, a dog park, and a playing field. Restrooms and shower facilities are conveniently located at the parking.
4. High Tides at Snack Jack
Flagler beach is known for its quirky coastal hometown feel. And there’s no shortage of adorable shops to eat at. High Tides at Snack Jack sits East of the A1A, allowing for dining right on the Atlantic Ocean.
This cute restaurant has been a flagler beach favorite since 1947. High Tides at Snack Jack features plenty of fresh seafood as well as American, vegetarian, and vegan selections. Ocean views, fresh seafood, and friendly faces; what more could you want from a restaurant?
5. Flagler Beach!
Finally, #5 on our list is Flagler beach itself. The crushed coquina shells create a golden orange shade to the sand, and the turquoise water is simply stunning. The beaches are far less crowded than Daytona, so you don’t have to worry about being shoulder to shoulder.
Go swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, or boogie boarding. Build a sand castle! Bring a picnic. Observe the towering pier while sunbathing. Flagler beach is a picturesque and charming coastal town, and just a dream come true.