32136: Relax & Be Lazy
Flagler Beach is an old school beach town where you can be lazy…and also features some pretty crazy local characters. This Squishy Lemons destination is one of my favorites, and this guide will give you the valuable beta I learned while living there.
Where Is Flagler Beach, FL?
Drive about 30 minutes North of Daytona Beach, or 45 minutes South of St. Augustine, and you will find a stretch of sand that will hopefully stay as un-noticed as it has since Henry Flagler built a railroad through the State. It’s what I’ve always pictured an ideal beach town to be. Where you can take a walk on the beach or pier, surf, grab some amazing seafood, and fly a kite over A1A. All without anyone trying to sell you anything or feeling like a tourist.
Flagler Beach is sort of split into three sections…North Flager (North of 100), and South Flagler (South of 100), plus a small section West of the Intracoastal. The approach from the west on US 100 offers a wonderful view as you head over the Intracoastal Bridge. I, like the majority, was a south sider. The the lawns are a bit more unkept, plus I found the rent to be a little cheaper.
The Best of Flagler Beach
48 Hour Travel Guide by Squishy Lemons
This is my personal recommendations of lodging, food, and entertainment options. A two day stay is enough to take in the best, but staying longer means you can take it slow…which I’m all about.
Flagler Beach Accommodations
Hotel. I always put my friends and family up in the Si Como No Inn. Which I’m told is the ‘Sure Why Not Inn’. It’s quaint, charming, and the owners are most helpful. It also has something not many other hotels can offer…direct access to the Intracoastal with paddle boards and kayaks for rent. Plus, it’s just a short walk to the beach as well. Rooms aren’t huge, bunk beds are common here, but there are plenty of spots to relax outside as well.
You may also try Air BnB. There are often some good options there as well. If you want the more traditional hotel, there is a Holiday Inn about 7 minutes away…although not in Flagler, and you will need a car to get to the beach.
Flagler Beach Attractions
Flagler Beach Restaurants
Flagler Beach is a morning town. Meaning, there are plenty of breakfast-only related restaurants and of course the beach side sunrise over the Atlantic. Although there aren’t really any bad options for breakfast, these are my favorites.
Friends cafe is probably a top pick for diner style eating and has a good menu and a great staff.
My favorite was Cafe by the Sea, it offers the morning sea view and serves decent enough coffee. Ask for anything custom and they will do their best, I recommend the Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissant with a fruit dish. It’s not going to knock your socks off, but it’s also hardly ever crowded as it only seats about 15.
After you’ve filled up on breakfast, take a trip to the beach. One of my favorite things about Flager Beach is that you never know what might have washed up on the beach. You’re likely to encounter a metal detectorist or two. On stranger occasions, an empty illegal immigrant boat or even the rare square grouper. If nothing else, there are always crabs, fishing boats on the horizon, and small to mid sized shells largely unbroken. Flagler Beach is also a hot spot for tourtise’s laying their offspring at certain times of the year. You will notice the caution tape surrounding the hatch spots as the local nature group ensures they go undisturbed.
Beach fishing isn’t bad, but I prefer the Intracoastal or Offshore fishing. Plus, I like to get in the water. Surfing and swimming are not bad at all, there is an annual surf competition next to the pier. The sand is rather brownish with streaks of red on occasion, not fine white, but still good enough to dig your toes into.
For lunch, head to Beach Belly Bob’s. This guy can cook, and you will surely find something on his ever changing menu that you’ve never had before. All the food is good, and there is usually a rice krispy treat available as well. Sit at the counter, or outside on one of his few table tops with a sea view. It’s probably the best value for food in the city of Flagler Beach.
For lunch on day 2, head to the North side and find The Turtle Shack. Order some muscles, and a burger with an egg on top. It’s not the cheapest food in Flager, but the quality is really good. I ate here so much I got burned out on it eventually. The next stop is one for your friends.
Shopping doesn’t come into play when I pick destinations to travel to, but a trip to Jose Gaspar’s Treasure Cove is a must when visiting Flagler Beach. You can find a large selection of shells, jewelry, trinkets, alligator heads, and a lot more packed into this small local shop. The shop manager can help you find some great gifts for your friends and family that you can’t get on Amazon. Plus, it’s just a fun place to spend 15-20 minutes on a full belly.
After lunch and shopping, if taking a nap isn’t your thing, you can surf, build a sand castle or go out on the Flagler Pier. If you’ve had enough salt and sand for the day, other options may be to paddle board or kayak on the intracoastal. There is also a park with basketball and tennis courts as well as a playground for the kiddies. If you want to get in a workout, there is a nice little hidden and under-utilized trail with the typical outdoor pull up bars and situp benches. This is on the North side next to the Intracoastal.
Warn out yet? Flagler Beach is suppose a good place to be lazy, find a hammock or rest up before going out for dinner.
For dinner, there is one restaurant that stands out from the crowd. The Flagler Fish Company. You can pick out your own fish and have the staff grill, bake, or fry it just about anyway you like. I suggest asking them their recommendations as it is all good and I’ve never had a bad meal here. The sides are equally amazing as their fresh seafood.
Most tourists will head to Finn’s or Golden Lion, however, they aren’t my kind of spots as it’s a bit more crowded than the favorites from this guide. But if drinking and music are what you like when eating, I’m sure you will find them more than adequate.
The restaurants changed often the 3 years I was there, and the food options are never limited to just seafood.
The Pros and Cons
Night life is heaviest at the main intersection of A1A and 100. Too many bikers for me