Preserving the laid-back feel of old Florida, Flagler Beach offers residents and visitors pet-friendly beaches with free access, surfing, boating, shopping, parks, local restaurants and musical entertainment. This seaside community of 5,500 has grown from a fishing village with its first home built in 1913 along the inland waterway to a retirement and vacation destination. Families and businesses followed.
The first settlement was known as Ocean City, but with the opening of the U.S. Post Office in 1923, the name changed to Flagler Beach, and incorporation followed in 1925. In addition to hotels, motels, inns and vacation rental homes, the area boasts campgrounds and a beachfront RV resort at Beverly Beach just north of Flagler Beach on A1A. For those who want to delve into the history of the town and Flagler County, the Flagler Beach Historical Museum is open seven days a week, and its collections include bones from prehistoric times down to memorabilia from the Space Age. The barrier island that’s home to Flagler Beach, Beverly Beach and The Hammock community to the north also preserves Mala Compra Plantation, established in the early 1800s, which belonged to Joseph Menendez, the state’s first U.S. representative. Self-guided tours of the site are available. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park preserves 425 acres of coastal scenery between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River. Its eastern boundary offers one of the largest outcroppings of coquina rock on the Atlantic shore, and formal gardens established amid the hammock showcase blooming plants. An active friends group helps support the park.