MARINELAND

Grand in influence and reputation, the town of Marineland http:// www.marineland.net encompasses the marine park in the northeast corner of Flagler County on the south side of Matanzas Bay http://www.nps.gov/foma/learn/historyculture/ the_massacre.htm and little else. The U.S. Census Bureau lists the town’s total area at 0.35 square miles and estimated the population at 16 in 2020. Yet, since its beginnings in the mid-1930s as the brainchild of three entrepreneurs http://marine-land.com/founders.htm , the entertainment/science-exploration park has captured people’s imagination worldwide. Its latest incarnation, the Marine Dolphin Adventure http://www.marineland.net/ dolphin_encounters.html opened in 2006 and focuses on educating the public about marine life through interactive programs, school-group tours and a Behind the Seas Tour http:// www.marineland.net/behind_the_seas.html. Bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the west by the Matanzas River, Marineland gives residents and visitors the chance to observe marine wildlife along with the land’s inhabitants.

Things to do nearby

St. Augustine http://www.ci.st-augustine.fl.us, the nation’s oldest city, lies just to the north along A1A http://www.floridascenichighways.com/a1a-scenic-historical. To the south of Marineland is The Hammock, a stretch of coast that features historical sites, nature preserves, residential areas and communities as well as businesses. Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway http://www.funandsun.com/1tocf/boating/intracoastal.html running along the western shore offers boating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing.


 Trails for hiking and biking are also found on the island, and people can enjoy The River to Sea Preserve http:// www.flaglercounty.org/facilities.aspx?page=detail&RID=19 .
Mala Compra Plantation http:// www.flaglerlibraryfriend.com/holden/malacompra/MalaComprahistory.htm, established in the early 1800s, belonged to Joseph Menendez, the state’s first U.S. representative. Self- guided tours of the site are available. Nestled beside the historical plantation is Bing’s Landing http://www.flaglercounty.org/facilities.aspx?page=detail&RID=3 , a county park featuring boat ramps, fishing supplies, a barbecue restaurant and picnic area. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park http://www.washingtonoaks.org/ 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. In the southeastern tip of the county is Flagler Beach http://www.cityofflaglerbeach.com/ , established in the early 20th century. In addition to hotels, motels, inns and vacation rental homes, the area boasts campgrounds and a beachfront RV resort at Beverly Beach http://mybeverlybeach.org/ just north of Flagler Beach on A1A. For those who want to delve into area history, the Flagler Beach Historical Museum http://www.flaglerbeachmuseum.com/ is open seven days a week, and its collections include bones from prehistoric times down to memorabilia from the Space Age.

Schools

Old Kings Elementary School www.okesowls.com
Indian Trails Middle School www.itmsmustangs.com
Matanzas High School www.mhspirates.com

Favorite spots to eat

Captain’s BBQ www.captainsbbq.com
386 A Fusion of Fine Eating www.threeeightsix.com
Atlantic Grille at the Club at Hammock Beach www.hammockbeach.com/dine/atlantic-grille