When a national magazine designates somewhere as a finalist in a best-of list, you know that place has a lot going on. In the case of Flagler Beach—a finalist in Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Town list—that’s especially true. Once hailed as a top retirement destination, Flagler Beach’s laid-back beach-chic vibe now attracts newcomers of all ages and lifestyles. And for a good reason. As you’ll see below, there is arts and culture galore, history, shopping, and ample space to soak up some of the prettiest coastlines Florida has to offer.
Flagler Beach is located in Flagler County and is part of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach metropolitan statistical area. Perfectly positioned along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Flagler Beach is almost smack dab in the middle of Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, two of the state’s most popular and frequently visited cities. Like many other cities along the east coast of the Sunshine State, the Intracoastal Waterway flows through the town, while some six miles of white, sandy shoreline await on the coast.
Suppose the “Flagler” in Flagler Beach rings a bell. In that case, you may be familiar with Henry Flagler, the railroad developer and tycoon who played a critical part in northeast Florida becoming a resort and vacation destination. However, modern-day Flagler Beach started to take shape thanks to Isaac I. Moody and J.F Lambert, a pair of businessmen who formed the Bunnell Development Company and began parsing and selling plots of land. One of those buyers, George Moody, acquired 169 acres with plans to build a beach resort.
Constructed in 1914, Moody’s was the first house built on what was then-called Ocean City Beach. Two years later, he created the Ocean City Beach Casino, a recreational center that became a popular hang-out for locals and visitors. Due to the number of Ocean City locations already in existence, the town was forced to change its name, opting to become Flagler Beach in honor of Henry Flagler and his efforts in the area. The city became incorporated in 1925, and George Moody was named the first mayor.
Children who attend public school in Flagler Beach are a part of the Flagler County School District. Because of its small size, Flagler Beach only has one public school within its city limits—Old Kings Elementary School. However, schools in nearby cities and municipalities serve public school children in Flagler Beach, including Flagler Palm Coast High School. Flagler County also has several well-regarded private schools that cater to children in all grades.
Cost of Living
In reviewing BestPlaces.net, the overall cost of living in Flagler Beach appears to be higher than the Florida and national averages. The biggest disparity is in median home cost, with that number in Flagler Beach clocking in at $389,600 and $294,900 when averaged out across Florida. On the plus side, both utilities and transportation costs are less than you can expect to pay in other parts of Florida.
Things to Do
As you might have guessed, the miles of stunning coastline in Flagler Beach steal the show here. In most places, parking at the beach is free—a nice and unexpected perk—and convenient to access. Once there, you can build sandcastles, sunbathe, hunt for seashells, surf, and swim. If all that frolicking and beach fun helps you work up an appetite, get your grub on at one of the delectable beachfront eateries up and down Flagler Beach. One of the benefits of a small beach town like Flagler Beach is that it generally provides unobstructed views of the water that many of the larger spots on the coast can’t offer—and there’s nothing better than eating fresh seafood and taking in the sights and smells of the beach.
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park has a little something for everyone in what was once a bustling sugar mill in the 1800s. In total, the grounds have 150 acres for guests to explore. Those needing some retail therapy shouldn’t miss downtown Flagler Beach and the many independently owned boutiques that peddle unique wares, gifts, antiques, art, and jewelry—looking for locally grown produce or fresh baked goods? Hit up the outdoor Flagler Beach Farmer’s Market every Friday and Saturday.
Of course, the nearby towns of Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, and St. Augustine offer plenty of opportunities to peruse art museums hit the links, take in a show and visit unique attractions like the Florida Agricultural Museum.
As mentioned, the cost of living can be pricey in Flagler Beach. That’s largely because of limited inventory, the town’s small size, and a sincere interest in living in such a magnificent place. However, if you are interested in finding your next home in Flagler Beach, we can help.
Ready to take the plunge and make a move? If so, you can’t go wrong with a move to Flagler Beach.