Worth a detour off the interstate
Flagler Beach, Florida, is about an hour or so drive south of Jacksonville and about a half-hour drive north of Daytona Beach. The town is a rare throwback to the vintage days of Florida tourism, when small mom and pop establishments were more the norm than widely recognized chain franchises. Here, kitschy beach shops, mom and pop motels, and casual ocean view restaurants with outdoor roof decks line a two-lane stretch of coastal highway A1A. Adding to the nostalgic character of Flagler Beach is an iconic landmark fishing pier that features the town’s name in large block letters to all who approach from the north and from the south.
Flagler Beach Pier
As for the beach scene itself, the area is distinctive for its orange-hued sands which provide a colorful contrast with the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Surfing and fishing are also popular past times here. Laid-back and flip-flops casual, the town makes for a very nice day-trip or even just a worthwhile detour off the interstate. Conveniently, Flagler Beach also happens to be the closest accessible beach to Interstate 95 anywhere along the East Coast, and parking spots along the beachfront are free!