About 20 miles up the coast from Daytona Beach is the city of Flagler Beach. Notable for its pier and annual Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic, Flagler Beach has all the great attributes of a coastal community. Laid back locals, a variety of casual restaurants and coffee shops, and great beaches make up the local scene.
A quick turn around the blocks between the Intracoastal Waterway, Moody Boulevard and A1A will give a visitor a little preview of the highlights of Flagler Beach. In close proximity to A1A are several points of free or low cost attractions.
An often overlooked free venue is the Flagler Beach Museum at 207 South Central Avenue. Call 386-517-2025 for hours of operation. The museum houses artifacts from Native Americans, early settlers and more contemporary life. Photographs, news clippings, old tools and more make for an interesting collection. Of special note is a photo and newspaper article about Charles Lindberg's flight back from Cuba and a weather forced (due to fog) landing at Flagler Beach. The Flagler Beach Museum has a map for a self-guided walking tour. Although the museum is free, modest donations are more than welcome.
A farmer's market is on the town square every Saturday morning. Fresh produce, dried fruits, fresh shrimp, baked goods and crafts are generally available. Live entertainment is seasonal for the First Friday which is in downtown Flagler Beach at the Veterans Park.
Although the Flagler Beach Pier is not a free venue, it is a relatively low cost attraction. Open from 6 am until midnight, the pier is a popular attraction. Daily rates (in 2013) range from $1 to $6 depending on the activity, whether it's just walking out on the pier or fishing from the pier for the day. Passes for 1 month to 1 year can be obtained at a reduced rate.
Restaurants in the area run the gamut from Italian, Cuban, seafood restaurants, pubs, grills and taverns with live music, shops offering sandwiches and casual lunches to coffee shops and more. There are no chain store fast food joints here so be forewarned if your kids crave the boxed kid's meals, you'll have to head to the mainland or back toward Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach or St. Augustine.
All in all, Flagler Beach makes an attractive day trip destination. Whether you're a beach lover, surfer, history buff, budget traveler or just looking for a break from the routine, Flagler Beach is a good fit for all.