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Palm Coast Florida Beaches & Parks: Home to outdoor recreation
Palm Coast, Florida is a growing city that has attracted everyone from young families who want to start a family there to retirees who just want to visit for a few months out of the year. This is an excellent city for outdoor recreation, with an expansive Intracoastal Waterway system that attracts boaters, to a number of parks and winding ocean front jogging trails where outdoor lovers can start their day off right with a walk or jog.
The city is home to approximately 60,000 residents, and lies on the Northeastern coast of Florida in between Jacksonville and Orlando. Palm Coast is close enough to St. Augustine, Dayton Beach, and Mt. Dora for a few afternoon trips but far enough away from any major tourist developments. The beauty of Palm Coast lies in the ability to sustain a downtown lifestyle with charming shops scattered throughout the downtown streets. As well, Palm Coast manages to maintain an essence of peace and tranquility while still inviting tourists to enjoy the laid back lifestyle. There are an abundance of golf courses, marinas, and tennis courts to keep visitors busy for an entire summer.
With the peaceful, laid back lifestyle of Palm Coast, this is a perfect location to bring along a pet during your vacation. Although the Florida beaches and parks have rules regarding pets, Palm Coast is extremely welcoming to pets with the abundance of outdoor recreation.
The Beach at Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach is walking distance to the restaurants, shops and lodging of the town of Flagler Beach. The beach has soft sand, lifeguards in season, and is close to restrooms. The beach is also near the Flagler Pier – which is an ideal place for fishing. Hours: 7-days dawn to 11:00 p.m. Address: Oceanshore Blvd. (A1A), Flagler Beach Tel: (386) 517-2000
Old Salt Road Park
Popular beach access amidst the Ocean Hammock Resort. There are plenty of parking spaces plus restrooms with outside shower. Although not too suitable for swimming, you'll find plenty of bathers and paddlers at this beach and is also a great spot to watch for whales. Hours of Operation: Dawn to 11:00 p.m. Address: 16th Road, Palm Coast (The Hammock) Tel: 386-437-7490
Varn Park Beach
Covering 8-acres, Varn Park offers wheel chair access to the beach plus restrooms with outdoor shower and ample parking. Varn Park is also a very popular surf fishing spot and on most days fisherman can be seen casting for blues, whiting, flounder, snapper and many other varieties. Hours of Operation: Dawn to 11:00 p.m. Address: 3665 N. Oceanshore Blvd. (A1A), Painters Hill Tel: 386-437-7490
St. Joe Walkway/Palm Coast Linear Park
One of the major outdoor renovation projects currently going on in Palm Coast is the Intracoastal Waterway park site. This site will include hiking trails, bike trails, canoe and kayak rentals as well as playground and picnic areas that encompasses four miles of Palm Coast. Part of the pathway and bike trail is already open, currently known as the St. Joe Walkway, which starts at the Palm Coast Community Center on Clubhouse Drive. The remainder of trails and waterway paths are opening as they are renovated and will be an excellent place for visitors to take dogs on a leisurely walk while enjoying the beauty of Palm Coast.
James F. Holland Memorial Park
James F. Holland is one of the major parks in Palm Coast where families gather for baseball games, tennis, volleyball, picnics and exercise. As of 2004, the city began adding on a dog park at the edge of the park, close to the Florida Park Drive entrance, near pavilion 3. While there are many amenities dedicated to families at the park, this portion will be dedicated to allowing the family pets room to run around and play. The park should be finished as of 2006 and will be a fenced area where pets can even get off their leashes for a while to enjoy a little fresh air and freedom.
Princess Place Preserve
This beautiful 1500-acre park offers abundant opportunities for dogs and humans alike to get out and stretch their legs after a long ride in the car traveling to Palm Coast. The preserve is located in Palm Coast at 2500 Princess Place Road, off of Old Kings Road. There are facilities for canoeing, kayaking, and boating, as well as primitive camping and walking trails. For dog owners, the walking trails are an excellent place to let dogs have a little freedom. With the many different, winding trails it is likely you could walk for a few miles without running in to another hiker or dog walker. While the park is open to campers overnight, the main gates open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 6 p.m.
Venice Florida Beaches and Parks
Blind Pass Beach is the perfect place to be for a morning or afternoon of solitude at the beach. Also referred to by the locals as Middle Beach, because it sits in between Manasota Beach and Englewood Beach on the beautiful Manasota Key barrier island
Casperson Beach linked up with the Venetian Intracoastal Waterway Park and has two easily accessible routes to the park from both Harbor Drive and from the Waterway bike path. With plentiful picnic tables, park benches, and children’s play areas this is a great place to bring the entire family for a relaxing day at the beach or a bike ride and a picnic lunch.
The Bradenton area is known for being quite hip and swanky with many artists and writers choosing Bradenton as a place to visit, and often as a place to call home. The beaches near Bradenton on Anna Maria Island are no different. Both Cortez and Coquina Beach offer a stylish perspective of Sarasota Bay while still offering the same famous untouched beauty of the gulf coast of Florida.
Only a quick drive from the Venice area, Englewood Beach offers a great opportunity to straddle both the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful Lemon Bay. Don’t think you have seen it all just because you have experienced the beautiful beaches of Venice! Take the time to travel down to Charlotte County’s well-kept Englewood Beach, with recently renovated brick sidewalks, new restrooms, volleyball courts, basketball courts and beautiful landscaping to accent the coastal view.
There are no amenities available at Holmes Beach because its sits nearby a residential area but there is still room for visitors on this nearly secluded beach. The positive attributes of feeling alone and enjoying the peaceful view surrounded by large enclosing trees and sand dunes, definitely overshadows the fact that there are no amenities available. If you are with a large group or small children this may not be the best place for you, since there is not much to keep idle an abundance of people entertained, but this is a great place for a quiet afternoon reading a book or for a romantic picnic with a sunset view!
Manasota Beach is a popular spot for family events like late afternoon birthday parties or family reunions on the beach. Beautiful sand dunes surround the 14 acres of beach set out on Manasota Key between the Gulf of Mexico and Lemon Bay. Manasota Beach is on the far north end of Manasota Key and remains a hidden treasure, as most visitors frequent Englewood Beach and Stump Pass Beach at the south end of the small barrier island. Many locals have reserved Manasota Key as their favorite place to hang out on the weekends though, so the beach won’t be desolate by any means.
Siesta Key Beach is a wonderful place to get into a heated game of sand volleyball. A little further away from the beach there are fields and courts for soccer, baseball or tennis. It seems the fields and courts are always full of lots of energetic beach goers ready to participate in a sporting event. This is also the place to get in or stay in shape during your vacation, as Siesta Key Beach sports different fitness stations and mile markers to keep you in line during your workout.
South Lido Beach is a tropical paradise away from the constantly active Lido and North Lido Beaches. By far the best part about South Lido Beach is the four bodies of water surrounding this smaller beach located at the very southern tip of Lido Key near St. Armands Key. The Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay, or Brushy Bayou offer an excellent selection of waters for dipping your toes into or taking a nice afternoon swim to cool off from the heat of the day.
South Venice Beach is made up of a small stretch of seven miles of land, which can only be reached by ferry or boat. Once you arrive at South Venice Beach there is a private beach area kept in immaculate condition, which residents hold dear to their hearts, so respect the rules of the beach. As well there are three privately owned golf courses (Bird Bay, Capri Isles, and Waterford), and the Shamrock Park & Nature Center, which is free for visitors and houses basketball and tennis courts, a one mile hiking trail, and even a playground for the kids.
Turtle Beach also offers a wonderful place to launch boats into the bay for free, but without Midnight Pass this makes for a long way around to the Gulf of Mexico. For those who aren’t interesting in going all the way around, Turtle Beach can make a nice place to enter into a day on the bay waters and the Intracoastal Waterway without too much traffic or interference.
Venice Public Beach is easily accessible from anywhere in Venice and is a great place to spend the day with the family at the beach. Located right near the heart of Venice, at the very end of Venice Avenue, this public beach is always posted with lifeguards during the summer months and makes a prime spot to bring young children who may need an extra set of eyes while playing in the water. The Venice Public Beach park also offers concession stands, restrooms, picnic tables and even sand volleyball courts, making this an excellent place to enjoy a day in the sun with the entire family.
Brohard Beach & Service Club Park is just North of Caspersen 740 foot fishing pier on the property for public use. Up the road, Service Club Park offers playground equipment and boardwalks with covered picnic areas. You will also find the U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla Training Center, wetlands and several areas that are great for bird watching.
North Jetty Beach is located on the tip of Casey Key, the jetties make this one of the most exciting surfing beaches on the west coast of Florida. The fishing is said to be the best in the county. It is a very popular picnicking spot for families and large groups. If you enjoy watching boats, this is a good place to do so as they can be seen daily passing through the Intracoastal Waterway.
Nokomis Beach found after heading west on Albee Road, you’ll find Sarasota’s oldest public beach. This family oriented beach is also popular for fishing and includes a boat launch ramp. You may notice signs of the U.S. Coast Guard, they use a portion of the bay side of this park as their base of operations for an 82 foot cutter and its crew.
By-Pass Park- 1100 Gulf Coast Boulevard, Venice. Four softball fields, tennis courts and playground areas.
Knight Trail Park- 344S Rustic Road, Nokomis. Camping, archery course, pistol & rifle range, trap and skeet.
Mundy Park- Groveland Avenue, Venice
Myakka St. Park, 13207 State Road 72, Sarasota (941)361-6511. 28,875 - acres of woodland trails, nature tours, fishing spots, camping and rustic log cabins.
Oscar Scherer Park, 1843 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, (941)483-5956 - Swimming, fresh & saltwater fishing, canoeing, camping, boating, bicycling and hiking.
Shamrock Park, 3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice - Nature center, trails, rental space tennis, basketball and playground area.
South Jetty Park, Tarpon Center Drive, Venice - Benches, picnic tables
Well field Park, 1300 Ridgewood Avenue, Venice Baseball, softball, soccer, football fields and Playground area.
West Blalock Park, Nassau Street,Venice - Brick sidewalk, park benches and Venice Community Center.
Woodmere Park, Jacaranda Boulevard, Venice - Recreational building, gymnasium, rental space, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.