Friday, June 12, 2015

Fun on the Palm Coast

Palm Coast sits about 2 hours away from Orlando, just south of St. Augustine on the East Coast of Florida. Originally this area was built as a retirement area but then more and more development came through and there are many upscale resorts. The tree canopy that covers the streets is just beautiful as you drive through the Hammock area where all the resorts are... but that's not where we are headed.

Nope, we're going to Washington Oaks Garden State Park. I know, I know. You're thinking "a garden". What kind of AbJ day is that?!?! Well, the name tells you only half the story of what this state park offers. You see, on one side of A1A (Beachfront Avenue!!!) you have the beautiful gardens, a walkway on the bay, a small, educational house, gift shop, rose garden, and ponds with beautiful koi fish.

Across the road is my favorite part though... the beach! And not just any beach. This beach has coquina rock formations that line the beach. You can climb these rocks, look in the tide pools for starfish and other sea life. It's absolutely beautiful out here but be warned it really isn't a beach for swimming because of all the rock formations. You can still get plenty wet though! Be sure to check the tide schedule before you head out. You want to hit at low tide so that you can truly explore.

The next part of the adventure is to head over to Fort Matanzas National Park. About 6 miles away you can visit the Fort via a short boat ride from the mainland. The boats depart on the half-hour and the trip takes about an hour. The views from the top of the Fort are beautiful and when you are done you can take the nature trail back on the mainland as well.

We also stopped to grab an early dinner at Matanzas Inlet. It was okay, maybe 3 star at best. The view and location was great but the food was just meh. I had the blackened mahi sandwich and it was good, but a little plain. The rest of our party's food was just okay. The hamburgers, the fries, the coconut shrimp, the fried shrimp, the cole slaw... all just meh.

Time to head out but we needed one more stop back at Washington Oaks to see the tide come in and splash up on the rocks. Breath taking. Please, go check it out and see for yourself.

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