by The Editors | January 17, 2023

We Planned the Perfect Romantic Weekend in Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches

Complete with oceanfront horseback riding, couple’s massage treatments and a private picnic

Photography courtesy of Visit Flagler.

It’s a scientific fact: Sunsets are even more dazzling when shared with someone you love. Instead of a mass-produced card or a bouquet of flowers, opt to surprise your sweetheart with a weekend of shared sunsets, spa treatments and sauvignon blanc in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. This dreamy destination tucked between the bustle of St. Augustine and Daytona Beach is made for travelers looking for local charm. From cozy accommodations to family-owned businesses that give this region its signature Southern hospitality, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is for real Floridians—and everyone longing for that real-Florida feel. Ditch the crowds and the chaos this spring and opt for a romantic retreat that’s private and personal. Here’s what to do while you’re there:

Choose Your Romantic Retreat

The mural inside the Island Cottage Inn’s cafe is a beloved Instagram backdrop. Photography courtesy of Island Cottage Inn.

Island Cottage Inn

This idyllic inn perched on the Southern end of Flagler Beach is made up of only eight rooms, which means it often feels like you have the property all to yourself. Start your morning with an espresso from the on-site cafe—whose signature tropical foliage mural is a fan-favorite backdrop for Instagram photos—and then set out to make this paradisiacal property your own. Lounge by the pool, stroll to the seashore via the inn’s private access or explore the charming beach town on two wheels thanks to the cottage’s complimentary bicycles.

The indoor pool at Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa is a serene escape. Photography courtesy of Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa.

Hammock Beach Golf Resort and Spa

This sprawling oceanfront resort is made for those with a flair for the fanciful. Here, guests can choose from the boutique hotel, The Lodge; sun-filled oceanfront suites; villas that feel like home and other accommodations to find that just-right retreat. Tennis courts, putting greens, indoor pools and a lazy river offer guests plenty to do on property, and good luck pulling your golf enthusiast away from the Jack Nicklaus Ocean Course; it’s home to the most oceanfront holes in the state.

Spend an afternoon sweating it out with your sweetheart in Golden Magnolia’s brand-new sauna. Photography courtesy of Golden Magnolia Resort & Spa.

Golden Magnolia Resort

If you’re yearning for tranquility, this intimate but elegant resort prioritizes serene outdoor spaces and peaceful pastimes. Golden Magnolia Resort, situated on the shores of Flagler Beach, has everything you need to nourish your mind, body and belly on a restorative getaway. Sweat out your stress in the brand-new sauna with your SO, log some laps in the heated mineral pool or enjoy a Buddha Bowl by the ocean at their recently opened restaurant The Pergola.

Where to Wine & Dine

Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is teeming with different types of cuisine. Photography courtesy of Visit Flagler.

Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches is packed with eateries that can please even the pickiest of partners. If your beau loves a hearty Italian feast, Osteria Rustica is a small but spectacular spot serving up a rotation of authentic Italian dishes like Ossobuco de Maiale Brasato and the creamiest risotto this side of the Atlantic. Or, set the mood with a sophisticated meal and a plate piled high with lobster bruschetta on the patio of La Piazza Cafe, nestled in Palm Coast’s European Village.

For those who want an oceanfront view with their entree, Island Grille on Flagler Beach offers a cozy seaside perch with some of the freshest seafood in the Sunshine State. Crab cakes are a must, and if Florida is showing off its sun, the outdoor patio overlooking the ocean is the place to be. End your dreamy day at Bartlett’s Gatherings & Gourmet, a quaint wine bar in Palm Coast boasting live music Wednesday through Saturday and enough Cabernets to keep you there all night.

What to Do With Your Boo

Photography courtesy of Visit Flagler.

Enjoy a Beachfront Horseback Ride Together

Saddle up with your sweetheart for perhaps the most picturesque activity in the region. Join Equestrian Adventures of Florida for an hourlong horseback ride on the sands of Palm Coast. Ready for something a little more rugged? You can also opt for a ride through the trails, streams and bluffs in the area’s state parks.

Stroll Through Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Meander hand-in-hand through gardens of azaleas, roses and camellias at this peaceful oceanfront state park. Whether you’re the kind of couple that wants to reel in a huge redfish together or simply enjoy each other’s company beneath a towering oak tree, this park has enough natural splendor to go around.

Swim with Dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure

Make an unforgettable memory with your boo at Marineland Dolphin Adventure when you book one of their animal encounters. Fly fearlessly through the water as a bottlenose dolphin pushes you along in the royal swim experience or have your own personal painting done by one of their resident red-footed tortoises.

End the Day with a Sunset Picnic

After a weekend of adventures, you’ll probably be ready for a moment of stillness with your honey. In fact, Lavish Honey Picnic Co. prepares luxury picnics in charming locations across Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches for the dreamiest date night. They handle everything down to the silverware, so all you have to worry about is catching the sunset with your special someone. They’re always better that way.