Neatly accessed via “The Loop,” a scenic drive that extends north from Ormond Beach, North Peninsula State Park has two tantalizing miles of oceanfront along a palm-rimmed line of dunes.
Location: Flagler Beach
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome except on beach
As “The Loop” turns west to complete its northernmost point, it slips past the trailhead for the Coastal Strand Trail and a spot popular with anglers before the landscape opens up into a scene worthy of “Land of the Lost.” You can just imagine mammoths and giant sloths ambling across this primordial open marsh, its far shore a line of cabbage palms.
Because the park encompasses such a variety of habitats, it is home to some of Florida’s rarer species, including the Florida scrub-jay and the gopher tortoise. It also sits along the Atlantic flyway, a birder’s delight in January. Parking for beach access on this sheltered strand is limited.