Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Always a Delight!

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Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is in northeastern Flagler County, almost to the St. Johns County line. The park preserves 425 acres of coastal scenery along State Road A1A and offers visitors a chance to see coastal scrublands with Sabal palmettos and saw palmettos and an ocean hammock filled with oak trees, magnolias, and hickory trees. 

Along the Matanzas River you’ll see tidal marshes along the Intracoastal Waterway and you can go fishing. 

Coquina rock outcroppings can be found along the beach and is composed of the mineral calcite, often including some phosphate, in the form of seashells or coral. It’s been used as a building material in nearby St. Augustine as early as 1598. 

Inside the expansive piece of property, visitors will find 20 acres of oak trees, roses, camellias, and azaleas as well as a natural artesian well and ponds. 

Wildlife can also be seen including sea turtles, Florida gopher tortoises, West Indian manatees, white-tailed deer, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, Virginia opossums, eastern gray squirrels, pileated woodpeckers, northern cardinals, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and Florida scrub jays.

Friends of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park offer a variety of programs including a First Friday Garden Walk with a park ranger, a Second Saturday Plant Sale with educational programs, Music in the Gardens, Earth Day, special holiday events and a gift shop. The park is also available for small weddings and other special events.

The park opens daily at 8:00 a.m. and admission is $5 per car and is located at 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast, FL 32137


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Cool Florida Springs!

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It’s no secret that RE/MAX Flagstaff’s Broker/Owners Jimmy Millhollin and Annette Gardinal love the great outdoors. There are so many choices of things to do in the Palm Coast area and then there are day trips!

Floridians throughout the ages have flocked to the cool springs in the heat of the summertime to keep cool and soak in the beauty of nature. The water is quite refreshing at 72 degrees year-round.

The award-winning blog, Authentic Florida has featured 15 of their favorite Florida springs, many of which are close enough for a day trip from Palm Coast. If you’d like to spend a night or two away from home, all of these springs can be enjoyed on a weekend or mid-week getaway.

A few local favorites are Ichetucknee Springs in Fort White just 2 hours and 15 minutes away. It’s a summertime tradition for many Floridians to go tubing down the river on floats that are rented near the entrance of this Florida State Park. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ichetucknee-springs-state-park

Blue Spring State Park in Orange City is closer at 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Palm Coast. Visitors enjoy swimming, boat rides, kayaking, and seeing manatee up close n the winter. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/blue-spring-state-park

Juniper Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest is a little over an hour away and is a well known Florida favorite. The main swimming hole was built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Juniper Springs Run is an exceptional canoe and kayak trip. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recarea/?recid=34064

Having so many springs to choose from is a perk of living in Florida. You could explore springs every weekend and not tire of the beauty of “old Florida.”

If you’d like to learn more, take a look at Authentic Florida’s blog at http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/where-to-go/our-15-favorite-freshwater-florida-springs/

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Leatherback Sea Turtles

Sea turtle nesting season officially begins May 1st and runs through October 31st. But for the leatherback sea turtle nesting in Florida occurs from March through July and a female typically nests at intervals of two to three years, depositing multiple nests per season.

It's unusual for a sea turtle to lay eggs in broad daylight, but that's just what this leatherback turtle did at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area! The Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park shared this video of the turtle going back to sea and they also have an album of photos of the first leatherback nest of the season.

Video https://www.facebook.com/FROGRS/videos/845783229102146/

Flickr Rainbirder LEVIATHAN

Of the three species of sea turtles that nest in our area, leatherbacks are by far the least prevalent. In 2018, Flagler County had 6 leatherback nests, 314 loggerhead nests, and 14 green sea turtle nests.

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Data from www.turtlepatrol.com

Leatherback sea turtles can be found primarily in the open ocean and survive on a diet mainly of jellyfish. They follow their prey throughout the day, resulting in turtles "preferring" deeper water in the daytime and shallower water at night when the jellyfish rise up.

Leatherback turtles are known to pursue prey deeper than 1000 m—beyond the physiological limits of all other diving tetrapods except for beaked whales and sperm whales. Not much is known about their lifespan. It’s estimated at anywhere between 30 and 100 years.

Mating takes place at sea. Males never leave the water once they enter it, unlike females, which nest on land.

The United States listed leatherbacks as an endangered species in 1970. Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the species as Vulnerable (VU) as it meets one of the 5 red list criteria and thus considered to be at high risk of unnatural (human-caused) extinction without further human intervention.

In Florida, it’s a 3rd degree felony to take, disturb, mutilate, destroy, cause to be destroyed, transfer, sell, offer to sell, molest, or harass any marine turtle species, or the eggs or nest of any marine turtle species.

If you come across a sea turtle that is stranded or dead; a hatchling that is wandering in a road, parking lot; or directions other than the water; or if you see someone disturbing a nest or turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement at 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC from your cell phone.

Drone video of leatherback going back to sea after nesting. https://youtu.be/1X9CP_rFZzI




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Bucket List- Check!

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Our RE/MAX Flagstaff brokers Jimmy Millhollin and Annette Gardinal have been living the Florida lifestyle and their most recent adventure involved ticking off one of their bucket list items!


Jimmy and Annette recently went down to Daytona International Speedway and had the chance to enjoy the the Ferrari Track Experience! 


It all started out innocently enough. The couple attended the Annual Flagler Chamber of Commerce Installation Gala at Hammock Beach Resort. Jimmy served as the board chair a couple of years ago and he’s always willing to lend a hand. He presided over the live auction at the event and when the Ferrari Track Experience was up for auction, Annette ended up buying it for him as an early birthday present! WOW! 


Daytona is just a 30 minute drive south from Palm Coast (unless you’re in a Ferrari). It didn’t take long for Jimmy to schedule his birthday present. Both Jimmy and Annette got to enjoy the ride around the track at 170 miles per hour! Just in case you were wondering how long it would take to get to Daytona from Palm Coast at that speed, it would take roughly 10 minutes, maybe less.


Jimmy loved the experience so much that he went back for seconds! Annette on the other hand said, “Thought my heart was going to explode. I was hanging on for dear life and couldn’t wait for it to be over. 170 mph is crazy fast around that track.”


We’re so fortunate to have just about anything we could want either in Palm Coast or a short and sensible drive away. What’s next for the courageous couple? Sky diving in Palatka? Deep sea fishing? Roller coasters in Orlando? Outer space from Cape Canaveral? Stay tuned!


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Family Fun During Nights Of Lights!

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When you live in Palm Coast, you’ll get plenty of guests during the holidays! Aside from family togetherness, the weather is mild, delightful, and even warm on many days. There’s never any snow to shovel and always something fun to do for everyone. 


If you’re looking for something very memorable to do, try an excursion to nearby historic St. Augustine for Nights of Lights, a display of more than three million sparkling lights. The lights adorn the Bridge of Lions, bed & breakfasts, historic buildings including the Lightner Museum, Flagler College, the Plaza de la Constitución, and on essentially each building in the historic district. National Geographic has recognized this 25-year-old tradition in its top ten list of the best places to see holiday lights. 


Take a reasonably priced trolley tour from Old Town Trolleys or Ripley’s Red Trains. Both of these companies offer excellent hop on/hop off tours during the day and during Nights of Lights their evening tours are a great time complete with Christmas carols and special glasses that add even more sparkle to the lights. 


Another great way to see the lights is by boat. St. Augustine Sailing offers charters for up to six people on their fleet of private sailboats. If you’ve got a large crowd, try a pontoon boat with Florida Water Tours. Of course, walking around downtown is lots of fun as well and there are many great places to listen to music, eat, drink, and enjoy memorable times with your family. 


Locals tip: Nights of Lights runs from the Saturday before Thanksgiving until February 3rd. During Christmas break it can get pretty crowded. Try a weekday or wait until after Christmas when it’s less crowded. 


Visit St. Augustine offers a complete guide to the festivities. 



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RE/MAX FLAGSTAFF Each Office independently Owned and Operated

RE/MAX Flagstaff Office: 386-246-8585
One Hargrove GradeFax: 389-246-1667
Palm Coast, FL 32137Email: Info@RMFlagstaff.com