The Best Town to Live in Florida
(or the whole USA, for that matter):

Palm Coast

by Michael Relfe


Update: Flagler Beach & American Lifeguards should Copy Australia

My wife and I have moved around a lot. We have lived in more states in America than many Americans have visited.  We have lived in Michigan (Farmington Hills), Indiana (Indianapolis), Arizona (White Mountains), Virginia (Chesapeake), Texas (Dallas), Iowa (Dubuque) and Australia (Sydney and Melbourne).  Plus I lived in Chicago (Illinois), Missouri (Kansas City), Oklahoma (Tulsa), Idaho (Idaho Falls), Los Angeles (California), Arizona (Phoenix), Atlanta (Georgia) and Indiana (Southbend) before I married.

In addition, we have travelled throughout Florida and dozens of other states.  After many years of looking for the best place to live in the world, we have finally decided that Palm Coast, in north Florida, is the best place to live.  Palm Coast is not to be confused with the ultra-expensive, congested Palm Beach in south Florida.

We have lived here for many years.  Please allow me to explain why Palm Coast in northeast Florida is the best place and town for you. And show you some pictures to back up my claim.


Palm Coast is in northeast Florida, between Jacksonville in the north and Daytona Beach towards the south, and only 4 minutes from Flagler Beach, on the Atlantic Ocean.  The City of Palm Coast has a population of 74,000 residents and covers 52 square miles.

Flagler Beach has a pier, restaurants and lifeguards (not always on duty).


You can see the Flagler Beach Pier and shops in the distance. We took this picture on a Saturday in November, at lunchtime. Most people were at a surf festival on the other side of the pier -


We found Palm Coast by first being drawn, as many other people have also been drawn, to historic, picturesque St. Augustine, the oldest city in America.  But we soon learned that while the old town of St. Augustine is a truly beautiful, wonderful place to visit again and again, it is not a good city to live in.  Houses are very over-priced and the old parts of town are not in good condition.  And there are other problems due to the age of the city.

Fortunately, someone told us to drive 20 minutes away and try out the relatively new city of Palm Coast, which was first developed in 1969.  We found a charming, clean city with modern houses for a fraction of the price


Unlike most cities which grew by accident, Palm Coast is a master-planned city.  That means that the planners worked out where everything should go, and what the town should look like, right from the beginning.  And they put in lots of flood canals to prevent the flooding that has occurred in older towns like St Augustine or Daytona.

You can see one of the larger canals here, with houses backing onto it -

It is our Mayor and City Council's vision to make Palm Coast a leadership city with a quality of life, access to nature, and professional services unsurpassed in Northeast Florida.


Palm Coast is relatively very inexpensive. But we also have luxury homes in exclusive areas like “The Sanctuary”, “Hammock Dunes” and “Grand Haven”.  The nice part is, that these developments add to the beauty of the area and quality of life for everyone.


Hammock Dunes -


The bulk of Palm Coast is formed of thousands of very affordable houses in family-friendly neighbourhoods.  Most houses here are made of concrete and stucco, with a few made of brick.  Which means low maintenance, no termites and longer durability.  And they are pretty!


Homes in Palm Coast are a lot cheaper than similar houses in other cities. Property taxes are reasonable.

Nearly all the homes are on 10,000 square feet, which is nearly ¼ of an acre.  Mobile homes are not allowed.  The council is very good at keeping the place tidy.  The main roads have landscaping. 

And, of course, if you are looking for a luxury home in the $1million+ range, we have plenty of those too.


The new Town Center has a Park and Cinema -


Tall business signs and billboards are not allowed.  Even McDonalds has to have it’s Yellow “M” on the ground, as you can see below! 


There are many parks and a state of the art Tennis Center. Some parks have free tennis courts (some seen below), and outdoor basketball courts.

The council hires people to check that front yards are kept in decent condition.  And, of course, we have gated communities as well.  And did I mention, that it’s just 4 minutes from Flagler Beach?


Flagler Beach is a wonderful beach.  Unlike some California beaches, the water is warm enough to swim in!  And clean.  We don’t have to have pollution warnings.  I can’t understand how anyone can enjoy the western beaches on the Gulf of Mexico – they have a lot of sand fleas!  Which really bite.  We personally prefer the clean energy of the waves of the Atlantic Ocean to the ‘dead energy’ that we feel when we have visited the beaches on the gulf.  If you have little ones, the waves disappear at low tide, sometimes leaving little sand “rock pools”. 

In addition, Palm Coast is near three other northeast Florida beaches: Beverly Beach, Jungle Hut Beach and Hammock Beach. We love to visit Hammock Beach, because it is very secluded, and there are usually few people visiting. The entrance is pictured below. The wooden bridge is for golf carts that go from the Hammock club to the golf course. And it's only 20 minutes away from very beautiful (but expensive) Ormond Beach.


Hammock Beach. We took this picture on a Saturday in November, at lunchtime -


There is also the intracoastal waterway (pictured below), the partly natural, partly man-made canal that runs parallel to the Atlantic ocean. There are a number of lovely parks beside it.

Because of all this, and more, Palm Coast, the best place to live northeast Florida, just keeps on growing, with new stores and restaurants opening, and staying in business, even during the current tough times.


Palm Coast is 10 minutes from beautiful, tranquil Washington Oaks State Park -

Please remember to go to Page 2 for more pictures. The link is at the bottom of this page.

WARNING: Palm Coast, like other Florida towns, has decreased the time for a yellow light. There are red light cameras. The fine is an extortionate $170! People making $8 an hour cannot afford this. A simple $30 fine would be more than sufficient. This is not being done to increase safety. It's to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to government.

Here are just some of the reasons why Palm Coast is the best place to live in North Florida.
Plus things to do:




  • No mobile homes

You have to live in a real house, not a mobile home.  Fortunately, prices are down to less than $50 a square foot.


  • Fines if people let their front lawn get way, way out of hand, or leave junk lying around, so your neighbours keep their front yards tidy.

You have to keep your front yard in reasonably decent condition


  • 4 minutes from Flagler Beach.
  • Plus Hammock, Jungle Hut and Beverly Beaches
  • 20 mintues from Ormond Beach




  • Landscaped roads



  • You get a much nicer, bigger house than in many other places in Florida, or for that matter, anywhere in the USA.


  • 20 minutes to St Augustine. Visit Old Town.
  • 70 minutes to Orlando



  • 74,000 residents.  Less of the problems of big cities.



Restaurants including numerous delicious private restaurants, such as:

Chain restaurants include:


Health food stores, including:


8 area championship golf courses

Golf Courses near Palm Coast:





  • It is our Mayor and City Council's vision to make Palm Coast a leadership city with a quality of life, access to nature, and professional services unsurpassed in Northeast Florida


Performing Arts




Services include:



Stores include:

Nearby Malls:






  • Florida has no state income tax.






  • Lots of canals move rain water away quickly.



You get a much bigger, nicer home for the same money as elsewhere















In these economic times we live in, one of the things you want to consider especially is, what will the place you move to be like in ten or twenty years time? Here's a clue - see where the money is moving to. It turns out that in the ten years from 1999 - 2009, more money moved to Florida than any other state. $70 billion in fact!

Which shows that more and more people are considering Florida the best place to live.


Please remember to go to Page 2 for more pictures. The link is at the bottom of this page.

So, if you are sick of the problems in your own area, and are thinking of moving, plan a holiday in the best place to live in North Florida right now.



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All photographs are Copyright ©Michael Relfe, 2012