Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, this windswept park is named for Florida folk singer Gamble Rogers. The beach is the most popular feature at this park, where visitors enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing or fishing. The daily low tide is an ideal time to observe shore birds feeding in tidal pools; summer months bring sea turtles that lay their eggs in the golden-brown coquina sand. On the Intracoastal Waterway side of the park, picnic pavilions provide a shady place to enjoy a meal. A nature trail winds through a shady coastal forest of scrub oaks and saw palmetto. Boaters and canoeists can launch from a boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway. The park's full-facility campground is situated on the dune above the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. A short walk along a boardwalk takes you to the beach. Located in Flagler Beach off Highway A1A.
On October 10, 1991, beloved Florida folk singer Gamble Rogers and his wife were camping at Flagler Beach State Recreation Area. Upon returning to their campsite after a long day of cycling, Gamble was approached by a young girl whose father was struggling in the rough surf. With an unwavering spirit, despite the fact that he had suffered from spinal arthritis since he was a child, Gamble grabbed an air mattress and headed towards the ocean. Within minutes, a park ranger joined in the rescue attempt. Gamble, still clinging to the air mattress, indicated to the ranger that he was okay. The ranger was able to pull the drowning man's wife from the water; however he was unable to locate the man, who was later recovered by a rescue team. Meanwhile, a large wave washed over Gamble, ripping his air mattress away. The surf overcame the heroic Gamble and, tragically, he drowned. In 1992, after much deliberation, the Florida legislature passed the bill to change the name of Flagler Beach State Recreation Area to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach to honor the heroic efforts of the late Gamble Rogers.
The site was abandoned and the state of Florida obtained the title to the property from the United States of America on October 4, 1954, shortly after World War II ended. Flagler Beach State Recreation Area originally opened in 1961. On January 23, 1968, management of the park was transferred to Florida Park Service.