Florida is a big state, full of amazing sights. But all too often, you can end up seeing the same old things over and over again in photos. Simply knowing where to grab those perfect pictures can go a long way toward creating amazing and unique shots that dramatically step up your Instagram game. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the best.
These 5 Spots in Florida Will Have You Looking Like an IG Influencer (And No, They’re Not Amusement Parks)
Forget Disney, or Panama City Beach, or those overdone spots in Miami. Make a trip to these awesome spots during your trip to the Sunshine State, and you’ll be able to snap the photos of a lifetime.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for unconventional places to show your followers, stop by the best small towns in Florida.
1. Ginnie Springs, Florida
This vibrant, turquoise-blue spring set in the middle of the verdant north-central Florida woods is an instant Instagram classic. The startlingly clear water allows you to see deep down toward the spring’s limestone caverns, which are popular with scuba divers. Hop into the spring itself or snap some pics around the edge. They’re bound to stand out in the timeline either way! The area is also popular for tubing on the Santa Fe River, as well as camping.
2. Fort DeSoto
No matter what kind of vibes you’re looking for, you can likely find them at Fort DeSoto State Park. Fort DeSoto is a collection of small islands, or keys, located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, near St. Petersburg. They’ve served as a military base, bombing range, tourist destination, and now state park, and all of these diverse uses have left their mark on this unique place.
You can snag plenty of amazing shots with the dramatic remains of the island’s fort and associated buildings. Those looking for the perfect beach scene will find it at two award-winning swimming areas. There are also nature trails, both on-foot and via canoe, for the perfect action shot.
3. Dry Tortugas National Park
This unique national park isn’t easy to get to. You’ll need to hop a boat or seaplane to this mostly underwater park about 70 miles off Key West.
But those who make the trip will be rewarded with one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. You can contrast the military construction of the area’s forts with their tropical island surroundings.
Fort Jefferson was among the largest U.S. forts of the 1800s. It looks even more imposing against the vast emptiness and tropical beauty that surrounds it. Those who hit the water will get some incredible snorkeling or scuba shots in the crystal-clear Caribbean as well.
You may not expect to find one of the state’s most Instagrammable spots in a residential neighborhood of a suburb near Tampa. But that’s part of what makes this spot so incredible.
What began as a small art installation made out of bowling balls has grown over the decades into an elaborately decorated home, garden, and more. There are too many different shots to mention. But try the rainbow mosaic walkways, decorated VW bug, and whimsical ceramic statues.
5. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Park
Nestled at the very western tip of Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Park offers plenty of amazing beach scenes. You’ll also find dramatic shots contrasting the ruins of the former fort and the tropical area around it.
But those looking for a particularly cool shot should seek out the park’s famous distance sign. Decorated arrows point in all directions, advising viewers of the distance to everywhere from Havana (105 miles) to London (4,565 miles.)
What Is the Best Time of Year for a Florida Road Trip?
One of the best things about Florida is that the weather is generally great all year round. Even the most northern parts of the state see relatively mild winters, and southern or coastal areas are comfortable in all seasons.
Still, if you’re looking to avoid crowds, you may want to opt for the so-called “shoulder seasons.” This is fall and spring when the summer vacation rush is no longer an issue, and the winter sunseekers from northern states haven’t yet arrived.
Tips for Getting the Best Photos at These IG-Worthy Florida Spots
We’ve all likely seen those Instagram tragedies where a poorly taken photo ruins a gorgeous scene or exciting situation. But don’t fear. You don’t need to be a photography expert to step up your Insta game. Just keep these principles in mind when you flip open your camera.
Go During Golden Hour
The golden hour refers to the time shortly before sunset or after sunrise, usually about an hour, and it’s an amateur photographer’s best friend. Due to the soft quality of the light, it’s easy for your camera to take perfectly exposed photos.
A warm glow will light your subjects. The lower sun angle will also create dramatic shadows you can use to your advantage when composing your shot.
Sunrise Is Best to Beat the Crowds
While you can take advantage of these incredible golden hour conditions in the morning or evening, you’ll be competing with far fewer fellow photographers at sunrise. Just about everyone can see a sunset on most days. Not nearly as many are willing to get up in the predawn darkness to get a great photo. Many IG-worthy spots look even more impressive in the early morning emptiness than the crowded images you may typically see.
Take a Smartphone Photography Course for the Best Captures
Simply opening your smartphone camera and taking a picture is fine for most users and most situations. But if you’re really trying to get those perfect, unique Instagram shots, it may be worth investing some time and money in learning the finer points of smartphone photography.
Those interested in polishing up their skills can find any number of classes on online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and others. In many cases, these courses are relatively affordable. Those on a budget can even learn plenty of tips and tricks from free YouTube videos and blogs.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect beach shot, a whimsically decorated home, or a unique reminder of the interactions between humans and nature, Florida has the spot you’re looking for. Keep these destinations in mind and follow these simple principles, and you’ll find yourself one step closer to social media stardom. What’s your favorite Instragrammable spot in Florida?