15 Fun and Fascinating Photo Spots in Florida for Nature Lovers



These photo spots in Florida for nature lovers include off-the-beaten-path beaches, Instagrammable sunset locations, places for Florida wildlife, and photogenic scenes on the water. Show your friends you living your best life and up your social media game with these Instagrammable Florida photo spots.

Nature photo spots in Florida are beautiful but they are also good for your soul. Escape the theme parks and discover your own fabulous photo locations around Florida. Tag @CharlesMcCool and @McCoolTravel on your posts so we can also be jealous.

Before heading to any Florida Gulf Coast destination, check out Florida Gulf Coast Travel Guide

Fantastic Florida Photo Spots: Trees

Instagram photos with palm trees are prevalent but there are plenty of other magnificent photogenic tree options in Florida. Stroll among massive hundred-foot driftwood trees along Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island. Be awed by majestic live oak trees in northern Florida including Old Senator in St Augustine.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.
epic trees at Big Talbot Island State Park, Florida

The below oak tree canopy scene is along the South Creek in Oscar Scherer State Park in southern Sarasota county.

romantic oak trees in Oscar Scherer State Park
romantic oak trees on South Creek in Oscar Scherer State Park

This amazing tree is just minutes from the airport. Find it on our Miami scenic drives.

bench under Southern oak tree in South Florida
yes, this is in South Florida. Explore beautiful Coconut Grove.

Sunshine State versions of the Kings Road from Game of Thrones can be found in downtown Floral City and in Jupiter—yes, there is a Florida town called Jupiter (there is also a Venus and Neptune Beach).

Kapok trees are primeval and prehistoric and a wonderful example is on the grounds of Boca Resort. Banyan trees all over South Florida provide a fascinating backdrop. Here is a video of banyan trees in Naples.

See also US Gulf Coast Photo Locations For Fun Instagrammable Shots.

Fantastic Florida Nature Photo Spots: Kayaking

One of the best ways to discover Florida nature photo spots is from a kayak.

In the next photo, we are kayaking in Estero Bay near Fort Myers, around the protected mangrove forest. Estero Bay is a wide portion of the Intracoastal Waterway system—a 3,000-mile waterway running inland along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean from the Mexico border to Boston. Anyone want to join me in kayaking the entire Intracoastal?

kayak Estero Bay Fort Myers
kayaking in Estero Bay Fort Myers

In addition to the Intracoastal, Florida offers countless rivers, streams, lakes, and springs for cool and fun liquid road trips. Try canoeing the Peace River from outposts in Arcadia Florida or exploring the Everglades on an airboat ride.

Below is a scene from a kayaking excursion on Loften Creek in Amelia Island. Traffic jams are rare on this liquid road trip.

Loften Creek Florida with Amelia Island Kayak Adventures
kayaking Loften Creek in Amelia Island Florida

Two recommended fun Florida adventures are kayaking in clear see-through kayaks in Punta Gorda and boat-assisted kayaking in Everglades.

Fantastic Photo Spots for Florida Wildlife

Perhaps the most unique and fun Florida animal is the West Indian manatee and the only legal place to swim with manatees is in Crystal River Florida. Explorida Adventures provided us a stellar experience and snapped this and other photos from our manatee adventure.

Manatee closeup Crystal River FL, photo by Explorida
Manatee closeup Crystal River FL, photo by Explorida

See this absolutely precious Instagram manatee pic. I always love manatee pix so tag me (@CharlesMcCool) when you post yours. See our article about swimming with manatees.

A rare white peacock in St Augustine is very Instaworthy. A couple of them run loose in and near the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

white peacock in St Augustine
white peacock in St Augustine

McCool Travel tip: The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park has a natural rookery area where thousands of migrating birds magically appear each winter. It is an amazing bird sanctuary where you can see roseate spoonbill babies (and other tropical bird varieties) up close. And if you cannot be there in person, check out the St Augustine Alligator Farm live cam (with sound!).

I am sure y’all are bored with my gator photos so my friend Lisa contributed this amazing one. See Lisa’s Instagram page for remarkable Florida bird photos.

baby alligator is colorful leaves
baby gator. photo credit Lisa Chavis

McCool Travel tip: the southern Everglades is the only place in the world to find alligators and crocodiles naturally living in the same area. One trillion bonus points if you capture them together in a photo.

Visit Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (near Naples, Florida) for a chance to see Florida panthers, black bears, coyotes, bald eagles, rattlesnakes, alligators, otters, other animals, and some super rare ghost orchids. They all appear on their Instagram page. See roseate spoonbills in many Florida locales. Visit the Everglades to see huge snakes and gators. Black bears roam in the area around Ocala National Park.

Fantastic Photo Spots in Florida: Beaches

Florida has more coastline than all other US states (except Alaska) and many of its beaches are annually ranked as some of the best. With more than 1,300 miles (2,000 km) of shoreline, there are countless amazing beach scenes to use as backdrops for your phenomenal Instagrammable Florida pictures.

First stop is Keewaydin Island near Naples Florida. Within five minutes of stepping on the island, I found more than 25 fully intact sand dollars. Incredible shelling opportunities can be found on most Southwest Florida and US Gulf Coast beaches, including Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.

sand dollars on Keewaydin Island Florida
sand dollars on Keewaydin Island Florida

The next photo could be on any Florida beach but was actually on Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. Typically great blue herons fly away when you get too close to them but this picture is a testament to how laid back Anna Maria Island beach is.

close up of great blue heron
Great Blue Heron on Anna Maria Island beach

McCool Travel tip: Florida Gulf Coast beaches like Indian Rocks Beach, Anna Maria Island, and Siesta Key are perfect for sunset pictures. In fact, see below for a whole section of sunset Instagram spots in Florida. Florida Gulf beaches are also perfect locations for some of the Best US Gulf Coast Restaurants and Chefs

Fantastic Florida Sunset Locations

I could post several dozen sunset photos but will instead provide a few photo locations in Florida where you can see and photograph amazing sunsets.

The next photo is likely my favorite sunset picture, even several years after I took it—and after hundreds of subsequent sunset pictures. I wish I had a better camera at the time to capture its brilliance. The good thing is that every night, dozens of residents and guests gather at this spot in Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs to collectively watch the sunset. McCool Travel tip: bring a picnic!

sunset from Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida
sunset from Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida

Our favorite Florida beaches for sunsets line the Gulf of Mexico and include Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Naples, Venice Beach, Pass-a-Grille, and Indian Rocks Beach (pictured below).

See also Best Places to Watch Anna Maria Island sunsets.

We hope you enjoyed our fun photo spots in Florida for nature lovers and encourage you to explore and discover your own Instagrammble Florida settings. Please tag us (@CharlesMcCool and @McCoolTravel) on your phenomenal photos so that we can share your findings.

15 Fun and Fascinating Photo Spots in Florida for Nature Lovers was first published on McCool Travel in 2020.

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