Top 12 Scenic Spots for Photos on Florida's Historic Coast

It’s virtually impossible to take a bad photo on Florida’s Historic Coast. But if you need some inspiration for scenic Instagram shots or selfies to make your friends jealous, we’ve got a few suggestions.

August 24, 2020
Nightlife on Aviles Street

1. Aviles Street

Chances are, you’ll be down the oldest street in the U.S. a lot while you’re visiting. The quaint shops and outdoor cafes on this brick-lined street will remind you of Europe. Be sure to walk the length of the street to catch the wonderful balconies with cascading bougainvillea and the many little side streets lined with ancient walls, flowering vines, and secret doorways.

old fort castillo
Castillo de San Marcos at sunrise

2. Castillo de San Marcos

The grounds of this oldest masonry fort in the U.S. makes for some impressive shots, especially when you shoot from one of its corners and catch the turrets and palm trees in the background. There’s almost no bad time to photograph here, but sunrise and sunset sky have a dazzling effect on this iconic coquina fortress.

lion sculpture on bridge of lions
Bridge of Lions

3. Bridge of Lions

The bayfront on the Matanzas River is beautiful any time of day, but everyone’s favorite is the lions on the east side of the bridge. You can count on clear blue skies as a backdrop for these white marble guardians at the foot of the bridge. Or, be sure and try at sunset, when they’re bathed in golden light.

4. The City Gate

At the very end, or beginning, of St. George Street you’ll come upon the City Gate. You may be lucky enough to be here when re-enactors parade down in full costume and interact with visitors. But, even so, the gate offers a lovely backdrop with an authentic, old-world feel that’s hard to mistake for anything else.

Flagler College
Historic Architecture at Flagler College

5. Flagler College

Once the Gilded Age’s finest hotel, the Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College, is a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture. Be sure to capture it from the courtyard of the Lightner Museum across King Street, especially just before sunset, when its terra cotta roof tiles contrast with the blue sky and its coquina walls are cast in a warm golden glow.

red convertible on magnolia avenue
Magnolia Avenue

6. Magnolia Avenue

Magnolia Avenue is on everybody’s must-see list. This natural tunnel of love created by a canopy of majestic oak trees is stunning any time of day as the sun creates a magical dapple of light on the road.

Lighthouse in the St. Augustine marsh
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

7. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

It’s worth the effort to climb all 219 steps because there’s nothing quite like a view from the top. From here you can see the Atlantic Ocean, the Historic District, the top of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, and miles and miles of unspoiled natural beauty. Capture some incredible images any time of day, especially on a clear day, but also around sunset or during the full moon tours. The lighthouse will not disappoint.

8. Vilano Beach Fishing Pier

Sunsets are beautiful all over Florida’s Historic Coast, but they’re extra special on the pier at Vilano as you overlook the Matanzas Bay. Be sure to grab a selfie with the local icon, the Blue Bird of Happiness on the pier. He never takes a bad photo.

Sunset in Ponte Vedra Beach
GTM Overlook

9. GTM Overlook

The GTM Research Reserve offers so many amazing opportunities to explore nature and capture its beauty. Try the North Beach access at sunrise, and you’ll likely catch a stunning view as the sun peeks over the Atlantic. You won’t be the first to capture photos from this picture-perfect location.

10. TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse

Home of THE PLAYERS Championship, the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra is on every golfer’s bucket list. And, fans of beautiful architecture appreciate the breathtaking Mediterranean style of the Clubhouse that has welcomed many a golfing legend. From any vantage point, the Clubhouse is majestic. If you’re visiting during the holidays, the lights at night will dazzle.

World Golf Hall of Fame
World Golf Hall of Fame Tower & Fountain

11. World Golf Hall of Fame Tower & Fountain

Located in World Golf Village, you’ll want to see the displays inside honoring the many men and women golfers who’ve achieved legendary status in the sport. You’ll be equally impressed with the landmark tower standing tall over the grounds. Try a view from across the lake and fountain to truly capture its size.

Sunset at Alpine Groves Park
Sunset at Alpine Groves Park

12. Alpine Groves Park Fishing Pier

Head out west toward Fruit Cove for a commanding view of the St. Johns River. The Fishing Pier at Alpine Grove Park offers an unobstructed view of amazing sunsets over the water. You might capture some sunset shots with Spanish moss hanging from the many oaks as you walk or hike along this natural enclave.

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