Best Places to Take Pictures in Pensacola [for Selfies & Photo Shoots]
November 29th 2020
Pensacola, Florida, is known far and wide as a beautiful beachside destination encompassed in natural beauty, historic landmarks, amazing artwork, and incredible activities and attractions. With so much to see and do, a trip to Pensacola is sure to make for the best vacation to date! Even though you’re practically guaranteed to return home with some amazing and unforgettable memories, one way to be sure these memories last forever, is to document it!
There are tons of social media-worthy photo-ops in the Pensacola area, which make for the perfect souvenir! Not only that, they are sure to leave everyone back home in awe, and longing for their next trip to the Emerald Coast. Grab your camera, discover the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, and see what develops!
Table of Contents
- Pensacola Beach
- Pensacola Beach Photography
- Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruises
- Downtown Pensacola
- Historic Pensacola Village
- Seville Square
- Palafox Pier
- City Tours
- Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
- National Naval Aviation Museum
- Art and Murals
- Graffiti Bridge
- Pensacola Postcard
- Nature Trails and Parks
- 12th Avenue Tree Tunnel
- Edward Ball Nature Trail
- Big Lagoon State Park
- Pensacola Bay Bluffs Park
Image of the beautiful beaches of Pensacola from Wikimedia
When it comes to the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, an iconic beach photo is a must! Pensacola Beach is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches on the Emerald Coast with soft, white sand, crystal-clear water, and rolling sand dunes as far as the eye can see. Any photo shoot with this aesthetically pleasing backdrop is sure to impress your friends and family back home!
Take it one step further and grab a selfie at the Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier for panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola Beach, and beyond! After you snap your pic, be sure to explore the 1,470-foot pier itself and watch as anglers reel in their catch, observe the wonderful wildlife that surrounds you, and depending on the time of day, witness a breathtaking sunrise or sunset. A one-time observer pass to walk down the pier is $1.25, and an all-day pass is $2.25. For more information and pricing, click here.
Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier Address: 41 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
While on Pensacola Beach, you will also want to be sure to snap a selfie with the Pensacola Beach water tower in the background. This famous tower is sometimes referred to as the beach ball water tower, as the top of it is painted to look like a beach ball. Easy to spot at Casino Beach, a selfie with Pensacola’s beloved beach ball is the perfect way to remember all of the fun in the sun that you had at the beach!
Speaking of signage, the Pensacola Beach sign located on Gulf Breeze Parkway is another area landmark that is perfect for selfies and photo shoots. This flashy and fabulous sign welcomes travelers to the beach, and has a massive sailfish on top that points visitors in the right direction. Built in 1960, this sign has been featured in many publications, recreated multiple times across many artistic mediums, and is a must-see when in the area.
Image of the Pensacola Beach Futuro House from Wikimedia
Now here’s a selfie spot that’s out of this world! Just a short, scenic drive down Pensacola Beach is the famous and unforgettable Pensacola Beach Futuro House, sometimes called the “UFO House.” Built in the late 1960s, this unique dwelling is one of only 60 that remain across the globe, and will make you feel as if you’ve been abducted and transported to Area 51!
Address: 1304 Panferio Drive, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Lasty, we would be remiss to not mention Gulf Islands National Seashore! Both Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key are home to the longest stretch of federally protected coastline, and this beautiful, untouched area provides unobstructed and unparalleled beach views. One of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, this secluded seashore will have you feel as if you are on your own private beach!
Aside from great photos, Gulf Islands National Seashore is a great place for wildlife viewing, snorkeling, swimming, and spending a good old-fashioned day at the beach! Also, within Gulf Islands National Seashore are three forts, which date back to the early 1800s. Full of history and photo-ops, check out one, or all, of these landmarks located within the Gulf Islands National Seashore, for an unforgettable Pensacola Beach experience:
- Fort Pickens
- Fort Barrancas
- Fort McRee
Pensacola Beach Photography
Pictured above is a Pensacola Beach photography session with Simply Charming Photos
If Pensacola Beach photos sound like exactly what you’re looking for, then you may want to consider booking a photo session with Simply Charming Photos! This is the perfect option for those who aren’t confident in their photography skills, as well as those who prefer the ease and convenience of having a professional behind the lens. Even further, it removes the stress of having to plan the shoot, so all you have to do is show up and say, “cheese!”
Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruises
One family states, in a recent TripShock Traveler Story, that they took the most beautiful pictures aboard a Pensacola Beach dolphin cruise
One of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, without a doubt, is aboard a Pensacola Beach dolphin cruise! With scenic beauty completely surrounding you, finding the perfect backdrop for an epic picture is a cinch. Dolphins love to jump the wake of the boat, so, if you’re lucky, you may even get photo-bombed by Flipper or one of his friends!
Photo shoots aside, Pensacola Beach dolphin cruises are simply a ton of fun. Everyone from little kids, to grandma and grandpa, will love sightseeing and searching for wildlife aboard a scenic cruise through Pensacola Bay. Top sights from a dolphin cruise in Pensacola include:
- Wonderful wildlife like dolphins, sharks, manatees, turtles, stingrays, pelicans, and more
- Landmarks such as Fort Pickens, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
- Stunning sunsets, depending on the time of day
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- And MORE!
Historic downtown Pensacola
After visiting the area’s beautiful beaches, it’s time to head downtown! This area is one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, with artwork scattered throughout, amazing architecture, and historic buildings and landmarks. With a history dating back over 450 years, there’s no shortage of post-worthy photo-ops in downtown Pensacola.
Historic Pensacola Village
Pictured above is the Museum of Industry, located in Historic Pensacola
Within the confines of downtown Pensacola lies nearly nine acres of history and culture, in what is known as Historic Pensacola Village. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Historic Pensacola Village is home to nearly 30 notable properties, with 11 of them open to the public.
The stunning Old Christ Church in Historic Pensacola Village
Not only is visiting the historic district a great way to dive deeper into the rich and diverse history of the area, but it is also one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola! Some of the top photo-ops in Pensacola’s Historic Village include the following:
- Museum of Industry
- Julee Cottage
- Lavalle House
- Old Christ Church
- Dorr House
- And MORE!
This lovely small park near downtown is one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola
Seville Square is a picture-perfect park located in historic downtown Pensacola, with a history dating back to 1752. Surrounded by historic buildings, this park combines both history and nature in the most photogenic way. This area also hosts tons of popular events and festivals, making for even more memories and photo-ops! Popular annual events that take place in Seville Square include the following:
- Pensacola Seafood Festival
- Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival
- Pensacola Christmas Market at Seville Square
The oak trees are another unique feature of this park, and truly reflect the importance of the arts in this area. There are three limb braces in place here, which are used to support the heavy and massive branches of the park’s live oaks. If you take a closer look, you can see that the limb braces were actually carved into sculptures by talented artists Mario Parra and Elizabeth Thompson.
Wood carving used to hold up tree branch in Seville Square
These braces were created using the trunk of a massive cedar, which had to be taken down after Hurricane Ivan. As you can see, not only is Seville Square one of the best places to take unique pictures in Pensacola, but it is also a wonderful park that combines nature, history, art, and culture in a fun and distinctive way.
Pictured above is Seville Quarter, one of the best places to go for live music in Pensacola
Not to be confused with Seville Square, Seville Quarter is an entertainment complex located in downtown Pensacola known for its spectacular club and bar scene, live music, fine dining, shopping, and more! Since 1967, Seville Quarter has been a Pensacola icon, and has grown to include seven rooms, each offering a fun and unique experience. From dueling pianos, to DJs playing the top hits, there’s something here for all types of party people. Check out these different rooms in Seville Quarter, and get the whole experience:
- Rosie O’Grady’s
- Phineas Phogg’s
- Lili Marlene’s
- Apple Annie’s
- Fast Eddie’s
- End o’ the Alley
- Palace Cafe
While you’re having a blast on the dance floor, don’t forget to snap some pics to remember your epic night out on the town! Seville Quarter is jam packed with photo opportunities, from the balcony at Phineas Phogg’s overlooking the dance floor, to the luscious courtyard at End o’ the Alley, there are tons of photo-ops to take advantage of. For more information about this fantastic venue, click here: https://www.sevillequarter.com/
Pelican at the Palafox Pier in Pensacola
Palafox Pier can be found on the south side of Palafox Street, with Plaza de Luna located at the very end. This area overlooks Pensacola Bay, and is one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola. This waterfront park was named after the Spanish Conquistador Don Tristan De Luna, who sailed here in 1559 to establish the first European colony in North America! They abandoned this area two years later, after a hurricane caused severe damage.
Another fun fact about this area is that it is home to one of the many Pelicans in Paradise that are scattered throughout the city. What started as a fundraiser and community art project to rejuvenate the arts scene in Pensacola, is now one of the neatest and most unique displays along the Emerald Coast. Find more of Pensacola’s Pelicans in Paradise for awesome avian selfies:
Discover the rich history of Pensacola on an enlightening city tour with Go Retro Tours
As you can probably now see, Pensacola is full of history and historic landmarks, natural beauty, and tons of sightseeing opportunities. For those unfamiliar with Pensacola, however, making sure you’re experiencing the best of what Pensacola has to offer can be difficult. Not only that, navigating an unfamiliar city can prove to be stressful.
Luckily, Pensacola is home to some amazing tour companies who take visitors on unforgettable city sightseeing tours! City tours are a great way to see the area while riding in style, and allow you to rest assured that you’re seeing the top Pensacola landmarks, attractions, and more. Have a local and knowledgeable tour guide show you the highlights of The City of Five Flags, and be sure to take some fantastic photos along the way!
Pensacola museums and their amazing exhibits make for great photo-ops
With Pensacola’s rich history and appreciation for the arts, it’s no wonder the area is home to many marvelous and magnificent museums! Pensacola museums are a great way to combine learning and fun, and see the area in a whole new way. You may be surprised to discover that some of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola are actually at the museum. Check out these fabulous museums in Pensacola that are perfect for photo shoots and selfies!
Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Image of Pensacola Lighthouse courtesy of https://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/
Climb up the 177 steps to the top of the Pensacola Lighthouse for gorgeous Gulf Coast views like you’ve never seen before! Panoramic views of the Gulf not only make for top-notch sightseeing, but first-class photos, as well. Built in 1859 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a trip to this beautiful piece of maritime history is a must when visiting Pensacola!
Address: 2081 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola, FL 32508
National Naval Aviation Museum
Image courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum
Not only is the National Naval Aviation Museum one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, it is also one of the most-visited museums in the entire state of Florida! And as the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum, it’s easy to see why. This massive museum is home to over 150 restored aircrafts representing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation, and amazing attractions including:
- Naval Aviation Memorial Giant Screen Theater
- Two MaxFlight 360 Simulators
- Virtual Reality Experiences
- Blue Angels 4D Theater
- Blue Angels Practice Sessions
- Virtual Flight Deck
- And MORE!
With so many incredible exhibits and things to do, the National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the top kid-friendly activities near Perdido Key, and is something the whole family will love. While you’re there, just be sure to land an amazing selfie, post it to social media, and watch the likes and comments take off! For more information about the National Naval Aviation Museum, click here.
Address: 1750 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola, FL 32508
Art and Murals
Graffiti wall during Gallery Night in Pensacola. Image from Flickr
The arts scene is thriving in Pensacola, and is known for its wide variety of galleries, performing arts, cultural events, and talented local artists. And while you should definitely experience these venues at some point, you don’t necessarily have to in order to discover the amazing art that Pensacola has to offer. Local artists are constantly showing off their skills in the form of murals, which are scattered throughout the city.
Image from https://www.facebook.com/thegraffitibridge/
The Pensacola Graffiti Bridge was built in 1888 as a railroad bridge, but has transformed into so much more than that! Treated as a canvas to showcase their talents, artists have been decorating this local landmark as far back as 1935. Completely covered in graffiti and constantly changing, this unique expression of art is one of the absolute best places to take pictures in Pensacola!
Address: N. 17th Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32502
Pictured above is the Pensacola Postcard mural
One of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, and quite possibly one of the most popular, is at the Pensacola Postcard mural! Located in the attractive East Hill neighborhood, this giant, 1940s-style mural was inspired by an actual vintage Pensacola postcard. Painted in February of 2018 by local artist, Patti Gillespie, the Pensacola Postcard attracts tons of visitors, and locals, in search of the perfect photo-op.
Address: 2435 N. 12th Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32503
Nature Trails and Parks
Gorgeous and luscious nature trail at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola
The beauty of the great outdoors in Pensacola covers so much more than the area’s breathtaking beaches. From nature trails through hardwood swamps, to the bluffs at Escambia Bay, there is so much natural beauty to behold. Escape into the wilderness and discover the top nature trails and parks for selfies and photo shoots in Pensacola!
12th Avenue Tree Tunnel
Beautiful trees forming a tunnel over 12th Avenue in Pensacola
Located on 12th avenue between Barcia Drive and Driftwood Drive, is the 12th Avenue Tree Tunnel. While this is technically not a nature trail, the natural formation of these oak trees create one of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola! This road is open to through traffic, please only take photos when it is clear and safe to do so.
Edward Ball Nature Trail
Stunning scenic views at Edward Ball Nature Trail in Pensacola
The Edward Ball Nature Trail is located at the University of West Florida, and is perfect for those looking for a peaceful wilderness retreat. The trail is a one-mile loop that takes visitors through Thompson’s Bayou, which is a beautiful hardwood swamp. Edward Ball Nature Trail is also a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, so be sure to look out for rare and unique birds while taking photos in this natural outdoor oasis!
Big Lagoon State Park
One of the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, Big Lagoon State Park is known for its breathtaking views
Nature-lovers and wildlife photographers will absolutely love Big Lagoon State Park. Diverse ecosystems, ranging from pine flatwoods to saltwater tidal marshes, make this state park the ideal location for spotting tons of spectacular flora and fauna. This area is also a gateway site for the Great Florida Birding Trail, attracting dozens of migratory bird species throughout the year.
Finding photo-ops at Big Lagoon State Park is easy, especially since this area is one of the top reasons to visit Pensacola, FL. From the stunning and serene waters of Big Lagoon itself, to the breathtaking views from the top of the three-story observation tower, there are plenty of opportunities for fantastic photos at Big Lagoon State Park.
Couple kayaking through serene waters at Big Lagoon State Park
After capturing the perfect photo, it’s time to explore the rest of what Big Lagoon State Park has to offer. Luckily, with plenty of awesome outdoor activities available, spending a day at the state park is easy. Kayaking is one of the top activities at Big Lagoon State Park. This area marks the beginning (or end) of the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, that takes participants around the entire state! If you’re looking for something a little less extreme, other top activities here include:
- And MORE!
Address: 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola, FL 32507
Pensacola Bay Bluffs Park
Beautiful beaches at Pensacola Bay Bluffs Park
Make your way down the steep and scenic bluffs, through the towering trees, to beautiful Escambia Bay at Bay Bluffs Park! An organic wonder, these bluffs are made of red clay, are unique to Pensacola, FL, and allow you to see the city from a whole new perspective. This 42-acre park and nature preserve has a steep, winding boardwalk, yielding enchanting views you have to see to believe!
Walkway to the beach at Pensacola Bay Bluffs Park
With that being said, this park is not recommended for those with mobility issues or accessibility needs. The only way to get to the beach and the different observation points is by using the steep stairs that zigzag over a half-mile through the cliffs and forest. Please use caution when walking this trail.
Address: 3400 Scenic Highway, Pensacola, FL 32503
View of Perdido Key from Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola
When searching for the best places to take pictures in Pensacola, you don’t have to look far! With such a rich history, diverse culture, appreciation for the arts, awe-inspiring scenic beauty, and incredible things to do in charming Pensacola, FL, finding a photo-worthy spot is easy. Just don’t forget to grab your camera, your charger, and your favorite people, and prepare to capture unforgettable memories, and photos, that will last a lifetime.
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