Whether you live in Tampa, Fla., or plan to visit, you're in luck: It's one of the best places in Florida to take fantastic pictures. Depending on your interests, here are some great photo locations for you to consider.
For night shots, the Tampa skyline is a must-see, and downtown Tampa near the Hillsborough River makes for fantastic images. Also check out Bayshore Boulevard, which looks great at any time of day. Tampa's Skyway Bridge against a clear or stormy sky will give you a guaranteed great shot.
The famous bridge, which is more than 5 and a half miles long, spans from Palma Ceia, in Tampa, to just south of St. Petersburg.
Visit some photographers' Flickr galleries: Tampa skyline
Try a walking tour of the historic Ybor district, where Cuban immigrants used to roll cigars and tourists and locals alike stroll the brick-lined streets. Be sure to check out the University of Tampa. Its distinctive minarets make great shots, and the beautifully landscaped grounds provide spectacular portrait backdrops.
Ybor City is located northeast of downtown Tampa on I-4 at Exit 1, just a short walk from the Ybor Visitor Information Center. The University of Tampa is located in downtown Tampa on the riverfront, at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Wedding and family portraits
While the university is a great spot to photograph a wedding party, Tampa is one of the best places in the country to photograph a sunset over the water, as very few U.S. coastlines offer this view.
Imagine your family reunion, wedding or next holiday photograph taken on one of Tampa's beautiful beaches, with a blushing sky behind you. Try Caladesi Island, which can be accessed by private boat or ferry, or set up a shot on Fort De Soto County Park's pristine white sands.
Fort De Soto park consists of the historical landmarks and a string of five protected, interconnected islands. It's about an hour from Tampa and involves a toll road or two, but it's worth the drive. To reach them from Tampa, take I-275 to south St. Petersburg. Take exit 17 for Pinellas Bayway / Florida 682 W. Turn left at the Pinellas Bayway and continue on to Fort De Soto park, located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde.
To reach Caladesi Island, you need to take a ferry, located at the west end of Dunedin Causeway, at the end of State Road 586. The park is located at #1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin.
Florida's Native Beauty
Check out Lettuce Lake Park, where you'll get great photos of egrets, herons and hawks, Cypress trees, otters, and even basking alligators -- all from the safety of a meandering boardwalk. It's the real Florida that still exists in our back yards. For a more secluded vista, try Anclote Key State Preserve in Tarpon Springs. It's worth the trip by private boat for the amazing photos you'll get of our native birds, including ospreys and hawks amid the pines, and countless seabirds that hover near the 19th century lighthouse. For close-up manatee encounters, visit the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing area, which attracts the endangered mammals during cold winter months.
Lettuce Lake Park is located at 6920 E Fletcher Avenue near the Hillsborough River, west of I-75. To reach Anclote Key State Preserve, located three miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs, you must take a private boat or ferry service. Two providers are Sun Line Cruises 727-944-4468 and Sponge-O-Rama 727-943-2164, which can be found at Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.
Tampa provides countless wonderful photo opportunities for the amateur or professional photographer. Take a step off the beaten path and snap some memories you'll treasure for years.
- Caladesi Island
- the University of Tampa