I moved back to the Jacksonville & St Augustine, Florida area in 2016. Prior to this, I had been to a few parks and preserves in the area, but definitely not all.
Though, I still haven't been to all of them (if you know of a gem of park PLEASE tell me!) I have been to many all over the area so, I can share with you my Top FIVE park for Family Photography sessions!
1) TIDEVIEWS PRESERVE in Atlantic Beach, Florida
My first time at this park I didn't even know or appreciate all it had to offer. (which makes me sad) Even my second time there I didn't utilize all of it...but my third session there....MAGIC. I explored all it had to offer and it made me wonder why I had not done more sessions there!
Tall sea grass and trees? Check.
Wooden walkways surrounded by trees? Check
Wooden walkways surrounded by beautiful grassy marsh? Check.
Whether at sunrise or sunset this park is definitely one I recommend to any family willing to head to Atlantic Beach.
2) RAVINE GARDENS State Park in Palatka, Florida
To say this is a hidden gem is an understatement.
The flowers, the ravine with bridges, ponds, clear streams, it is definitely worth the drive.
Especially for a family with active little ones. This park will let them splash, climb steps, look for gators (yes, I've seen one there) and enjoy themselves.
3) FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY at WILLIAM SHEFFIELD park in north Jacksonville, Florida
I have to thank one of my amazing families for showing me this park (which is now a fave to recommend to my clients living in north Jacksonville).
The paved walkways, beautiful light over the lake in the morning or through the trees in the evening, plus the large grassy area and of course the areas near the lake to explore, I have loved every session I have done here so far.
4) WASHINGTON OAKS GARDENS near Palm Coast, Florida
This gorgeous park is highly requested for family photoshoots as you can't google it without seeing BEAUTIFUL images of these amazing gardens. It is always worth the drive and has a variety of backgrounds just from walking through the park.
Even if you don't go for photos, I would take the family for a day trip here just for fun. (and I have)
5) ALPINE GROVES PARK in Fruit Cove, Florida
So, this park is VERY well known for photos of all kinds. From Family to high school homecoming, but when I have a family with active kiddos who can't drive too far this is definitely my TOP choice.
Why? Because I've done entire sessions with kids walking on trees, exploring the flower bed, running through the grass and looking for fish off the dock. It's an easy place to let them explore and still get great family photos.
(yes all three are from the same session, BUT it's one I knew we danced, ran, jumped and played)
Are there MANY more parks to choose from? Absolutely. If you don't see a park here you love then just ask, as I have more suggestions for sure.
Ready to book a 2024 Family Photoshoot? CLICK HERE to grab my guide!