The Instagram app, without a doubt, has been the driving force behind the revival of photography over the past 5 years. Sure, there’s the rise of the smartphone camera giving us the ability to take photos at any moment—nowadays, everyone has a camera in their pocket—but the inspiration among today’s masses to take more pictures and have people actually see them, comes from Instagram, or “IG” for short. There’s something going on inside the walls of Instagram that you just can’t find on Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps it’s the simple interface, along with the near non-existence of sharp everyday scrutiny, politics, or even negativity, that makes Instagram a welcome haven for photographers of all varieties, as opposed to the other social media platforms. Another thing going for IG is their implementation of hashtags. Over the past couple years, Instagram hashtags have become more popular and utilitarian than Twitter’s, the original facilitator of the hashtag. Facebook’s use of hashtags seems to be the least relevant, although still useful.
What is a hashtag and how does it benefit you?
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound symbol, used in social media posts, to identify a certain or special subject. Once that particular hashtag is typed out by you, or anyone else, it is clickable, allowing you to see posts by everyone else in the world that have used the same special hashtag. A hashtag is essentially a way to catalog specific content, to be viewed by anyone interested enough to look into it. For instance, try #EUjaxPhotoSearch.
The IG scene in Jacksonville is absolutely thriving. A strong local community of photographers from casual to serious have been connected through the growth of the smartphone, Instagram, and specific 904-based social media initiatives such as Instagramers Jacksonville, better known as #igersjax (eye-jee-erz-jaks). IGers, aka Instagramers, is a social media/photography community that began in Spain (hence the slightly awkward spelling of Instagramers with only one m) and evolved into a worldwide network that functions on city, state, and countrywide levels. Locally created, owned, and managed: #igersjax is the official IGers community for the city of Jacksonville and the 904 area code.
Found on Instagram with over 35,000 members, under the account name @igersjax, they are renowned for reposting interesting and beautiful photos from everyday locals who add #igersjax in the captions of their instagrams, while supporting local history, art, business, and pop-culture. The hashtag itself has been used on Instagram over 400,000 times, giving the organization an eagle eye view on the latest and greatest in local photos, people, initiatives, and events. Although it’s a community of enormous talent, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to get your photo reposted by @igersjax. You can merely be a lucky shot. Their goal is to show off the essence of Jacksonville, and not necessarily the best of. It’s also worth mentioning, that they often host giveaways, contests, meet-ups (called instameets), and free photo classes with Hemming Park. The #igersjax machine runs constantly in the background of local social media and photography.
This list of the 21 Most Instagrammed places in Jacksonville, is derived from mining the #igersjax community itself. All photos were either found through the #igersjax hashtag, the temporary #EUjaxPhotoSearch hashtag, or in some cases, the geotagged location itself. These 21 places are THE go-to spots for Jaxsons taking and uploading instagrams. These areas give us a sense of self-importance, connection with other locals, and a collective well-being while giving us a breather from everyday life. Some of the locations are of a newer era, and some have been there for what seems like forever. We take photographs of these locations, and post them to the internet on an account that should, in theory, far outlive ourselves. And unforeseen by us, we are either leaving a legacy of what the world used to be, or what it has always looked like, for untold numbers of future generations. So next time you pull your phone or camera out to take a shot of some seemingly mundane thing or place and post it on Instagram, just remember how potentially important that action actually is, to you and possibly countless others. And if you take a good Jax shot, add #igersjax for old times sake.
Here’s the list. Please note that we have linked all of the photos to their respective creators. Feel free to explore their galleries on Instagram.
1. Dames Point Bridge
currently experiencing | B R I D G E • W I T H D R A W L | . . #damespointbridge #lookupclub #lookupseason #lookingup_architecture #bridges_of_instagram #bridges_aroundtheworld #arkiromantix #rustlord_archdesign #art_chitecture_ #archimasters #jj_architecture #archdaily #archilovers #architectureporn #rsa_architecture #ic_architecture #sky_high_architecture #symmetryaddicted #jj_symmetrical #allhailsymmetry #minimalarchitecture#igersjax #jj_florida#exklusive_shot#mindtheminimal#minimalobsession#minimal_lookup#IPA_BRIDGE#tv_leadinglines#igers_shapes
The Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge, aka Dames Point, is the shockingly beautiful cable-stayed bridge on the North Side of Jax. Massive and commanding, it stretches for a mile and a half across the marshy, brackish water, and touches the sky at 471 feet. Unfortunately, a lot of people take pictures from their car while they are driving on the bridge, which is never a wise move. It’s always better having a passenger take the shot, or to stop at the park that’s just underneath the north end of the bridge. At any rate, photos from the Dames Point are often as breathtaking as the drive over it.
2. The Elbow Alley
One of the beautiful murals in the back of @spliffsgastropub Its like a photographer’s dream back there 😘 A photo posted by Jax Food Blogger – Jill Cruz (@snackandjill) on
Tucked back into one of the few true alleyways in town is a spot so rife with local talent and immediacy that you just can’t help but feel a sense of pride for living in such a beautifully eclectic city. Sometimes referred to as The Bend, the stretch of alley behind the @FloridaTheatre and the soon-to-be @CowfordChophouse is a local photo hotspot. The colorful alley walls near and within the private back patio of both @1904MusicHall and @SpliffsGastroPub are covered in an unbelievable array of commissioned graffiti art pieces, like the one above by @nicosuavaliscious. You definitely want some of this stuff in your photo collection.
3. The Florida Theatre
Built before the invention of the amplified microphone, the Florida Theatre has its seasoned foot planted firmly in the city of Jax. It’s one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces in Florida, and is still a perfect place to catch a show that you’ll never forget. The back alleyway (The end of Elbow Alley) makes perfect backgrounds for portrait or model work. The interior and it’s attention to detail are absolutely dream-worthy. The flashy old marquis calls out to the instagramming masses to be captured and shared. The entertainment that this place has witnessed over the past 100 years hits legendary status. Everything about this classic structure screams, “Take pictures!”
4. The Cummer Gardens
Diana of the hunt. Fabulous day in the Cummer Gardens. A photo posted by Jennifer Wolfe (@inthegarden) on
Taking personal photos inside the Cummer Museum is a strict no-no, and for good reason. Flashes can fade the colored pigments of the old artworks over time. However, it’s perfectly fine to take photos in the Cummer Gardens behind the museum. Actually three distinct gardens, the English, Italian, and newly renovated Olmstead gardens are open to paying museum patrons. Walk the charming paths or take a break on the grass while you update your Instagram. Get right with the world. The Cummer Museum & Gardens is a classic Jacksonville location.
5. Myrtle Street Tunnel
The Myrtle Street Tunnel is essentially the remainders of Jacksonville’s tiny, forgotten subway system. It’s difficult to imagine people entering the tunnel from above to catch trains to nearby neighborhoods. Nowadays, aside from being a busy traffic tunnel connecting Downtown to Brooklyn, it’s more of a collector for heavy rain water and long-exposure photography. Park your car nearby and take a gander. It doesn’t feel like Jacksonville.
6. The Jacksonville Arboretum
Random sculptures in a park I didn’t know existed until yesterday. I’m a Jax native and have lived here for most of my life and I’m still finding places I’ve never been to before. #crumblissadventures A photo posted by Chelsea Crumbliss (@chelseacrumbliss) on
What was once an old strip mine for minerals to make titanium, is a chunk of land surrounding the Arlington East Water Treatment Facility, built in the 70s. For the next 30 years, the land that served as a buffer between the treatment facility and the rest of the world sat in disuse. Overgrown and laden with illegal dump trash, the site was eventually reclaimed by the city to become an Arboretum for the public. Nowadays it’s so pristine that you would never know its past existed. As of late, there has been a stricter photography policy in the park. Personal photos and instagrams are ok, but you must pay to hold professional sessions. These new rules are a result of people trampling on plants and flowers in an attempt to get a good shot. So please, do not disrespect the property if you plan to photograph.
7. Riverfront Park
There are few places in the flat, pine infested lands of Jacksonville to witness a halfway proper sunset on a near flat horizon. None may be more sacred and perfect for a photo than the often overlooked Riverfront Park in San Marco. It’s a tad small and the parking can be a bit of a struggle, but this block long strip of land along the east bank of the St. Johns gives you the perfect vantage point for those unforgettably colorful sunsets. The trick is knowing the right day to pounce. We only get about a dozen or so truly remarkable sunsets a year.
8. Memorial Park
I went for a ride today and got this at Memorial Park, Jacksonville. #florida #jacksonville #city #riverside #saintjohnsriver #urban #sky #travel #dslr #sonya7r #sony #statue #park #art #photooftheday #sundays #happymothersday #life #igersjax #igers #roamflorida #pureflorida #america #duval #onlyinduval A photo posted by Lou Tennant (@thetennantnextdoor) on
Time certainly flows a bit slower in Memorial Park. Perhaps it’s the open circular field surrounded by old Southern Oaks, or the stunning river view. Maybe it’s the bronze sculpture called LIFE that memorializes the 1,200 Floridian soldiers that died in the First World War. Either way, a lot of calm, healthy energy is focused here. Spending time in MemPark for a few minutes of a hectic day is like cleansing the palette between bites of sushi with slices of zesty pink ginger. Throw in a camera, and it can be a temporary zen. Don’t forget to look for locals doing acro-yoga and rope-walking like it ain’t nothin. Hint: It’s something.
9. Treaty Oak
The massive Southern Oak in Jesse Ball duPont Park is probably the oldest living thing you can Instagram in the entire city. At around 250 years old, it literally predates the founding of Jacksonville. It’s wooden tentacles reach out from the 8ft thick base in all directions to fill the area with a cool, flickering shade. With everything from picnics to family outings to weddings being captured on camera, Treaty Oak is a popular photo spot for for obvious reasons. The largest tree in the smallest park in Jax is projected to live for another 400 years. Wow!
10. Black Sheep (Rooftop Bar)
Last night was pretty amazing! Had a blast networking with wedding vendor friends and meeting new ones at the @theblacksheepbride’s event. Bunch of my @Instagram friends were at the same place also for another kind of gathering, and it was fun catching up with them. Needless to say, my heart was full! ❤️ #goodpeople #ilovejax A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Corinna J. Hoffman⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@corinnahoffman) on
The giant wedge that houses the Black Sheep Restaurant and Rooftop Bar was built just a few short years ago, and has quickly become a favorite hangout for Jax locals. The food and drink is great, but there’s just something about that rooftop atmosphere that makes everything even better. This place can make anyone feel special. The sharp architectural lines and view of Riverside and Downtown are always tempting us to take a picture. Go ahead and snap away, but only after you order a Dusty Boot.
11. Hemming Park
For 150 years, Hemming Park has been the anchor of Downtown Jacksonville. Through eras of good and bad, the trusty ol’ park has remained. Tons of photographs have been taken around here since the turn of the 20th century, and nowadays the sheer volume is a little staggering. Combine the almost non-stop events going on in and around Hemming Park with the monthly Artwalk and occasional festivals, and you have an endless plethora of photos depicting the life and times within the city’s urban core. Currently, #igersjax holds a free photo class every Wednesday in partnership with Hemming. Stop by sometime.
12. CoRK Arts District
Here is my love holding my small portrait of her in front of my large Girl with Flowers #6 of her. #jeffluqueart #suziwestmodel #girlwithflowers #portrait #studio #artforbreakfast #art #fineart #modernart #contemporaryart #igers #igersjax #igerspinoy #love #big #small #paintings #arts_help A photo posted by jeffrey luque (@jeffreyluqueart) on
A large warehouse of 80,000 square feet with separate workspace studios for artists of all mediums and styles, CoRK stands for Corner of Roselle & King. Covered with outstanding graffiti on the outside, with a warm gooey center of thought-provoking artistic expression, CoRK is the veritable Mecca of local creativity. The photo above is of local model @suziwestmodel, holding a small painting of herself, in front of a large painting of herself by artist @jeffreyluqueart for his series entitled Girl with Flowers. CoRK is undeniably magical. The building itself is not open to the public, but they do host open house events fairly regularly. Keep an eye out.
13. MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
A photo posted by ☠The_Infader☠ (@the_infader) on
Behold! Unlike most museums of this stature. MOCA’s firm belief in the power of social media allows for the use of photography (without flash) within their immaculate space. It is a welcomed privilege for instagramers and photographers alike. Yes, you can take a selfie with an Andy Warhol piece and post it to the Internet without being tackled by a watchful security guard! There’s more than just art viewing going on inside the massive building’s five floors; with a top floor devoted entirely to children, the wonderful @NolaMoca café, and a huge atrium space for seasonal art installments in between, MOCA has the ability to give you some highly interesting photographs.
14. Chamblin’s Bookmine (and Uptown)
From when I took Kayla exploring at Chamblin’s Bookmine. #flashbackfriday A photo posted by Guy Barnhart (@guybarnhart) on
Chamblin’s might just be the most beloved and well-known of small businesses here in Jacksonville. Whether you love to read books or not, there is no denying the allure of the unique space within the Bookmine on Roosevelt Blvd. Their Uptown location (located downtown) is basically a mini version of the flagship store, but complete with an impressive, yet highly affordable cafe. The atmosphere of Chamblin’s is a little mysterious but always inviting, therefore photograph friendly. Post and geotag your instagrams from Chamblin’s, and your cool and nerd levels simultaneously go up a notch.
15. Main Street Bridge
People from all over the US who have been to, or have driven through Jacksonville, Florida seem to remember one thing: that blue bridge. As the most iconic structure in the city, it rightly deserves it’s own spot on the list. The large amount of instagrams posted containing the blue girders of the John T. Alsop bridge in some way, shape, or form is testament to that. Whether you’re a Jax local, or a fly-by-night tourist just passing through, you probably have a picture of the Main St. Bridge in your back pocket. On your phone.
16. Bold Bean Coffee
Another day, another latte @boldbeancoffee #latteart #latte #ilovejax #thejaxbox #igersjax #voidlive #coffeelovers #coffeeculture #jacksonville #bestcoffee #morningroutine A photo posted by Jeff Davis (@senator_davis) on
Award winning taste and a photo friendly atmosphere, Bold Bean is truly a local gem. In a sea of Apple laptops and busy minds are brimming cups of the finest Joe, many with frothy flowerlike decorations poured into them. These temporary works of art are almost impossible not to capture on camera. They’re ridiculously attractive. Regardless, the coffee is highly superb, and the space is really nice too. Be sure to check out that roaster behind the glass wall while you sip the brew. Also, grow a beard if you can. This place loves beards.
17. The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
Unreal moment today… As My wife and I were taking photos of the monkeys I waved to this monkey as he looked at me and he started waving back at me. It was pretty incredible🙉🙉🙉interested in a print of canvas/metal print let me know [email protected] #monkey #AnimalElite #animalsmood #animalsturk #animalsshots #animal_sultans #animalfanatics #animal_captures #amazing_pictures #Animazing_wildlife #animals_in_world #voidlive #rsa_nature #ig_great_animals #ic_animals #splendid_animals #cs_animals #bd_animal #nature2000 #nature_sultans #nature_perfection #jacksonvillezooandgardens #world_shotz #worldbestgram #ig_excellence #ig_great_pics #pocket_animal
A photo posted by George Varkanis (@gvarkanis_photography) on
Honestly, who doesn’t like the Zoo? It’s just good ol’ downright fun for everyone. And bringing a DSLR or Mirrorless camera (and zoom lens) along on the adventure can sometimes double the experience. Taking pictures of the animals, plants, and visitors of the Jax Zoo can be a little challenging for someone carrying just a smartphone camera, but it’s not impossible. Just be sure to tag your instagrams of the amazing tiger exhibit with the ironically clever hashtag #tigersjax.
18. Everbank Field, the Jaguars, and the Scoreboards
Touchdowns NEVER get old! #morejax #jaguars #touchdownkid #cooper #jagsgamedaylive #igersjax A photo posted by @rnsands on
Everbank Field is probably one of the coolest places in the world. Haters can joke about the crazy pools all they want, but let’s be real—those pools are awesome, dudes. Watching the Post to Post Links II error: No link found for term slug "jaguars" play while taking selfies of you and your people can be undeniably fun as well. Probably because the Jags might just repost your photo on the world’s largest scoreboards if you use their hashtag #jagsgamedaylive in your instagrams and tweets. Infinitely cool! There are a million photographs a minute flying through this place during game day.
19. Big Talbot Island
#rsa_dark #royalsnappingartists #thehorrorgallery #igdungeon #tv_soul #dream_editors #darkart #sensual_art #fineartstorage #bs_world #ig_sensual_art #artistz_united #masters_of_darkness #jj_humanedge #igersjax #surreal42 #ig_muse #jj_sombre #igaa #rsa_mystery #bnwbutnot #cf_graphics #_dark_portraits #rsa_portraits #pf_arts #artistry_flair #unitedbyedit #infamous_family
A photo posted by Jason D. Marshall (@kissnavy) on
Like something out of a fantasy movie or an old leathery novel, the smooth, pale, twisted corpses of old trees on Big Talbot’s northeastern coast are truly a sight to behold. For 10,000 years, scores of Southern Oaks and Cedars have been falling out of the thick palmetto forest and down the eroding sandy cliffside where they undergo a slow breakdown of composition on the swirled wet sands and slick black rocks of the beach. Over time, wind and waves sandblast and scatter the old wooden skeletons across the coastline into nothingness. But for now, we’ll just take interesting pictures and post them on the Internet. RIP, trees.
20. Sunrise at the Jax Beach Pier
•\\• Open to do photoshoots this weekend! DM me if interested🙂 •\\• A photo posted by Kenny (@kryptoknight) on
People take an untold amount of photos along the First Coast, but no spot is more revered or recognized by locals than the famous Jax Beach Pier. Of course, the time of day can deliver different photographable results. Full moons and sunsets are nice here, but the sunrise over the ocean is where it’s at. Piercing the tides, the pier often serves as a great subject or reference point in a palette of ever-changing colors. Bring a tripod for advantage.
21. The Jacksonville Skyline
Often overlooked in glossy online lists of “Greatest US skylines” is, hands down, one of the most beautifully framed downtown skylines in all of the country: Jacksonville. Thanks to the flat blue-brown line of the St. Johns River cutting through what is essentially the center of the city, our North and South banks’ skylines are presented as well composed, almost panoramic vistas that are virtually perfect to photograph. A well framed shot of the Northbank from the Southbank with the Main St. Bridge on the right, is THE quintessential Jacksonville Instagram. Truly unique and unforgettable is the city of Jax. And this is where we live. Might as well take a picture.