12 Favorite East Coast Photography Locations

While many think the west is the best when it comes to landscape photography, there are many locations on the East Coast that provide sweeping vistas, plentiful wildlife and spectacular seasons. Here are 12 must-see East Coast locations for landscape, nature and wildlife photography.

1. Coastal Areas, Maine

With 57 active lighthouses, 30-plus miles of white sand beaches, and thousands of miles of rocky shoreline and tidal inlets, and you have one of the best places in the world for shooting beautiful seascapes. Read more …

2. Crawford Notch State Park, White Mountains, New Hampshire

Located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Crawford Notch State Park encompasses 5,575 acres and offers towering cliffs, granite outcrops, impressive waterfalls, lakes, ponds and potential wildlife sightings. Read more …

3. Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Massachusetts

On the northern coast of Massachusetts lies a destination that’s well known by birders: Salisbury Beach State Reservation. It’s one of the state’s most popular beaches during the summer, but during the fall and winter the park is much quieter, and you may also spot harbor seals along the rocks and jetty at this time. Read more …

4. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania

Just an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City lies 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest and floodplain known as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. In addition to capturing the beauty of nature, you’ll also find archaeological areas such as remnants of copper mines, cemeteries and farms to photograph. Read more …

5. Letchworth State Park, Genesee Region, New York

About 30 minutes southwest of Rochester and an hour southeast of Buffalo is the 14,350-acre Letchworth State Park. Many scenic overlooks dot the 17-mile road that winds through the park where you can explore hiking trails and waterfalls, and there’s the option to extend your visit by staying in the seasonal cabins or campground. Read more … 

6. Turkey Creek Falls, New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

The 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is a part of the National Park Service. It’s the deepest and longest river gorge in Appalachia, cutting through southern West Virginia, and draws visitors from around the world who want to check this incredible sight off their bucket list. Turkey Creek Falls is just one of hundreds of waterfalls that can be found here. Read more … 


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7. Elakala Falls, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, Blackwater Falls State Park is home to multiple waterfalls that are easily accessible via hiking trails. Come for the waterfalls, and stay for the incredible mountain views and seasonal scenes—there really isn’t a bad time to visit this popular location. Read more …

8. Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Highlands, North Carolina

The Grassy Ridge Bald is located within the Roan-Unaka Mountain Range along the borders of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. It’s a popular destination during the summer months due to the cooler weather, but because of the high elevation, extreme weather can be expected. However, it’s the perfect place to capture the expansive, open landscapes that can be found atop the grassy balds. Read more … 

9. Cowee Mountain Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Canton, North Carolina

Head a couple hours southwest from the Grassy Ridge Bald area to reach the Cowee Mountain Overlook in Canton, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest linear park in America, and Cowee Mountain Overlook can be found at Milepost 430. The parkway has been named the most-visited site in the national park system and for good reason: The panoramic views are breathtaking, especially during the fall color season. Read more …

10. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

About 40 miles northwest of the Cowee Mountain Overlook is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, another popular photography destination in North Carolina. It’s word famous for its scenic mountain ranges, diverse plant and animal species, and wide-ranging atmospheric conditions, and is another must-stop location during the fall color season. Read more …

11. Boca Ciega Millennium Park, Florida

Florida has many excellent locations for bird watching, and Boca Ciega Millennium Park is a bird photographer’s dream come true. It’s one of more than 500 stops along the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, and contains more than 175 documented bird types. Boca Ciega is home to a number of natural ecosystems, with pine flatwoods, mangrove swamps, salt marshes, wetlands and coastal forest, plus an aquatic preserve with miles of canals and seawalls. Read more … 

12. Venice Area Audubon Rookery, Florida

Located along the west central coast of Florida, the Venice Area Audubon Rookery is home to multiple species of birds, such as great blue herons, great egrets and anhingas. It’s close to numerous other bird photography hotspots, making it easy to travel among other locations such as Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Sanibel and the burrowing owls in Cape Coral. Read more …


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3 Comments

    I took some photographs of the waterfalls at Ricketts Glen years ago. Some of my best pictures were taken there. I also think Cape May, NJ should be on this list because of all the birds and other wildlife there.

    Well it would have been better if you had an actual picture of the Great Smoky Mountains, but NO, you posted another photo of the Cowee Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lame, just lame.

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