ORLANDO, Fla. – What do Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Khloe Kardashian have in common?
They were all known for taking selfies.
Selfies have been around since the ancient world. Granted, a self-portrait using a mirror (sometimes) and a paintbrush takes a lot more work than today’s snaps of a smartphone, but the concept is the same.
National Selfie Day, June 21, was established in 2014 by a Texas radio DJ to celebrate creative self-portraits.
In Central Florida, selfie lovers can snap away in parks, at museums and gardens, outside popular murals and even at venues dedicated to the self-portrait.
Here are some of our favorites.
The museum in Loch Haven park sits on Lake Formosa and is a picturesque place for outdoor photos. The sculpture garden gets good light, especially before sunset, and it also has several huge trees, making it a great place to take nature shots.
The Diversity Mural, Orlando
Orlando is full of beautiful public art, and The Diversity Mural is no exception. Located on the side of The Lamp and Shade Fair building on Mills Avenue, the mural, which opened in 2018, features hundreds of rainbow mosaic hearts floating away from a silhouetted person.
The property is currently undergoing renovations after being purchased by new owners. It is not clear whether those renovations will affect the mural.
Thornton Park Parking Garage, Orlando
Another great spot for murals is inside the Thornton Park Central Garage off North Eola Drive in Downtown Orlando, across from Lake Eola. Over a dozen murals from several artists line the walls inside with different concepts and styles available to play with. You’d think a parking garage might be too dark for pictures but it is well-lit, and the first 30 minutes are free to park.
Wall Crawl, Orlando
Pay one fee and take all the pictures you want. Wall Crawl is a venue of studio-quality photo settings. This is a full-service venue, with professional photographers on staff, but you can take your own pictures as well. The backgrounds change periodically, so you can take your photos, come back a few months later and get a new batch of pics.
Twenty-Pho Hour, Orlando
Fans of pho and photos will love this International Drive restaurant. This monochromatic shop serves up noodles in a setting that will remind you of 2-D pencil sketches. And yes, for part of the week at least, they are open 24 hours.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Orlando
Fans of pop culture and celebrities can get right up to these wax facsimiles of their favorite actors, musicians, athletes and political figures. Some of the exhibits are interactive too, which adds an extra element of fun.
This new “selfie museum” just opened in the Florida Mall. The concept is similar to Wall Crawl – pay one price and take all the pictures you want amid interactive art installations. SelfieWRLD has over two dozen venues around the country dedicated to providing the best backdrop for your selfies.
Centennial Plaza, Winter Garden
Downtown Winter Garden has several great places for selfies – the splash pad, the swing mural and Plant Street Market — but Centennial Plaza is an idyllic spot for pics. There’s a fountain and swings, vine-covered trellises, and a city clock.
Lake Mary Mural Alley, Downtown Lake Mary
Downtown Lake Mary has not one but two mural alleys. These alleys are loaded with Instagrammable murals, from geometric shapes to animal-filled balloons to angel and butterfly wings. The alleys are not hard to find along the Fourth Street shopping district.
Wings of the West Mural Trail, Volusia County
If you love wing murals, you’ll love Volusia County. West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority takes a love of wings to new heights with a series of murals from Barberville down to Deltona. You can be an angel, a bird, a fairy or even an airplane in the murals on the Wings of the West Mural Trail. The angel wings in Downtown DeLand are particularly popular with the Instagram set.
Lake Apopka Wilderness Drive, Orange County
Drive around Lake Apopka, home of alligators, more than 360 species of birds and some picturesque scenery. The 11-mile drive is free and only open on the weekends, but there are several stops along the way that give photographers a chance to get out and get some beautiful nature shots.
Rocket launches on the Space Coast, Brevard County
Level up your selfie skills and try to time your picture to a rocket launch! Launches happen several times a month, at all times of the day, so you can find a launch that suits your schedule.
Kennedy Space Center is the closest you can get to a launch. The visitor complex offers launch viewing spots, but you have to pay to get into the visitor complex.
If you are looking for something that’s free, consider Parrish Park off the Max Brewer Bridge or Space View Park, both in Titusville, to get closer to the launch pads at either KSC or Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. There’s also Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral but call ahead because the facility is closed for some launches.