15 Best Places to Take Pictures in Minneapolis

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Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis, AKA the culture capital of the Midwest, is known for its artsy scene with the trimmings of a burgeoning contemporary city. With several performing arts spaces, swanky museums, and abundant lakes, Minneapolis is perennially underrated as a place to visit in the entire United States.

If you are a Minneapolis native or a first-time visitor, the beauty of Minneapolis is just waiting to be captured. From natural landscapes or edgy theatres, we’ve rounded up the best places to take pictures in Minneapolis. Let’s jump into the top Insta-worthy destinations.

Best Places to Take Pictures in Minneapolis & St. Paul

As you explore everything Minneapolis has to offer, here are the best places to capture some memories on your travels, for family pictures, or to capture the perfect shot to pair with a perfect moment.

1. Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN 55417, United States

Waterfalls are impressive, wherever they may be, but Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis deserves a special shout-out. The stunning 53-foot waterfall is one of the prettiest spots in the city and is picture-worthy all year round.

You can watch the falls roar in the summer or see them turn into icicles in the winter- it’s a sight to see during any season. You can see the waterfalls from the walkway overhead or watch it take the winding staircase to the bottom.

Many hiking trails surround the waterfalls if you want to make a day of it. End your day with delicious food and craft beer at Sea Salt Eatery.

If you want to pair a waterfall adventure with beaches, check out these other best beaches in Minneapolis if you want to enjoy the sunshine. Some of our favorites are along the Mississippi River Gorge Regional Park, right up the street from the falls.

See Related: Restaurants in the Twin Cities

2. Bob Dylan Mural

Bob Dylan mural

Address: 1, S 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402, United States

Minneapolis is known for its thriving music scene and is home to numerous performing arts centers. The city also has a very large mural in a number of spots that showcase the city’s pride in its music and arts. One of the most iconic spots in Minneapolis is the Bob Dylan mural.

The 15 S 5th Street mural shows Bob Dylan at three stages of his life- from a young musician to a Noble Laureate. The kaleidoscope mural shows young Dylan as a troubadour to a third image of him rocking his trademark hat.

Many believe the mural also depicts Dylan’s decision to switch from the acoustic to the electric guitar, which created a lot of controversies early in his career. The mural was created by the Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra and is a must-see on a trip to Minneapolis.

See Related: Minneapolis Murals You Need to Visit

3. Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens

Cherry and the Spoon - Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

Minneapolis is best known for its art and nature, and the two come together at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the city’s most famous destinations and one of the best places for outdoor photos in Minneapolis.

Located right at the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features over 60 works of art and is one of Minnesota’s best places to visit.

The cherry on top at this location is Spoonbridge and Cherry, which many consider the city’s symbol. The large spoon with a cherry makes a great spot to take fun pictures.

The 11-acre park is open 365 days a year from 6 a.m. and is free to visit. Plenty of rotational outdoor exhibits exist for a lot of photo fun. Don’t skip out on this iconic photo spot.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Rochester, Minnesota

4. The Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

While Minneapolis is great from the ground, the views from above are just as appealing. The city has a number of different places to see the skyline, but the best one would have to be the Stone Arch Bridge.

The bridge is a former railroad crossing between downtown Minneapolis and the Saint Anthony Main neighborhood. While there are plenty of things to do on either side of the bridge, the Stone Arch provides some of the city’s best views.

The bridge is located at 100 Portland Avenue, and you can watch the skyline from the underlit bridge as water from Saint Anthony Falls gushes below. The 23-arch bridge was built in 1883 and is the only stone bridge stretching across Mississippi. After you capture the city’s skyline, you can explore the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

See Related: Things to Do Around Minneapolis Riverwalk

5. The Amber Box

amber box

Address: 818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States

The Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis is one of the best places in the city to catch a show and experience the Twin Cities’ thriving performance arts scene. In addition to this, the building is also known for its eclectic architecture that makes for some incredible photo ops.

The Amber Box on the ninth floor of the theatre provides some panoramic views of the buildings surrounding the Mississippi River. This also includes views of the Stone Arch Bridge and Mills Ruins Park.

If you are looking for overhead shots of the city, the Guthrie Theater, in general, is one of the best photo spots. However, as the name suggests, the room is surrounded by glass with an Amber Tint.

So you will get to see the city through a yellow lens. The Amber Box is located at 818 S 2nd St. and is open every weekday from 8 AM to 8 PM.

See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota

6. Foshay Tower

Foshay Tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 821 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402, United States

One of the most iconic buildings on Minneapolis’ skyline is the Foshay Tower. Ironically, this building also provides some of the best overhead views of the city. The Foshay is known for its four-star hotel in Minneapolis, the W Minneapolis, but the highlight of this building is the observation deck at the very top.

The tower provides 360-degree views of the city and is a great picture spot if you are looking for some landscape shots. The deck also has a museum depicting the tower’s history and the man who built it- Wilbur F. Foshay. The entry ticket to the deck and museum costs $10.

After seeing the city from above, you enjoy an amazing dinner at Manny’s Steakhouse in the tower and later drinks at Prohibition.

See Related: Best Cabins in Minnesota

7. Como Park Conservatory

Como Park Conservatory

Address: 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103, United States

In addition to its lakes and beautiful waterfalls, the Twin Cities is known for its floral beauty. One of the best places to take pictures in Minneapolis is the Como Park Conservatory. Yes, it’s located in St. Paul, but it’s right near the border, so you won’t be going too far out of your way if you stay in Minneapolis.

Located on a 450-acre property, the conservatory is the city’s gem. The garden is a picturesque spot filled with flowers, fountains, and sunken gardens. There are a total of six indoor garden spaces built under one acre of glass.

Since it is indoors, the Como Park Conservatory is worth a visit in any season. The Sunken Garden also features five garden shows each year.

Explore everything the park offers after a trip to the Como Park Conservatory. You can rent out paddle boats at the lake or walk on one of the many hiking trails in the surrounding area. There is even a golf course right on-site.

See Related: Minneapolis vs. St. Paul

8. Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Museum Art, Minneapolis
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

Another one of Minneapolis’s architectural wonders is the Weisman Art Museum. The building made of steel looks like the Tin Man coming to life.

It was designed by Frank Gehry in 1993 and is totally out of this world. But once you are done marveling at the building from the outside, head in because it just gets better.

The museum contains five art rooms that The New York Times called “the best rooms for viewing art in the world.” Weisman features a mix of contemporary and ceramic art with a studio on-site. The building also has a terrace that offers spectacular views of the city and beyond.

For great pictures of the museum’s exterior, head to Washington Avenue Bridge for a complete view. The museum hosts a number of events throughout the year as well as guided tours that start at $60. Regular admission is free.

See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota

9. Prospect Park

Prospect Park

Address: 55 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, United States

To explore more of Minneapolis’s natural beauty, head to Prospect Park, also home to the Witches Hat Tower. The tower earned its name because the top of the tower actually looks like a witch’s hat.

Rumor has it that Bob Dylan’s song “All Along The Watchtower” is based on this tower. In addition to lush greenery, Prospect Park also offers some gorgeous city views.

Visitors climb up the tower’s winding stairs for just one day a year (the Friday following Memorial Day) to celebrate the new beginning of spring. Another excellent opportunity for beautiful photos from here is during autumn when you’ll take in some of the most amazing fall colors in the Midwest.

The scene offers views of the Minneapolis skyline and the US Bank Stadium. This is also a great spot to catch the sunset and see downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota align in view. If you visit any other day, the 100-foot Witches’ Hat Tower, which has elicited mystery for years, is still a great spot to take pictures.

See Related: Travel Lenses for Photographers

10. Chain of Lakes

Chain of Lakes, Minneapolis

Address: Cedar Lake, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1411, United States

Minneapolis is known for its great outdoors (especially its lakes). The Chain of Lakes is one of the best places to take pictures of Minneapolis. As the name suggests, the Chain of Lakes connects a number of different lakes, including Cedar Lake, Brownie Lake, Lake Harriet, Bde Maka Ska, and the Lake of Isles.

The Chain of Lakes is one part of a much bigger park system and is a great place to get a workout in along the many nature trails. You can jog around the park or explore one of its many scenic hiking trails. For even better views, rent out a paddleboard and explore the bridges and lush greenery of Lake of the Isles Park from the water.

If paddleboarding isn’t your thing, you can rent a canoe or a kayak. If you’re looking for a true northern Insta-worthy spot, what better than one cruising the forestry on a canoe or paddleboard in the middle of a sprawling city? This area is well worth a visit during the spring or summer seasons.

See Related: Best Indoor Activities in Minnesota

11. First Avenue

First Avenue

Address: 701 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

Minneapolis is the birthplace of Prince, and a trip to the city is incomplete without exploring its rich music scene. For some great pictures, head to First Avenue and 7th St. Entry to pay tribute to the music legend, which is consistently regarded as a Music Lovers Dream come true, which I can personally attest to after seeing dozens of bands here over the years. But sadly, never Prince.

First Avenue, formerly a Greyhound Bus Station, is also one of the biggest clubs in Minneapolis and has seen some of the biggest stars perform on its stage. The façade outside the buildings features these music icons, including hometown legend Prince.

The singer was known to play many impromptu concerts at the club, and many of the scenes in Purple Rain were also filmed here. Some of the most famous bands in the world have performed here.

Take a selfie with the famous wall black wall with its silver stars, and if you are a music junkie, catch one of the many acts at the famous First Avenue stage. The wall of stars and the musical performances are worth your time! With a bountiful of activities and places to see, Minneapolis provides the perfect backdrop for great pictures.

12. Mary Tyler Moore Statue

Mary Tyler Moore Statue, Nicollet Avenue
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402, USA

The Mary Tyler Moore Statue is a great place to snap a few photos for the ‘gram. It’s an iconic statue in downtown Minneapolis’s heart, where many great moments occurred for the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

It’s one of the best Minneapolis Instagram spots right on Nicollet Avenue. It’s probably not the best place for a serious photo shoot like a family photo shoot, but it makes for a great landmark picture.

13. Hennepin Avenue Bridge / Grain Belt Beer Sign

Hennepin Avenue Bridge the best places to take picture in Minneapolis
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 4 W Island Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA

Okay, I’m a massive craft beer fan, but that’s not all. I love a good piece of architecture, design, and civil engineering when I see one.

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges along the Mississippi River, and the Grain Belt Beer sign complements this view nicely day and night. Grain Belt is a popular beer brand currently owned by August Schell Brewing.

To me, this beautiful bridge is a landmark piece of the heritage and culture of Minneapolis. Also, it bridges both downtown and northeast Minneapolis together. Grain Belt is now equally famous for its “Nordeast” beer served nationwide.

This area is filled with some of the best Minneapolis Instagram spots, given its incredible photo spots for the Mississippi River, the architectural masterpieces that canvas the city, and the many walking trails that wind and bend throughout the river gorge. If you’re looking for an excellent opportunity to get some impressive photos no matter the time of year, look no further than the picture-perfect scenery of the Mighty Mississippi.

14. Lyndale Park Rose Garden

Fountain at Lyndale Park Rose Garden

Address: 4124 Roseway Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55409, USA

Okay, I must be quiet for those looking for Minneapolis Instagram spots. This area is a local gem for outdoor and family photos in the late spring or early summer.

The Lyndale Park Rose Garden comes alive in spring after the iced-out winters in the Twin Cities, and it’s truly magical. A fun fact is that it’s located near the equally picturesque Lakewood Cemetery but is meant for people to pick a rose from the garden to bring to the cemetery.

This is one of my favorite photo spots for family pictures and even individual videos, as the landscape of being swarmed by the beautiful nature of the roses and the small lake of Lake Harriett nearby.

15. Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge (aka the Yellow Bridge)

Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge - Minneapolis Skyline
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Loring Greenway, Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA

The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge is a colorful bridge that offers incredible minimalist landscapes leading into downtown from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This is one of the best photo spots for both Instagram as well as family photos, as the skyline provides an incredible backdrop from the sculpture garden.

Alternatively, you can take in views of the Walker Art Center from the other direction. It’s a nice simple look that is timeless when taking pictures in the Twin Cities.

Whether you’re a native of the city or a first-time visitor, there are so many places to explore. While some are famous, others fly under the radar but are just as beautiful.

We hope this list of the best places to take pictures in Minneapolis inspires you to find the best spots on your next trip there. The best time to visit to take pictures of this beautiful city is during the summer when you can explore Minneapolis’s natural beauty.

FAQs

What are the most Instagrammable spots in Minneapolis?

The best Minneapolis Instagram spots are popular sites for their visual appeal and unique features. These include the Stone Arch Bridge, a historic crossing offering panoramic views of the city skyline and St. Anthony Falls, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, home to the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. The lively murals in the North Loop neighborhood also provide a colorful backdrop for eye-catching photos.

Where can I take indoor family photos in Minnesota?

You can take indoor family photos in a number of exciting and picturesque locations in Minnesota. The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul offer indoor botanical gardens.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art’s grand architecture and light-filled spaces are another great option. The Mall of America also provides a unique and fun backdrop with numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Where can I take pictures in St Paul?

There are several photogenic places in the capital city of Minnesota, St. Paul, where you can take pictures. The Cathedral of St. Paul is an iconic landmark with stunning architecture.

At the same time, the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory offer lush green spaces and exotic animals for a diverse range of photo opportunities. In addition, the lively Lowertown neighborhood, with its street art and historic buildings, is ideal for urban photography.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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