10 Places to Photograph in Minneapolis, MN

photograph minneapolis

RMSP will be in Minneapolis on March 19th and 20th as part of our 2016 Weekend Intensive program.

After a day or two spent learning how to improve your photography skills, there’s nothing more exciting than heading out to put those skills to the test. We thought it would be a fun idea to do a little e-scouting from Montana and give a few suggestions of places to photograph in the area.

To scout from Missoula, we used Google Maps and Panoramio to see what other people had photographed in the area. And don’t forget that you can make any location feel completely new by going at night!

  1. Minnehaha Park: This is one of the most photographed sites in Minnesota. The park has preserved historic structures from the 1800s and beautiful gardens.  The main attraction in this park is Minnehaha Falls, which is a popular place to photograph year round.
  2. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: This is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country with the Spoonbridge and Cherry fountain as the centerpiece of the garden. The Cowles Conservatory is also on the grounds.
  3. Stone Arch Bridge: This pedestrian bridge is a great spot to get skyline images of Minneapolis. It is also lit up at night and offers a great view of St. Anthony Falls.
  4. Weismann Art Museum: This museum was designed by architect Frank Gehry and built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. One side of this building is brick and blends with the existing brick and sandstone buildings. The other side is brushed steel sheets that are an abstraction of a waterfall and a fish. This would be a great building to photograph if you are interested in architectural photography- especially at night when the steel section of the building is reflecting light from its windows and the surrounding buildings on campus.
  5. Basilica of Saint Mary:This was the first basilica established in the United States. It has beautiful architecture to photograph inside and out.
  6. Chain of Lakes: The chain of lakes is made up of four of the biggest lakes in Minneapolis. In the summer you can bike, run or walk on the 13 miles of paved shoreline paths or swim or rent a boat to explore the lakes. In the winter when the lakes freeze they offer ice skating on Lake of the Isles.
  7. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary: The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden is the oldest public native plant garden in the United States. There are more than 500 native plant species on over 15 acres of woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats. Over 130 bird species travel through or live within the Garden.
  8. Cold Water Spring: This historic landmark was a crossroads for native americans and traders. It is considered to be Minnesota’s first American settlement. The National Parks Service is in the progress of turning this back into an oak savanna prairie bluff top woodlands.
  9. “Witch’s Hat” Tower: This is one of the few original water towers in Minneapolis. It offers a panoramic view of Minneapolis. It is also rumored to be the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s song All Along the Watchtower.
  10. Kaleidoscopic Mural of Bob Dylan: I’m a pretty big fan of Bob Dylan so I have to add this location to the list. I assume this mural was done because Bob Dylan lived in Minneapolis when he was younger. I found some great images from photographers who use this building as a location for portraits.


Minneapolis Aquatennial: This event originated in 1940 to celebrate the city’s famous lakes, rivers and streams. There are many events over four days ending with one of the top five firework shows in the country.

Do you know of great places to photograph in Minneapolis that we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

If you do photograph in Minneapolis, show us your favorites! Post them on our Facebook page, so we can check them out. Make sure to tag the images with “Minneapolis.”

2 thoughts on “10 Places to Photograph in Minneapolis, MN

Melissa Allen McGarry

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska is incredible to explore year round. Another favorite place is anywhere along the North Shore – from Duluth to Grand Marais!

Sarah Chaput de Saintonge

Thank you, Melissa! This is so helpful!

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