The Most Photogenic Places In Minneapolis
Updated: May 3, 2021
Whether you’re looking for iconic images or locals only selfie spots, historic sites, parks or street art, Minneapolis is more than ready for its close up. Here are my picks for the most photogenic photo spots in Minnesota’s most famous city.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, located just outside the Walker Art Center, is one of the best spots for a stroll in any season. And it got an update in 2017, so there are new sculptures to take in.
“Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg Coosje van Bruggen is easily the most famous sculpture, but Katharina Fritsch’s “Hahn/Cock,” which is new to the garden, is giving it a run for its money. The bright blue rooster pokes fun at super macho sculptures in the funniest way.
Park at the Walker (725 Vineland Pl.) to explore the garden. Then stroll across 17 lanes of traffic on the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, which is practically a city landmark in itself. It links the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the also photogenic Loring Park.
First Avenue First Avenue is the most legendary club in Minneapolis. The stars on the facade display the names of some of the most famous musicians and bands that have graced the First Ave. stage since 1970, so take some time to spot (and maybe take a selfie with) your favorites.
The gold star honors Minneapolis’ favorite son, Prince, who passed away in 2016. You’ll find this iconic spot at 701 N. 1st Avenue.
Minnehaha Falls Minneapolis combines urban living and outdoor recreation beautifully. Minnehaha Falls Regional Park is one of the city’s most surprising gems, a lush, green space full of miles of shaded trails, recreational spaces, playgrounds and park benches to enjoy and a dramatic 53-foot waterfall right in the heart of the city. (My story about a leisurely bike ride through Minnehaha Falls Regional Park gives you a mini tour.)
You can view the crashing falls from below when the weather is warm. During the winter months, Minnehaha Falls freezes into an epic ice cave that might even be more beautiful.
Minnehaha Falls Regional Park is located at 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr. If you don’t want to worry about feeding the parking meter, take the Blue Line light rail train.
Photo by Sharon Mollerus
Bob Dylan Mural Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941. He’s honored in a colorful mural created by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra. It’s officially called “The Times They Are A-Changin”, after one of Dylan’s songs, but you can call it the “Bob Dylan Mural” and everyone will know what you mean.
It’s a relative newcomer to the Minneapolis street art scene (it was competed by Kobra and a team of artists from Brazil and Minnesota in 2015), but it’s already made a big impact. And I mean big — it’s five stories tall and visible from blocks away.
It’s 160 feet wide and takes up the entire building on the corner of 5th Street and Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. If you want a more specific address, type in 15 S 5th Street in Minneapolis.
The Stone Arch Bridge This historic Stone Arch Bridge, located at 100 Portland Ave., is one of the prettiest spots in Minneapolis. It offers great views both on top of the bridge and below it. Standing on top of the bridge offers stellar skyline views above and a look at the rushing water of Saint Anthony Falls and the lock and dam system below.
Built by James J. Hill in 1883, the former railroad bridge is now a National Civil Engineering Landmark. It’s the only bridge made of arched stone that crosses the entire span of the Mississippi. The 23 gracefully composed arches are elegant in daylight and attractively lit at night.
Photographers standing on the Stone Arch Bridge will be able to see another slice of Minneapolis Minnesota just beyond Saint Anthony Falls. Mill Ruins Park is exactly what it sounds like, a riverfront space built upon the ruins of the largest water-powered facility on the planet at the time.
Be sure to get a photo of the iconic Gold Medal Flour sign towering above the ruins. Find it at 102 Portland Ave. S.
The Amber Box at the Guthrie Theatre The Guthrie is a great place to see a show. But the building boasts lots of cool architectural details shutterbugs might have missed while they were concentrating on finding their seat.
The Amber Box at the Guthrie Theater is one of the best. It’s suspended from the ninth floor of the buildings and provides dramatic panoramic views of the Mississippi River and surrounding landmarks — including the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park. Just be aware that those sweet landscape shots will look a little weird. The whole room is tinted a trippy shade of yellow.
The space (located at 818 S. 2nd St. in Minneapolis) is obviously open late during performance days. But it’s open to the public every day of the week from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Weisman Art Museum Frank Ghery’s design for the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus looks like the Tin Man’s fever dream of a medieval castle. And the stainless-steel building definitely echoes the architect’s design for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain.
Take in the treasures inside the free museum and then walk out onto a small terrace to get photos of the city beyond its super reflective walls. To get a great shot of the unique exterior, walk across the Washington Avenue Bridge. Find it at 333 E. River Parkway.
Mary Tyler Moore Statue The Mary Tyler Moore Show was way ahead of its time when it had its main character focus on her career, her friends and herself, instead of a relationship. The 1970s show was set in Minneapolis at a fictional news station.
The main character threw her hat in the air near the corner of 7th and Nicollet Mall in the show’s opening credits. Now a bronze statue stands in that spot, where it draws fans (and selfie seekers) today.
Grain Belt Sign A cherished Minneapolis landmark is back and brighter than ever, thanks to new LED lights purchased by beer fans to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Grain Belt brand. Grain Belt began in the city, but is now owned (and brewed) by Minnesota’s oldest brewery, August Schells Brewing Co. in New Ulm.
The sign, located north of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, had been dark since the 1990s. It was re-lit on December 30, 2017, and it’s already a favorite of photographers and beer fans from around the region.
Minneapolis Farmers Market The vivid colors of the produce, fresh cut flowers and herbs on display at the Minneapolis Farmers Market make it one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in town during the warm weather months. But vendors sell their goods all year long, so you’ll find locally raised meat, eggs and seasonal decorations during the winter, as well as hot coffee and snacks at the Lyndale Market at 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N. in the winter as well.
The market is home to over 200 vendors. The Minneapolis Farmers Market also operates a Downtown Market during the summer and will soon return to Nicollet Mall. If you can’t make the trip, here’s a look at Minneapolis Farmers Market produce, in all its colorful glory.
Chain of Lakes Minneapolis is an outdoorsy city, packed with wonderful bike paths, hiking spots, parks, lakes and green spaces that beg to be explored in every season. The Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park (or just Chain of Lakes, for short) is one of the most beautiful — and unusual — parks in the city. It includes the shorelines of Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet, as well as the trails connecting them and nearby Lyndale Park.
This is the place for a scenic morning jog or relaxing on one of three beaches along Bde Maka Ska. The lake used to be known as Lake Calhoun, but was recently renamed to honor the area’s original Dakota residents.
But for the coolest views, grab a paddle. You’ll cruise under bridges and explore green spaces only visible from the water, waving to anglers as you pass. There are also some great city views to be had from the seat of a canoe or kayak.
What about you? What’s your pick for the most photogenic spot in Minneapolis? What kinds of places do you like to photograph when you travel? Which places on this list do you want to see next?
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