10 Best Places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

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10 Best Places to Take Pictures in St Paul

I frequently get asked from many of my photography friends and students, “where are the best places in St Paul to adventure and to photograph?”  So I thought it was time to write up that lists or at least update the list from a previous blog post a few years ago.  So here we go on a wonderful Saint Paul Minnesota photography adventure, feel free to come along with us even if you are not a photographer

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Cathedral of St. Paul Majestic Interior

1 The Cathedral of Saint Paul

If you follow my photography work at all, you know I am a huge fan of great architecture. So it just makes sense that the Cathedral of St. Paul would be one of my favorite locations.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Awe Inspiring Cathedral of St. Paul

It’s a favorite location yes of course for the architecture but also for the great events that they have there.

Somehow, Red Bull manages to have the Crashed Ice event at the Cathedral every few years. Gosh I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the negotiations for that originally.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Cathedral of St. Paul All Dressed Up for 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice Event

But be that as it may it turns out to be an incredible event. This past winter there were a hundred and forty thousand people for the final evening of the event.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice Event ~ Cathedral of St Paul

It really is a fantastically fun event for the whole family right smack dab in the middle of winter right in “little” St Paul.

2 The State Capitol

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Minnesota State Capitol

Of course the state capitol is another great location for incredible architecture. The Minnesota State Capitol was actually modeled after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  How odd is that?  We in Minnesota are blessed with one of the most amazing state capitols in the entire country, so get out and photograph it!

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Democracy ~ Minnesota State Capital

Not only is the capitol filled with great architecture but there are always great events there.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Code Pink ~ Minnesota State Capitol

From Freedom Day, to the National Day of Prayer, to of course the Republican National Convention.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Republican National Convention ~ St Paul

If you’re interested in great event photography the capitol is the place to go.

3 Como Park and Zoo

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Marjorie Mcneely Conservatory at Como Park

Como Park and Zoo or the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is an amazing place to just explore and of course to photograph also. The architecture of the conservatory makes for many interesting images.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Marjorie Mcneely Conservatory at Como Park

Some of the architectural elements of interest are the wonderful reflecting pools, the great light, the wonderful curves and lines and then add all the flowers,  it’s all just so beautiful.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Orchid Show Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Of course while you’re there don’t forget the wonderful orchid display, it is always amazing be sure to check the website for details as to when that display is happening.

Orchid show at Marjorie Mcneely Conservatory at Como Park

Orchid Show Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

And they have the wonderful poinsettia display about Christmas time.  It’s a great way to get out of the house as winter starts getting dark and dreary.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Marjorie Mcneely Conservatory at Como Park

4 The Union Depot

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Union Depot St Paul

Union Depot has been completely renovated because they were building for the new train tracks coming through St Paul. It has all the great history still there in the old building but it is come to life in new ways also.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Union Depot St Paul

 

This is a must stop location again both or just touring and for some great photography.  If you are going to be doing something photography there, be sure to contact the Union Depot ahead of time.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Union Depot St Paul

They might give you up a special pass so you can even use a tripod if necessary.  And of course as we all know, a tripod is always necessary! 🙂

5 Indian Mounds Park

Indian Mounds Park or just Mounds Park has a great view of downtown St. Paul from over the Mississippi River and over the railroad tracks.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

St Paul Skyline from Mounds Park

The view is so oddly different depending on the time of day that you’re there. If you are there in the evening capturing a sunset, the view allows you to capture the gorgeous orange, yellow and purple colors in the sky. If you are there at sunrise the scene can create the most amazing cold blue hues in the sky.

Be sure to check out this time lapse video from that location.

6 The High Bridge over the Mississippi River

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

St Paul Skyline from High Bridge

The High Bridge in St Paul is one of the most spectacular views of the entire city. Whether you’re on the side closer to the city which gives you much more of a river view or whether your way up on the top of the bridge which gives you much more of a skyline view of the city they are both quite spectacular.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

St Paul 4th of July Fireworks from High Bridge

Of course this is a great location for fireworks on the 4th of July doing both downtown Saint Paul and the fireworks display.

7 Harriet Island

The Harriet Island location of St. Paul is a feast for the eyes. Again you have the wonderful river view but you also have some very interesting architectural views and it’s a perfect place for so many of the events that are that are hosted in that location for the summer.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Red Bull Flugtag World Record Flight St Paul MN

Harriet Island is a wonderful place whether you’re looking just for a nice walk or looking to go out for a picnic or looking to go for a great event it is a premier location. You have access to walk along the Mississippi River.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

St Paul Marina from the High Bridge

There is a wonderful marina in the area where there’s also a dinner theater that departs from the marina in the summer time for a wonderful evening of entertainment.  They are great concerts in the park there’s the wonderful Irish events there used to be taste of Minnesota maybe that will come back again.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Reg Bull Flugtag Event Harriett Island St Paul MN

And of course Red Bull pulls out all the stops and they had the amazing flugtag event. At that event there was a world record set for the longest flight.  Dang St Paul is an incredible place!

8 Mickey’s Diner

Mickey’s diner is an iconic location in St Paul. It’s been there forever and it’s always an experience to go in there and eat.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Iconic Mickey’s Diner St Paul MN

9 Mears Park

The Mears Park area of the city is very close to the very active farmers market, wonderfully close to the arts district in St Paul and close to several of our favorite restaurants.  Not only that, but it’s all so wonderfully historic and beautiful.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Mears Park St Paul

This area is all decorated up in the winter time to add some light in the middle of what could be a very dark season.

10 Rice Park

Rice Park is surrounded by many of the most interesting locations in the city.  You have the historic Landmark Center, The historic St Paul Hotel, The Ordway Theater and the James J Hill Library all within a few hundred yards.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Landmark Center St Paul

I have a great memory of the rice Park area. We were going to be going out to some theater in the Ordway Theater so I planned a special dinner at the historic St. Paul hotel then we’re planning on heading over to the Ordway, but what we weren’t planning was the magical weather.

10 Best places to Take Pictures in St Paul MN

Rice Park St Paul

That particular evening was a winter evening all the Christmas lights were on throughout that part of the city and it was also one of those perfect evenings of snow or the snowflakes were big but coming down softly and the night was one of those silent nights.  It was truly a perfect evening!

Conclusion

So if you think there’s nothing to see in St Paul, I think you’re sadly mistaken.  I challenge you to explore the wonderful city and to find all the gems that are strewn throughout the historic river city.

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Until next time, get out and capture the adventure!!

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