With its abundant natural beauty and captivating urban landscapes, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, offer an array of picture-perfect engagement photo locations. From towering pines and expansive fields to serene gardens, shimmering lakes, and rivers, this vibrant metropolitan area shares a blend of both natural and man-made wonders. As a photographer, I am thrilled to share a curated selection of my favorite locations, each possessing its own unique charm and providing an ideal backdrop for special photo sessions.
If you’re looking for a fantastic spot for your engagement photo shoot, look no further than Lake Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis’ Uptown area. With its convenient location and giant walking path encircling the lake, getting there is a breeze. And let me tell you, the Sailing Club marina on this lake is one of my absolute favorites. It adds a touch of charm, with sailboats gently bobbing on the water.
Just a quick five-minute drive from Lake Bde Maka Ska, you’ll come across Lyndale Park Rose Garden. Trust me; it’s a hidden gem that surprises everyone I bring here. You won’t believe such a beautiful park exists in the Uptown area! This place is a dream come true with its spacious grounds, charming Japanese garden, lovely fountains, and vibrant flowers. And it’s particularly stunning during spring and summer.
Square Lake Park is just a 25-minute drive east of St. Paul near Stillwater. This park has secret trails, majestic pine trees, and a stunning beach. It has everything you need for picture-perfect moments. Oh, and let’s remember the beach’s west-facing view, making it an absolute dream for capturing breathtaking sunset photos.
Boom Island Park offers wide open spaces, a lighthouse, and stunning city views. Just a quick five-minute drive away, you’ll find yourself in the vibrant Northeast Arts district, also known as St. Anthony Main. From the Aster Cafe, a walk towards the river reveals a captivating rock outcropping with breathtaking views of the city. And if you continue your journey for about ten minutes, you’ll reach the iconic Stone Arch Bridge. It’s a pedestrian bridge that provides not only a scenic way to cross the Mississippi River but also access to new restaurants and shops away from the downtown hustle. Keep in mind that Stone Arch Bridge is always bustling, so be prepared. But, regardless of the season, it remains an incredible engagement photo location.
Mill Ruins Park should be on your list of engagement photo locations. Located just across Stone Arch Bridge downtown, this park showcases the remnants of the old Gold Medal Mill, now transformed into a fascinating museum. What makes it particularly special is the abundance of intriguing architecture. The industrial remains and historical structures offer a plethora of photo-worthy spots at Mill Ruins Park. They will surely add a touch of character and charm to your photoshoot.
Interstate Park is in Taylor Falls. Just a 45-minute drive from the Twin Cities, Interstate Park boasts nature trails and even a couple of serene lakes. Known for its stunning cliffs that line the St. Croix River, this park offers a magnificent backdrop for capturing your love. In my opinion, I recommend crossing the river and exploring the Wisconsin side of the park for the best views.
If you’re looking to add a touch of urban charm to your engagement photo shoot in Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Courthouse is an excellent choice. Situated on the east side of downtown, this location blends seamlessly with the surrounding skyscrapers. Moreso, it offers a cost-effective option as there is no fee to shoot inside. However, be prepared for low lighting conditions and flash photos. On the outside of the building, you’ll be treated to city views and a beautiful courtyard with a grand fountain. The Minneapolis Courthouse effortlessly combines urban aesthetics with timeless elegance, resulting in engagement photos that truly stand out.
Are you craving a more unique and edgy vibe? Don’t overlook the parking garages near the iconic Foshay Tower. Many of them provide killer shots with skyscrapers in the background. I love using parking garages for their advantages: fewer people, stunning vistas, and the ability to shoot year-round. Whether you’re capturing your love against a vibrant sunset or embracing the snowy cityscape, parking garages offer a versatile and unconventional setting.
Don’t get too excited because this isn’t a gaming arcade but a historic apartment building built in 1887. Blair Arcade is nestled in the charming Cathedral Hill neighborhood. It shares similarities with the iconic Landmark Center and is home to apartments and local shops. The best part? It’s a public space, meaning shooting here is absolutely free. Just remember to be considerate of shoppers as you navigate the area.
Located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, nestled within Rice Park, you’ll find The Landmark Center. This historic building was once a courthouse and now boasts stunning architecture inside and out. To be able to shoot here, be sure to schedule a session time with them since they also host weddings. Keep in mind that The Landmark Center is open until 4 pm, so plan accordingly. And it is free to shoot here, so that’s a win!
The access point of Rice Creek North Regional Trail is north of the Twin Cities, located in Shoreview. This walking and bike path offers a serene and enchanting atmosphere. With its towering pines that evoke the beauty of the Pacific Northwest (so I’ve been told), it’s no wonder this trail is a favorite spot for fall and winter photoshoots. Just note you may encounter other people capturing their special moments here as well.
Looking to add a cozy and caffeinated touch to your engagement photoshoot in Minneapolis? Look no further than Spyhouse Coffee! With coffee shops scattered throughout the city, these spots are perfect for winter sessions and coffee fanatics alike. Specifically, the Spyhouse coffee shop in the Northeast neighborhood is “located in a restored turn-of-the-century brick and timber warehouse with original wood flooring and large windows allowing for beautiful natural light.” But don’t worry if you’re closer to downtown, as there are more Spyhouse locations to choose from. So, whether you’re seeking a warm and inviting atmosphere or simply want to capture your love over a cup of joe, Spyhouse Coffee is a fantastic option!
If you’re dreaming of a whimsical engagement photo shoot in the winter, then Hansen Tree Farm near Anoka will be a great pick. Tucked just west of Rice Creek, this farm offers a delightful array of trees, some tall and some short. To capture your love in this rustic wonderland, don’t forget to book a session date and time with the farm owners.
I hope this guide has inspired you to explore these amazing locations for your engagement photo shoot in Minneapolis and St. Paul. From the scenic beauty of Lake Bde Maka Ska to the urban charm of Boom Island Park and the architectural wonders of Blair Arcade, there’s something for every couple’s style and vision. To learn more about me and my photography services, as well as book your engagement session, please visit my website! I can’t wait to capture your love story and create memories with you and your partner.