9 Places that Capture Minnesota’s Natural Beauty

The Most Insta-Worthy Spots to Visit in Minnesota:

Minnesota’s natural beauty is abundant, and the state has quite a few stunning man-made attractions as well. Minnesota has no shortage of jaw-dropping scenery that could serve as the backdrop for your perfect vacation photo.

Anyone who’s on a getaway or vacation wants to take the perfect photo to commemorate the trip. And, okay, maybe post on Insta so you can make your friends and family just a tiny bit jealous of the amazing sites you’re seeing.

Here are nine of the most beautiful places in Minnesota to take pictures that will be the envy of all your social media followers.

Split Rock Lighthouse

A quaint, turn-of-the-century (the 20th century, that is) brick and steel structure, Split Rock Lighthouse was built in 1910. That was a good thing after a series of shipwrecks on the shores of Lake Superior. Sitting atop a 130-foot-high rocky bluff, the lighthouse is both a historical monument and an amazing photo opportunity.

Today, the structure is the centerpiece of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, so you can take a tour and grab some selfies and close-up shots onsite. Alternatively, approaching from south on the Superior Hiking Trail, you can snap a few pics of the lighthouse sitting dramatically atop the Lake Superior cliffside.

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry Falls State Park is home to the Gooseberry River, which runs through the park and boasts a series of dramatic waterfalls before flowing into Lake Superior. The upper falls are approximately 30 feet high, while the middle and lower falls offer a more dramatic 60-foot drop.

Photo opportunities abound along the three-mile loop trail that takes you all the way around the falls. If that feels a bit too adventurous, there are also viewing platforms located at the upper and middle falls. You can also take your opportunity to get a shot of the Highway 61 bridge stretching over the river and falls.

The upper falls sometimes freeze during particularly cold winters, so if you’re up for braving the chill, you can get some wonderful pics of ice-crusted falls.

Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis spans the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls. It was originally constructed as a railroad bridge. Now it has a walking path and bike path that allow you to cross the 2,100-foot structure. The overpass offers a lovely panoramic view of the falls, but in terms of taking a insta-worthy photo, the 23-arch bridge itself is the star of the show.

Taking a photo from the north side of the bridge allows you to get the Minneapolis skyline in the background of your picture. And snapping a picture in the evening, when the arches are illuminated from below, will give your snapshot an incredible glow.

Great River Bluffs State Park

Another incredible example of Minnesota’s natural beauty, Great River Bluffs State Park, is located in the southeastern corner of the state. The “great river” that the bluffs overlook is, of course, the Mississippi. The steep bluffs rise over 500 feet, providing astonishing views of the river valley down below.

The park itself is not particularly large. But, it does offer six miles of hiking trails (along with nine miles of cross-country skiing trails). Each of the trails has multiple scenic overlooks where you can snap stunning photos of the Mississippi River and the lush woods that surround it. The scenery is particularly gorgeous when the leaves change colors in the fall.

If you’d prefer to go in the summer, several of the bluffs are home to goat prairies (a type of prairie found only on the southwest-facing sides of steep bluffs) that burst with vibrant wildflowers during the warmest months of the year; you’ll want a picture of that, too!

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Sitting at the highest point in the city of St. Paul, the Cathedral of St. Paul is one of the largest and most well-known cathedrals in the United States. Sporting a copper dome and standing over 300 feet tall, the Cathedral looms over the city and serves as an irresistible photo opp.

Some of the best pictures of the Cathedral are taken from a distance. This is how you can capture the full majesty of the structure. However, self-guided visits and tours of the interior are also available. A tour allows a glimpse of the beautifully lit interior dome. The Italian marble walls and statues, and the incredible stained glass windows are amazing. If you’re an architecture buff, the exterior of the Cathedral also boasts some wonderfully ornate touches that will have you snapping photo after photo.

Minneopa Falls

Minneopa Falls offers yet another stunning spot for a photo involving a waterfall and a bridge. There must be something about the natural beauty of falling water flanked by an interesting man-made structure that just catches the eye.

In this case, it’s the historic bridge that stands over the double waterfalls in Minneopa Creek. The upper and lower falls themselves are quite picturesque. But, when you add in the historic cement bridge looming over the falls, you’ve got an Instagram-worthy photo. And the recently reconstructed bridge isn’t the only structure in Minneopa State Park worth visiting (and photographing). While you’re there, check out Seppman Mill, a 32-foot-high stone windmill originally constructed in the 1860s.

Como Park Conservatory

The Como Park Conservatory, is also known as the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Como Park is a popular spot for wedding and engagement photos in St. Paul. And it doesn’t take more than one look at the famous Palm Dome to understand why — its unique glass structure is absolutely eye-catching. A Victorian-style glass greenhouse, the conservatory looks like it exists outside of time. And, at over 100 years old, it sort of does.

Almost as beautiful from the outside as the inside, the Como Park Conservatory boasts a number of must-have photo spots. Make sure to get a shot of the entire structure from the outside, on the grounds of Como Park. But be equally certain to get plenty of photos of the interior galleries, particularly the sunken gardens. The gardens feature different seasonal flower displays throughout the year.

The Iron Range

No list of unique places in Minnesota to take pictures would be complete without mentioning The Iron Range. An area that has been home to mining operations for centuries, northern Minnesota’s Iron Range region is actually composed of three separate large-scale iron-ore deposits — the Cuyuna Range, Mesabi Range, and the Vermillion Range.

Iron mining is primarily conducted from open pits. These mines leave behind an otherworldly landscape that offers some incredible opportunities for picture-taking. The Leonidas Overlook, located outside the town of Eveleth, offers chances to take overhead pictures of an old mining area. Now it’s a lake surrounded by strikingly colorful rock.

The massive Hull Rust Mine is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of the North” for its overwhelming scope. There’s a tourist center in the town of Hibbing where you can get an exceptional view of the entire mine pit, as well as some stunning pictures.

Pipestone National Monument

Hopefully, the question, “Is Minnesota beautiful?” has been answered at this point. But in case you’re still not convinced, here’s one more lovely spot in Minnesota where you can take some wonderful photos: Pipestone National Monument. Pipestone is located in the southwest corner of the state. This historic site features a series of rock quarries where Native Americans mined the soft, red rocks known as pipestone.

Today you can hike around and amongst these rocks while taking pictures of how they dramatically rise over Pipestone Creek. The waterfall staircases on the Circle Trail feature steps that are carved directly from the pipestone itself, and are a wonderfully unique place to capture some creative photos!

Unleash Your Inner Wanderlust: Minnesota’s Insta-Worthy Adventures Await!

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Minnesota’s natural beauty. Every corner offers a stunning backdrop for capturing breathtaking photos and videos that are sure to make your social media feed shine.

From the enchanting allure of majestic waterfalls and tranquil lakeshores to the rugged beauty of cliffs and vibrant forests, this Midwestern gem boasts an array of diverse scenery. Be sure to leave your friends in awe as they scroll through your Insta. So grab your camera or iPhone. Get ready to immerse yourself in the ultimate picture-perfect journey through Minnesota’s hidden wonders!



  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.

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