Great Places for Photography

A city skyline looms over the Mississippi River.
Daytons Bluff/Indian Mounds Park

The overlooks from here provide panoramic views of St. Paul and the Mississippi River valley. The principal overlook is at Mounds Boulevard and Cherry Street. Follow Mounds Boulevard to its intersection with Earl Street at Indian Mounds Park for the highest overlook and to see the remaining mounds.

View from Wabasha Bridge.
Wabasha Bridge

While the Wabasha Bridge has many spectacular views of the MississippiRiver from its sidewalks and bumpouts, the view from the northwest endplatform near the bridge is best. This overlook is located at theintersection of Kellogg Boulevard and Wabasha Street.

View of Stone Arch Bridge in the Minneapolis Riverfront District.
Stone Arch Bridge

From the Stone Arch Bridge you can get a 360 degree view of Minneapolis, including views of the downtown cityscape, historic mills, the new Guthrie Theatre, locks and dams and the Interstate 35W Bridge site. On both the east and west sides, you can find on-street parking and parking ramps within a block of the bridge head.

Visitors walking to Historic Fort Snelling.
Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is one of the most photographic icons along the metro Mississippi River. The best views come from the overlook near the intersection of Shepard and Highway 5. You can pull off Shepard Road onto a frontage road to park. This overlook also includes the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

View of Minnehaha Falls from an overlook.
Minnehaha Falls

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made Minnehaha Falls world famous in his Song of Hiawatha. But the falls was a tourist attraction well before he wrote about it. Located in Minnehaha Park, the falls are still one of the city’s most popular attractions. Minnehaha Park lies just of Highway 55 and Godfrey Parkway in Minneapolis.

Overview of Pine Bend Bluff.

Pine Blend Bluffs

Pine Bend Bluffs is one of the least disturbed sites along the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities. Several small dry prairies along the bluffs provide habitat for rare species such as Kitten-tails and James Polanisia. Pine Bend Bluff is located in Inver Grove Heights. From I-494, S on US Hwy 52 about 7 miles to 117th Street, N about 3/4 mile on the east frontage road.

A visitor enjoying a view of the Mississippi River from Schaars Bluff.
Schaars Bluff, Spring Lake Park Reserve

On September 7, Dakota County is celebrating the opening of its new, very green, visitor center here at Spring Lake Park Reserve. Located 21 miles south of St. Paul, Schaars Bluff offers expansive views of the Mississippi River over Spring Lake, a large Mississippi backwater. The lake is a popular site for migratory waterfowl.

View of Downtown St. Paul from Cherokee Avenue and Prospect Boulevard.
Cherokee Avenue and Prospect Boulevard

These two streets provide great views of downtown St. Paul from the bluff top. You can wind your way up to them from downtown via the Smith Avenue Bridge and Wabasha Street.

View of Downtown Minneapolis from the Lake Street Bridge.
Lake Street Bridge

Connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge offers vistas up and down the Mississippi Gorge. Here the Mississippi runs through a narrow, wooded trench. From on the river, you can hardly see the cities.


Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Visitor Center, which is staffed every day except Mondays. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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