Photo courtesy Northern Images Photography
No, you probably don’t take weekend trips strictly for Instagram, but let’s face it—we want pretty pictures of wherever we’re going, whether it’s to capture a fleeting moment, a pretty scene, or some of our favorite people. Consider these seven Minnesota destinations that show just how picturesque Minnesota can be, even as temperatures drop and the snow falls to the ground.
Stone Arch Bridge
Iconic in its own right as the only arched stone bridge on the Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge is even prettier under a snowfall. You’ll feel like you’re in a snow globe, trust me.
“Winter Wonderland” wasn’t written about Bentleyville, but let’s be honest—it could have been. Known as America’s largest free walk through lighting display, Bentleyville uses over 5 million lights in Bayfront Park. Pair that with free hot chocolate, cookies, and perhaps a light snowfall, and you’ll be feeling Christmassy in no time—and have a photo to commemorate it.
Christmas Tree Ranch
Located right in the Twin Cities, in historic northeast Minneapolis, Christmas Tree Ranch brings a little bit of the North Pole to the Twin Cities. Pick out your favorite Christmas tree or purchase a wreath or garland and snap a photo of the picturesque little office before heading home with your greenery.
For the first time, New Brighton will be hosting the magical Ice Castles, open all winter long (or as long as the weather permits). Channel your inner-Elsa, sing a favorite off the Frozen soundtrack (“Let it go! Let it go!”), and pose inside the beautifully impressive castle with a loved one.
The North Shore
Yes, we’ve mentioned Bentleyville, but we would be remiss to not mention the natural wonder of the North Shore. No matter where (or how) you explore, you’re sure to find the most stunning winter landscapes.
Split Rock Lighthouse
If you’re up in Duluth, there’s really no excuse to not make this stop along Highway 61. And if you’re not—well, road trip up there anyway! Split Rock Lighthouse is a sight to behold no matter the season or if you’re really ambitious, try to catch some northern lights on a crisp, clear night.
Stillwater has the small town charm with stunning shops and even more impressive restaurants, but its location on the Croix River also makes it a scenic photography stop—snow, coldness, and all.