Let’s face it, Minnesota winters can be (in the words of the beloved Clark W. Griswold) “a tit bit nipply.” As much as I don’t enjoy a bitterly cold day, I’m certainly not going to let it be the reason I’m hunkered down on my couch watching reality tv for 9 months of the year. Don’t get me wrong! My guilty pleasure is watching D-list celebrities lose it because they can’t find the right sunglasses to wear to the grocery store, but let’s face it – there’s a lot more to do in Minnesota during the winter than we pretend to think.
So after a fall and early winter that has for the most part lacked photo adventures, a few friends and I set off on a couple of mid-winter indoor urban photo trips to change things up. There’s something about playing the role of a tourist in your hometown that keeps things looking fresh and exciting. If you’re interested in playing tourist indoors in Minnesota here are a few places in St. Paul that I recommend checking out:
Downtown St. Paul is rich in history and although the skyline isn’t as fabulous as that of it’s sibling across the river, it is full of beautiful and unique photo-taking opportunities. To start with, there’s The Landmark located on Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. Not only is this historic landmark (no pun intended) a great place to warm up on a cold Minnesota day, but there’s an information booth inside full of ideas for day trips in and around the city. Actually, The Landmark itself is home to a cafe, museum, & school. Its beautiful columns, balconies, and windows make it a highly coveted place to hold a wedding. If you go make sure to hit up the 2nd and 3rd floors. There are beautiful old courtrooms and such that are covered in gorgeous wood carvings and ornate marble details. Definitely breathtaking.
The historic Union Depot, a once bustling hub of transportation in the 1920’s, recently underwent a massive reconstruction and re-opened to the public last December. It’s hard to believe that at its heyday 20,000 passengers passed though these halls daily. Not even close to the level of busyness that it once saw, it was so nice to walk peacefully through the quiet marble expanse. If you have a chance to visit, take time to look at the detail carved into the molding. The building is just pure eye candy!
Lastly, the go-to spot to enjoy the winter sun without being out in the cold is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory located at the Como Park Zoo. The beautiful glass dome allows for one to sit on a sunny bench in the warm air while surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna. A cool little tidbit about the conservatory is that once every couple of months on Sundays they have special artist & photographer hours. This allows for photographers and artists to utilize their normally banned tripods and easels and exercise their talent in the early morning prior to the public being allowed in! This is pretty much the only time I go to the conservatory and it’s such a treat in the winter.
So where should I go next? Please share your suggestions with me!