MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Most travelers don’t leave home without their Instagram-loaded smartphones, mainly out of fear of missing out on showing their followers the fabulousness they’re missing out on. With thousands of Final Four fans heading to downtown Minneapolis in the coming days, you better believe the filters will be flying. Here, in no particular order, are our choices for the best Instagram photo ops in town.
1.) U.S. Bank Stadium Viking Ship
401 Chicago Ave.
You won’t have to wander far from all the Final Four action to snap this shot. Located near the corner of Chicago Avenue and South 6th Street, the U.S. Bank Stadium “Legacy Ship” is a sight to behold, complete with a curved video screen sail.
2.) Mary Tyler Moore Statue On Nicollet Mall
700 Nicollet Mall
Turn the world on with your smile next to the statue of Mary Tyler Moore, which the late icon dedicated herself in 2002. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” set in Minneapolis, ran on CBS from 1970 until 1977, and was groundbreaking for its portrayal of a career-driven, single woman.
3.) Bob Dylan Mural
1 S. 5th St.
One of Minnesota’s favorite sons is immortalized in a towering, eye-popping mural by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. “The times they are a-changin'” is only a few years old, but it’s fast becoming one of Minneapolis’ most treasured pieces of public art.
4.) Schmitt Music Mural
88 10th St. S.
Speaking of Minnesota’s favorite sons, Prince inadvertently put the Schmitt Music Mural on the map thanks to the iconic 1977 photo taken of him by Robert Whitman. Prince, who was only 19 at the time, was on the verge of taking the music world by storm. By the way, the transcription on the wall is an excerpt from Maurice Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit,” of course.
5.) First Avenue
701 N 1st. Ave.
Another Minneapolis landmark that Prince brought international attention to is First Avenue. The concert venue, which was a bus station until the early 70s, has an exterior adorned with stars that are filled with the names of the more-iconic acts that graced the stage. And Prince’s star stands out among them all, as it’s the only one that’s gold.
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6.) Target Field Glove
1 Twins Way (Near Gate 34)
There are a few great Instagram opportunities in and around Target Field, but the most beloved is the enormous gold glove. Warning: If you ever come in the summer, be careful before climbing aboard for a photo — it can get blazing hot!
7.) Guthrie Theater ‘Amber Box’ & ‘Endless Bridge’
818 S 2nd St.
Located about three blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium, the visually-astounding Guthrie Theater offers photographers two unique vantage points to snap near-360-degree shots of the Mississippi River and its east bank. “The Amber Box,” located on the theater’s ninth floor, is literally a huge, transparent amber box — so feel free to add a filter over the room’s natural one. And the “Endless Bridge” below juts out over West River Parkway, giving the illusion of walking out above the Mighty Mississippi.
8.) Stone Arch Bridge
100 Portland Ave.
Just about a 12-minute walk from the epicenter of Final Four fun, the Stone Arch Bridge is a marvel of civil engineering. Built in 1883, the former Great Northern Railroad bridge offers fantastic panoramic views of the river, the St. Anthony Falls and both banks.
9.) Grain Belt Sign
4 W Island Ave.
The Grain Belt Sign on Nicollet Island has always been a favorite subject for visiting photographers, but it has only been a year or so that the 40s-era sign has been re-illuminated after falling dark for over 20 years. LEDs have replaced the neon and incandescent bulbs, but the kitschy magic remains.
10.) Spoonbridge and Cherry
14357 Loring Greenway — Walker Art Center’s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
“Spoonbridge and Cherry” is perhaps Minneapolis’ most iconic — and most wonderfully odd — public art piece, and has been the subject of millions of tourist photos since it was first installed in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in 1985.