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8 Best Spots For Photography In Madison, Wisconsin


by Ulrika Boyles


Madison, Wisconsin, is a picturesque city that offers a wealth of stunning locations for photography enthusiasts. From its iconic landmarks to its natural landscapes, Madison is a treasure trove of captivating scenes waiting to be captured through the lens. Whether you're a professional photographer seeking the perfect shot or an amateur looking to hone your skills, Madison provides an array of diverse settings to inspire and elevate your photography.

In this article, we'll explore the eight best spots for photography in Madison, Wisconsin. Each location offers its own unique charm and visual appeal, providing ample opportunities to capture breathtaking images. Whether you're drawn to urban architecture, serene lakeshores, or vibrant botanical gardens, Madison has something to offer every photography enthusiast. So, grab your camera, pack your lenses, and get ready to embark on a visual journey through the captivating landscapes and iconic landmarks that make Madison a photographer's paradise.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Nestled on the shores of Lake Monona, Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a haven for nature enthusiasts and photography aficionados alike. The Thai Pavilion and Garden, a stunningly ornate golden pavilion surrounded by lush foliage, offers a captivating blend of architecture and natural beauty. The Bolz Conservatory, with its diverse array of tropical plants and a rushing waterfall, provides an enchanting backdrop for photography, allowing visitors to capture the vibrant colors and textures of the botanical wonders. The serene landscapes, including the Rose Garden and Rock Garden, offer endless opportunities for capturing the essence of Madison's natural splendor.

State Street

As the heartbeat of Madison's downtown, State Street exudes a vibrant and eclectic charm that beckons photographers to capture its dynamic energy. Lined with an array of colorful storefronts, street art, and bustling cafes, this pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare presents a myriad of captivating subjects for urban photography. Whether it's the lively street performers, historic architecture, or the bustling crowds, every corner of State Street tells a unique story waiting to be immortalized through the lens.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Spanning over 1,200 acres, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum offers a captivating blend of natural landscapes, including woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. The iconic Longenecker Gardens, featuring an extensive collection of native plants and vibrant blooms, provides a picturesque setting for capturing the seasonal beauty of Wisconsin. The scenic trails that wind through the arboretum offer countless opportunities to photograph the diverse flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Capitol Square

Surrounded by the majestic Wisconsin State Capitol, Capitol Square stands as a hub of political, cultural, and architectural significance. The iconic Capitol building, with its striking dome and ornate details, serves as a captivating subject for architectural photography. The bustling farmers' market, lively events, and the vibrant street life that converge at Capitol Square offer a rich tapestry of photographic opportunities, allowing visitors to capture the essence of Madison's civic life and community spirit.

Picnic Point

Nestled at the end of University of Wisconsin-Madison's iconic Lakeshore Nature Preserve, Picnic Point offers breathtaking views of Lake Mendota and the stunning Madison skyline. The serene peninsula, adorned with winding trails and tranquil shores, provides an idyllic setting for capturing the natural beauty of the region. Whether it's the vibrant sunsets, diverse birdlife, or the tranquil waters, Picnic Point presents an array of photographic opportunities that encapsulate the essence of Madison's natural landscapes.

Monona Terrace

Designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Monona Terrace stands as an architectural marvel overlooking Lake Monona. The sweeping lines, expansive terraces, and panoramic views of the lake create a captivating backdrop for architectural and landscape photography. The interplay of light and shadow, the modernist design elements, and the scenic beauty of the surrounding waterfront make Monona Terrace a compelling subject for photographers seeking to capture the intersection of art, architecture, and nature.

Memorial Union Terrace

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Mendota, the Memorial Union Terrace offers a quintessential Madison experience, blending stunning lake views, colorful sunsets, and a vibrant social atmosphere. The iconic sunburst chairs, bustling waterfront activities, and the lively social gatherings create a lively and photogenic ambiance, inviting photographers to capture the essence of Madison's lakeside culture and community spirit.

Chazen Museum of Art

Nestled within the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the Chazen Museum of Art stands as a cultural gem, housing a diverse collection of artworks spanning various genres and periods. The striking architecture of the museum, coupled with its expansive art installations and tranquil outdoor spaces, offers a rich tapestry of visual subjects for photography enthusiasts. From capturing the intricate details of sculptures to the interplay of light and form within the galleries, the Chazen Museum of Art provides a captivating blend of artistic and architectural photography opportunities.


Madison, Wisconsin, is a photographer's paradise, offering a diverse range of picturesque locations that cater to various photography styles. From the stunning landscapes at Olbrich Botanical Gardens to the vibrant street scenes on State Street, Madison presents endless opportunities for capturing breathtaking images. Whether you're an amateur photographer or a seasoned professional, the city's charm and natural beauty are sure to inspire and elevate your craft. With its blend of urban sophistication and natural splendor, Madison stands as a captivating destination for photography enthusiasts seeking to immortalize its unique essence through their lens.


Q: What is the best time of year to visit Madison for photography?
A: While Madison's beauty shines throughout the year, the spring and fall seasons offer particularly stunning backdrops for photography. Spring showcases the city's lush greenery and blooming flowers, while fall presents a breathtaking display of vibrant foliage.

Q: Are there any photography restrictions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus?
A: The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus welcomes photography, but it's important to be mindful of private property and to respect any signage indicating restricted areas. Additionally, some indoor locations may have specific photography policies, so it's advisable to inquire beforehand.