Five of the Best Instagrammable Spots in Madison 

By Mason Braasch | Header photo: Olbrich Botanical Gardens, by Katy Nodolf

For the Flower Queen: Olbrich Botanical Gardens 

These outdoor gardens that comprise 16 acres on the east side of Madison are the perfect backdrop for your instagram feed. With flowers and plants in every color of the rainbow, various sculptures and even a golden Thai sala (pavilion), Olbrich is an ideal place to take pictures year-round as the gardens change with the seasons — and is a great afternoon respite. The gardens have a photo policy that requires any professional photographers to have a permit for weddings, engagements, proms or senior portraits. However, casual photography is allowed and completely free of charge as long as the photography guidelines on their website are followed. Bonus: admission is free, though donations are appreciated.

For the Beach Bum: Bernie’s Beach 

Not only is Bernie’s Beach quiet and relaxing, it also offers some of the best views of Madison. The skyline of the city complements the beautiful blue waters of Monona Bay and makes for the perfect setting for photos. As a bonus, the beach is just steps away from the Lakeside St. Coffee House — a great spot to grab a coffee, relax and snap some more pics!

For the Foodie: Eno Vino Downtown

The popular small-plates restaurant located on the 10th floor of the AC Hotel downtown not only offers decadent dishes that are picture-perfect, but also has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking views of the Wisconsin State Capitol. (We love it so much we shot our “Secrets of Success” feature here). Even the women’s restroom has a killer view of the city! Whether your Instagram profile is filled with photos of food or fancy date-night views, Eno Vino is a great location.

For the Color Lover: Lauer Realty Building 

On the side of the Lauer Realty Building (2625 Monroe St.), you can find a vibrant mural that pays homage to the city of Madison. The mural was painted in 2020 by street artist Liubóv Szwako, also known as Triangulador, and graphic designer and UW professor Henrique Nardi. It displays “Madison” in big, bright letters — as well as a version of the city’s flag in vibrant blues. The bright purples, yellows, blues and pinks make for a stunning backdrop. 

For the Historian: The Harvey House

A new addition to the Madison food scene, The Harvey House is a “celebration of Wisconsin’s iconic supper clubs.” Located near Madison’s historic train depot, the old Baggage Claim House-turned-restaurant offers rustic vibes and delicious foods that are perfectly picturesque. Between the original brick walls, marble detailing and locally-sourced, vintage fixtures, there’s no shortage of photo opportunities at The Harvey House. (Read more about The Harvey House here too).

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