Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul

This is part 2 of a small series of the best Twin Cities Christmas lights. You can find Part 1 of the series “Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights” here which was an exploration of part of

In this article I will be discussing some of the highlights of St Paul Christmas lights. We finally had a decent snow and it was time to get out of for a wonderful winter adventure.

As I was thinking about this post I have 3 or 4 main locations in mind. I was thinking of the governor’s mansion which I had already seen and knew it was lit up beautifully. Then I was thinking of the Cathedral of St Paul. There was a particular view down Selby Avenue that I was imagining. I wanted to see a foot of fresh snow and an empty Selby Avenue and then the cathedral all lit up fabulously. Then I also wanted to continue down Summit Avenue and capture as many of the Great lights as I could.

I thought there was a Swedish Institute or Scandinavian institute or something like that in St Paul so I would try to find that at some points during this outing also.

Summit Avenue is always a gorgeous place to drive up and down. There’s so much history and beauty in this part of the city that its oftentimes worth a journey. As I was driving down Summit Avenue maybe my mind was a little distracted or I was tired but very few homes really jumped out at me as being decorated in a classical Christmas style. Here’s an example of one house that was probably most classically decorated.

Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul

Classic Christmas Lights on Summit Avenue in St Paul Minnesota

It was well decorated but I just couldn’t capture a thin away that really moved me. So on to the next location that was on my mental checklist.

I knew I needed to get to Selby Avenue and from there head towards the Cathedral to get the view I was hoping for. As I was driving down Selby I noticed the road wasn’t covered with a foot of snow like I was hoping. & I noticed the road was packed with cars which I wasn’t expecting. And I just couldn’t get the view or I couldn’t see the view that I had pictured in my mind. I find it very distressing when I have a particular scene in my mind and then I can’t find that view. Humph… I drove around the cathedral a little bit and then this particular view captured my imagination.

Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul
Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul   ~  Cathedral of Saint Paul


I love the large well-lit manger scene that is displayed at The Cathedral, it really is beautiful.  I checked out different perspectives and settle on this particular one. I love the way the mist in the air makes for that almost heavenly light above the cathedral.

Somehow during this outing I couldn’t even find the governor’s mansion. My mind just must have gotten so busy or overwhelmed with all the hopes and possibilities of images that several got left out. It is just so weird when things like that happen.

Christmas Lights Surprise

The best part about any outdoor photographic excursion is that you’re often surprised by something you see while you’re out exploring. That happened again on this particular outing. There is a little neighborhood in sunfish Lake south of St Paul on Delaware Avenue. I had driven by this area before and seen it very briefly but tonight I decided to actually stop see it in a new way. you have to give the scene some time to move you a give your imagination some time to work on a scene to pull out an image that moves you and moves others when they see. This particular house or neighborhood is so well decorated you could tell they put a ton of time and effort into creating this Christmas wonderland. Once I stopped and started exploring the location a little bit, I realized there was an open stream in the land by the lights. A wonderful reflection is always a great addition to an image. I ended up spending about an hour at this place just looking, exploring thinking and capturing. I had an idea I was capturing some special images but you never quite know until you get home and see them big on the computer.

Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul

This image with the reflection of the Christmas lights in the stream speaks to me in the most magical way, and the way people have responded on Facebook and other places it tells me it moves them very deeply also.

You can find this particular display at this address in sunfish Lake Minnesota at 5 Grieve Glen Ln, Sunfish Lake, MN 55118.

So while the outing proved to be a bit frustrating due to all the images that I was dreaming about in my mind but I could not capture at the same time it was also exceedingly successful. I guess that’s how it goes in the world of being creative.

I hope this article gives you some good ideas of Christmas lights scenes that you can find on your own.  If you know if some great scenes that have not been covered here please let us know. We would love to share this information with our audience and also get out and capture some of them ourselves.


I hope you found this article helpful and if you did, please put it into action and share it with your friends on your social media outlets.  Social media can change your life like it has changed mine.

And until next time get out and capture the adventure!

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Best Twin Cities Christmas Lights Saint Paul

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website