The Milwaukee area offers so many great location options for engagement sessions. I’m a Wisconsin native, so I am very familiar with both Milwaukee and its suburbs. Whether you are looking for an urban or nature setting, you can’t go wrong! Today, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite Milwaukee area engagement photography locations. This list is definitely not exhaustive, but I hope it helps you as you prepare for your engagement portraits.
Lakeshore State Park is definitely my favorite downtown Milwaukee park due to its diversity. You have water views, views of the Art Museum and Discovery World, tall grasses, bridges, and more. This arguably is one of the most popular engagement session locations in Milwaukee, but if you (future couple) also inquire about coming here, I won’t be sad about it.
The Art Museum deserves its own spot on the list due to the architectural beauty. After you exhaust all museum angles, you can climb up the bridge and take some photos in front of the well known sunburst orange statue. From there, either head deeper into the city or talk a walk to Veteran’s Park/Mckinley Marina.
If you are looking for a heavily wooded look, I highly recommend Lapham Peak/Kettle Moraine State Forest. Lapham is not in Milwaukee county, but it’s worth the short drive. If you ask me, all the best wooded options are found in the Lake Country area or North of Milwaukee.
The Third Ward is a great option for an urban engagement session. It offers the famous Milwaukee Public Market, various stops along the riverwalk, the shops on Broadway, and lots of old brick! If you are feeling adventurous, head into one of the many bars or the Public Market, for a fun drink photo. 🙂
Kilbourn Reservoir Park is actually quite small but the skyline views are amazing! The great thing about starting your session at this park is it’s in walkable distance to other popular Milwaukee photo locations (Kadish Park, and the Holton Street Bridge/Swing Park). Due to the way the light hits the hill, I only recommend choosing Kilbourn if it’s a slightly overcast day (or opt for a sunrise session).
This park may be just as popular as Milwaukee’s Lake Park, but for good reason. I personally prefer this park over Lake Park any day. Why? It has bridges plus beach access, and it’s typically less crowded. I recommend coming here in fall to capitalize on all the gorgeous colors!
When people think “Milwaukee Riverwalk”, they typically are thinking of the Third Ward section of the riverwalk. I actually love the other side of the highway as well. If you walk around near Pere Marquette Park you will find a ton of cute bridges, a gazebo, beautiful views of Milwaukee’s skyline, and river views. This area offers so much variety!
Retzer Nature Center is another location that is a short drive from Milwaukee area. This nature center is gorgeous. You will find tall trees, prairie grasses, wildflowers (if you come at the right time of year), and so much more!
If you prefer a regular park instead of a nature preserve, I recommend this park in Wauwatosa over other downtown Milwaukee ones due to its fun suspension bridge. Hoyt Park is a decent size as well, and you could continue on the paths all the way down to the Tosa Village to capture an urban feel as well.
If you are looking for Lake Michigan views plus some forest, head to Lions Den. Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is actually in Grafton, but it’s another location that is 100% worth the drive! This preserve is one of the last undeveloped tracts of bluff land on the coast of Lake Michigan.
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