Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
It’s not uncommon to turn the corner and find vibrant street art plastered across the wall of a Houston building. As more and more of these murals pop up across the city, hunting them down (and taking an awesome photo!) has become the mission of artsy locals and visitors alike.
I confess, my motives for seeking out the city’s best murals are pretty selfish. I am always looking for good photo ops, and love the interesting backgrounds the murals provide. Dragging my kids along offers up the opportunity to explore different parts of the city and encourages us to look for art in our everyday lives. We have been mural hunting for so long, that my three-year-old twins often look for murals when we are driving around and point them out to me! Here is our family’s “must see” list of murals in Houston.
Greetings From Houston, The Heights
Where: 3601 White Oak Drive (Gelazzi)
Why it’s cool: Created by Houston muralist Daniel Anguliu, the 1970s style postcard depicts some of Houston’s iconic images (oil derrick, Heights stamp, rocket ship). I love the retro style of this mural, and the kids love visiting because of the gelato store it’s painted on, Gelazzi! We stopped by one afternoon for a quick photo and a treat.
Insider tip: The morning is the best time to get a car-free photo in front of this mural, especially when the sun is shining from the east!
You Are My Sunshine, The Heights
Where: 1948 Rutland Street (Thread)
Why it’s cool: Located on the back of Thread, a stylish kids resale shop in the Heights, this mural has become a favorite for families. We sing this song to our kids every night at bedtime and it was a must for me to get a photo of them in front of it. The store itself is also worth checking out for some fantastic second-hand finds.
Insider tip: This mural is only a six-minute drive from the “Greetings From Houston” mural. I would suggest stopping here first, then heading over to Gelazzi.
Preservons La Creation (Let’s Preserve the Creation), Midtown
Where: 2800 San Jacinto
Why it’s cool: Artist Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau used more than 500 cans of spray paint and 150 gallons of wall paint to create the 60-feet-by-180-feet mural in 2014. This is the biggest mural in Houston and the sheer size of it alone makes it worth a visit. Can you see my teeny tiny kids below it? This mural is huge!
Insider tip: Stop at Weights + Measures for a breakfast sandwich or for lunch at Thien An Sandwiches for some relaxed Vietnamese food and then walk on over.
Gorilla Mural, Midtown
Where: 3701 Main Street (Richard’s Antiques)
Why it’s cool: This is our favorite of the series of five gorilla murals that the Houston Zoo commissioned across the city in anticipation of the opening of their Gorillas of the African Forest habitat in 2015. (If you are interested in finding the others, you can get more information here.) This one was created by Anat Ronen. She has many other beautiful pieces across the city and is particularly fond of animal and people portraits.
Insider tip: It’s fun to make a whole afternoon of visiting each of the five murals, snapping photos and comparing the different artist’s styles from cartoonish to very realistic.
Biscuit Paint Wall, Montrose
Where: 1435 Westheimer Road (Biscuit Home)
Why it’s cool: Biscuit Paint Wall is arguably one of the most photographed murals in Houston. Located on the side of a home design store in Montrose, this piece was also done by French artist Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau in 2014. I dressed the kids in solid colors and brought the nice camera. They had a blast finding their favorite colors and I managed to snag some quality photos of them playing.
Insider tip: The wall is accessible at all hours, but the Biscuit Home store doesn’t open till 10am. For the best chance at car free photos, swing by in the morning, then cruise on over to Empire Café for some breakfast.
Houston Is Inspired Mural, Downtown
Where: 315 Travis Street (Treebeards)
Why it’s cool: I think of this mural as the original “Houston Mural.” It was painted by GONZO247 in 2013 as part of a “Houston is Inspired” campaign to promote the city’s culinary and art scene. It’s the first one I ever made a point to visit, and it sparked my desire to find more of these beautiful works around Houston.
Insider tip: Make a morning of visiting this mural and stop by the observation deck on the 60th floor of the JPMorgan Chase Towerfirst. After you have seen a birds-eye-view of the city, walk the 0.2 miles down the street to visit the mural and have lunch Treebeards.
University Of Houston Downtown Gator Wall
Where: 421 N. Main Street
Why it’s cool: Artist Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau sure likes to paint entire building-sized works. This one was commissioned by University of Houston Downtown in 2015 and was completed in 30 days. While a bit tricky to find (it’s on a storage building in a parking lot at Main Street and I-10), there is plenty of parking in the lot. The kids liked this piece due to its size and the awesome-looking gator.
Insider tip: Since it is in a UHD parking lot, there isn’t a lot you can walk to nearby. I would suggest saving it as a pit stop on your way to or from downtown.
Hummingbird Mural, East Downtown
Where: 5102 Navigation Boulevard
Why it’s cool: In 2015, Houston hosted its first mural festival over seven days with 25 walls painted by 90 artists from all over the world. You can find a map of all of the mural locations here. This Hummingbird piece was created by Brazilian artist FPLO during the festival and is one of my favorites. The best part is this location is only a four minute drive from the original Ninfa’s on Navigation where you can get some of the city’s best Mexican food.
Insider tip: There are two more HUEMuralFest locations worth checking out nearby—one at 300 N. York Street and the other at 2011 Leeland Street. Both locations have multiple murals from the festival (Space Monkeys, Frida Kahlo as Wonder Woman) and we had a ton of fun taking more photos!
Photo credits: Amanda Sorena, Visit Houston
Originally Posted By: Mommy Nearest
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