When we first started planning our road trip to Austin, one of the things I was most excited to see was the city’s thriving street art scene. Growing up in Chicago, I’ve always had a certain fascination with graffiti and various types of unexpected public art. So, along with a few World’s Largest things, we made stopping at some local street art favorites a priority during our May trip south.
Below you can find some of my Austin favorites as well as an interactive map to help you plan a trip of your own to see some of the city’s most iconic street art.
Also known as the Baylor Street Art Wall, the Hope Outdoor Gallery opened in March 2011 with the support of big street art names like Shepard Fairey and Obey Giant Art. Today it’s one of the largest outdoor galleries in the U.S. We visited after a particularly big rainstorm (and record flooding), so we didn’t do too much climbing, but I can imagine the views from the top of the wall are incredible.
Address: 1101 Baylor Street in Austin, Texas
2. Federico Archuleta
Federico Archuleta, also known as El Federico, is an Austin street artist with a number of well-known murals, especially along Guadalupe Street and North Lamar. The section of murals we visited is clustered on the exterior of a Goodwill store just down the street from the Hope Outdoor Gallery.
I love the icons El Federico memorializes in his pieces and the vibrant colors he uses. This is a must-see if you’re looking to explore a variety of pieces!
Address: Goodwill, West 10th Street and North Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas
3. You’re My Butter Half
If there’s one thing I truly love, it’s a good pun. Combine one with some awesome street art and I’m yours forever.
Austin designer John Rockwell and the rest of the team at Creative Suitcase came together to create this mural for the United Way of Greater Austin during their 2012 rebranding.
Address: United Way of Greater Austin Building, 2000 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (at Alamo Street) in Austin, Texas
4. Greetings from Austin
Located on the exterior of Roadhouse Relics—a seriously cool neon art gallery—this mural was originally painted in 1998. Local artist and the gallery’s owner Todd Sanders and friend Rory Skagen recreated the iconic Austin postcard as a mural as a way to brighten up their neighborhood.
In August 2013, after almost two decades of wear and weather, Sanders launched a $10,000 fundraising effort to restore the mural to its former glory. Today the mural is vibrant once more and the perfect place to snap the ultimate Austin tourist photo.
Photo tip: You might have to stand in the street to get the whole mural in frame. Just be sure to watch out for oncoming traffic!
Address: 1720 S. First Street in Austin, Texas
5. I Love You So Much
In 2010, Austin musician Amy Cook spray painted the message on the side of the South Congress Jo’s Coffee for her partner Liz Lambert, the majority owner of the popular coffee shop. The busy street corner quickly became even busier as locals and tourists alike arrived with their sweethearts to snap photos.
The wall was vandalized in January 2011, but the wall has since been repainted and the message restored to its iconic place. Don’t feel silly grabbing your coffee and stopping to snap a quick photo—we actually had to wait in a tiny line for our turn with the wall.
Address: 1300 South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas