Got holiday family stress? The truth is most of us do. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we’ll be in full holiday mode. Our advice: skip the crowded museums and avoid malls (with that “cheerful” holiday music already blasting) at all cost and instead take the family on a street art and mural walking tour throughout the city. Plus, you’ll get to add some steps on your new Apple Watch to walk off some of that holiday eating and drinking.
With hundreds of murals painted from the early 1970s to today, San Francisco’s Mission District is the de facto capital for street art in the Bay Area. Its ever-changing “outdoor galleries” represent themes from social and political statements to messages of cultural heritage to historical and fun. All as vibrant, and expressive as the next – none of them with what you’d call a muted palette.
The best place to start is from the Mission/16th BART station, and from there you can work your way south meandering through the neighborhood’s colorful alleyways. Our recommended stops:
15th Street at Mission Street: Caledonia Alley
17th Street at Valencia Street: Clarion Alley
18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero: The Women’s Building
24th Street between Treat Avenue and Harrison Street: Balmy Alley
24th Street between Shotwell and Folsom Street: Horace Alley
24th Street between Capp Street and South Van Ness Ave: Cypress Alley
24th Street between Mission Street and Capp Street: Lilac Alley
26th Street at Mission Street: Osage Alley
The best part? It’s all free, appeals to art enthusiasts of all ages, and is perfect for taking selfies. Want more? Take it in with a guided tour from Precita Eyes Muralists and find more Bay Area street art at streetartsf.com.