We finally have some gorgeous sunshine here in the Austin area and I’m in love!
If you ever get a chance to visit Texas, plan your trip for March/April or October, when the temps are mild and the breeze is yummy and cool, and you will have absolutely no regrets in your life.
This week is my son’s spring break, so I took him out for a tour of the murals around Austin, based on this article by one of my favorite local bloggers, Jane Ko, of Taste of KoKo.
We grabbed one of my son’s hockey buddies and his mom and the four of us set out to see all these fun pieces of art that add to the fun, hip vibe that is so classically Austin.
And, because I’m a nerdy map person, I also mapped these all out in a round-trip fashion for you!
Click here and I’ll send you the link to the map, which you can edit to suit your (map-related) needs 🤨.
On to the murals!
First, we went to this cool blue tile wall and accidentally stumbled on that super cute pink poodle wall, which is right next door:
Then a few miles up the road to this one:
Moving south about four miles toward the University of Texas campus, we found this one, which I love because it inspired me to show off my agility and boingy-ness, as indicated below (note: a friend of mine once told me that if you move your arms a lot when jogging, it actually makes you appear to be running faster than you are.
The same rule applies when shooting a “jumping” photo: position your arms as if you are jumping, and it will trick the viewer into thinking you are jumping, even if your feet are still on the ground. Sorry if you feel like I’ve pulled a fast one on you.)
This next one is on the side of the old Threadgill’s building, a sad site now, because this location closed its doors late last year.
It’s important to note that is not the original Threadgill’s, which helped put Janis Joplin on the map in the 60’s, but this location was still an Austin icon because it was the company’s World Headquarters, and that West Riverside area still holds a lot of the Old Austin feel.
Not sure what will come of this building, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s demo’d and replaced with yet another high-rise of trendy lofts.
Get over and see this adorable mural while you can!
The next several are pretty close to each other, and they’re also surrounded by fantastic places to eat, so plan to park for a few hours and walk these next six or seven murals.
Grab a back-in spot along Congress Ave., if you’re lucky enough to find one, or park in the garage behind Hopdoddy’s (they’ll validate your parking for up to two hours, too, so plan on getting your buns in there for a gigantic burger with parmesan truffle fries and a Nutella milkshake.)
After you park, head to the corner of S. Congress and James St, for the “i love you so much” mural, which started out as graffiti that Austin fell in love with.
Painted in 2010 by local musician, Amy Cook, as a sweet love note to then girlfriend, Liz Lambert (who doubles as the owner of Jo’s Coffee Shop, the side of which this beauty is painted), the mural has become a must-visit for tourists, as well as locals.
Vandalized almost weekly, usually just requiring touch-ups, it’s been completely defaced and re-created three times.
Walk south a few blocks and follow your nose across the street as it chases the scent of pepperoni and cheese wafting out of Home Slice, and you’ll find America’s friendliest neighbor, Mr. Rogers.
Just on the other side of the building - on the south side - is a mural of MY President, Willie Nelson 😏:
Walk a teensy bit further south for the Smile Even If You Don’t Want To mural, painted on a wall right behind the Hey Cupcake! Airstream.
Who can resist smiling when cupcakes are involved?
Before we crossed the street to Austin’s favorite old fashioned candy store, Big Top Candy Shop, we stumbled across these two fun murals:
Then on to one of my favorites, the Before I Die wall. I got a little misty when I turned around and saw that my son had written, “sail the world with my dad.”
We could have walked to this next one. You could certainly walk to this next one.
We did not because my son’s window of comfort is far narrower even than my own, and - despite it being a glorious 80 degrees, he was hot and when he’s uncomfortable in any way, he gets weak and feeble.
I will say this again, as I’ve said many times before: my children are not dig-your-heels-in kinds of people.
Jump back in your car and head over to Roadhouse Relics, where you’ll find another Austin classic and one of my very favorites, the “Greetings from Austin” mural.
If you want more, check out these lesser-known Austin murals. I’m adding these to a future day-date with myself, which I’ll of course report back to you!
Don’t forget to grab the round-trip map I made for you with all the murals we visited this week!
And let me know if you come to town and see these for yourself - I want to know your favorites!