Searching for graffiti and street art is a fantastic activity for families to do together! From New York City to Honolulu, Detroit, and Providence, you’ll be surprised to discover how many mind-blowing murals await you in nearby cities. Aside from providing an aesthetic backdrop for photographs, however, street art also offers an incredible immersion into a unique culture. For example, murals in Berkeley narrate the city’s political progress through art, while those in NOLA nod to its status as the birthplace of Jazz music. That means anyone from toddlers to teens can enjoy this simple sightseeing activity, using art to explore exciting, never-before-seen locations! Appreciate larger-scale, commissioned murals across buildings in Miami or smaller, guerilla-style pieces in metropolises such as Kansas City or Houston. To help you narrow down your selection process, here is our list of the 12 US Graffiti and Street Art Cities Families Should Visit!
Miami is a magical metropolis for spotting street art! Infamous for its blossoming creative scene, this Florida destination more than measures up to its dynamic reputation. Look out for the Welcome To Miami Beach mural by Lebo Art, painted on the bridge separating Mid-Beach from the mainland. Of course, Wynwood is the most famous Miami street art neighborhood, between Wynwood Walls and the Museum Of Graffiti. Take an hour to wander North Miami Avenue, NW 2nd Avenue, or NW 5th Avenue, where fantastic murals span NW 25th to NW 30th Street! In the nearby Miami Design District, kids will be mesmerized by the larger than life sculptures at Palm Court. Skaters can even head to Jungle Plaza to hit the rails in a beautiful setting! Miami’s mural scene is also an optimal opportunity to learn about the city’s various cultures, preserved through murals in Little Havana or Little Haiti.
Washington DC is equal parts picturesque and historic. In addition to showcasing tons of free, family-friendly museums, the United States capital is also adorned with amazing street art! Kids can recognize famous American figures throughout Columbia Heights, Shaw, and Adams Morgan, like outside Dacha Beer Garden. Pass by the painted Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street NW for a hot dog to-go! Remember to also see street artist Rose Jaffe’s nearby Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural on U Street NW and 15th Street NW. NoMa is another up-and-coming neighborhood for DC street art, spanning North Capitol Street NE to First Street NE down N and also M Street NE. Explore the H Street Corridor or stop by Union Market for a snack! Near Logan Circle, discover one of DC’s more massive murals: The Watermelon House. Be sure to also snag a family photo in front of this fruit-themed facade!
The Mile High City is another marvelous muralism mecca. Denver is known for its scenic outdoor recreation, booming craft breweries, and stunning street art! Take your own DIY tour by riding bikes down riverside trails in Confluence Park, lined with miles of colorful murals. RiNo is another fabulous street art neighborhood. Wander down Larimer, Blake, Lawrence, or Walnut Street near North Broadway, continuing until 30th Street. A cluster of captivating murals inhabits multiple buildings within a short distance! Street artist Jeremy Burns’ optical illusion-Esque mural titled Larimer Boy And Girl is one of the most photographed, located on Larimer Street between 27th and 28th Street. Then, meander down Welton Street in Five Points or snap a photo with Pat Milberry’s Love This City mural on Arapahoe Street and North Broadway. Families will find a similar depiction in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, another splendid place to see street art!
Berkeley is a popular hot spot for California street art. Well-known for its multicultural roots and liberal student population, this East Bay city provides a historical context to its murals. Make your first sightseeing stop on Telegraph Avenue to see one of Berkeley’s oldest murals on Haste Street: A People’s History Of Telegraph Avenue. Dating back to 1976, kids will marvel at the sheer size of this landmark piece! Continue down Telegraph Avenue toward Blake Street for Rich Black’s In Tribute To Chiura Obata, a colorful landscape dedicated to a famous Japanese American artist. Berkeley also has a few more eccentric murals for kids to enjoy, mostly located in Central Berkeley near Bancroft Way and Roosevelt Avenue. Others are situated outside of businesses, like Kathryn Crawford’s cacao-inspired mural at Xocolate Bar. Shop some organic, fair-trade chocolates for children to munch on and then take a picture on your way out!
Kansas City, Missouri
Visit Kansas City for your daily dose of Missouri street art! Known for baseball and jazz music, families can trace this eclectic history through the city’s massive murals. The 18th and Vine district is particularly brimming with art, specifically at Buck O’Neil Tribute Park. Of course, your street art tour would be incomplete without stopping in Art Alley on 18th and Oak Street. There, you’ll find recent Black Lives Matter street art alongside funky characters by locals like Rif Raf Giraffe. Concentra Alley, located behind Concentra Urgent Care at 205 W 19 Terrace, also showcases smaller miscellaneous graffiti and murals. Thanks to the local mural festival Spray Seemo, families can also appreciate art throughout businesses in Westside South, Downtown, and Crossroads. Pass by or Mano’s Wine to see the latest walls or snap a picture in front of Kansas City’s namesake #KC Love mural on East 18th and Main Street!
Head to Houston to see mesmerizing graffiti and street art families will love! Home to stunning natural surroundings, this Texas city showcases some of the best murals statewide. This is mostly due to the Houston Graffiti Festival, which organizes dozens of murals throughout the city! Stop by Historic Market Square Park to appreciate a vibrant creation by local Houston street artist GONZO247. The Houston Graffiti Building is another frequented destination to get a feel for the art scene, ranging from local to international muralists. Leeland Street Graffiti Park is also less than a block away, showcasing gigantic murals! Houston’s street art is also concentrated in Sawyer Yards, a warehouse district housing artist studios, chic restaurants, and boutiques. Take a stroll around and check out the Art Alley at 1502 Sawyer St! Of course, families shouldn’t leave Texas without taking a photograph in front of the glamorous Greetings From Houston mural.
Say Aloha to amazing street art in sunny Honolulu! This beautiful Hawaiian island brims with multi-colored murals thanks to the Pow Wow Hawaii Festival. Fortunately for parents who don’t want to travel far, most of this street art is conveniently located in the Kaka’ako Arts District! Kids will love gazing up at the huge tentacles in Ricky Watts and James Bullough’s latest mural at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Cooke Street. Use the Pow Wow Hawaii Map to navigate more along the Boulevard toward Lana Lane and Coral Street. Down by Koula Street, keep an eye out for a Mickey Mouse-inspired mural by OG Slick! Little ones will surely recognize Pink Panther and Donald Duck depicted within street art by the Ohana Hale Marketplace! The Children’s Discovery Center is another great two-for-one option for families visiting Honolulu. Enjoy educational programming and a bright yellow exterior mural!
Providence, Rhode Island
Plan your family trip to Providence to see the streets come alive with murals! This Rhode Island riverside town combines a charming artistic ambiance with centuries of American history. Firstly, explore its quaint downtown area to spot small works on local businesses. Visiting Providence with children is a great way to learn about Rhode Island’s indigenous roots. Luckily, street artist Gaia’s incredible tribute to Princess Red Wing, a Narragansett and Wampanoag elder, is located in the parking lot behind 32 Custom House Street! Nearby, there’s also Andrew Hem’s large-scale mural, located at 118 Orange Street. Elsewhere, families will find the majority of Providence’s street art located in the West End. Then, stop by The Avenue Concept, a public mural project filling multiple city blocks with legal graffiti tags and murals! Finally, on the other side of the river keep an eye out for student-painted murals near Brown University.
New York City, New York
New York City reigns supreme as one of the best US graffiti and street art cities for families! From early subway graffiti to more recent, social justice-oriented murals, the five boroughs boast their best work in the city’s most serendipitous corners. Visit Manhattan to witness how the Black Lives Matter movement manifests in street art, splashed across SoHo on Bleecker, West Broadway, and Broome Street. Then, families can also find rotating murals, wheat pastes, or stickers on Grand, Bowery, and Broome Street in Chinatown. Or, visit Little Italy’s Mulberry Street and grab a gelato as you stroll! The Lower East Side and North Brooklyn offer a more colorful, whimsical selection of large-scale murals, particularly in Williamsburg along Bedford Avenue or the warehouse district around Waterbury and Meserole Street. Nearby, stumble upon the Bushwick Collective, where kids can pose with freehanded flower murals, picture-perfect dog portraits, and tropical toucans!
Detroit is a Michigan paradise for street art lovers! Murals abound throughout Motor City, perfect for exploring with your family. Wander Lincoln Street Art Park to see murals, tags, or sculptures made from recycled materials. The Z Park Garage is another popular spot for large-scale pieces, particularly in its adjacent alley “The Belt.” Murals celebrating Detroit’s Mexican roots also decorate buildings on Bagley Street, specifically at the intersection of St. Anne. Nearby, save time for a stop at The Alley Project, a creative outdoor hub welcoming multiple muralists a month! Of course, families scouring Detroit for street art would be remiss to not head toward Eastern Market. Massive designs by street artists Ghost Beard and Patch Whisky inhabit the Eastern Market Brewing Co. and other local businesses to guarantee an easy view. Grab dinner, and then head to the Dequindre Cut Greenway, a railroad-turned-recreational path dotted with kaleidoscopic murals!
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is saturated with soulful street art! World-renowned for its Mardi Gras traditions, it’s no surprise the city’s walls reflect its diverse artist population. Start with the road less traveled toward the Warehouse & Arts District. At 300 S. Rampart Street, you’ll come across Brazillian street artist Kobra’s chromatic, three-story mural depicting NOLA native Louis Armstrong. There’s also a Mardi-Gras inspired Welcome To New Orleans mural located at 2104 Magazine Street. Freret Street is another ideal location to catch a cluster of murals compacted into one area, like French artist MTO’s hyperrealistic art outside of Gasa Gasa. Explore cute boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants along these winding streets! B Mike, a famous NOLA street artist, also offers visitors a glimpse at his Bywater studio, Studio Be, which is decorated inside and out. For added convenience, families can also consult the NOLA Mural Project’s street art map for St. Claude Avenue.
Music City is chock-full of memorable murals! Though Nashville is known for Music Row and its downtown attractions, families hunting street art will also find a plethora of photo opportunities in the city. Stroll down 11th Avenue South in The Gulch to start your street art journey at Kelsey Montague’s What Lifts You mural. There’s even a smaller set of wings for little ones to pose with! Walk a little further for another mural by Kim Kennedy outside music venue 12th & Porter. Two more Instagrammable walls span buildings in 12 South: Nashville Looks Good On You and I Believe In Nashville. Or, head toward the Jefferson Street Corridor near Tennessee State University. Here, the I-40 underpass is lined with Gateway To Heritage murals celebrating Nashville’s history. Charlotte Avenue in Sylvan Park provides the most bang-for-your-buck, though, with over ten murals organized by Off The Walls Charlotte!
Happy Street Art Hunting
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 12 US Graffiti and Street Art Cities Families Should Visit! Whether you’re looking to supplement a future vacation or want to also explore the local art scene in your area, there’s no better way to start than with your little ones. Remember that street art is ephemeral and constantly changing, though, so also keep an open mind at some of these locations. After all, one of the best parts about spontaneously wandering is that you never know what you’ll find. Enjoy making memories together at these wonderful murals!
Thank You To Our Community!
A special thank you to the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook community who also helped compile this list of 12 US Graffiti and Street Art Cities Families Should Visit! Families Who Love To Travel is a group of amazing families who love also adventure and exploring through travel. Join the Facebook community and also the Instagram community (@families.love.travel) to connect with other families who also love the unique experiences travel has to offer.
Finally, those searching for more creative travel inspiration can check out our article on the 12 Best Colorful Towns For Families!