Keep Austin Weird + Awesome

At the beginning of every year, I put together a wish-list per-se of places I’d like to visit in the upcoming year. Of course, usual suspects like Chicago and San Francisco seem to always make the cut, but I make a concerted effort to incorporate a handful of new places that I have yet to explore. Aside from my colossal trip to Japan earlier in the year, Austin, Texas was one city that made the cut.

Anytime I uttered the words Austin, Texas, immediately people would say “oh, it’s just like Nashville.”

I could help thinking was I leaving my hometown to spend a weekend in a city that was identical?

I had to see for myself what Austin was all about.

As we made our way into the city, I was intentional about keeping my eyes open and seeing my surroundings. So often we get so focused on getting to “the” destination that we forget to notice all the beautiful details in between.

Austin’s landscape is quite similar to Nashville. You’ll find bars filled with locals and tourists alike, live music and eateries galore, but one thing I noticed is that Austin is peppered with some of the best street art around. While Nashville has a thriving mural scene ( ahem, What Lifts You Mural in the Gulch), it doesn’t have ANYTHING on Austin. Often times you will find this eclectic blend of creativity in the most unexpected places, gas stations, alleyways, storefronts and even just sitting on the side of the road.

These murals are truly representative of the city and epitomize the trademark saying “ Keep Austin Weird.”

While I’ve been somewhat reluctant to embrace the mural photo phase in Nashville, I couldn’t keep the tourist at bay and had to take advantage of these expressions of creativity.

Below you will find a list of some of my favorite murals in Austin. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it can certainly be the start of what I like to think of as a scavenger hunt around the city.

Austin Murals

Greetings From Austin Mural

1720 S 1st Street

Austin, TX 78704

Willie For President

1423 S Congress Avenue

Austin, TX 78704

You Stay Classy Austin

1603 S. 1st Street

Austin, Texas 78704

South Congress

1800 S. Congress Avenue

Austin, Texas 78704

HOPE Outdoor Gallery

1101 Baylor Street

Austin, TX 78703

Website and Instagram

In addition to these vibrant murals throughout the city, I happened to stumble upon what the aerosol artists call the Hope Outdoor Gallery. Originally, this site was intended for condominiums, but not everything goes according to plan. In 2011, these concrete foundations turned into a glorious canvas for graffiti art.

Aerosol artists will work on a piece for hours on end only to find it tagged over painted over the next day. While some may find it defeating, that’s part of the creative expression. After speaking to some of the locals, it seems that graffiti art is not limited to this area as the creative and colorful spirit seems to be taking over the city. While some may deem this vandalization, others embrace this as it adding layers of beauty to this awesomely weird city.

If you find yourself in Austin, make sure you take time to notice your surroundings and all the beautiful details in between.

Until Next Time!