Houston is home to some inspiring and truly unique art. You can explore many museums and galleries during your time in the city or get an authentic feel for the diverse community through the mesmerizing street art and exceptional murals dotted around the different neighborhoods.
Within this guide to the 8 best murals and street art in Houston, I have showcased the most popular tourist sites worth visiting.
But, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for authentic street art while strolling through the individual neighborhoods and streets, as they are constantly evolving and becoming brighter by the day.
The Best Murals and Street Art in Houston
I have highlighted some of my favorite spots in Houston to see new and quirky street art, including murals, to help you find inspiration for where to head to.
I have noted what makes these places so unique, from the community or artists that create the work to any funky coffee shops or cafes to visit while in the area.
Finally, a note on pricing: Though much of Houston’s street art can be enjoyed for free, many of them have been created by local artists and charities who accept donations. Therefore, I have included where donations can be made within the guide.
Now, let’s look at some of the best places to find street art in Houston!
1. Houston Graffiti Building & Graffiti Park
|1503 Chartres St, Houston, TX 77003
Houston Graffiti Building is situated in East Downtown. Directly opposite the building is Houston Graffiti Park. The building and the park showcase incredible street art and murals, which are ever-changing and fascinating.
Walking around all the exhibits will take you no more than fifteen minutes as this is quite a small area but definitely worth a visit. However, it may take a little longer to get around during peak times because this is a popular place for Instagram pictures.
This area is heavily populated by a homeless community which can feel intimidating. There is rarely any trouble; however, visiting these murals during the day is safer. There is a large parking lot at the Graffiti Building itself.
If you are looking for somewhere nearby to eat, I recommend District 7 Grill. This bustling, vibrant bistro is open daily from 10 am. Their extensive brunch menu has something for everyone, from oysters to omelets and everything in between.
My favorite brunch dish is the deliciously creamy avocado benedict, washed down with a frozen peach bellini.
Bonus Read: The Best Places to Have Brunch in Houston
2. Houston is Inspired Mural
|313 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
For anyone traveling to Houston for the first time (or 100th time), there is no better spot for that perfect souvenir photo than the Inspired Mural in front of Houston. This iconic mural in Downtown Houston was created in 2013 as part of an ad campaign, and it is now the most photographed place for social media posts in Houston.
Next to the Mural, you will find Market Square Park. You will always find something going on in the park, from live music events and festivals to community groups like blanket bingo and cycling Sundays. It is, indeed, a delightful place to have a picnic or get some exercise.
Right around the corner from Houston is Inspired, one of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Houston, Batanga! Batanga is a live music restaurant with a fantastic tapas menu that can be enjoyed on a large patio.
It can be challenging to find parking in this area. The car park where the mural shadows are located is private. So if you chance to park there, be sure not to stay too long.
The Premier 1106 Preston Lot is the closest car park, which can be a bit sketchy – Personally, I prefer to walk the extra few minutes to Court Parking Garage on 1401 Congress Street.
You Might Also Like: The Finest South American Restaurants in Houston
3. Rail to The Sea
|1502 Sawyer St, Houston, TX 77007
Rail to the Sea is an utterly beautiful, mesmerizingly brilliant artwork in Houston’s Art District created by Mumbai-born artist Janavi M Folmsbee.
Janavi’s inspiration for designing this masterpiece is the brightly colored tropical fish and coral found in the Indian Ocean and off the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
Janavi has a passion for ridding the oceans of plastic and hopes the mural will provoke change in the minds of all who view the mural.
The location of the mural is on a busy street, so I would recommend going to see it early in the morning or just before dark. There is a free car park opposite the artwork at The Silos as Sawyers Yard.
The Silos at Sawyers Yard is an iconic building for artists and art enthusiasts. The 80,000-square-foot studio has been broken down into ninety-seven workspaces, each featuring local artists’ work and offering a safe space for artistic entrepreneurs to express themselves.
As Rail to the Sea is situated within Houston’s Art District, there are so many places you can visit here, and there is literally artwork on every street corner. In addition, the area has more than three hundred studios, many of which welcome tourists to come in and look at the artists at work.
If you are looking for somewhere to have a quick pit stop while in the area, be sure to check out Holler Brewing Co. This mega brewing site is open to the public. It has a tasting room where you can sample a selection of their latest beers. Children and dogs are welcome here too.
The creation of the mural was aided by a group called Leadership Houston. You can donate to Leadership Houston via their website to fund future public space projects.
See Also: The Best Breweries in Houston
4. What Lifts You
|2770 Summer St, Houston, TX 77007
What Lifts You is a stunning, Instagrammable collection of murals located within a public courtyard of a trendy apartment complex close to the center of Houston.
The piece was created by world-renowned street artist and American illustrator Kelsey Montague. Following a visit to New York’s What Lifts You mural, Taylor Swift commissioned Kelsey to create a similar mural in Nashville – Houstons is the original, though.
If you are looking for somewhere with a relaxed vibe to enjoy a drink while in the area, head over to City Orchard.
This unique cider bar has a gorgeous, picture-worthy tap bar where you can sample hand-crafted ciders made with apples from local family-owned farms. They also have a small food menu.
5. The Heights
|Neighborhood Zip Code 77008
The Heights is a really vibrant, retro neighborhood to explore when seeking out authentic street art. The area is brimming with quirky stores, antique shops, busy salons, and a glorious historical cinema.
Many businesses in this area have brightly colored fronts and artwork covering the brickwork.
The most eccentric street to stroll down in The Heights neighborhood is 19th Street. This is where you will come across the most individual, visually exciting, and thought-provoking street art, including the Heroes of Houston murals, Astros Star murals, and I Am Love.
Other notable streets to visit in this area include; 15th Street, 13th Street, 11th Street, and Yale Street.
6. Mural Tour by Electric Cart
|800 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002
If you really want to enjoy some of the best murals and street art in Houston but don’t know where to start, an electric cart tour might be the best way to go.
The tours can be booked on the website ‘Get Your Guide’ – you can find many awesome Houston tours here covering artwork, places of interest, historic buildings, and food tours.
The tours can be booked for $46.97 per person and last about an hour and a half. You will be joined in the Polaris GEM electric vehicle by a knowledgeable tour guide who will take you to forty of the city’s murals.
7. Smither Park
|2441 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023
Smither Park is one of my favorite places to go to in Houston during the weekend. Every Saturday, artists gather here to work on murals, which are fascinating to watch.
This is an incredible area that three-hundred dedicated local artists have created together to educate visitors in traditional folk art. The space is ever-changing, with new murals and sculptures always being added.
The showstopper within Smither Park – and the only permanent exhibit – is the magnificent memory wall. An eclectic mosaic mural crafted from recycled materials spans over four hundred feet.
Opposite Smither Park, you won’t be able to miss The Orange Show, which is worth a visit if you have the time. Visionary artist Jeff McKissack created this area in 1982 as an homage to his favorite fruit.
The entry fee is $5.00, and you will find a museum, a wishing well pond, and even a small gift shop.
There isn’t much choice around Smither Park if you want to eat. If you are feeling hungry, there is a great food truck just ten minutes walk away called Taqueria Asadero, where you can pick up delicious tacos, quesadillas, and Asado.
You Might Also Like: The Best Gas Station Tacos in Houston
8. Via Colori Houston
|401 Franklin Street, Houston, TX 77201
I had to mention Via Colori Houston within this guide! This two-day, family-friendly, annual event is the best place to see street art being created before your very own eyes.
Via Colori is also known locally as the chalk festival; this is due to the enormous chalk murals which coat the pavements of Downtown Houston.
The event is free to attend; however, artwork can be purchased from the various stalls set up by local artists; there are also donation boxes located around the streets with suggested donation amounts on them.
You can enjoy live music, children’s entertainers, kids’ creative areas, and food stalls.
Bonus Read: Fun Places to Go With Kids in Houston
To Sum Up…
So, where will you head for your next slice of culture in Houston?
I hope that this guide has helped you to create a shortlist of where to consider visiting.
If you would like to see what other inspiring places Houston has to offer, you might want to check out our guides to The Best Skyline Scenic View in Houston and The Most Beautiful Gardens in Houston for ideas.