One of the coolest forms of art is graffiti—writings and drawings that are made out in public and usually without permission. While these markings can be found randomly on walls, bridges and other surfaces, there are actually specific areas all over the world that are dedicated to this art form.
Bustling cities such as Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles all have parks that are filled with graffiti. Artists and tourists come from all over to enjoy these bright spaces, so whether someone wants to make their own mark, pose in front of colorful murals or just check out the creations, these are 10 graffiti parks to visit.
10 Venice Public Art Walls at The Venice Boardwalk
Venice is a boho beach town in California, and one of the top stops here is the Boardwalk, with its shop, performers and graffiti walls. For years, people have been coming to these two-sided surfaces to create and view artwork. Anyone can paint on the Venice Public Art Walls (after registering with the STP Foundation), so the colorful designs are always being added to, changing and evolving. This well-known space fits perfectly into this bright and unique town, and there are several murals nearby that are dedicated to Venice, such as "Venice Beach" from 1990, and "Arnold Schwartzenegger" from 2013.
9 Graffiti Alley in Baltimore, Maryland
Graffiti Alley is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Apparently, this area used to be a not-so-great one, but a studio called Graffiti Warehouse moved in to bring a little color to the space. Now, even the trash cans are covered in paint! Yes, this L-shaped alley is another one that is always getting vivid updates and being used as a backdrop for great social media pics, which is neat. As the only legal art space in the city, Graffiti Alley is a hidden gem, a breath of fresh air and a go-to spot for creative souls to express themselves.
8 The Grand River Creative Corridor in Detroit, Michigan
The Grand River Creative Corridor (GRCC) is an art space and neighborhood revitalization project that began in 2012. Since its start, it has gained over 100 creations that cover fifteen buildings, and there are also creative structures here (not just murals painted on buildings). According to Derek Weaver, who started GRCC after becoming the managing director at 4731 Gallery, this corridor is about representing diversity and promoting inclusion throughout Detroit. And whether people are painting here or just taking it all in, this project has replaced trash, overgrown vegetation and crime with art, as stated by Awesome Mitten, a news source focused on Michigan.
7 The Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta, Georgia
This next tourist destination can be found in Atlanta, Georgia. The Krog Street Tunnel is a tunnel that links neighborhoods, is full of cyclists and showcases street art. According to Atlas Obscura, the walls here are covered with everything from tiny initials and giant pieces of artwork to even marriage proposals! Like most of the parks on this list, the colors, words and designs at The Krog Street Tunnel change all the time, so there are websites that keep people updated on new creations. While most tunnels look like they could have creepy clowns hiding in them, this one in Atlanta is fun and vibrant.
6 Wabash Corridor in Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has a couple of artsy areas, but one interesting one is the Wabash Corridor. Art started popping up here a couple of years ago, and partnerships between The Wabash Arts Corridor, Columbia College Chicago, art galleries and street artists have led to painting that go up 10 stories high, that wrap around buildings and that cover the parking areas, as well. There is an art crawl each year that focuses on the creativity in the Wabash Corridor, but people are constantly flocking here to paint, take photos and get a colorful look at the city.
5 The Arts District in Los Angeles, California
Like in a lot of areas, graffiti is actually not really allowed in Los Angeles, but LA makes its own rules—especially in the Arts District! The building owners in this downtown region let talented artists cover their exterior walls, and now, there are about 100 murals here. According to the site Trip Savvy, this has really helped in cleaning up this district and brought in an influx of people and new businesses. The city of LA and its Arts District already offer so many neat stops and sights, but the graffiti that is found here is truly something to see.
4 Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn
Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Bushwick is full of artsy types and stores, as well as an outdoor gallery called the Bushwick Collective. This entry on this list was started a few years ago by a man named Joseph Ficalora, who, after losing his mother and father, wanted to turn the area that was full of crime into one full of art. All of the graffiti here is temporary, as each mural is up for about a year before being covered by another artist’s creation, and each piece provides a new form of entertainment and inspiration.
3 S Shelby St Graffiti Wall in Indianapolis, Indiana
Next up, it is time to move on to Indiana...Indianapolis has been embracing graffiti more, with art competitions, murals and exhibitions, though the local police department is not fully on board; a news report in Indianapolis Monthly stated that 30,000 square feet of graffiti were set to be covered up or erased in 2017, when a piece on the topic was published. Still, places like the S Shelby St Graffiti Wall show off designs from budding creatives up to known graffiti artists, and this ever-changing wall is just one of the brightest spots to see in this city.
2 The Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida
Of course, The Wynwood Walls have to be included here, too! This was started by a man named Tony Goldman, back in 2009; he thought that all of the warehouses in this part of Miami would make great canvases. Now, more than 50 artists from 16 different countries have contributed to the artwork here that covers more than 80,000 square feet of walls. This Museum of the Streets has been called one of the hippest neighborhoods in the nation, and it is seen on shows, in the news and by tons of tourists each year.
1 HOPE Outdoor Gallery in Austin, Texas
The last graffiti park on this list has an interesting story; Austin’s HOPE Outdoor Gallery was a popular place until it closed in January. It is now scheduled to reopen at Carson Creek Ranch sometime this year, but tourists and locals are missing it now! That being said, a tech company in Austin used a drone to take 10,000 photos of the space, all in order to make a one-of-a-kind, advanced tour of the gallery, using 3D elements, virtual reality and augmented reality. The downtown location of the Austin Public Library has a technology petting zoo, and according to KXAN, everyone can enjoy HOPE Outdoor Gallery here until it opens up again in its new locale.