WRITTEN BY Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…See full bio
The San Francisco Mission District is known for its incredible cuisine, diverse residents, and endless experiences waiting around every corner. While San Francisco is home to 1,000-plus wall murals, the highest concentration can be found within two miles of Mission Dolores Park. So, if you’re looking for things to do in the Mission District—and truly want to experience this incredible region of the city—the murals have to make their way onto your itinerary.
Since the Mission District was established, it’s been a hub for immigrants from all over the world. This welcoming urban area has become one of the most interesting destinations, thanks to the various outdoor murals depicting the dreams, anguish, and frustration of local residents.
Some of the oldest Mission District murals date back to the early 1970s and have faded due to San Francisco’s foggy weather. This historic street art contrasts the vibrant hues of today’s mural designs—which seem to appear on every blank wall, garage door, and fence in the neighborhood. While the ever-changing landscape continues to evolve and new colorful murals are painted each day, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites that illustrate the culture of the Mission District.
CAMP has one of the largest collections of murals in the Mission District, with over 700 murals created since 1992. The project aims to produce socially engaged public works of art that support dignity and culture and put respect, compassion, and social justice above all else.
The Balmy Alley murals are located on Balmy Street, between 24th and 25th Streets. This alleyway is the ideal place to view one of the most concentrated collections of street art murals in San Francisco. What began in the 1980s as a way to express anger has become a slate for discussing human rights, gentrification, and social injustice.
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