I’ve lived in DC for nearly 15 years, and gosh this city has changed a lot over those years. One of my favorite changes is the emergence of colorful walls and murals throughout the city, so today I thought I’d share some of my favorites with all of you! You should definitely consider this to be “The Best Walls in DC: Part 1,” because there are lots more seriously cool DC walls on my list. If you’re local, feel free to share your favorites in the comments below – and if you’re planning to visit DC in the near future, I hope you’ll include a stop at some of the walls below during your visit!
Let’s start with one of my favorites! Blagden Alley is full of murals, but my favorite is this rainbow mural by visual artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer that spells L-O-V-E over four painted garage doors. Bonus points if you stop to check out the murals on your way to one of the many restaurants and bars in the area, from the brand-new Calico to longtime favorite The Columbia Room.
Union Market is one of our favorite spots in DC: we love grabbing a drink at Cotton & Reed, a quick bite to eat at one of the many food stalls, and shopping at Salt & Sundry or Little Leaf. But they also have two of my favorite murals in the city! The heart wall below was created by LA graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash in 2016 in honor of International Women’s Day. It’s so happy and colorful!
Just a few weeks ago, artist Dallas Clayton came to town to work his magic on another Union Market wall. This wall is in partnership with Instagram’s #kindcomments campaign, and is full of colorful shapes and happy messages.
The Watermelon House is well on its way to being one of the most well known landmarks in DC. You can even find it on Google maps! The legend behind this wall (at least as told to me) is that the home was painted a bright pink back when the current owners bought it. They weren’t crazy about the shade of pink, so they decided to paint a few seeds and a green border on the side and turn it into a watermelon – and the rest is history! And if that wasn’t good enough, the DCKiwi wall is right behind the watermelon wall! It’s the cutest little fruit-filled alley in all of DC.
As much as I love rainbows and fruit murals, I’m completely obsessed with the lettering in this mural by Ricardo Gonzalez for Pow Wow DC at the AVA NoMa building. And those colors! I could stare at this one all day.
All photos by Nole Garey and Anna Meyer for Oh So Beautiful Paper