The Instastar’s Guide to Houston’s Picture Perfect Places

I’m not that cute, I don’t have the greatest camera, and I don’t have brilliant photographer friends to capture me at the perfect angle with the perfect lighting.

But I do have a car, an iPhone, way too much free time, and friends who will take fifty pictures of me at the same angle with the same lighting to create the illusion that I have a great variety of pictures to choose from (when in actuality, it’s the same picture 50 times with the wind blowing my hair in different directions and a cheesier smile every second). So for those of you who do have everything I’m missing, these are some of my favorite spots for a super cute photo sesh!

To hit all the spots in a day, you’ll spend about an hour and a half driving around town. On top of that, expect to spend an extra hour or so trying to find parking because, well, it’s Houston. Luckily, Houston has a parking guide to help you navigate the crowded streets and parking lots.

NOTE: towing zones are serious and QUICK. I took my sister to Mercantile Montrose and we didn’t want to pay for parking to spend five minutes taking pictures. We parked in the lot across from MM and I kid you not, less than 7 minutes later there was a tow truck ready to tow me. Luckily we saw the truck, bolted to my car, and drove off before he was able to snag it.

I’ve loaded all the spots on MapQuest and optimized the route to get you from Smither Park to the Sunshine Wall via the shortest distance possible.

First Stop: Smither Park, 2402 Munger Street

img_5600-2
The sculptures are made with anything – dinner plates, tiles, coffee mugs, and even nail polish tubes.

Smither Park is an interesting one, with a wild variety of mosaic sculptures known as “folk art” inspired by the late Jeff McKissack.  Most of the art is along the back wall, where the sculptures are constantly evolving. But you’ll also find mosaics hidden within the swings, pavilion, and Lindley Fish Amphitheater. And if you’re visiting on a Saturday, you might even catch some local artists placing new recycled materials along the structures.

IMG_5697.JPG
To get the loan for The Orange Show, McKissack told the bank he needed a loan for a beauty parlor.

Bonus: When you’re done at Smither you can walk next door to 2401 Munger Street and check out The Orange Show Monument, which was actually created by Jeff McKissack in the 70s. Not entirely sure how to describe the place but it was interesting and definitely worth a visit. Just be warned, McKissack liked clowns and oranges, so while the monument is completely safe, as I was entering I couldn’t help but feel like I was the girl from the horror movies everyone loves to hate and yell at to turn around as she goes down into the basement toward her imminent death.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

waterwall
Photo credit

Cycling about 80,000 gallons of water every three hours, this place is usually pretty crowded throughout the day. If you want to get a picture without 20 tourists in the background I would recommend making this your first stop. Just note, going to Smither Park after this will add about 20-30 minutes to your total drive time – but it’ll be worth it.

HTX Pride Wall, 1641 Westheimer Road

img_6019

Not to be confused with the Rainbow Biscuit Paint Wall, the HTX Pride Wall is just a 5 minute walk down the road and smack dab in the middle of Houston’s “gayborhood” which, according to Buzzfeed, is the ninth best gayborhood in the world.

Rainbow Biscuit Paint Wall, 1435 Westheimer Road

img_1855The Biscuit Paint Wall is actually one of the walls outside of Biscuit Home, an interior design shop. And for all of the times I’ve visited, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more people there to take pictures in front of the wall than visit the shop. It really is that great.

Merchant Market, 1637 Westheimer Road

fullsizerender-2Hope you like surprises because this mural changes quite often. But it’s never left me (or my visitors) disappointed.

Mercantile Montrose, 3321 Stanford Street

thinkingofamasterplan
Photo credit

Whether you’re trying to rid the world of hunger, find a cure for cancer, or decide what you’re going to eat for dinner you’ll only have one other decision: coffee, wine, or beer?

Preservons la Creation, 2800 San Jacinto

Preservons-la-Creation-The-Biggest-Mural-In-Houston.jpg
Photo credit

The biggest mural in Houston, Preservons la Creation was created by French artist, Sebastien Boileau aka Mr. D, was created in 2014. When you visit, not only do you get to see a piece of Houston’s history, but you get a pretty rad view of the city too!

Midtown/Aspire/BestAdvice at Bagby Park, 415 Gray Street

img_7207

img_4540

img_1135

Located in the center of Midtown and right across the street from some of Houston’s most popular bars, you can find Houston’s “Best Advice” and “I Aspire to” walls as well as our cliche “midtown” sign. Don’t forget to bring your chalk so you can leave your best advice and aspirations for future visitors!

Houston Graffiti Buildings, 1503 Chartres Street

img_6418

img_2426

img_2112

houstongraffiti
Photo credit

The graffiti buildings have so many different murals you could probably spend a couple hours there exploring.  I posted a couple of my favorites because posting all of them would be obnoxious. But when you’re there take your time and make sure to check the hashtags and follow the artists. They have a whole world of incredible art on their Instagrams!

The Sugar & Cloth Color Wall, 3302 Canal Street

I’ve heard this wall has been recently painted over. So I’m not going to get your hopes up until I investigate.

Synchronicity of Color, 1500 McKinney Street

img_2389

There are a few of these art block buildings with different color schemes around the park. So make sure to check them all out. And while you’re doing that, take some time to explore the 12-acres of beautiful green park that make up Discovery Green too.

Art Blocks Houston, 1000 Main Street

Check the Art Blocks out soon because it’s a temporary exhibit leaving Houston by the end of February 2017! Also check out www.ArtBlocksHouston.org for an updated list of exhibits currently in Houston.

Houston is Inspired, 907 Preston Street

img_1547

For me, nothing is more inspiring than a good slice of pizza. And luckily, this wall is right across the street from Frank’s. So have yourself a merry little pie slice to get your inspiration for how you want to photograph yourself with this mural.

P.S. The words under “Houston” change randomly so if you like what you see make sure to snap a picture ASAP.

IMG_6521.JPG

P.P.S. A couple blocks away from this mural is a tree on the corner of some city buildings. It’s quite lovely and brings some life to the concrete madness that is part of Downtown Houston. So you can walk off the pizza and head over and get a quick pic with the tree too.

Harambe Wall, Catalina Coffee

FullSizeRender.jpgNever forget 28 May 2016. RIP Haramabe. While you remember the greatest gorilla to ever live, you can toast to his life with a hot beverage right next door at Catalina Coffee.

Unfortunate fine print: This wall isn’t actually of Harambe. It’s a #GorillaArt collab with the Houston Zoo and artists throughout the city. This is another one by Mr. D.

Michael Rodriguez Fox Mural, 2101 Winter Street

img_0783

img_5374

There are SO many murals along this wall now that it’s not really fair to call it the Michael Rodriguez Fox Mural but that’s what it was called when I learned about it, so…

If you walk around a bit and check out the other side of the Success Rice building there’s another huge, colorful mural and an “ART” statue which are worth checking out. And if you’re feeling really artistic, figure out a deep, provocative pose and werk it on the train tracks!

Greetings From Houston, 3601 White Oak Drive

fullsizerender-4

It’s like your own personal postcard but you can star in it! And while you’re there, make a quick pitstop right around the corner to Gelazzi Houston – Italiano Gelato Cafe for some Gelazzi Gelato, Connie’s Pizza, or Louie’s Italian Ice.

Polka Dot Wall, 6521 N Main Street

polkadotwall.jpg
Photo credit

The only wall I haven’t personally been to. But it’s adorable and the perfect backdrop for a fun, spring photoshoot! And it’s right outside Haute Dimensions Boutique. So you can pick up a new dress for a midday outfit change.

Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street

img_5911

fullsizeoutput_7dc.jpegThe Lawndale Art Center consists of two walls and an art gallery. It’s really easy to make the wall look good when you have such a pretty model. {That’s my little sister}.

You Are My Sunshine, 250 W 20th Street

img_6509

Austin has “I love you so much.” Dallas has “I love tacos so much.” It’s only fair that Houston gets a sweet wall too. Extra corny points if you come here with your SO.

What are your favorite murals in Houston? I want to hear about them, especially if I missed it!

4 thoughts on “The Instastar’s Guide to Houston’s Picture Perfect Places

  1. I seriously loved this post. You describe this topic adequately. When hiring home contractors it’s critical for go with a trusted name in construction. Experienced and efficient staff should shoot for excellence and absorb every detail of your dwelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a friend visit this weekend and we used this list to find Houston photo-shoot spots and it was great! We definitely loved the gelato rec at the postcard mural! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s