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  • Kate Severino

14 Must-see Outdoor Murals in Tucson, Arizona

Updated: Apr 2

Tucson, Arizona has upwards of 50 exceptional murals painted around the city. Whether you've seen them in restaurants (looking at you Ashley White), on signs or across walls, here are a few stand-out outdoor pieces within close(-ish) proximity to one another.


Whether you explore on foot or extend your hunting grounds by car, I challenge you to a scavenger hunt for murals.


Ready? I have selected some of my favorites, the ones I see often, but your hunt isn't limited to the 14 highlighted here. If you're looking for a good place to start, however, work your way down this list—you're bound to spot more along the way.


Set...

I have only shown you glimpses of the murals; to unveil each masterpiece, you'll have to seek them out yourselves. The map provided below will help you find them, with a few suggested stops for refreshments along the way.


Go!

Grab a picture, take a selfie, strike a pose, and/or marvel at the creativity displayed. You can make a morning/afternoon of it—let the games begin!



Park in the Tucson Warehouse District Parking Lot (or nearby) downtown. You'll start the journey at Exo Roast Co.—the coffee spot has a cool space (and a wild indoor mural to get you inspired for your journey). If you're looking for a unique brew to get you going, go for the Chiltepin Cold Brew.


Now, walk along East Seventh Street to Borderlands Brewing Companyalternatively, this could be done on a Bird scooter/skateboard/bicycle. Across the train tracks, the brewery wall features kissing frogs, a quail family, and other whimsical desert creatures—some in animal suits, some not—across a long stretch of wall. This is the first Joe Pagac mural (of many) to make the list.



Walk up North Seventh Avenue to Tucson Warehouse & Transfer Studios. Rock "Cyfi" Martinez created the magnificent 60x70-foot "Goddess of Agave" mural at 440 N. Seventh Ave., with the help of artist Cristina Perez. The mural shows likeness to Martinez's girlfriend and highlights desert plants unique to this region.


Here's a peek from my mural hunt:


Head left along East Sixth Street. You must check out Joe Pagac's "Epic Rides" desert critter bike mural on Sixth Street and Stone Avenue.



The details are exquisite. Let me know what you think about the progression from the left side of the mural to the right when you see it in person... it's so beautifully designed. The sign on the bottom right corner thanks all those who sponsored the piece.


Walk down North Stone Avenue all the way to the Little One and you'll see a vibrant Jessica Gonzales and Tucson Arts Brigade mural—a stretch of landscape, geometric shapes, and music. "The Path Unpaved" mural, at 151 N. Stone Avenue, is just the pop of color we wanted.

(And if you like her style, you might want to make your way to Sonoran Brunch Company at some point... and get the Cauliflower and Avocado Tacos while you're at it).



Continue on towards East Congress Street and when you reach it., turn left. After you cross over Stone Avenue, you'll see a parking lot to your left. In the open lot, you will spot a signature Danny Martin black-and-white mural (on a wall of pink) between Stone and Scott Avenue. (There's another of his outside Sonoran Brunch Company—I know that you're already planning your visit for the tacos).



Turn left up North Scott Avenue and to find the Quail and Citrus mural to your left, halfway up the road. Can't see the vibrant bird? Look up! It was painted by Phoenix-based artist Isaac Caruso in under a week.



Turn back to Congress and continue east (the way you were previously headed) for one block. Then, turn right down South Sixth Avenue. Walk for a block until you get to East Broadway Boulevard and turn left. Continue along Broadway until you happen upon the restaurant Charro Del Rey. You'll see the mural—sizable and spectacular.



Global nomad and Irish artist Fin Dac painted it. When you visit, take a look at the tattoo on her arm—I'm digging it.


Now, it's time to head to Fourth Avenue. Turn left up South Fifth Avenue and right along Congress until you get to the Toole-Fourth Avenue intersection. Cross the road and walk under the bridge along Fourth Avenue.


On the corner of Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street is a Joe Pagac mural featuring butterflies in the desert that was commissioned by Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona to celebrate 50 years of support. Spring abounds.



Take a close look at the Monarch butterfly wings (on the right) for tiny details and desert scenes when you pass by. Some of the other butterflies are an illusion.

While you're there, drop by The Boxyard—not only does it feature another mural, but there's epic people watching, food, and drink to be had.


Keep walking along Fourth Avenue until you pass East Seventh Street. On your left, on the side of Antigone Books is another Jessica Gonzales mural. This one is called "Imagination Navigation: Sonoran Sea."

Let me know what other creatures are featured in her mural (besides the glimpse above) and I'll know that you made it there.


Continue along Fourth Avenue until you reach East Sixth Street and turn left. The last two downtown murals from the list await three blocks down the road (along with a drool-worthy pizza at Anello–you won't find a sign but I've tagged it on the map).


Turn left down North Arizona Avenue to find a Danny Martin mural (featuring saguaros) on the wall of Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. He was still working on it when I visited. Let me know what he's added since!



While you're in that avenue, walk to end (at the back of the Miller's Surplus) for the "Greetings from Tucson" mural painted by traveling artists:



What a fun depiction of the city. Do you have a favorite letter?


If you turn right onto East Seventh Avenue and walk a block, you've made it back to your car!


Onward Ready to take things to the next level? You're going to need your car for this. It's worth it, promise, and there are more opportunities for food and drink.


Google Maps, lead us to Beaut Burger at the MSA Annex... lip-smacking plant-based burgers and sammies await. Once you've had your fill (even if it's just a cup of house-made limeade to go), let's take a walk.


Turn right up South Avenida del Convento, left along West Calle de Los Higos, and take one more left along the first street you come across. If you look to your right, you should be able to see Rock Martinez's "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Menlo Park" mural south of Mercado San Agustin.


Make your way back to the car and across town to the quirky summer desert scene featuring a collared lizard and a playful looking (don't be deceived) gila monster at 2136 N. Euclid Ave.



There are two painted sides to this wall. You're going to want to park your car and take a walk around the corner to get an up-close view of the book the collared lizard is reading on the other side—it will make you chuckle. Can you guess who painted it?


The last mural to make the list features floating whales. You can find Joe Pagac's "Sky Islands" mural in an empty lot on the corner of Campbell Avenue and Grant Road.



You made it! Let the trumpets resound.


Were you surprized by any of the murals once you saw them in person? I tried not to give too much away in my images. I'll admit, though, the sheer size of some of them had me gobsmacked!


I hope you had as much fun exploring and discovering local talent as I did when I hunted them all down to share with you.


Much love,

Kate x



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This is me

I am an explorer and avid travel enthusiast; I am energized by all things green and sun-kissed; I dabble in the creative and believe that in order to reach people, we need to be kind.

Hi. I go by Kate.

 

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