Graffiti Park at Castle Hills (HOPE Outdoor Gallery), Austin
Austin Graffiti Park is a colorful blast! Occupying the remains of an old building foundation, the 3 story graffiti art park is the largest in the nation, and brings tourist, renowned artist and local taggers together to make their mark and appreciate an ever-changing canvas.
Know Before You Go
BYOP Bring your own paint. Spray paint with primer will make sure the previous paint doesn’t bleed through.
Grab some vinyl gloves, too, because spray paint is messy and nothing makes for a bad experience like having your hands covered in paint, and no place to wash it off.
No restrooms, go before you get here.
Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little paint on… and be careful of fresh paint EVERYWHERE!!
Wear closed-toed shoes, and beware of broken glass and remains of the old buildings. Keep young children close.
Whether you come to paint, or just to take a few pictures and observe others painting, it’s just a good time!
Local artist are set up to sell their works.
Be prepared for a crowd, especially on weekends!
I loved just walking around and looking at all the different art, some of which is really incredible!
My daughter really wanted to paint, which anyone can do. Bring your own paint or there are paint cans everywhere, most with some paint still in them!
There aren’t areas designated just for “tagging” like my daughter did here, which is just painting your name or a simple picture. We choose a place that already had lots of tagging, so she wasn’t painting over one of the amazing pictures that cover the walls.
There are lots of great photo ops, too!
The beauty of gallery is that the art is always evolving. There are plenty of artist on site at any time, and it’s fun to watch them. I love this piece, which left the previous work under it instead of covering it up.
Climb to the top, which has a great view of the park, the Castle for which the park is named, and of Downtown Austin and the State Capital. The trail to the top is a dirt one, and can be a bit tricky, especially if it’s muddy, so be careful.
I loved that EVERYTHING is painted! Even some of the weeds along the trail have been painted.
The biggest obstacle to visiting the park is the parking, which is along the road. It’s a little crazy, as both sides of the street are lined with parked cars and that only allows for one car to travel down the street, and are often met by a stand-off of another car going the opposite direction. Save yourself the headache of getting blocked in by parking on the street as far away as possible and walking in. DO NOT park in private parking at Whole Foods or any of the other nearby businesses.
Can’t get enough of this kind of art installation? Check out Aerosol Warfare in Houston, click HERE to visit their website.
The Fabrication Yard in Dallas, click HERE to visit their facebook page.
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo rarely has significant artist, but it’s a great place to do your own tagging, and a huge tourist site! Click HERE to read more!
Austin Hostel Weekend
Tagging at the Graffiti Park was just part, although sadly the last part, of what we refer to as our Austin Hostel Weekend. My daughter and I started at the Austin Aquarium, followed by a pork chop lunch at Shady Grove under the huge trees. To work it off, we climbed to the top of Mount Bonnell, with incredible views of the Colorado River below! We left our mark at the Castle Hills Graffiti Park, and waited in the never-ending line at the Magnolia Cafe, where I spiced up my life with a new love affair with Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce, made in Austin and incredible! Our after dark window-shopping in the funky stores of South Congress Ave., or SoCo, was the follow-up to dinner at the legendary Threadgills, and dessert at Hey Cupcake! a food truck advertised with a bright pink cupcake on top! It was a hard decision, as we also love Amy’s (naughty) Ice Cream, but that Sweetberry cupcake has never lied to me yet. We also stayed at our first hostel, HI Austin, on the shore of Ladybird Lake, where we met people from around the world! The 10-mile Austin Hike and Bike Trail winds right past the backdoor of Hi Austin, and we brought our bikes for a Sunday ride! We rode the still-new Austin Boardwalk, petted pups in the dog parks, envied swimmers in Barton Springs year-round 70 degrees waters, and posed with Stevie Ray, but our biggest adventure was what we found lying on the trail under Congress Ave.! To start reading from the beginning, please click HERE.
Graffiti Park at Castle Hills
Baylor St., Austin
Click HERE to visit their website.
Click HERE to visit their facebook page.
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