Columbia is home to many talented artists. Because of that, Columbia is also home to dozens of beautiful murals. There’s something about vibrant murals that make a city interesting to me. They really showcase a city’s personality.
More than a year ago, I started making a list of all the mural locations I’d seen while running errands around town. When my sister-in-law moved in with us, she came from a super small town and commented on all the murals. We talked about going mural hunting and taking pictures with each one that we found. But we never went.
Fast forward to 2021 and when spring break rolled around, we picked a day, loaded up my three kids, grabbed some coffee (caffeine was a must) and our phones, and set out mural hunting. Our goal for the morning was to visit and pose with 10 murals. We made it to 19 in less than three hours!
With one in a car seat and two in booster seats, this may sound like a daunting task for anyone looking to explore with their kids. So I’ve narrowed it down to two easy locations for you to check out. Each location boasts multiple murals, and is easy to explore!
1. Main Street
Park somewhere around 1441 Main Street and grab the stroller. Head to 1100 Taylor Street and you’ll see a colorful mural with charms from a charm bracelet.
After that, walk toward the Wells Fargo Building on Main Street and you’ll see Columbia’s newest mural. In fact, the day we saw it, it was still being painted. That was the biggest surprise and our favorite part of the day. We stood by and watched for a long time, while also playing on the HOPE structure.
Once you’ve finished on Main and Taylor, load everyone back up in the car and cross the river to West Columbia. There’s plenty of free parking at the West Columbia Interactive Park, which is located at 425 Meeting Street. Here we discovered two murals at the park, as well as interactive places to make music, explore or sit and chat. It’s also a great spot for a picnic lunch!
There is an alleyway between Meeting Street and State Street that is a must-see. If you only want to see two murals, these are the two! On either side of the alleyway is a vibrant, Columbia scene with landmarks throughout. My kids excitedly pointed out familiar places as they admired the murals.
My kids keep talking about the day we went mural hunting. They also keep asking to look at my camera roll and see the dozens of pictures we took that day. It was a fun, cheap way to see and enjoy our city. And now while we’re driving around, they’re paying more attention and noting where they see fun murals they want to take pictures with. Clearly, we need a second (and maybe a third) mural hunting trip — maybe before the summer heat returns.
Want to see more Columbia murals? Check out this list of 58 across Soda City.