If you are active on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen at least someone post a photo in front of the “I Believe in Nashville” sign in 12 South (or the less popular locations- Riverside Village and Marathon Village). Originally designed by the artist as a way to unite our city, the mural was created as a t-shirt design in attempt to create a Nashville t-shirt that locals would be proud to wear without fear of looking like a tourist. Ironically, the murals have become tourist magnets.
Although it’s beautiful, and I LOVE what it represents, I feel that oftentimes other neighborhoods of Nashville are overshadowed by the fame of the mural. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of 12 OTHER murals and a few ideas of what you can do near them (with a few bonus murals thrown in there)
1. Import Flowers Sunflowers
Located off Murphy Road smack dab between West End and Sylvan Park, I love this mural because of the bright colors AND you get two for the price of one with one mural on each side of the building. While you’re in the area, go ahead and buy yourself some flowers. Import Flowers sells wholesale fresh flowers, and has some great deals, especially if you’re interested in arranging your own flowers for a wedding or party.
What to do nearby: You’re not immediately close to much (it’s around a lot of homes,) but you’re just off West End! Head to M.L. Rose for a drink and burger and then to Centennial park to see the Parthenon. That’s right- you don’t need to venture to Greece to see it!
2. Three Brothers Coffee
Located off West End, this cute and unique cafe offers great coffee and pastries, and they love to support local artists. It’s a great place to chat with a friend and snap a few pictures if you stop in this side alley see the mural. I love this mural because of the dimension added by being painted in an alley instead of along a single wall.
What to do nearby: You’re within walking distance of Centennial Park and Vanderbilt’s campus. Take a self-guided walking tour of the Vanderbilt campus or go for a run through Centennial Park around the lake. Then head to Hillsboro Village to see one of most charming areas of the city!
3. Dragon Mural
Just down the street from Import Flowers, the Dragon Mural can be found off 21st avenue between Posh and Pangea. Hillsboro village is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Nashville, and there’s tons of shopping and eating to do nearby.
What to do nearby: Some of my favorite recommendations are the Pancake Pantry, Fido’s, and the Grilled Cheeserie (featured on Food Network). If you see a line wrapped around Pancake Pantry, don’t be alarmed- people are ALWAYS waiting around the building in rain, sleet, and snow- but the line moves pretty quickly and there ARE down times without lines.
4. Hillsboro Village Mural
While you’re already in Hillsboro Village, may as well check out a second mural! This one is again, off 21st avenue and is on the side of Pizza Perfect.
What to do nearby: You’ll be right next to Vanderbilt’s campus, so be sure to check out the beautiful Peabody campus quadrangle or for a meal on a budget, pop in San Antonio Taco Company for some tacos and a bucket of beers.
5. Legend’s Corner Mural
Formerly the location of the Road to the Skyline mural, this one is located on the side of Legend’s Corner off Broadway in downtown Nashville. If you’re visiting Nashville, it’s a great photo to get right before experiencing the bars on lower Broadway. If you’re a country music fan, see if you can try to identify all of the “legends” on the mural.
What to do nearby: If you’re near this mural, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go to the bars on lower Broadway. Don’t let the TV Show Nashville fool you- Tootsie’s is a tourist bar. Be sure you go to Acme, Tin Roof, and The Big Bang Dueling Pianos Bar.
6. East Nashville Sign
In case you haven’t heard, East Nashville is the new Nashville. Formerly referred to as “East Nasty,” East Nashville has transformed into a haven for millennials, sporting more affordable housing, unique restaurants and bars, and a wide variety of shopping.
What to do nearby: Be sure you don’t miss a chance to walk along the Cumberland River at Shelby Bottoms Park and get something to eat at The Nashville Biscuit House. If you have some extra time, embrace your inner child and grab a drink at the Treehouse Restaurant, where you can sip a cocktail in a real tree house!
7. Stay Tuned Mural
Created by DCXV, the same folks that created the iconic “I Believe in Nashville” mural, this mural can be found in East Nashville on the corner of S 6th Street and Main Street.
What to do nearby: If you’re a history nerd, you’ll enjoy walking across the street to see the Surrender of Nashville marker from the Civil War. You should also check out The Family Wash/Garage Coffee for some live music and a bite to eat. The menu is as unique as the name, and they’re open 7AM-Midnight!
9. Gibson Guitar Mural
Located at Carter’s Vintage Guitars off 8th Avenue, this mural sports everything that Nashville is about: music. Whether musicians are playing country or rock music, Gibson guitars are some of the nicest on the market, and musicians of all sorts will be playing them up and down Broadway.
What to do nearby: After you snap your picture, head to City Winery, where you can enjoy a large wine menu and mouth watering food. Also check out Party Fowl, ZolliKoffee, and Jackalope Brewing Company.
10. What Gives You Wings Mural
Located off 11th Avenue S, this mural is conveniently located next to a parking garage with free 1 hour parking in case you’re just looking for a photo opp.
What to do nearby: Have some more time? Check out my new favorite restaurant, Fin and Pearl, for brunch or dinner. (If you go for brunch, try their chicken and waffles- they have an amazing citrus syrup that is out of this world).
11. The Abstract Murals in the Gulch
Arguably the newest murals in Nashville, these two were added earlier this spring. You can find them just around the corner from the What Gives You Wings Mural on the corner of Overton and Mansion Street, and they provide every bit of color that your Instagram is missing.
What to do nearby: While you’re snapping some pictures of the newest addition to the Gulch, stop by Yazoo brewing company for some of the best local craft beer in the city and Otaku Ramen for some Japanese cuisine.
12. Green Pea Salon
Located in 12 South, this mural will not only bring you towards one of the most charming areas of the city, but will bring you within walking distance of the famous “I Believe in Nashville” mural. Turn around for a second photo op at the “Make Music Not War” mural.
What to do nearby: Grab some lunch at Bar Taco, and don’t forget to stop in Draper James, the preppy southern boutique owned by Reese Witherspoon.
13. Draper James Mural
Speaking of Draper James, did I mention that there’s an instagram-worthy mural on the side of the store? This blue and white back drop has grown increasingly popular among tourists, and provides a summery and colorful background to commemorate your trip to Nashville.
What to do nearby: This mural faces the “I Believe in Nashville” mural, so you can go ahead and get your picture there. After all, it’s a must see in our fair city, and who doesn’t love a classic?