There’s beauty everywhere in the Bay. We have the ocean, beautiful lakes, and hills that provide some of the best views around. However, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you’re willing to look close enough, you may be surprised by the man-made creations in your own backyard. Street art tell stories from before some of us were born, and will be here long after. You’re bound to find some amazing pieces while you’re out and about, but we’ve compiled a few of our favorites for you to peruse.
San Francisco is built on colorful personalities, and its walls are no different. You’ll almost miss this cool little alley if you blink an eye as you cruise down Valencia. Sitting right between 17th and 18th street, this alley features some great murals commenting on everything from equality to the economy. The Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) was formed in October of 1992 to provide a public space for artists to work and collaborate. Although a few murals rotate, many have been around for years for the public to admire. The Clarion Alley also hosts block parties, so you might find a celebration there when you ride through.
16th Street Station
You’ve probably seen this station from a far, but it’s even better up close. The 16th Street Station is a historical landmark for the city of Oakland. It was the major hub for transportation in the earlier half of the 1900s, and served as the final destination for African-Americans who left the south in search of jobs. Today, you can find some amazing work on the exterior of the station and in the surrounding neighborhood. It’s a pretty neat place for catching the sunset, too. If you ever find yourself near the West Oakland BART Station, this is a great stop.
This East Oakland alley is a little off the beaten path, but a 1.3 mile ride from the Fruitvale BART station will get you there in no time. Solano Alley stays hidden within one of Oakland’s most historic neighborhoods, and with good reason. While many graffiti hot-spots have become tourist attractions, the art and people you’ll find here take their town seriously. You’ll find pieces created by locals that express everything it means to be Oaklandish. The time and passion that goes into each mural here is apparent. You’ll want to set aside some extra time to really appreciate the work you’re surrounded by.
The Bay Area is home to some of the most creative individuals in the country. Be it through music or even our walls, you’ll see that we’re all about expression here. So the next time you want to show off or feel like a true SF Bay Local, grab your e-Bike and take a spin through our rich history and art—you won’t be disappointed.
Enjoy the ride!