This attraction should be much higher on the list of SF attractions (It is free! It is beautiful!). Perhaps the problem is that, as of early April 2014, there seem to be two listings for what is properly called Balmy Alley.
This is one of 2 beautiful, mural covered alleys that we enjoyed in the Mission District (the other was Clarion Alley, south of 17th and Valencia). We stopped into the Precita Eyes shop just around the corner from Balmy Alley at 2981 24th St (also listed in trip advisor) where we purchased an inexpensive pamphlet that provides history along with the names of the murals and the artists. Precita Eyes also offers tours; unfortunately this did not work for our schedule. Next time for sure.
It seems like every building surface in Balmy Alley is covered with bright murals - many depicting political and religious messages. We had some interesting discussions about the meaning of the murals as we wandered along the alley. Something about the street art aspect of these paintings really sparked the attention of our teens. We were very lucky to see muralists at work - in one case restoring a mural that was originally painted in 1984 ("Culture Contains the Seeds of Resistance...").
After numerous visits to San Francisco and the well known tourist attractions, I am very happy to have made it to the Mission - a lively and vividly colourful neighbourhood. Our base for a day in the Mission was a few blocks from both alleys near the corner of Valencia and 24th. There was a first class bakery for coffee and snacks, a great casual Mexican restaurant for lunch and a consignment store that my teen daughter and wife loved. This area and Balmy Alley in particular are must sees!
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