Painted on Jacksonville murals across the city

The summer time brings on the need to travel and explore, and along with that comes the desire to share those explorations and beautiful new sights with the world in the form of social media. It has been a trend on Instagram to take photos of (or in front of) city murals that are stumbled upon in a new or familiar place. Luckily, the city of Jacksonville is sprinkled with these massive murals on the sides of abandoned buildings, historical sites and restaurants. Jacksonville, geographically, is a huge city, so where does someone start? Try thinking backwards by finding the picturesque murals, then finding the good places to shop, eat, dance and grab a drink.

The most recognizable painted wall to Jacksonville natives is the one located in the historic area of Riverside called 5 Points. Pale blues painted in lotus flowers create the background for mossy green singing lizards. The scene is littered with flowing leaves that add movement to the brick wall. Just around the corner, you are met with a strip of restaurants, bars, stores, and even a tattoo parlor.

You can visit Sunray Cinema to watch a movie while you eat a pizza and split a pitcher of beer with your friends; but if you prefer to eat after the film, just walk to the end of the block to Derby on Park to choose from an array of great food and cocktails. After you’re full, take a short walk over to Wolfgang, a local boutique, and do some shopping.

Another destination that is home to a new mural is the bar Park Place Lounge. Located on King Street in Riverside, it sits on the corner of the block of King Street that some of the city's most popular bars sit on. Local artist Shaun Thurston painted the outside back patio of the lounge and created a psychedelic forest scene. The small fence that borders near the wall of the building mirrors the bright teals, pinks and yellows that are in the mural. After checking out this one, you can head next door to Rogue and grab their famous drink, a bathtub gin – but don’t forget to take a picture standing in the tub!

Shaun Thurston strikes again with a masterpiece that sprawls across the wall a couple miles away from the first location in Brooklyn-Riverside. Using the same bright tones that Thurston seems to love, a giant purple dragon flies along the wall and over waves of swirled colors, surrounded by lavender and grey smoke clouds on the side of Burrito Gallery.

Follow up the steps toward the mouth of dragon to the rooftop bar and lounge section of the restaurant to sip on a craft margarita and look out at the Jacksonville skyline. When you’re done with that, you can grab some desert at Hyppo next door, then make the short drive downtown to explore what the rest of Jacksonville has to offer.

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