Tucked away in an unassuming western corner of Fisherman’s Wharf, Umbrella Alley has quickly become one of San Francisco’s favorite destinations for Instagram-worthy selfies with vibrant, one-of-a-kind murals as backdrops. Located at 757 Beach Street between Hyde and Larkin, just a few steps from Ghiradelli Square and the Buena Vista Cafe, Umbrella Alley is a hidden gem among San Francisco’s most iconic attractions.
Umbrella Alley was developed during the pandemic when the tour companies who call the alley home were looking for ways to bring visitors back to their businesses. They employed local artists to adorn the alley with murals and art installations, thus turning what was once a dingy sidestreet into a colorful and welcoming outdoor interactive art gallery for locals and tourists alike.
Above, Below, and All Around: There’s Art Everywhere in Umbrella Alley
Follow the zig-zagging rainbow floor mural into Umbrella Alley and take a look up to see what gives this special destination its name. Hanging overhead are dozens of brightly colored umbrellas and balloons, creating a magical feeling that you’ve just stepped out of the real world and into another dimension of fun and enchantment.
Looking around, you’re surrounded by a growing number of murals celebrating the Bay Area, all painted by local artists. While Umbrella Alley is free to visit, its creators are committed to supporting their family of artists. They encourage you to tag the murals’ artists in your Instagram posts and to donate to their artists’ fund using the Venmo handle, @alley-artists.
Greetings From San Francisco Mural
The centerpiece of Umbrella Alley is Maxfield Bala’s iconic “Greetings From San Francisco” postcard mural. Perhaps the most photographed mural in the city, each letter in “San Francisco” depicts scenes from the city’s history and its most famous architecture, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and more. At a whopping 13-feet tall by 18-feet wide, the mural makes a perfect landscape backdrop for your Instagram vacation posts.
Summer of Love Monarch Butterfly Mural
Also painted by Maxfield Bala along with collaborator Jeremy Novy, the Summer of Love Monarch Butterfly mural invites you to stand front and center in front of the three-dimensional trompe l’oeil butterfly wings, and spread your arms as though you’re taking flight! The psychedelic colors and patterns on the wings are a gesture to the summer of 1969 when San Francisco was cemented as the epicenter of American counterculture.
Fisherman’s Wharf Honeybear Mural
Designed by renowned street artist, fnnch, this mural is a love letter to Fisherman’s Wharf. It depicts two Dungeness crabs, the iconic (and tasty!) symbol of the historic waterfront district, superimposed over a giant honey bear bottle. Fnnch employed his trademark pop-art style to create this playful nod to the neighborhood Umbrella Alley calls home.
The towering totem mask is an iconic piece by internationally heralded graffiti artist, GATS – an acronymous pseudonym that stands for “Graffiti Against the System.” Work by the reclusive Oakland-based artist featuring his trademark bearded mask can be seen all over the world, from Italy to the Philippines. This mural puts Umbrella Alley on the map as a globally important art destination.
See The World Mural
Right next to SF Jeep Tours’ depot is a pair of giant eyes reflecting the Golden Gate Bridge. A collaborative work by muralists 3Nolam and Brian Huber, this piece reaches beyond the Bay Area with signs for destinations around the world.
Other Umbrella Alley Murals
- Brian Huber has another piece in Umbrella Alley: the lighthearted “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” balloon mural.
- Kate Tova graced Umbrella Alley with two of her trademark multicolored hearts, seen all over the City By The Bay.
- “San Francisco Homies” depicts a cast of SF characters painted in artist Yon’s distinctive cartoon style.
- “California Blooming” by amillionair depicts a bouquet of native flowers, including the California state flower, the poppy.
- A collaboration of twelve muralists, one for each letter in the state’s name, brings us “California Dreaming.”
- Just next to Kate Tova’s heart is a dynamic mural of floating – you guessed it – umbrellas by artist Luinova.
The Best Way to See Umbrella Alley
Umbrella Alley is home to San Francisco Jeep Tours, the best way to experience San Francisco’s most iconic sights. Book a tour for a private, guided exploration of the city, and begin your experience with a walk through Umbrella Alley. With several guided VIP tours available, including trips out to Sausalito and Muir Woods, you won’t want to miss any of the Instagrammable vistas you’ll see from these open-air Jeeps!