String together 8 stunning murals on this short walk through Wallingford

One foot in front of the other

There are plenty of murals in Seattle, but few seem to stay as consistent as those in Wallingford, where you can find eight notable murals on a short walk. Many pieces along this 2.1-mile promenade are neighborhood regulars, often commissioned by the small businesses they adorn.

Take the 44 bus, head to the University Quarter light rail station, or drive and park in a nearby neighborhood to take advantage of this Wallingford exit. Start your wall walk at the corner of North 45e Street and Stone Way North – and watch out for bears.

Wallingford Mural Walk

Round trip distance: 2.1 miles

Just off North 45th Street, corner of North 46e Street and Stone Way North, is a mural next to the Blue Star Café and Pub and Archie McPhee that features a number of typical Seattle characters, like the Fremont troll and the Space Needle, as well as some zoo animals . Start your walk here and head east on 45th.

Stay on the same side of the road heading east for two and a half blocks. On the way you will pass the quintessence Seattle Propane Wallingford sign, who often posts thought-provoking questions, jokes and thoughts. Some of my favorite contributions: “Life lately has been all panic and no disco” and “Ever wonder what your dog named you?”

Arrive at Molly Moon’s at 1622 N. 45th St., just before Densmore Avenue. This blue floral piece is instantly recognizable, with its bright colors featuring a scoop of ice cream and a cherry on top. The fresco was made by Therese Grasseschi, an illustrator, designer and muralist who grew up in Ballard and often visited this Molly Moon location with her friends. After starting to work professionally as an illustrator, Molly Moon’s staff reached out to create this mural.

When designing the mural, Grasseschi considered a few concepts, landing on a theme: What if ice cream was a bug? The mural features elements of symmetrical Mexican textiles made with colorful Otomi fabric; Danish design, with its graphic flowers and color palette; and references to European tapestries too. If you take a scoop of ice cream, take a photo with the fresco (if you hold it well, your ice cream will look like it has wings) and continue your tour of the fresco.

Continue on 45 Northe Street, you’ll arrive at the KeyBank parking lot at 1710 N. 45th St. to find a richly detailed, large-scale piece created for Bottleworks, an eclectic beer store and bar, a collaboration between They Drift, Miss Merlot, David Teichner, KSRA and Drake sign and design. Created by boutique friends Leah and Emily, the snake design at the edge of the mural features the Bottleworks logo, and the mural has been incorporated into the Bottleworks 23rd anniversary beer design.

Cross the street and continue on 45e until you come to what used to be The Guild 45th at 2105 N. 45e St., which has been turned into a home for the Be So Bears. Created in partnership by Urban works of art and Be so, which brought this space to life, the mural features 45 brightly colored bears in a Pacific Northwest x Emerald City landscape. From some vantage points, you can see trees in the art line up with trees in the distance. See how many bears you can count!

Continue just 0.3 mile on Northeast 45th to 201 NE 45th St., home of the Golden Oldies, where the Beatles are still in town.

Muralist David Heck has been creating hand-painted murals for 38 years now, and he was inspired by the iconic Beatles album “Abbey Road” for this piece. There was even a wedding in front of this fresco representing the famous album cover.

Continue one more block on 45e to find another world famous Brit featured in this piece at the intersection of North East 45e Northeast Latona Street and Avenue. On the side of Frame Central, this fun mural of William Shakespeare was created by Mark O’Connell. Notice the interplay of textures and colors on Shakespeare’s hat, neck frill and striped background, depicting a historical figure with a twist.

Keep walking a few hundred yards along northeast 45e Street until you come to 403 NE 45th St., corner of Fourth Avenue Northeast. Located on the exterior wall of Needle Tattoo Slavethis mural was created by Alexander Forxalso known as Cabron, who was inspired by a 1940s photo of Danish tattoo artists at Tattoo Ole Nyhavn 17, which claims to be the world’s oldest continuously operating tattoo shop.

What has shark teeth, long legs and a brain for a body? This smart mural!

The last stop on this mural tour is a stone’s throw from the tattoo parlour. Located on the east wall of Fitchi House, this piece will have you wondering, “What can I do to feed my spirit today?”

The character, aka Brainlington, is one you’ll see in a number of pieces by a New York-based artist Mr. EWOK ONE, whose high profile murals, exhibitions and collaborations have been shown around the world. See if you can find “EWOK” spelled out in the room.

Once you’ve admired the mural, extend the walk to explore more Wallingford and return to where we started.

Backtrack on 45th to Latona, then walk one block south to 44th Street Northeast. A Seattle Stay Healthy Street runs west from Latona on North 44th Street to Burke Avenue North, then descends to North 43rd Street, passes Wallingford Playfield, and reaches its western end at Interlake Avenue North.

Go one block further to Stone Way, which will take you directly north a few blocks from where you started. Head home, or if you want a longer route, do the loop again!