This Michigan bucket list item is brought to you by Experience Jackson.
Jackson, Michigan is a great location in Michigan and a hidden gem in its own rite. While it may not have been on your summer must-visit list before, you’ll definitely want to check it out after you learn about the Bright Walls Murals located in downtown Jackson.
Bright Walls Jackson – Murals Festival
The Bright Walls Murals Festival is an international event attracting artists from all over the world to Jackson, MI that began in 2018 with 15 murals, including two from Jackson-born artists. Today, there are 40 murals located in downtown Jackson representing stories, local community figures, and more. The murals are painted in many different styles and showcase creativity, color, and a deep love for the area.
Bright Walls Murals Festival 2021 – when even more great murals will be added to the aesthetic of downtown Jackson – is slated for September 2021 with the finale occurring in 2022. This means that not only are there great murals to enjoy right now but this is something you can add to your summer bucket list for years to come!
How to Experience Bright Walls Jackson
To see all of the murals, head to downtown Jackson. Michigan Avenue runs right through the heart of downtown. Jackson is easily accessible via I-94, M50, M60, and 127.
For a specific address in your GPS or Nav system, use Experience Jackson’s address at 134 W. Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI because there is a parking lot available across the street. You can park there, although you need to buy a parking pass from the city for weekday parking or there is a 2-hour parking limit. Evenings and weekends have no parking limit.
Another parking lot is at Grand River Farmer’s Market. You can find it at 117 W Louis Glick Highway Jackson, MI. As the name implies there is an awesome farmer’s market here on Saturday mornings to taste the local fresh fare.
You can make sure to see every single mural with this helpful map from Bright Walls. It tells you the name of each artist, where they are from, and which year the mural was added to the collection. You can drive, bike, or walk to visit each of the murals. We recommend walking as several of the murals are located on sides of buildings that don’t necessarily face the street or you can’t see the entire mural from a vehicle. Most murals are located within just a few blocks of each other making the walk very simple.
And don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the murals and use the hashtag #brightwallsjackson (and #MIAwesomeList of course!) while you’re in town!
Unique Places to Shop Downtown Jackson
Downtown Jackson offers many quaint and unique shops for you to explore. All of these great shops are super easy to pop into as you explore around Jackson making them the perfect way to break up your day.
The Blessed Nest offers clothing, home decor, and gifts. People love browsing the amazing selections and the store itself feels so cozy and homey, you won’t want to leave.
The Rustic Market offers home decor, gifts, and baby items. It is perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts – whether you’re shopping for yourself or for someone else!
Windy Hill Creations specializes in new, repurposed, and artisan decor and gifts. The atmosphere is perfect for a downtown boutique and you’ll definitely love exploring the choices.
Apricot Lane is the place for chic women’s clothes and accessories in Jackson, MI! The selection is fabulous and the staff is super friendly. You’ll love Apricot Lane.
Best Places to Eat in Downtown Jackson
No matter how you choose to experience Bright Walls Murals, you’ll need some sustenance along the way.
During your mural tour of downtown Jackson, there are several great restaurants. One great option is City Crepes where you can enjoy sweet or savory crepes. With gluten-free and allergy-friendly options, City Crepes offers awesome menu options in flavorful combinations. You can also build your own crepe. And, part of the fun, is that you can watch them make. The flip is so cool! You can eat inside, outside, or take it to-go (although with generous portions, you’ll definitely want to find a place to sit down).
Metropolitan is another great option if burgers and fries are more your style. The kids will love the cow-shaped seat and you’ll love the great food. Be sure to try the seasoned fries! Oh and one more thing – Metropolitan also serves hard-dipped ice cream from Ashby’s, including the most iconic Michigan-favorite, Superman. Plus, the cooler in the back has Faygo in some great flavors!
And to satisfy that sweet tooth, be sure to check out The Blue Julep. Here you can find an array of decadent cupcakes and other mini desserts that are all made fresh, in-house. You can sign up for decorating classes or for dessert buffets for your event as well making this the dessert haven of downtown Jackson.
Other Great Things To Do in Downtown Jackson, MI
There are so many great things to do in downtown Jackson, MI. There’s a great barcade (a bar and arcade hybrid) called Tilted, where you can play old-school arcade games, pinball machines, and multi-player games. Drinks and food are available as well as a quarter machine.
Of course, you can go and check out the legendary Cascades, which are open Wednesday through Sunday, 8-11 pm. Although not technically downtown, the Cascades are a classic Jackson experience. The Cascades Falls are 500 feet in length and feature 16 falls, 6 fountains, and 1230 colored lights. You can see a full schedule with admission rates here including a Family Night rate on Wednesday nights. Speaking of family fun, there’s also a splash pad located right now to the Falls!
Plus, Jackson has the second most golf courses per capita in the entire country. You can enjoy the greens on one or more of these great courses while you’re in town!
Great Places to Stay in Jackson, MI
Jackson, MI has some great lodging options. These lodging options are located mostly nearer to I-94 which means you have easier access to get in and out of town so that your summer can be full of even more adventures! You can check a great list of lodging options here.