Vibrant murals decorating Santa Ana illustrate the Southern California region’s history and culture with such depth and variety that just walking the city streets can be an education. Orange County’s third-most-populous city has 64 neighborhoods and more than 300,000 residents—about 80% of whom are Latino. But without some background, visitors might miss the cultural landmarks that speak to the city’s diversity and adversity.
Many of Santa Ana’s murals were organized and created by local artists as a response to the times and as an expression of pride for the city. These artists aspired to capture the city’s culture using Mexican imagery while preserving local Mexican American history, such as the Chicano movement and grassroots community organizing.
Learn more about Santa Ana’s history with this self-guided walking-and-driving tour of 10 public artworks, several of which are downtown. (View a digital map that includes these murals and other landmarks.)