Lisa Leonard Designs

bubble gum alley

January 7th | san luis obispo



here in san luis obispo, we have an amazing attraction called bubble gum alley.

it’s an entire alley covered with chewed up bubble gum.




it’s definitely something to see.  and smell.




artwork or destruction of property?

fascinating or disgusting??




this last pic was taken when matthias was three years old.  i miss that little guy.

don’t miss the tantrums though!


don’t you want to experience bubble gum alley and stick your own gum on the wall?

63 Responses

  1. Janelle says:

    I can smell it now! I think it is amazingly artistic!

  2. Jenny says:

    Wow. That’s amazing! I’m trying not imagine that it smells like good things!

  3. Jenny says:

    Whoops, that made no sense. I’m trying TO imagine…

  4. Lindsay Lee says:

    I didn’t realize you live in SLO! Such a great town! I love the farmers markets :)

  5. I’m saying EWWW and NEATO at the same time. But the grimace on my face won’t go away. My nose is crinkled up. My lips are curled up tight. Yeah. I’m going w/ ewwww….

  6. Stacy says:

    We had gum trees on South Street in Philly, but they got a blight and had to be cut down.

    I always thought it was disgusting, but your gum alley has a lot more art to it than South Street’s gum trees.

  7. how intersting. it is both amazing and disgusting at the same time.

  8. Trina Walker says:

    eew. chewed up bubble grosses me out, sorry!

  9. Danielle says:

    I would love to see what this looks like in full color. Come to think of it, I would love to see more of your real life in real color!

  10. Tiffany says:

    Hmmm, not sure if its neat or totally gross! Do you were gloves when you add a piece of chewed gum so you don’t touch someone else’s???

    Very unique I must say!!

    I found a picture of my 10 year old daughter when she was about 3 – oh my goodness – that sweet chubby face – how I miss that – her buck teeth from her binky – she is so big now – and still sweet. Amazing how they change and grow out of phases and then enter new ones – always bitter sweet!


  11. Paige Turner says:

    I used to love stopping by bubble gum alley when I lived in SLO!!! The best was to take someone there with their eyes closed and then lead them right up to one of the walls! Surprise! =)

  12. Cheri says:

    my kids find it quite thrilling. i try not to look as we pass by. also, i’m pretty sure that if i ever tried to actually walk through it, i would trip and land against the wall. i’m graceful like that. :)

    can i just say how excited i was to find out you live in slo and therefore a possibility that i might run into you (hopefully not literally.) someday in person? :)

  13. sorry, I too think that is icky!

  14. Rachel Shoemaker says:

    I have added to that wall a few times while visiting SLO! love it :) but totally gross!

  15. gina says:

    that is definitley different …. ABC ALLEY !!!!

  16. Tonya says:

    intriguing and disgusting all at the same time!

  17. When we were in Bellagio, Italy wandering the streets we happened upon an alley like this… it is the weirdest, grossest, coolest thing!

  18. Mia says:

    I think it’s so cool! Especially all the things that people have written out in bubble gum!!!

  19. I think it’s cool! Gross…but cool. :) At my college, we had a gum tree. Until one day, it was just cut down. I don’t remember what happened to it, but we were all really bummed that it disappeared.

  20. Gloria says:

    Have you seen the gum art kits at Gross, but the kids love em. (No, it’s not my website and they didn’t pay me to plug it….just heard about it at the office!)

  21. I LOVE how communties can have their “own thing”, no matter how odd it is. I would definatley add my flavor to that alley!

  22. Shannon says:

    I love BGA! I have some cool pic’s from there too but I definitely remember holding down Mandy’s hands cuz she wanted so badly to touch it! I guess if you don’t know where it came from it looks kinda like play dough?? Yuck but so cool :)

  23. Theresa says:

    I to have contributed to the alley. LOL

    It is an amazing sight.

  24. There were some telephone poles covered in gum downtown Charleston SC when we lived there, but not a whole alley! It’s kinda creepishly cool isn’t it?

  25. Erin Kaylor says:

    I think it’s pretty cool!

  26. emily says:

    oh, bubble gum alley. i used to be amazed at that phenomenon. now i avoid it. i think i actually get nauseous when within sniffing distance. but thanks for reminding me that my girls might still enjoy the pure wonder of it.

    great pictures! -emily

  27. beth says:

    I do I do….I really really do !

  28. lindsey says:

    i think its crazy cool and disgusting at the same time. i hold my breath every time i walk by!

  29. Tamra says:

    I left my share of gum there in high school 30 years ago. I love it when my teenage girls say they stopped by and left some gum on the wall. It may be gross but it’s great history

  30. Cari Locken says:

    Oh my goodness! No Way!!!
    That’s kind of cool but oh so gross!!

  31. Jessica says:

    Gosh! I hadn’t thought of Bubble Gum Alley in years. Wonder if I could still find my initials there from high school (my guess its they were covered up long ago). Makes me miss SLO.

    I just had a vision of Buddy the Elf in there… ha!

  32. Maureen says:

    don’t know if I should say, Cool or Gross! lol

  33. clare says:

    Ewww that is minging

  34. Peggy says:

    Cool. Gross. Art. Graffiti. Certainly not Yummy. I’m leaning toward….mmmm…no thanks, yet at the same time, oddly curious.

  35. so gross, yet so amazing! great shots :)

  36. Dan says:

    It seems pretty cool. I need to check it out when we visit you. I like that it is in an alley, kind of hidden. Sounds better than a bubblegum tree.

  37. Brittany says:

    Interesting and disgusting all at once!

  38. Molly says:

    I’m leaning toward disgusting…

  39. Jennifer Fast says:

    A little bit of fascinating….a little bit of disgusting……

    Kinda fun and interesting though…


  40. denise says:

    lindsey has never taken me here. i want to see it!

  41. Kristina says:

    When I saw this, I said, “EEEWWWWWW!” but then I said, “That’s kind of cool!”

  42. Melody says:

    I’ve been there…and stuck my gum on the wall! My husband and I took a trip to Santa Barbara this summer but rented a car one day and drove up to Hearst Castle. We stopped in San Luis Obispo for lunch and saw Bubblegum Alley. We also stopped at the Madonna Inn on the way back to get a couple of slices of cake for dessert on the way home (which also ended up being breakfast the next day…they were huge)!

  43. lisa says:

    gross, but great pics!

  44. Jackie says:


  45. Jennie D. says:

    Looks cool, but I’m cringing inside… yeah, I’m grossed out by it!

  46. Stacey Vickers says:

    My dad is 62 and he remembers putting gum in that same alley when he was in college! It has some seriously old gum on it…love it!!

  47. Robbin says:

    Been there…done that…a few times growing up. One of the places I miss, which kinda sounds funny – missing an alley with gum all over it! I don’t like that it started coming around the corner, though, at one point. It’s great where it is – in the Alley. And it has been featured in magazines and online at times. What a treasure in SLO.

  48. Lea Culp says:

    This entry put a smile on my face this Friday evening. We’re suggled up this evening trying to stay warm. Way too cold for us Southern folks!

  49. Merideth says:

    usually i’m up for something a little quirky and different but this has always grossed me out.

  50. wendy says:

    eeewwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!! Can’t stand bubble gum at all… and already chewed stuff??? gross!!!
    The pictures look cool, though :)

  51. Christy says:

    Great Shots. Spit grosses me out and the thought of all that bubble gum once covered in spit . Ugh (cold shivers) yuck! But seriously, great shots!

  52. Amy says:

    I’m sorry…..I can only type ICK!!!!!

  53. GAH-ROSSE- yet fascinating all in one. Who knew you could do that with bubble gum? And yet, you can make art out of anything!! Fun post!


  54. Holly L says:

    I went to bubblegum alley when I was 10 and remember it distinctly. Fast forward 20 years and my friends lived in SLO…wile visiting, I “made” them go. I thought it was great…they were a little disgusted. I still think it is fun (kind of).

  55. Jill says:

    I would go with the “don’t touch a thing” while walking through. It’s neat on pictures….but ewwww….just gives a funny feeling! Thanks for sharing your ever-so-neat pictures of it!

  56. Nicole-Lynn says:

    Love the gum! haha Coming to you from Fabulous K’s blog! :)

  57. Candice says:

    I haven’t been to bubblegum alley in years…I kind of forgot how gross it really is! 😉

  58. Sheila Lyons says:

    I don’t remember it being that full when I was young – I think it kind of went out of fashion for a while (although it never disappeared.) It is iconic SLO and I love it.

  59. Linda Z says:

    I’ve experienced it many times. :) Definitely art! :)

  60. Jennifer says:

    I {heart} SLO ….that is where my hubby and I had our first date…and I shared BG Alley with him! How fun to reminisce. Thanks for the memories!

  61. Paige says:

    Okay, everyone though bubblegum *freaks* me out like crazzzy this is pretty cool and so creative! Soo neat!

  62. debbie says:

    I too have to say “eeew!” my kids would NEVER be able to keep their hands off!

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