The School Bus Graveyard – Alto, Georgia - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Alto, Georgia

The School Bus Graveyard

Where school buses go to die and be reborn as whimsical works of art. 

Where does a school bus go to die? Usually, it winds up in a junk yard to sit, rust, and rot. But in a small town in northern Georgia, some retired buses begin new lives as quirky pieces of art.

The School Bus Graveyard in Alto, Georgia, turns junk into creative gems. Each year, artists transform the buses’ signature yellow exteriors and give the vehicles a makeover. Old buses, trucks, and RVs become a canvas for murals that come alive with bright colors and whimsical designs.

The property is owned by Alonzo Wade, who runs an auto parts shop. After people began stealing scraps and material in the early 2000s, neighbors suggested he use his array of salvaged buses and trucks to form a fence.

Not only did the wall help deter thieves, it also acted as a beacon for local creatives searching for an unconventional canvas. A team of artists known as Crispy Printz began painting the buses in 2012. They invite other artists to come repaint them every year, so the designs are constantly changing.

 

Know Before You Go

The owner asks visitors to park on the shoulder of Crane Mill Road right off 365. Please do not enter the yard (it is their home and business). To get to the buses, walk to the southern corner of the property; there is a concrete spillway that serves as a good path up the hill to the buses.You can go inside the wall to view the buses too. Check in at the garage between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The owner asks for a donation to Crispy Printz to support the artists.The owner has had lots of problems with vandalism in the past, so please be respectful of all signage! Do not climb on, under, or into any of the buses.