Downtown San Diego Parking Guide
Traffic and parking in Downtown San Diego can be tough during certain days or times of the year and also largely depends on what area of downtown you live in or are trying to get to. Baseball games at Petco Park, events at the Convention Center/Seaport Village/Embarcadero Park Waterfront, Farmer’s Markets, museums, and our Cruise Ship Terminal all play a role in how busy or congested our Downtown area may feel.
On the flip side, we have an abundant amount of restaurants, boutiques, events, and so many of your favorite things to do right here in San Diego. And with such a high walkability score from all Downtown San Diego neighborhoods, if you own or rent a condo here, you can leave your car parked for the weekend and enjoy the city by foot! For instance, homeowners in Little Italy are only steps away from some of the top restaurants, bars and art galleries in the city. If you aren’t one of us lucky ones (yet), here is a quick parking guide and tips on what to pay attention to.
Methods for getting to and around Downtown are driving your personal vehicle, bicycle, Coronado Ferry, San Diego Trolley, UBER, Car2Go, Taxi, and the COASTER Train.
Should you choose to drive here, always look for signs and curb colors to identify the type of parking and the length of time you can park.
- RED: no parking/no stopping
- WHITE: passenger loading zone (3 minutes)
- BLUE: handicap parking (must have handicap placard or license plate)
- YELLOW: commercial loading zone from Mon-Sat 6a-6p, *free parking outside of these hours, Sundays, and holidays*
- GREEN: short term parking from Mon-Sat 8a-6p (time limited to the amount stenciled on the curb or posted on the sign) *free parking outside of these hours, Sundays, & holidays*
- **If there isn’t a color, then its free parking anytime except [NOTE: must pay attention to street sweeping signs and Padres game day/special event signs]
*To save money and for convenience, get a San Diego Pre-Paid Parking Meter Card
The City of San Diego has electronic parking meters that take nickels, dimes, quarters, and pre-paid parking meter cards (available in 2 increments, $10 and $45). These are great because they allow you to put any dollar amount into the meter up to the maximum for that location and any time you don’t use, you can insert your card back into the meter, and the meter will credit your card back for every full 6-minute increment remaining on the parking meter. Note: parking meters that allow you to pay with debit/credit cards accept these parking meter cards as well but don’t credit back the unused time. No expiration on parking meter card. For more information on parking in San Diego, click here.
If you think you can handle the parking in downtown, you might be ready to buy real estate in San Diego! Check out the current lofts for sale in San Diego and see if you can find the one to meet your needs.