One of the most distinctive downtown districts anywhere in America, downtown Charleston is a magnet for visitors – many of whom are on the lookout for somewhere to park.
With its remarkable history and eclectic mix of fashion, art, antiques and world-class cuisine food, most visitors to Charleston are likely to pass through the city’s vibrant downtown neighbourhood during their stay. If you’re in Charleston and have your own car, then parking in downtown isn’t the most attractive option. But for those who need to leave their car for short periods and don’t mind paying that bit extra for the convenience, there are plenty of parking lots to be found here.
Short-stay parking in downtown Charleston
The main options for short-term parking in downtown Charleston are metred street parking or garages. There are over 1000 metered street parking spots around Charleston. However, most street parking is limited to 2 hours so don’t plan on using this if you just want to leave your car for the day. All street meters require payment from Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm. It’s also worth noting that street parking downtown south of Broad Street requires residential parking permits, so be sure not to park in these areas as you will likely get a ticket.
If you prefer the security of covered parking and don’t mind paying that bit extra, there are several multi-storey car parks and covered garages in downtown offering short-term parking. These garages accept cash or credit card and some are staffed 24/7.
Our top suggestion is the Visitor Center at 375 Meeting Street, where rates start at $4 for two hours and $18 for 24 hours. This parking lot offers easy access to downtown’s main attractions, as well as nearby restrooms, a gift shop and information centre to get advice and maps to walk around the city. It’s also one of the only garages in the area that has spots for RVs and electric plug-ins. Alternatively, another option we’d happily recommend is 93 Queen St. garages, which offers a flat $5 deal if you park after 5pm, making it ideal for an evening out in downtown.
You can book both of these garages on Spothero.com, as well as several other parking lots in downtown Charleston.
Free parking in downtown Indianapolis
Unless you’re staying at a centrally located hotel with on-site parking spaces, you won’t find much free parking for a day trip to the city. The one exception to this is Sunday mornings when, to help downtown religious institutions, the city allows some free parking inside certain garages.
You may also get lucky and snag one of the few unlimited free parking spots on the Battery, but these are often gone by early in the day and are so few and far between it’s often not worth the risk of planning to park here.
Long-stay parking in downtown Indianapolis
If you’re in downtown Charleston for longer than, say, a couple of weeks, but don’t have any private parking at your accommodation, it may be cheaper for you to find a long-term parking spot, rather than searching around for metred parking each day or paying daily rates in a garage. So, for example, at the Cumberland Street Garage in the heart of downtown, day rates are $20, but monthly parking starts at $125 per month – a saving of around $20 per day. Or another option can be found at Palmetto Parking lot, where you’ll pay rates starting at $175 per month, whereas daily rates are $30, representing another big saving.
For the best parking rates in downtown Charleston, go to Spothero.com.