Downtown Parking

The City of Santa Cruz has twenty parking lots in the Downtown area. Twelve of them are free, with time limits. The other eight are pay parking. The map below shows the locations of the parking lots.

Lot permits are sold at the Parking Office at 124 Locust St. Call 831-420-6100 for more information.

Downtown Parking Map

Parking Smartphone Application: Free app to find parking lots and rates
PARKER — A new smartphone application is available for iPhones and Androids. PARKER is free and once you have it, you can locate our City of Santa Cruz parking lots and see the rates for each lot.
Try it:


Parkmobile Pay by Phone or Smartphone App

The Pay by Phone parking system can be used for on-street and off-street parking. Instead of looking for the correct change or having to estimate the time you need, you can instantly start and stop your parking transaction using your registered mobile phone.

You can register for a Parkmobile account by calling the dedicated number posted on parking meters, street signage or via the Internet. After setting up your account, you can start using the system with your registered mobile phone immediately.


To get more information about how Parkmobile works for the City of Santa Cruz go to our Frequently Asked Questions page or read the Parkmobile Brochure [PDF].

The Visitor Parking Brochure is a valuable resource with details on all of the parking options available for cars and bicycles. Use it to find free and paid parking spaces, short- and long-term. Learn how to pay using your smartphone or our ParkCards at city meters or pay-by-space locations.

Visitor Parking Brochure 
English and Spanish [PDF]

For more information please contact:

Marlin Granlund
Parking Programs Manager
Fax: 831- 420-5161

Free-Short Term Parking:

Available in designated downtown public parking lots. 2- or 3-hour time limits are enforced Monday through Saturday 8 AM to 6 PM and are not enforced on Sundays and City Holidays.

Pay Parking

To park longer than 2 – 3 hours, park at one of our pay-by-space lots, pay-n-display lots, or an attended parking facility (Locust Garage, Soquel/Front Garage, or Santa Cruz Wharf). Downtown pay-by-space pay stations accept credit cards, City of Santa Cruz
ParkCards, or cash. Beach area pay-n-display pay stations accept ParkCards and cash only.

Downtown Pay lots cost 50 cents per hour. Maximum $5.00 per day

Permit Parking

Permit Parking is available to downtown residents and employees throughout the City. Contact the Parking Office at 420-6100
or visit the City’s website, Parking Services page:

Change Machines

Parking meter change is available at change machines located on Pacific Ave. in the Downtown area and at many locations in the Beach area (see map)

Loading Zones

Passenger loading zones (white zones) are for passenger loading and unloading only for a maximum of 3 minutes, unless marked for longer stays.
Commercial loading zones (yellow zones) provide free parking of commercially plated vehicles making deliveries between 7 AM and 6 PM (except Sundays and City Holidays) for no longer than 20 minutes.
Dual use commercial loading zones combine a yellow zone with a 2-hour meter. Commercial vehicles may park for free to make deliveries between 7 AM and 1 PM (except Sundays and City Holidays) for no longer than 20 minutes.
After 1 PM the spaces are controlled by parking meters and both commercial and non-commercial vehicles may use the space and pay the meter fees.

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