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The City of Santa Cruz has 20 parking locations in the downtown area. Six of them are free, with time limits. The other locations are paid parking. The map below shows the locations of the parking lots. For information about a particular lot, click on the number of the lot.

Free-Short Term Parking:

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

Paid 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). Downtown pay-by-space pay stations accept credit cards, City of Santa Cruz ParkCards, or cash. Beach area pay stations accept ParkCards, cash, and Parkmobile.

Downtown Pay lots cost $1.25 per hour. Maximum $10.00 per day. (The maximum per day has been temporarily set at $5, due to COVID-19.) 


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 read the Parkmobile Brochure [PDF].

Park Cards

ParkCards work in parking meters, pay stations, and bike lockers. Buy one at the Locust Garage Parking Office, Public Works Office, Water Dept. Office, Parks and Rec Office and the Louden Nelson Community Center. ParkCards allow you to pay for only the time that you use to park your vehicle. Unused time is refunded to the card at parking meters and bike lockers!

Parking Permits

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

Metered Parking

Meters in the Downtown area operate everyday 8 AM to 8 PM. Beach area meters operate everyday 8 AM to 8 PM.
City of Santa Cruz ParkCards are accepted at all Santa Cruz parking meters except on Pacific Avenue between Laurel aand Water Street, where credit cards are accepted

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 

Smart Bicycle Lockers

A Smart Bicycle Locker is a bike locker in downtown Santa Cruz that can be accessed by using a ParkCard.For 5 cents per hour your bicycle will be safe and secure as you work, shop, and enjoy beautiful Downtown Santa Cruz. There are over 100 bicycle lockers available.

Free Downtown Parking on Holidays

The free/time limited parking lots and metered parking are not enforced on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The 24 minute meters and loading zones will still be enforced as usual.

For more information please contact: 
Parking Programs Manager 


Parking Superintendent

General Parking Inquiries

Charging Stations