Downtown Tucson is a vibrant place – with farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, lively marketplaces, a burgeoning music scene, historic architecture, public art, and interesting museums. (If you haven’t been there in the last three years, you’ve gotta go see the renaissance). Need to know where to park in Downtown?
If you want to head that way to check out the food and fun, don’t be intimidated by parking. Tucson’s downtown is relatively easy to navigate – with plenty of parking.
There are more than 3,000 covered spaces in parking garages and almost 1,000 spaces in surface lots. Parking meters are located throughout downtown and range from 1/2 hour to 6-hour limits, at a rate of 50 cents per hour. There is no charge for metered parking after 5:00pm; and on weekends/holidays.
The three largest parking garages in downtown Tucson – Pennington Street Garage, Centro Garage, and Depot Plaza Garage – all start at $2 for 1-2 hours. Stay for 7+ hours for only 8 bucks!
Don’t forget that taking the Tucson Streetcar is also an excellent option! It’s affordable, comfortable, eco-friendly, and fun – plus you’ll see more of the city.
See below for parking tips for specific venues in the downtown area.
If you’re going to 4th Avenue
Park directly on 4th avenue (FREE!) or in any of the garages downtown. Parking along 4th is most readily available in the mornings since the crowds tend to pick up on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 5:00pm and 2:00am.
If you’re going to 47 Scott
The easiest place to park is the Pennington Street Garage (located directly across the street). A secondary option is to find an empty metered parking spot. 47 Scott opens every day at 4pm, with the biggest crowds between 6-9pm. Brunch is also served on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 10am. Owner Travis Reese says they always “do their best to shorten our guests’ wait time or find them a spot to sit.” He adds, “There are so many options to get downtown now from Uber to the new Streetcar. If people haven’t been downtown in awhile, they won’t believe it!”
If you’re going to Fox Tucson Theatre
There is an abundance of parking in the downtown area. Street parking (in front of meters) is free after 5pm and on the weekends, and there are a number of garages and parking lots within easy walking distance of the theatre.
Each garage is different in terms of overhead restrictions – but for the most part, standard pick-up trucks will fit in the public parking garages.
If you’re going to Gio Taco
Josh Proctor, Gio Taco’s General Manager, had this to say, “Coming downtown has never been easier than it is today! When people come to Gio Taco, they can park, literally yards away, at the Centro garage for $3 a day. This is an excellent option if you’re going to be spending your day downtown.”
Meters are a great choice for a quick lunch. Guests can park at any of the meters that line Congress, Broadway, or 4th Avenue.
Of course, guests can also park anywhere along the streetcar route, hop on, and be dropped off in front of the Centro Garage.
If you’re going to the Joel D. Valdez Main Library
Park in the Library’s garage, which you can enter by turning left off of Alameda Street, just west of Stone Avenue. The entrance is across the street from the Public Works garage and the Lohse YMCA, before you get to Church Avenue. Garage hours are as follows – 5:45am-9pm on M, T, and W; 5:45am-7:00pm on TH and FRI; 7:45am-6:00pm on SAT; Noon-6:00pm on SUN.
The first hour of parking is free for library visitors during the hours that the library is open. Your ticket doesn’t need to be validated; just give your ticket to the parking attendant in the booth when you exit the garage.
There is no charge for parking after 5pm, M-F. On Saturdays and Sundays, parking is free in the library garage.
If you’re going to Hotel Congress or Cup Cafe
The lot at Hotel Congress is free for patrons and guests. If that lot is full, you can park on Fifth, Congress, and Toole. Most meters have a 2-hour limit and cost $.25 per half hour. The meters are free after 5:00pm on weekdays and free all-day on Saturdays & Sundays.
The most crowded days/times for Hotel Congress start on Friday night through late Sunday afternoon. Brunch crowds on Saturday and Sunday tend to be substantial; and night life is alive and well on Saturday nights. If you want more solitude and more parking spaces, try Monday-Thursday, holidays excluded.
Michelle Armstrong, Marketing Manager at Hotel Congress and Maynards, gives this piece of advice, “Have patience and expect to make some rounds. Downtown Tucson parking is cheaper than most cities and the City of Tucson does provide ample times for free parking, which is always great for businesses.”
If you’re going to HUB, Playground, Pizzeria Bianco, or Saint House
There are also several new parking garages in the nearby vicinity – including one in the base of the MLK building across from Congress Hotel, as well as one adjacent to HiFi next to the 4th Ave underpass.
If you’re going to Main Gate Square
Park in the Tyndall Parking Garage. Enter from Euclid & Fourth Street for easiest access. All Main Gate Square merchants validate (with a purchase) for the Tyndall garage after 5:00pm, M-F. Saturdays & Sundays (except football Saturdays) are free. During the day, parking is $2.00 per hour…but there is a two-hour parking limit on the first floor in the northwest quadrant.
Parking is also available in the Main Gate garage for $2.00 per hour.
There is a metered parking lot at the southeast corner of Tyndall & University that is $.50 per hour. There is also valet parking at Tyndall & University for a fee.
Since Main Gate Square is adjacent to the University, parking is most crowded M-F from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Parking is more readily available after lunch and in the evenings.
If you’re going to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
There is metered parking on McCormick, directly in front of the Museum which is 25¢ for half an hour; free on the weekends and after 5pm. The La Placita Garage is a block North of the museum at 211 S. Church which is $5 for 4 hours of parking. The busiest times tend to be weekend afternoons with smaller crowds on weekdays.
If you’re going to Proper Tucson
There are several meters that line the streets right out in front of Proper. In addition, the MLK Apartments garage is directly across the street and the Cadence building parking garage is right down the street. The parking garages vary from $3 to $10. Top parking tip? The earlier, the better on weeknights and weekends!
If you’re going to Sparkroot Coffee Bar
Park in the underground lot on 5th, just 50 feet north of the coffeeshop. The first hour is free.
If you’re going to the Tucson Convention Center (TCC)
The TCC has three main lots surrounding the venues – Lot A off Church Street, Lot B off Cushing Street and Granada, and Lot C off Granada. Park in the lot that is closest to the venue that you are visiting for an event. Example: Lot A would be your first choice for a hockey event in the arena. The cost can range from $6-$10 per day, depending on the nature of the event. Daily rate when there are no events is $6. Expect to pay $8.00 on most event days. Special event days are $10. Oversized vehicle parking is generally prohibited. Call ahead with any questions or concerns: 520-491-4101.
If you’re going to the Tucson Museum of Art and/or Cafe a la C’Art
The Museum has a free lot for visitors on the north end of the historic block off Washington Street. Metered street parking is also available (free after 5pm and on the weekends!), as well as a number of pay parking garages/lots around the Museum. Accommodations for tour buses and vans are available upon request. Note that the museum is most crowded on the weekends, with less foot traffic on the weekdays.
We’ll be adding more venues in the coming months! Let us know where you want to go in Downtown Tucson and we’ll include the best parking tips here.