Parking in any city can be daunting, especially if you’re a visitor that doesn’t know the ins and outs of each neighborhood. Instead of circling the block a few times (or several), let us help you prepare + ease the frustration with these hidden gems and local parking secrets in Columbia SC.

Main Street

If you’re heading to Main Street for Soda City Market, try parking on Assembly Street, which runs parallel to Main and has meters along each side + along the sides of the median. Or, head to the metered spots that run along the side of the State House on Sumter and Senate Streets. Bonus — You get to walk through the picturesque grounds of the State House to get to Main. 

Taylor Street garage, located right off the 1600 block of Main, is a popular option for a night out. It will get you within one block of The Grand, Main Course, Nickelodeon, Lula Drake...we could go on. Event better news? This garage is free on Saturday and Sunday.

Need to be close to the margaritas at Cantina 76? Head straight to the top in the Lady Street parking garage. Nothing is open to the public until floor four, but once you’re there you can usually find a spot. 


A post shared by Jerry (@pixillusionist) on

The Vista

If you’re going to The Vista, it may be hard to find a meter on its more popular streets. Instead, look behind M Vista for a hidden parking lot full of meters. 

When there’s a major event at the Colonial Life Arena, the Park Street garage will likely have a cash only charge. Instead, park on the other side of the district at the Lincoln Street garage. It’s walking distance to everywhere in The Vista and Main Street and is often not crowded. 

If you’re catching a show in this area, grab a bite at 1801 Grille and park in their free lot, open to their customers only. After dinner, walk to the show and pick your car back up after the curtains close.  


A post shared by Buildings of America (@buildingsofamerica) on

Five Points

The Devine Street lot, located next to Jake’s, has free parking after 6 PM, Monday - Friday and 24/7 on the weekends.

Look for the Five Points mural (you can’t miss it) and you’ll find a surface lot that’s run by meters. If you’re lucky, you’ll drive by right when one is opening up. 

Some of the restaurants in this district have their own small parking lots, so be sure to check your destination if you can’t find public parking. A few are Pawley’s Front Porch, Home Team BBQ and Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe


A post shared by RH38NC (@rh38nc) on

Devine Street

Here, you’ll find parking all along the street – some have 2-hour limits, and some are a free for all. Many of the restaurants have their own parking, but there are also lots behind the buildings that are for a combination of businesses. 


A post shared by Devine Street Columbia (@devinestreet) on

West Columbia

With more shops and dining options in this river district than ever before, the parking availability is growing right along with it. 

The new Brookland Development along the river has a parking garage that is free and open to the public to help you shop and dine at local hot spots like Black Rooster, Al’s Upstairs or Terra — just to name a few.

Add some creativity to your parking experience on Meeting Street at the Interactive Art Park with artistic structures and murals that line an alleyway. Bonus — this parking is free too. 


A post shared by Experience Columbia SC (@columbiasc) on

Head to our parking page for some helpful hints on how the city meters run. Are you a local willing to donate your parking knowledge? Send us your go-to spot so we can help make our visitors’ time here easy as pie.