Where to Park in Charleston
- Parking in downtown Charleston & historic district
- Free Parking in Charleston
- Visitor Center Parking
- Parking near our tour starting points
While we thinking walking around this historic coastal city is the best way to experience its sites and sounds – preferably on one of our walking tours – you do have to get there! Parking in older cities can be stressful as it is always at a premium and often comes with stiff fines if the rules are broken.
There is an app for that!
Parking in downtown Charleston |Parking in Charleston Historic District
Metered Street Parking
There are over 1000 metered street parking spots around Charleston for convenient place to base your operations. 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, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (excluding Sunday and official city holidays)
- 80 minutes per dollar
- 20 minutes per quarter
- 8 minutes per dime
- 4 minutes per nickel
If you’ll be coming and going a lot and plan on using street metered parking a few times, you can save your coins by getting a SmartCard. There is a one time fee of $5 for the card itself and then you put the amount you want to pay on the card. This won’t save you money but if you plan on using meters a lot and don’t have a lot of change laying around, it may be more convenient for you. You can get these at the Visitor Center Gift Shop at 375 Meeting Street.
What’s the benefit to using a SmartCard? While there is no discount upfront, you can get a refund for any unused parking minutes! So if you put two hours on the meter but only stayed for 30 minutes, you can simple reinsert the card to get the 1.5 hour back – you cannot do that with coins!
There are many City Parking Garages around the downtown Charleston area, many located near larger attractions. These parking garages accept cash or credit card and some are staffed 24/7.
Parking Garage Rates: $1/half hour with a $16 Daily Max
For additional parking information including an interactive map please download the ParkMe parking application on your IPhone or Android. https://www.parkme.com/
Free Parking in Charleston
Unless you’re staying at centrally located hotel/inn that has free parking, you won’t find much free parking for a day trip to the city. Some restaurants offer parking for their guests but you won’t be able to stay there for the full day.
You may 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 its often not worth the risk of planning to park here.
Visitor Center Parking
The best place to park is the Visitor Center at 375 Meeting Street as a central location with many public transportation options. The parking garage offers easy access to the Visitor Center to start your day in Charleston – with restrooms, a gift shop and information center to get advice and maps to walk around the city.
The Visitor Center Parking Garage is also one of few places that has spots for RVs and electric plug ins.
Parking near our tour starting points
There are three parking garages near our starting point for the Historic Charleston Walking Tour and Civil War tour. All tours meet at the SE corner of Church Street and Linguard Street, next to Tommy Condon’s Restaurant (map)
- City Parking Garage – Charleston Place – 85 Hasell St – open 24/7
- There are two private run garages located on Cumberland Street – one at the corner of Church St and another at the corner with State Street.