With thousands of off-street and metered parking spaces, parking your car in downtown Salt Lake City is hardly a chore. The city government made parking a top priority in 2002, after hosting the Olympics. And with updated infrastructure like large parking structures, modernized meters, and cell phone parking apps, this small city is easy to visit by car.
Interactive Parking Map
When navigating Salt Lake, start with an interactive parking map that guides you to the major parking areas centered around popular points of interest like Temple Square or City Creek Center. An interactive map allows you to put a Salt Lake address into the search bar to view the parking options closest to that address. You can also zoom in to see metered spaces and a street view.
Parking Finder App
The Salt Lake City government created a parking app for use with Apple or Android phones. The technology includes a smart map, which shows you available parking spaces within a few of blocks of your location. It also includes information on bus routes, bike routes, parks, points of interest, and alternative fuel stations.
Salt Lake City's blue parking meters streamline your parking experience by accepting credit cards, debit cards, and coins (you can't use bills). Metered parking is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a time limit of two hours. Parking is free after hours and on Saturdays with a two-hour time limit, as well. On Sundays, parking is free and there is no time restriction.
The metered parking rate is 2 dollars per hour and needs to be paid in advance. To do so, you can pay right at the meter, by cell phone via the QuickPay app for Apple or Android devices, or by phone or text using the phone number on the meter. The first time you pay by phone, set up an account with your credit or debit card number to make all future payments a breeze. But remember, paying by cell phone gives you the most convenient access—you won't have to leave your meal or meeting to re-up the meter.
Free Fare Zone
Once you've found a place to park, you can get around town by bus or train for free within the free fare zone. When you board the bus or train, simply tell the driver that you intend to stay within the boundaries of this zone (between 500 South and 500 North, and between 200 East and 400 West). But if your destination takes you outside of the free fare zone, make sure to purchase a ticket before hopping on the bus.
City Creek Center
With six entrances and thousands of underground parking spaces, City Creek Center is one of the easiest places to park downtown. Parking is free for one hour or less, 1 dollar for two hours or less, and then rates increase from there to a daily maximum of 20 dollars.
Nordstrom and Macy's offer free parking validations with any purchase and other businesses validate parking at their discretion. Only one validation is applicable per visit, but since the overall parking rate is cheap, even if you forget to get validated, the expense is minimal.
City Creek Center offers valet parking, as well. To utilize this service, enter the parking complex on Regent Street from westbound 100 South between State Street and Main. The valet parking rate is 5 dollars for up to three hours and 4 dollars per hour after that.
Salt Palace Convention Center
If you're attending a work convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center, you can pop into one of its two parking garages with entrances located at 185 West 200 South and 50 South 300 West. Handicapped spaces, on- and off-loading docks, continued video surveillance, and bike racks (in the event you biked to the convention) make this parking option a no-brainer.
Just off of Temple Square lies The Gateway, Salt Lake's downtown destination for both shopping and dining. Covered parking for this complex is accessible from 200 South, 100 South, and 400 West. Parking is also available on a surface lot just north of South Temple and in a parking garage off of 500 West, behind Old Navy. Most stores and restaurants at the Gateway offer parking validations at one per visit and parking is free for the first hour.
Vivint Smart Home Arena
You can usually have your pick of parking spaces in both the surface lots and parking garages within two blocks of the Vivint Smart Home Arena. For events such as Utah Jazz basketball games, businesses near the arena will also offer paid parking in their lots. Parking rates vary from 5 to 10 dollars for the evening, depending on how close you want to park.
Parking for the Capitol Theatre (home to Ballet West and the Utah Opera) is located directly across the street from the theater in two Ampco parking garages. The large parking garages at the Salt Palace and the Gallivan Center are also good options for theatergoers or for those visiting the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.
The Gallivan Center, an event venue and urban plaza, has its own underground parking accessed off 30 East 200 South. There are lots of other parking garages and metered street spaces in the area, as well. Recommended garages include the Walker Center at 175 South Main Street and the Wells Fargo building at 70 East 300 South.
There is a large public parking garage near the Salt Lake City Library, the Salt Lake City, and County Building, and the Leonardo accessed off 400 South between 200 and 300 East. In addition, metered street parking surrounds the area, as well as free two-hour street parking. Remember the two-hour limit though, if you use the metered parking to visit the Leonardo—it's easy to spend more than two hours inside.
Utah State Capitol
Utah's State Capitol building is worth the trip to check out its vast remodel (one of the largest preservation projects in the United States). Parking is available to the public in the parking lots east of the capitol building and is also allowed on neighboring streets.