In a city that’s as car-centric as Los Angeles, knowing the ins and outs of finding the sweet spots of where to park is not only essential for timeliness, but your sanity as well. That said, there are a number of areas that give motorists headaches throughout the city. Unfortunately, parking nightmares aren’t limited to a specific part of town though. From Pasadena to Manhattan Beach, parking can be a gigantic pain. Here the places that top our list as the worst parking scenarios in Los Angeles.
There are a number of precarious parking garages in the city, but nothing compares to the labyrinth that is The Grove. The mammoth tower can fit thousands of vehicles at any time, but having parking versus having available spots is as tricky as finding a four-leaf clover – at least during peak hours. Even though the structure is seven stories, good luck actually finding a place to park. Tourists run this place and help to overpopulate its parking garage.
It used to be that you could run some errands in West Hollywood in a matter of minutes. Not anymore. Due to the recent influx of boutiques and fine dining, the stretch of parking along W. 3rd Street is easily one of the most frustrating in town. On any given night, it can take nearly a half hour to an hour gliding up and down the strip frustratingly trying to find a spot due to the limited number of spots available. With a healthy number of bars, restaurants and shops on the street, there are too many motorists and too few spots available. If you’re patient, the parking gods will reward you, but don’t hold your breath. And, don’t try parking on a side street either. With a myriad of permit zones, you could be returning to a hefty ticket or a missing vehicle if not careful
3.) Abbot Kinney in Venice
Forget about trying to drive down the hottest street in Venice on First Fridays or most nights of the week. Food trucks take up 90 percent of those spots. As for any other time, the parking spots are scarce, and that includes the limited number of spots behind the restaurants and shops on the south side of the street. As one of the hottest neighborhoods in LA, this stretch with boutiques, stores and top notch dining only adds to the influx of people making it nearly impossible to get a spot on the first go around.
While there are a number of popular spots in Beverly Hills, this is one of the rare areas where locals meet tourists in the battle for parking. Even with a few public lots, this areas is as challenging as scoring a last minute dinner reservation at Mr. Chows. What’s more annoying than the limited number of spots – and deceptive 20 minute meters – is the congestion caused by drivers driving a fraction of the speed limit trying to find an open spot. Unfortunately, until the 20 minute meters become a thing of the past, the parking on this street will continue to be unbearable.
5.) The Sunset Strip
Forget trying to find parking on the Strip on a weekend evening. You’re better off leaving your car in the middle of the street. Granted, there a few open lots, but those have two hour limits, and it’s nearly impossible to predict when someone will depart. No matter how you slice, you’re better off getting a ride from elsewhere than finding a spot here. One word: Uber.
Even with the ridiculous $5/hour meter price, finding a spot downtown when the all of the civil offices and courts are in session is a challenge in and of itself. If you don’t have patience to find a meter, then feel free to fork over $17 for a spot in one of the privately owned parking lots. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.
Though the area comprises only a few blocks, parking in Little Tokyo is among the most challenging in the city. Metered spots are at a premium, and it’s very easy to get frustrated as many of the pay lots are filled to the brim. With the number of delicious restaurants and cool shops in the area, if there was more convenient parking, these places would clean up. Pro tip: don’t park in the Office Depot lot on the edge of the area, as you will get towed.
8.) Manhattan Beach
This could be applied for any of the beach cities, but if you don’t get to the area before noon, it will take at least 15 minutes to find a street parking spot, if not longer. Granted, the wait is worth it, but if you have a dinner reservation or the waves are calling your name, then you better start looking for parking at least 30 minutes before. As for the public lot, be sure that your coin slot is full, many of the meters only take coins.
Beautiful Old Town is the home to a number of shops and fine dining establishments, and because of this, parking is extremely difficult. Making matters worse, many of the restaurants and stores do not offer parking, and the ones that do, make you fork over money for a valet. In early January, the Tournament of Roses Parade hits the area as well. Don’t even think about trying to find parking then. As for any other time, cross your fingers and good things happen to those who are patient and know how to read street signs.
There are a few patches of areas where you’ll find street parking, but for the people who are heading to the area on a weekend night, the parking can be treacherous. If the meters on Hollywood Blvd. are impossible to find, it’s because they are. Valets are known to not only commandeer these spots, but clog up traffic by making it impossible for motorists to find spaces. If you’re heading to Hollywood, your best bet would be to find a random side street.