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Secrets To Parking Downtown

Secrets To Parking Downtown Asheville

Welcome to a Insider Asheville here at AshevilleBlog.com. In this monthly post, I’ll spill the local secrets, and what better place to start than where to park when you’re heading downtown?

If you’re willing to pay, the garages are often your best bet, but on-street parking can sometimes can be closer to your destination. If my goal is Pack Square, I’ll look down Eagle Street and Market Street. Over by the Grove Arcade, I’ll check along Otis Street or down Coxe Avenue.

However, I rarely pay to park, and it’s not because I’m always out after hours — although it’s important to note that the meters only need to be fed from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm every day except Sunday. If you’re parking on the street outside of those hours, it’s free! It pays to read the fine print on the meter.

Downtown ParkingI once witnessed a tourist pull into a space on a Sunday after 6:00 pm, plug the meter with quarters and then realize it was for the wrong space. Yes, she moved her car. I could have intervened, but I know the City needs the money.

If you want to park downtown for free, you need two things: a little extra time and an adventurous spirit. I usually have both in spades. What I lack is a ready supply of quarters. If you’re pressed for time, just head to the nearest parking garage. At least your first hour is free, and you don’t have to worry about the meter running out.

If you’ve left early enough, you can almost always find a free spot, as long as you don’t mind walking a little. Depending on where you’re trying to go, I recommend the South Slope. There are free spaces along Lexington Station, although they tend to fill up fast. Just a bit further down, you can find ample spaces on Banks or Buxton Avenues.

But that’s a hike if you want to get to the Grove Arcade or Haywood Street. If that’s the case, head past the “Civic Center” (now given a corporate title I refuse to repeat) on Flint Street. Just past the traffic lights and over the bridge, there’s a gravel lot just before you reach Cherry Street. Take a left into the lot and find an empty spot. It’s free and there’s no time limit!

If things are tough and you still haven’t found a spot try the Greenlife Grocery parking lot on Merrimon Avenue and hike back up the hill to Broadway and the north end of downtown. Greenlife won’t know, as long as you’re back before they close.

Finally, there’s one special place I like to park off Patton Avenue, but I’ll keep that spot secret for now, unless enough readers comment on this post.



About Mark Bloom

Mark is a freelance writer, editor, and videographer who has spent his life playing with words and pictures. He used to think tourists were “endlessly entertaining,” but lately their driving habits have tested his patience. He writes on every subject from parking in Asheville to choosing SEO keywords. He edits fiction and nonfiction. He produces website content, including video. He’s lived in Asheville for ten years, which means he’s a third of the way to being considered a local. You can reach Mark at markhenrybloom@gmail.com or through his professional website at rayaccess.com.


  1. cassie.moore@gmail.com'

    Curious about your super secret spot!

  2. munchkin.willen@gmail.com'

    Your secret spot wouldn’t have anything to do with a guy named Sam, would it? You didn’t mention the spacious parking lot at the Chamber of Commerce on Montford Street. It’s only a healthy stroll to the Grove Arcade and comes with the added attraction of lots of info and friendly faces. Also, you can leave your car there and board the Asheville Historic (White) Trolley for easy going around town – get on and off as much as you like.

  3. A2Panther@usa.net'

    Might you add a ‘simple map image’ pointing out the locations of the parking area’s?

    After traveling about in New Zealand, having a simple map is really pretty good to identify places you are interested in seeing. Remember, 75% of the viewing public are visual learners…
    One may say, “Oh, Google It,” but many don’t have a phone to Google these locations, too.

    So, a simple map that points out:
    – Paid Parking
    – Free Parking

    Would be good.
    That’s my take on it, after traveling about for the past 3-4wks
    Happy Trails!
    – Anastacia :)*

  4. szs.webaddr@gmail.com'

    Parking in Asheville. Big whoop. I lived in Allston MA. Drive your car to your destination. Turn off your car, and leave it in the middle of the street. What’s the problem?

  5. raleighgolfcart@gmail.com'

    Absolutely no place for a small motorhome!!! Got back on highway & did not spend a dime in Asheville.

  6. rdj@biltwright.com'

    Visited Asheville this past Saturday and parked in the Pack Square garage next to Diana Worthum theater. They ran my credit card but said it wasn’t working so I had to pay the $7.00. Today their charge shows up on my credit card and I’d like to get my $7.00 back. However, I cannot find a phone number to call. Does anyone know the phone number or who owns the Pack Square Parking garage?

  7. postadname1@gmail.com'

    How about safe places for a broke female student to park for car camping? (Not that you have replied to any of the other comments here.)

    • ashevilleblog@gmail.com'

      I actually do reply to comments here, thank you very much 🙂

      As far as safe places to stay; I really can’t personally recommend any, as I am unsure, and I wouldn’t want to put you in a potentially unsafe situation. You may want to ask in a local Facebook group (search for West Asheville Exchange) and see if someone is willing to offer their driveway or has recommendations. We do have several lovely hostels that may be within your budget as well.

  8. cjnicklay@gmail.com'

    is there anyplace to park near the Thomas Wolfe site?
    space for motorhome towing a car? about 40 ft total length?

    • blackmor@gmail.com'

      H-E-doublehockeysticks NO. There really isn’t space in the Asheville area proper for driving your motor home. If you can’t drive it on Lombard St. in San Francisco then don’t drive it through Asheville (except on the major highways).

  9. chambers022002@yahoo.com'

    Can you park for free downtown on Sunday? I thought so, but then your article says someone put money in a meter on Sunday.

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