North Beach, San Francisco

Last Updated: August 15, 2016

north beach neighborhood

In This Guide

In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know for parking in North Beach. These pointers include:

 

About North Beach

Generally, communities referred to as “Beach” are found on the water, yet North Beach in San Francisco has no portion of the community touching. Instead, it is adjacent to Fisherman’s Wharf, which connects with the Bay. However, at one point in time, North Beach did have beachfront property (now it is simply pier and the wharf). When you visit, stop by Taylor and Francisco Streets. This connection point is actually where the water formerly came to. However, through several natural and man-made instances, it now is several blocks back. Despite this, North Beach still stands as one of the most prominent and visited communities in the city. Also known as “Little Italy,” North Beach has much to offer, no matter what you are looking for. So, whether you want to dine on delicious Italian food, experience world class nightlife, or just stroll the streets, you can find everything you need right here in North Beach.

North Beach puts you in a prime location as it is near Fisherman’s Wharf and also next to Chinatown, so you can really spend a day walking, hitting up many of the most popular sights and sounds of the city. Before you head out there, there are a few different pointers you need to take in, especially if you plan on parking within the neighborhood itself.

 

Things to Know

Many special activities and street events take place in North Beach throughout the year, so if you plan on parking in the neighborhood during the weekend, make sure to first check to see if anything is happening. This way, you know where to avoid and what areas to skip for parking. With that said, due to its close proximity to the pier and being directly south of Fisherman’s Wharf, it is busy here. So, if you want a quality parking spot (there are a handful of lots here and some street parking) you will need to come out early. Plus, if you intend to park overnight and visit some of the local bars, make sure to double-check ahead of time to see if you are parking in a 24-hour lot or if you’ll be hit with a massive overnight fee the next morning.

Find more on general parking information for all of San Francisco, like the details of the curb/meter colors, how to retrieve a towed car, and of course, how to park on a hill.

 

Best Places to Park

While just outside of the community, the North Beach Parking Garage and 501 Filbert Street Garage are great locations for those visiting the area. Street parking on Powell St and Greenwich St is a great place to start your search for metered and free street parking.

 

Lots and Garages

There are not any public parking lots and garages within North Beach. There are several just outside the neighborhood however that will work great. View the map below or directly on Google for off-street parking lots and garages for North Beach. Expand the map to find more options outside of the neighborhood.

North Beach Garage
735 Vallejo St

Northpoint Center Garage
350 Bay St

Pier 2620 Hotel Garage
2620 Jones St

Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel Parking Garage
2500 Mason St

501 Filbert St Garage
501 Filbert St

721 Filbert St Garage
721 Filbert St

 

Top North Beach Parking Tips

  • You can park like a guest at the Pier 2630 Hotel Valet if you book it through SpotHero.
  • Look out for no curb areas. Often times it might seem like there is a space available, but it is because there is a private garage entrance.

 

Street Parking

Street Parking Overview

Just about every street in the neighborhood has on-street parking, so it is not difficult to find. Bay, Columbia, and Powell Streets are crowded but have decent turnover.

Best Bets for Street Parking

north beach street parking best bets

Powell St
Powell and Filbert

Details

Greenwich 90 Degree
Greenwich and Powell

Details

Bay St Un-Metered
Between Stockton and Powell

Details

North Beach Parking Meter Locations and Rate Areas

north beach parking meter map

 

Most of North Beach is meter free, except for Bay and Columbia Streets and south of Filbert around Washington Square Park.

  • Blue: “Area 5” – meters enforced between 7/9AM-6PM Mon-Sat, $.25 – $6 per hour; limit 2 hours to unlimited
  • Red: “Area 3” – meters enforced between 8/9AM-6PM Mon-Sat, $.25 – $2 per hour; limit 1 hour to unlimited

See meter locations and rate areas for all of San Francisco from the city’s website.

Paying for Metered Parking in North Beach

Like all parking meters in San Francisco, parking meters in North Beach accept coins, credit cards, PaybyPhone, and pre-paid SFMTA Parking Cards. Read more about the street meter payment options.

Smart Pricing Street Parking in North Beach

Prices at the meter can fluctuate at the north end of North Beach near Fisherman’s Wharf, on Bay and Columbia Streets, via San Francisco’s Smart Pricing Program. Be prepared for inconsistent meter rates between $.25 and $6 per hour, and limits between two hours and unlimited.

north beach smart meter map

Learn more about how the program works, or use the live map to find availability, pricing, as well as street sweeping and other restrictions.

North Beach Residential Parking Zone

The entire neighborhood of North Beach is within Residential Parking Permit zone A.

north beach rpp area

Parkers without this permit are still permitted to park for the posted time limit (typically 2-hours) unless other restrictions apply. Permitted vehicles are exempt from the time limit, but are still subject to the 72-hour limit. You can view the full San Francisco residential permit map here.

Free Street Parking in North Beach

You can park for free anywhere in North Beach after meter enforcement hours (typically 9AM – 6PM Monday through Saturday). Most of North Beach is free un-metered street parking. Parking is free everywhere on Sundays. Of course, look out for street cleaning or other signs for restrictions.

 

Resources

  • The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) – The official transportation authority for all of San Francisco, making it the end all be all for all things transportation and parking. Whether you have more questions about specific parking laws or you just want to know when a certain line is running, you’ll have all your questions answered here.
  • North Beach Festival: This is a street festival that takes place typically on Father’s Day weekend between Grant and Columbus Avenue. It is one of the largest outdoor street fairs in the city, which makes it a must-see if you are in town in June. Of course, it also means parking will likely be impossible within North Beach, so do keep that in mind.
  • Parknav – Helps parkers find the best street parking with real-time predictive data.
  • ParkMe – Helps parkers find off- and on-street parking using full-time researchers and a predictive algorithm.
  • SFPark.org – City website with live parking availability and pricing.
  • SpotHero – Find and reserve parking in advance in North Beach with this free on-demand parking app.
  • Parkopedia – Browse street and off-street parking rates with an interactive map.

 

Attractions

Alley Between Columbus and Grant: This isn’t actually a street address, but it is an important destination if you are a fan of American literature. Jack Kerouac lived right here and often went out to spend time in the City Lights Bookstore (corner of Broadway and Columbus), not to mention many of the local, still standing bars and coffee shops. If you are a fan of Jack, you owe it to yourself to at least stop by.

Saints Peter and Paul Church: If there is one thing San Francisco is famous for, it is a large number of beautiful churches. After all, when the city is named after a saint, what do you expect? Well, Saints Peter and Paul Church, also referred to as “The Italian Cathedral of the West,” has a bit more pop-culture connected to it as well. First, Joe DiMaggio, famed New York Yankees baseball player, married his first wife here and also came to the church after marrying Marilyn Monroe (they were married in City Hall and not the church). The church is bursting with Italian heritage and features beautiful craftmanship, so make sure to check it out if possible.