In This Guide
In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know for parking in The Haight, a small neighborhood within San Francisco at the intersection of the streets by the same name. These pointers include:
- About Haight-Ashbury
- Things To Know
- Best Places to Park
- Lots and Garages
- Top Tips
- Street Parking
The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco is an easily identified community as it is named simply for the street intersection of Haight and Ashbury. In some circles, the neighborhood is referred to as The Upper Haight or simply The Haight. The two streets are named after affluent individuals in the history of San Francisco: Henry Haight, an important pioneer and banker and Munroe Ashbury, who sat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors around the time of the American Civil War.
The namesake for the neighborhood is much more interesting and even ironic given the fact the “hippie movement” of the 60’s had a centralized location here and spread into Golden Gate Park. Many historians peg the early stages of Modern American Counterculture as starting in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Due to this, there is some rather interesting historical sights within the community.
While driving your vehicle through the birthplace of American Counterculture, there are plenty of areas available for you to park for a few hours, the evening or several days. It just comes down to locating the right parking spot for your particular needs.
Things to Know
Haight-Ashbury is a very small community. It is also extremely difficult to park in. Outside of maybe a handful of other neighborhoods, this might be the most difficult. Why? First, there is a park to the north, west and southeast of the community, so more people come in from other neighborhoods to enjoy the parks. There is also only one parking garage within Haight-Ashbury, so available parking spots are a premium. Also, much of the area is open parking without meters. That might sound good as you won’t need to pay to park, but it also sounds good to everyone else, which doesn’t help with finding a spot.
Locals tend to not move their vehicles unless the street sweeper is cleaning the street that night, or they are leaving town. Parking spots are just too difficult to come by.
If at all possible, park your vehicle in a different neighborhood or arrive very early for the garage if you’re coming to The Haight. There is the Hop on-Hop off bus, which is helpful and may prove to be the best transportation option going into the community.
Best Places to Park
Best Parking Spot: In The Haight, there really is only option: The Kezar Parking Lot at 801 Stanyan St, though it has a rather poor reputation on Yelp. This lot is about the size of a city block, so it is on the larger side. However, it is one of the lots for Golden Gate Park and the Kezar Pavilion, which is an indoor sports arena (rather interesting to check out as it dates back to the 1920s) located right to the north of the parking lot. Additionally, Kezar Stadium is immediately west of the parking lot. If there is a show or event taking place, the lot will fill in a hurry. Another emphasis on why parking early on is vital.
Lots and Garages
View the map below or directly on Google for a list of off-street parking lots and garages in Haight-Ashbury, expand the map to find more options.
801 Stanyan St
Top Haight-Ashbury Parking Tips
- Watch out for the red-painted curbs. These are “Do Not Park” sections. Usually, this is around curbs, close to cross walks and in front of a few businesses. The majority of curbs are not painted in this section as it is open parking, so the red curbs are easy to spot and avoid, if you know to look for them.
- If searching for parking around Haight, which is where most of the shops and restaurants are, the best time of day is between 7am and 9am. Arriving before most of the businesses open but while workers are leaving for work is the best way to go.
- When navigating the streets for parking, it is important to understand many of the streets running north and south from Waller Street are one way. Look for signs to see what streets are one directional to make sure incorrectly turning doesn’t occur.
Top Haight-Ashbury DEBUNKED Tips
- The Whole Foods Market has an open parking lot for customers only, though during slower times of the day (mid-week/mid-day) it often is possible to stop in and ask if parking is possible at their customer service desk. This is no longer allowed and it’s possible you will be towed for attempting.
Street Parking Overview
Most of Haight is community/public parking, so it is first come first serve. For those who want to park in the neighborhood, be ready to circle the blocks a few times to find a spot.
Restrictions follow the city-wide colored curb system, where painted curb colors align with restrictions during certain times. See the parking basics page for details.
Parking around The Panhandle and close to Golden Gate Park is busy, as is the southeast corner of the neighborhood is Buena Vista Park. These are high turnover areas where parking is hit-or-miss. You may want to try those areas first, and then look to smaller streets, including Beulah and the south end of Belvedere Street.
Best Bets for Street Parking
- Beulah St (Between Cole and Stanyan)
- Belvedere St (South of Waller)
- Parking Facing the SideWalk on Buena (Buena Vista Ave, between Frederick and Central)
- Page St (Between Masonic and Shrader)
Haight-Ashbury Parking Meter Locations and Rate Areas
Haight-Ashbury is mostly parking meter free, save for Haight St between Buena Vista Park and Golden Gate Park, and then two blocks in each direction along the border of Golden Gate Park from Haight St. This area is Red: “Area 3” in the city’s parking meter map.
- 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 on the city’s website.
Paying for Metered Parking in The Haight
Like all parking meters in San Francisco, parking meters in Haight Ashbury accept coins, credit cards, PaybyPhone, and pre-paid SFMTA Parking Cards. Read more about the street meter payment options.
Haight-Ashbury Residential Parking Zone
Roughly half of Haight-Ashbury is permitted residential parking. There are three different zones: Q, J, and S. See the map above or keep a look out for the signs like the one below to know if you’re in a residential zone.
Parkers without this permit are allowed to park for the posted time limit (typically 2-hours) unless other restrictions apply. You can view the full San Francisco residential permit map here.
Free Street Parking in Haight-Ashbury
You can park for free anywhere in The Haight after meter and residential restriction hours (typically 5 PM on weekdays). Parking is free on the weekends. During the restricted hours, you can park free outside of the metered areas, limited to 2 hours in residential zones, and limited to 72 hours in unrestricted zones. Of course, look out for street cleaning signs as well.
- 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 with this free on-demand parking app.
- Parkopedia – Browse street and off-street parking rates with an interactive map.
- The Panhandle: This is an offshoot of Golden Gate Park. There is some street parking on the side, but this fills up quickly. Taking in the strip of park during the day can prove to be a beautiful treat for visitors.
- Golden Gate Park: San Francisco’s version of Central Park. This is an exceptional park offering that has all sorts of attractions to take in throughout the year. It is a must visit for anyone exploring San Francisco and plans to be in the Haight-Ashbury community.
Intersection of Haight and Ashbury, the corner famous for the gathering of hippies and musicians in the 1960s.
The Red Victorian: A historical hotel located two blocks from Golden Gate Park stands as one of the more historical, still standing hotels, in the city. Originally constructed in 1904 as a bed and breakfast, there are some rumors that it served as a brothel in the early days (although proper documentation has yet to be discovered to support this claim). The small hotel, which stands out in stark contrast with its ruby red paint job (although it often appears a darker pink in certain lighting), became a central figure in the 60’s and 70’s as a meeting spot for the local community to discuss social justice issues. The hotel also became famous thanks to different room designs based on themes, like the “Peacook” or “Flower Child” room. The hotel should not be confused with “The Red Victorian” theater located around the corner from the hotel.
Haight-Ashbury Street Fair: For visitors in town during the second Sunday of June, make sure to check out the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. This is a great attraction, bringing in thousands of visitors from around the city, which closes down the main street as arts and crafts booths go up, plus the addition of two sound stages and live music.
Local Music and Pop Culture: This isn’t just one area of the community but spread throughout the neighborhood. From Jefferson Airplane to The Grateful Dead, many bands came out of Haight-Ashbury, so for music fans, keep an eye out for murals dedicated to the musicians. The Grateful Dead did live at 710 Ashbury Street, but it is just as easy to spot the house with the painted murals of the musicians right outside the sidewalk of the house.
On a different pop culture note, Charles Manson called 636 Cole Street home for a few years, along with several female members of his “gang.”