Want to know why they call Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World"? A visit to the iconic 6th Street will be enough to clear any doubts. Its colorful and lively collection of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues make it a must-stop for visitors and locals alike. It is a great way to experience the Austinite vibe at its best.
The 6th Street is made up of four entertainment hubs; Old 6th Street, West 6th Street, East 6th Street, and the Red River District. This large portion of the downtown area becomes wall-to-wall people, especially during the weekends, so you can expect heavy traffic and a few closed streets. Not to mention, finding parking near 6th Street can easily become a nightmare.
If you don't want to be driving around, feeding parking meters (if you find any free space) or paying for tickets, why not reserve your parking spot ahead of time and avoid the headache? With SmartPass by Smarking, you can pay and reserve a space in our nearby parking garage, located right on 6th Street. Just scan your QR code for in/out access and enjoy the night!
Find Parking Lots Near The 6th Street
Downtown Austin is bustling with things to do, and not only on the weekends. Being a cultural, business, and entertainment district, the area is usually crowded, so finding a free parking space could take longer than you imagined. To help you plan your visit, we'll go over some nearby parking lots to consider.
Capitol Visitors Garage
If you are visiting 6th Street during the day, the Capitol Visitors Garage located at 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, is just a few blocks away, very close to the Red River Cultural District. Parking here is free for the first 2 hours, and $2 per hour after that. The maximum daily charge is $12 and the parking lot is open only from 7 a.m to 6:30 p.m, with no overnight parking available.
Perry Brooks Garage
You'll find the Perry Brooks garage on 717 Brazos St., in between 7th and 8th street. The rates start at $3 for 15 minutes and go up to $30 for 24-hour parking. Their overnight parking rate is $18 (in after 4:30 p.m. and out by 8:30 a.m.). Make sure to double-check the rates because the garage has very specific timetables and the rates are different depending on in/out times.
Austin City Hall Garage
This is a great option if you are heading to the west side of 6th Street. The City Hall garage is located at 163 Lavaca St, with an entrance on Guadalupe Street. Their parking rates from Monday - Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m go from $5 for the first hour to $25 for the day. There's a nightly rate of $10 if you park between 5 p.m. - 5 a.m. Keep in mind the rates might go up during special events, and there are reserved spots for employees, so the availability can be limited.
Another popular option among visitors of 6th Street is the Littlefield parking garage. It's conveniently located on 508 Brazos St, between 5th and 6th street. The rates go from $2 for 20 minutes, up to $18 for 24 hours and $24 for overnight parking. It is open 24/7 but they do not allow in and out access for any of their rates. Always check the rate signs as they can raise the prices during local events.
The Smarking parking garage, located on 200 W 6th Street, with an entrance on Colorado St. is your best bet for a great price-location-safety combo. Additionally, being able to reserve your spot ahead of time will save you some valuable party time. For fuss-free parking, get a SmartPass and scan your QR code for in/out access. Forget about parking tickets, or taking a long bus ride because "there won't be anywhere to park". With Smarking, you'll have a safe parking spot waiting for you in the heart of downtown.
Is There Free Street Parking in Downtown Austin?
Yes, with a little bit of luck, and patience, you could find free street parking near 6th Street. In general, parking on metered spaces is free after operation hours, which is usually Monday - Wednesday after 6pm and Thursday - Saturday after midnight.
Parking at meters is free in most areas of Austin on Sundays, however, from Thursday to Sunday, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., parking is not allowed on 6th Street between Brazos St. and Red River. Don't risk it, your car will be towed.
The City of Austin also has free parking on holidays such as New Years, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Keep in mind, that these are not the safest options, especially if you are leaving your car overnight. 6th Street will keep you busy for hours, so it's best to find a safe parking garage and avoid a parking ticket.
Waive Your Overnight Parking Ticket
Partied a bit too much? If you did choose to leave your car in a metered space, but can't drive it back home, make the responsible choice and take public transportation or a taxi. You can have your parking ticket waived by presenting 'Proof of Responsible Ride', which can be a timestamped bus or taxi receipt.
The Surroundings Of 6th Street
You hear ‘6th Street’, you think ‘party’. And while for the most part 6th Street is known for its amazing nightlife and entertainment, there's a lot more to do in the area. Take a look at some other popular locations you'll find in downtown Austin. Leave your car in the Smarking parking garage and enjoy the day.
The Indeed Tower is located right on 6th Street and it offers a mixed-used environment, enjoyable for visitors of the area as well as those in for business. The largest and tallest office building in downtown Austin features top-of-the class amenities such as a high-performance fitness center, beautiful outdoor and private terraces, as well as an amazing dedicated conference center.
If you are just passing by, stick around to enjoy its beautiful grounds where you will find a historic 1914 Post Office which was repurposed as a 25,000-square-foot retail and restaurant hub. The adjacent park is also a great place to stop for a break and a breath of fresh air. Discover Indeed Tower parking here.
Lady Bird Lake
Enjoy a beautiful day of sunshine at Lady Bird Lake. Here, you'll find hiking and biking trails, a unique boardwalk, and excellent views of the city skyline. It's a great place for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and river cruises. If you take a boat ride along the lake to South Congress Avenue bridge, you will witness the famous Mexican bat show at sunset. Of course, after sunset, head to the 6th Street (just a few blocks up the street) for dinner and drinks.
Just one block south of 6th street, on Guadalupe Street, you will find one of Austin's most active urban green spaces. Republic Square offers daily programming and unique amenities to spend a good couple of hours enjoying the public artwork, live music and even fitness classes. On Saturdays, the park becomes home of The Sustainable Food Center’s (SFC), which is one of the best farmers' markets in Austin offering 100% local products and artisan crafts.
The Texas State Capitol is just a 12-minute walk from 6th Street on Congress Avenue. This is one of the nation's most remarkable state capitols, and it's a great way to spend an hour or two in downtown Austin. Take a 30 min guided tour to learn about the historic building, enjoy its beautiful architecture, and watch Texas politics in action.
After the tour, take time to explore the grounds as there are usually fun exhibits, and interesting monuments, and, if you are hungry, the Capitol Grille is a great breakfast, lunch, or grab & go option. Find parking near Texas Capitol here.
Another great way to spend a day with the family, is right on the other side of the Colorado River off Lady Bird Park. The Zilker Metropolitan Park is Austin's most-loved park where you'll find many activities and special events. The park has lost of picnic areas, a disc golf course, playground areas for children, and bike rental options. It is also home to the beautiful Barton Springs Pool which is an urban oasis where you can swim in spring-fed waters and enjoy amazing wildlife. Discover Zilker Park parking here.