22 Jan The 5 Best and Worst Parking Lots in San Diego
No matter where you go in San Diego, if you drive, then you have to park. Parking can be a simple breeze that you don’t even think much about, or it can be an expensive nightmare full of tight turns, complicated layouts, and maybe even a dirty or dangerous vibe. Parking lots are our business, so we can point you to some of the best places to park in San Diego, and help you steer clear of some of the worst places to park. To get started, here are our best five and worst 5 parking lot options.
The 5 Best Parking Lots in San Diego
Let’s start off with some optimism. There are some truly great parking lots in San Diego that are clean, simple to access, easy to navigate, affordable, and maybe even a joy to park in. You don’t have to have great views or green space to make the list—but it definitely helps.
1. Ace Parking – 6th & K Parkade
There are a lot of Ace parking lots throughout the city, all with slightly different quality. Our favorite is the one at 6th avenue and K St. This parkade is conveniently located for your downtown trip, being right by Petco Park, and with a ton of other entertainment within walking distance. The modern building is simple to access and navigate, well-paved, and very affordable considering its location. Plus, the security helps keep the area free from theft, so you can feel better about leaving your vehicle there.
2. Kate Sessions Park
If your idea of a good parking lot is one where you can drive right up to an amazing view, you have to visit the parking lots at Kate Sessions Park. This ample green park has stunning views overlooking the bay and downtown. You’ll find people picnicking, running, playing sports, hanging out in hammocks, or literally just sitting in their cars while they eat and enjoy the view. The lot itself is very clean, immaculately paved, and conveniently spread out throughout the park. If you visit this little gem, just don’t be one of those people who park just on the road and not in a spot, please.
3. NBC Parking Lot
Now that the Horton Plaza parking lot is gone, we know it wasn’t just the comparison with it that made the NBC parking lot really shine. It’s a clean, well-lit parking lot with security right in the lobby, so you will feel safe parking there. Plus, with its convenient location and single, affordable flat rate, it’s safe to say that this is one of our favorite spots to park in San Diego.
4. Moonlight Beach Parking Lot
Specifically, the Moonlight overlook is a fantastic place to park. If you want to sit in the privacy of your own car and enjoy a look out over the ocean and beach, we can’t think of a better spot. Although, we have to warn you that the regular parking for Moonlight Beach does leave something to be desired. It’s very bumpy, with long fissure-like cracks all over the place. The lot could probably do with some better salt management. Some of the spots are a little small too, but in the end, this whole beach is worth it.
5. Murphy’s Market’s Parking Lot
If you frequent Murphy’s (on Fairmount Avenue) maybe you’ve seen the absolutely lovely landscaping this grocery store has going on, not right next to the building, but closer to the road. A combination of tall trees, well-manicured bushes and convenient pathways make this spot seem more lovely and private, while not making it any harder to access. There are also a few spots of greenery carved out the parking lot’s asphalt. Which, is also very well-maintained and completely without a pothole, as of this writing. Murphy’s understands that your parking lot experience is part of your experience with them, and we think it brightens the whole neighborhood too.
The 5 Worst Parking Lots in San Diego
1. One of the Parking Lots on Convoy
We may as well be talking about all of the parking lots on Convoy, right? But, there’s one we want to single out, the one with O’Briens, the Yogurt World, and The Fire Spot. It is not those businesses fault, mostly, because the lot is clean, the parking lot space size is reasonable. It is just that the area is so much busier than this little lot can handle. Although, we’re not sure who approved those little concrete blocks separating the parking spots, it’s just asking for damaged vehicle. Why interfere with a pull-through spot? And, the asphalt itself could use some help. While there aren’t too many outright potholes, the crumbling cracks all through it are spelling trouble for its pothole to develop over the next few years.
2. The Symphony Towers Parking Lot
The problem with this parking lot is its design. Sure, it is clean, well-maintained and well-lit. But, if you drive anything like us, you are white-knuckling up those ramps? They’re super steep and tiny, making you want to take them really slowly the first few times you do it. Even if you get used to it, chances are that the person in front of you hasn’t, or has a huge vehicle, and will take the ramp super slow too. Parking needs to be convenient above all else, and this is a huge detriment for the Symphony Towers building.
3. San Diego State University Parking Lot
Very few colleges and universities will have good parking lots, and we can’t really figure out why. You’re already paying so much for tuition, how does a college get away with charging for parking too? And with the layouts, sometimes it’s like the parking was an afterthought. It’s not different at SDSU. In the first few weeks of classes, when people are still figuring out their parking routine, every lot is a nightmare. But, all year-round, X lot is the worst. The lot feels cut off from the rest of campus, and therefore very insecure. There are massive concrete support beams all through in the middle of it. What’s worse, the university also installed those annoying concrete beams back to prevent easy pull-through parking.
4. Costco, Morena Parking Lot
You might say that it’s hard to blame Costco for their parking lot problems. Is it their fault that their business is so popular? Not really, which is why we’ve only singled out the Costco at Morena. It’s not the worst offender on the list either. This lot is clean, and the parking spaces aren’t too small, but the layout of the parking lot itself leaves a lot to be desired. There are very tall speed bumps, and a frustratingly long walk from even the closest spots to the entrance of the building in both the north and south lots. The north lot is forgivable-what with the huge ramp. But the south lot just doesn’t make sense. There must be a more convenient way to line up all of those carts, and a better spot to place the outdoor eating section. A hint to the next person who opens a Costco in San Diego—some of us just want to get in and get out.
5. In-N-Out on Damon (near PB)
At least one fast food location had to make it onto our list of the worst parking lots, and we can’t think of a better place to single out than the In-N-Out at the entrance to the PB. The layout is confusing, and people do not respect the chained off section, leading to accidents and a fair share of road rage. Every time you visit, and want to head inside, you need to nose your way through a line of people in the drive-through line up, all of whom are worried about being cut off. It’s just bad design. At least it’s clean!