Craving crab cakes, Old Bay, American history, and some of the best professional sports in the country? If so, you need to head to Baltimore, Maryland—specifically, the Inner Harbor.
It’s one of Baltimore’s most exciting precincts, but if you’re heading out for a day of sightseeing, have you thought about where you’ll park?
Baltimore Inner Harbor parking can be tricky, as there’s a high demand and limited spots. Before planning your next trip, keep reading to find our best tips and tricks for navigating the Baltimore parking scene and finding a parking spot with ease.
Why Is Baltimore Inner Harbor Parking So Hard to Find?
The Inner Harbor is arguably the most popular area of Baltimore, attracting plenty of tourists and locals each day. With loads of amazing restaurants, bars, attractions, and events, it’s no surprise that everyone heads to the Inner Harbor.
It’s one of America’s oldest ports, making the area rich in history. Many visitors like going to the National Aquarium, visiting the area’s historic ships, or dining at Harborplace.
You can also find plenty of shopping and hotels, ideal for a weekend away.
How Can I Find a Parking Spot in Baltimore?
It’s fantastic that there’s so much to do in the Inner Harbor, but it means that Baltimore parking is at a premium. If you’re planning to visit, don’t waste your time driving around aimlessly!
Try out these tips to learn how to navigate parking in Baltimore with ease.
Our top tip is to plan ahead and know where you’re going. Look at a map of the area and write down the cross streets of the closest parking garage.
For example, if you’re visiting the National Aquarium, know that they don’t actually have their own parking garage. However, they have two official nearby partners—Parkway Lockwood Place & the LAZ Inner Harbor Garage.
Aquarium visitors can validate their tickets for a discount, and aquarium members also receive a discount. If you hadn’t done your research online ahead of time, you might miss out on convenience and discounts!
No matter where you’re going in the Inner Harbor, you can find parking nearby. Knowing where to park means you won’t need to walk as far to your destination, which is very handy in bad weather or if you’re visiting with young kids.
Another great way to simplify your parking search is by booking online in advance.
Booking ahead of time means that your spot is locked in and reserved just for you—you don’t need to worry about showing up and having the garage already be full. Plus, it’s generally slightly cheaper to book online.
Plenty of Baltimore garages allow online booking, including Charles Towers. Or, if you’re staying overnight at one of the Inner Harbor’s hotels, contact your hotel in advance to ask about parking and reserve in advance.
The Baltimore Parking Authority is also becoming more efficient, thanks to technology. Users will soon be able to pay their parking meter fees online.
Avoid Visiting on Game Days
Another consideration when visiting the Inner Harbor is game days. If you’re visiting for a game, it’s sure to be a lot of fun, but if you’re not, try to time your visit on days where there are no games scheduled.
Baltimore is home to Camden Yards, home to the Orioles. Just next-door you’ll also find the Baltimore Ravens, a popular NFL team.
Camden Yards can hold around 45,000 people, while M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens, can seat 71,000. As you can imagine, all of these people visiting on the same day is going to mean it’s near impossible to find parking!
Camden Yards has its own parking, but it gets booked out fast, so reserve a space as soon as you buy your tickets. The Ravens don’t have parking, so you’ll want to book a space in one of the local garages.
If you’re going to a game and haven’t booked parking, try to get to the city as early as possible. There’s plenty to do to kill a few hours before kick-off!
Rent a Space Privately
Sometimes, you can find locals who have unused parking spots and are willing to rent them out. This can be handy if you’re visiting the Inner Harbor regularly and are looking for a more long-term parking solution.
However, you’ll be renting at your own risk. Most private rentals can’t offer insurance or security, so you’re leaving your car there with no guarantees.
You might also see local hawkers on game days, selling parking in their driveway or yard. Wiel this might help if you’re in a pinch, it’s still not as safe as parking in a secure, undercover parking garage.
Or, Leave the Car at Home and Take Public Transportation
It’s not for everyone, but one alternative is to skip driving and take public transport! Baltimore’s public transport consists of the local bus network, MARC trains, the Light Rail, and the Metro subway.
It’s also easy to get an Uber or cab to get around.
Use These Tips to Easily Find Inner Harbor Parking
Although you might be nervous about driving into the city, the tips above can help you find Baltimore Inner Harbor parking.
Sure, you may experience some traffic and congestion, but if you have a plan of attack and know exactly where you’re going, you’ll get a premium parking space in no time. Then, you can start enjoying all the fun and excitement that Baltimore has to offer!
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