SXSW starts this week so that means Austin will have a great number of visitors coming into town. Get ready for there to be traffic and for downtown Austin to be packed with people trying to make it to the best shows, parties, viewings, and more. Southby is one of the biggest festivals in Austin and it’s more than a good time, but if you’re planning on driving and parking you better preemptively plan for it. Here are some driving and parking tips you should abide by:
If you are planning to drive in Austin during SXSW, you should probably consider alternative forms of transportation. The Parking downtown is going to be hard, and with street closures, it will make it even harder to get around. There will be a good amount of car traffic and foot traffic in Austin for this festival so you should definitely think about the alternative ways of getting around if you don’t feel like dealing with driving, traffic, and parking.
Alternative Transportation Options
- Interactive Festival and Film Festival Shuttles are provided as a service to registrants
- SXcycles is the complementary SXSW bike share program
- Austin B-Cycle is the pay-as-you-go bicycle commitment
- Pedicabs are a good option to get around downtown, you can always pre-negotiate the tip
- Bus and Rail public transportation is provided by Capital Metro
- Taxi and many other services are covered here
Area parking ranges in price and availability. Arriving into the downtown area early is the best bet for securing parking. Parking can be a real hassle, so plan accordingly and get there early to have any hope of finding a not-so-expensive place to park. If you plan on parking near the Austin Convention Center or anywhere downtown, you should definitely check out this parking availability tool.
Austin Convention Center garage’s parking fee ranges from $3 to $12 depending on time/day and it’s a flat rate of $8 on Friday and Saturday nights. ACC garages are located at 2nd & Brazos and 5th & Red River.
If you’re just getting dropped off at the Austin Convention Center, the best place to do that is in the circle drive located on Cesar Chavez on the south side of the building or at the Hilton Hotel located across the street at 4th and Neches.
- The early bird gets the worm!
- Make sure to check for road closures before going out. You don’t want to end up driving in circles trying to get to your destination
- Check out http://austintexas.gov/page/parking-spots-downtown for available parking before hitting the road
- Plan for travel time, car traffic, foot traffic, etc
- Try the Austin Convention Center parking lot for cheaper parking
- When parking at a meter make sure to read signs and pay accordingly. You don’t want to end up with a parking ticket or a boot!
- If you’re okay with parking and walking you can always park at the Long Center, Palmer Events Center Garage, One Texas Center Parking, or you can even park at Austin High School for free and take the hike and bike trail up to downtown Austin.