Parking for cheap: a guide to (not) getting ticketed at Pearl

Now that nearly all parking on Pearl property is paid, we’re giving you our pro tips to save you as much money as possible.


Pro tip: plan to arrive early on weekends at Pearl to be the first to score parking.

Photo by SATXtoday

Table of Contents

Have you been been wondering why nearly all parking on Pearl property is now paid? To many, it was only a matter of time before this San Antonio staple would announce plans to further leverage its ever-increasing popularity.

Up until recently, much of the available parking on Pearl’s property was enitrely free or offered significantly cheaper alternatives to what is now deemed “premium parking.”

That’s why we want to breakdown all your options so you can make sure you’re saving as much money as possible.


The River West Parking Lot and Newell Lot both offer two hours of free parking.

Photo by SATXtoday

Why was this decision made? 🚗

While the reasoning behind these changes is still up for debate, Pearl’s website states that paid parking allows the property to fund “new cultural projects every day.” With Stable Hall, the newest entertainment venue on property — nearing its opening of Summer 2023 — and the construction of 1100 Springs Plaza, many suspect that new developments like these are at the root of Pearl’s recent decision. Read more about this and other parking FAQs on its website.

Parking fees + options 🅿️

As of the beginning of November, here is what you can expect to pay for parking:

  • Most lots | Daily rate: $3 (Monday-Thursday) $10 (Friday-Sunday) | Free parking hours: First 30 minutes free (Premium lots), first 2 hours free (regular lots)
  • Koehler Garage | Daily rate: $10 (2-5 hours) $20 (5-25 hours) | Free parking hours: First 2 hours free
  • Camden Lot | Daily rate: Free
  • Metered parking (public parking)| Daily rate: 30 cents per hour | Free parking hours: Meters are enforced from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and are otherwise free outside those times.

Visitors can pay for these parking services through various ways such as pay stations, via text, or by downloading the LAZ Parking app.


Metered parking is currently the cheapest alternative to parking on Pearl property.

Photo by SATXtoday

Avoiding a ticket (or getting towed) ⛔

City Editor Ivan, here. I talked to one of the police officers at Pearl, and this is what I found out.

  • How “free time” is enforced: Most lots, including the newest additions to paid parking at Pearl are enforced by surveillance officers who periodically scan vehicle license plates. Tickets are issued when a second scan exceeds the allotted free parking period.
  • How transgressions are handled: Pearl’s normal ticket charge is $10-$15. Those that exceed the free parking period are issued citations. While Pearl does have the right to tow after three citations, we have been told “that is not their practice.”
  • How parking on East Elmira Street is enforced: Considered public property, parking on Elmira has become a popular spot to avoid paying Pearl fees. While there doesn’t seem to be many recounts of SAPD-issued tickets or towing, Pearl wants to make it clear that they are not responsible for tickets issues off property.

This story has been updated to correct the inclusion of Camden Lot as a free parking option on Pearl’s property.

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