Where to park at SMC


“Parking Sucks”, “I get here an hour early, before my class just to find parking” and “I had to wait almost an hour once”. Just a few remarks you’ll hear from Santa Monica College students on a daily basses when it comes to parking.

Parking at Santa Monica College is a big problem for many students. At SMC there is a total of 2,429 parking spots and there is around 30,000 students here at SMC, so it makes sense that it would be a daily struggle to find a parking spot in a busy city like Santa Monica. After rooming through SMC and experiencing the daily struggle of parking ourselves we came up with 3 popular locations students flock to, to park there cars!

Parking Structure:

The biggest parking locations are the structures on the corner of Pico and 16th street. A parking permit is required to park here, costing $85 for spring and fall semesters and $45 for summer and winter. However, buying a permit does not guarantee you a parking spot. Students typically have to circle the lot several times, sometimes for more than an hour, before finally finding a spot. As a result, many students are forced to come to campus hours before their classes start in order to find a spot and make it to class on time.

Meter Parking:

If you’re not willing to head to SMC before sunrise or hours before your class than your second option for a parking spot, is meter parking. The most popular location for SMC students is located on Pearl Street and 14th street. Although there is a chance of parking, it’s not guaranteed and just like any other parking, it can be stressful, but once you find a spot just be sure to bring your piggy bank to avoid costly fines from the Santa Monica Meter Patrol who are constantly rooming the meters looking for that expired meter.

Street Parking:

Okay so the parking Gods aren’t on your side, no luck with the Parking structure or the parking meters? Well your third option? Street parking. Parking by the streets can sometimes be very tricky, but if you look hard enough you can get really luck parking close to the school. For example, the junior school across the street from the campus has free parking for a certain amount of time. One of them is parking from 9am-2pm and another is parking from 9m-4pm. So if you’re lucky, you can probably snatch one of those two-hour parking spots without being so far away from the school.


Overall, Parking at Santa Monica College can be tricky, but don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. Unfortunately, the three popular Santa Monica College parking locations for students’ don’t guarantee you a spot but it’s worth a try. Although these are the three popular spots SMC students depend on for parking, they’re not the only ones. For a full areal view of parking at SMC check out the full map at SMC.com.


“I usually get here really really early cause it’s the only way I can find parking”

“When I get here around 10 or 11 it’s already pretty full”

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