Chicago’s South Loop blends in with Downtown Chicago (a.k.a. the Chicago Loop), and the neighborhoods share a few major attractions, including the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. The further south you venture into the South Loop, the landscape changes into one of urban lofts, commercial spaces, Soldier Field, and North America’s largest convention center.
The South Loop has gone through some serious ups and downs in terms of popularity. In the late 19th century, many of Chicago’s wealthy elite resided in the South Loop, but then the neighborhood died down. Only in the past decade has the South Loop experienced a significant revival with major redevelopment, especially in the Printer’s Row neighborhood.
South Loop Online Parking Reservations
Explore Chinatown parking options in the map below and use SpotHero to book a guaranteed space ahead of time!
Off-street parking is the perfect solution for anyone headed to South Loop for more than a few hours. It can also be a great alternative to taking your chances on finding an open street parking space. The table below outlines some of the best parking deals in South Loop, and their locations. Reserving parking spaces ahead of time helps prevent drivers from circling the block looking for available spaces. You’ll know exactly where you’re going to park, how much you’ll pay, and most importantly that a parking spot will be waiting for you on the other end of your journey!
|Name||Price Range||Online Reservations?||Nearest Intersection|
|730 S Clark St||$14 – 12 hours||Book Now!||Polk & Lasalle|
|75 W Harrison St – Valet||$14 – 10 hours||Book Now!||Harrison & Clark|
|2 E 8th St||$10 – 10 hours||Book Now!||8th & State St|
|1130 S Michigan Ave||$10 –10 hours||Book Now!||Roosevelt & Michigan|
|20 E Cullerton St||$6 – 12 hours||Book Now!||Cullerton & State|
|2136 S Indiana Ave||$11 – 12 hours||Book Now!||Cermak & Indiana|
Chicago’s South Loop offers a variety of residential parking, lots, garages, and metered street parking. Most of the lots and garages are located near the north side of the neighborhood, while metered and residential parking are more likely to be found on the southern side.
An important factor to keep in mind is the weather. In the winter, look out for signs indicating whether it’s legal to park on the street. This will depend on how much snow is on the ground. If a couple inches of snow have fallen, your best bet is to opt for a parking garage – both for the safety of your car and for the possibility that the street needs to be cleared.
Find more here on general Chicago parking information, like the details of the Chicago vehicle sticker, how to retrieve a towed car, and more.
- Do your research beforehand. Choose whether to park in a lot, garage, or on the street based on which area of the neighborhood you’re going to. As mentioned above, most lots and garages are located near the north side of the neighborhood, while metered and residential parking are more likely to be found on the southern side.
- If you’re going to an event at a stadium or convention center, always check out the parking information online beforehand to find the best deals and avoid any confusion.
- Always, always look out for signage about parking restrictions when parking on the street. Restrictions typically have to do with weather, time limits, and street cleaning.
The garage at 2101 S. Michigan Avenue stands out, especially if you’re going to the McCormick Place convention center. It’s affordable and within walking distance. Plus, it’s a covered garage, making it less of a hassle in the winter.
Another attractive option is the Hilton Chicago Garage at 99 E. Balbo Avenue. This parking location is only a short walk from Grant Park and other popular attractions. The garage also offers an affordable 15-hour rate, so you can park your car and not worry about it for the rest of the day.
For street parking, check out Wabash Avenue between Roosevelt Road and E. 14th Place. Metered parking decreases from $4 to $2 per hour south of Roosevelt.
View the map below or directly on Google for a list of off-street parking lots and garages in the South Loop.
Street Parking Overview
Street parking in the South Loop depends on a variety of factors: which area of the neighborhood you’re going to, how far you’re willing to walk, and the weather. Your best bet? Do a little research beforehand to decide if street parking is right for you.
Most street parking in the South Loop has a time limit. Feeding the meter for more time won’t count if you exceed the maximum amount of time allowed. You have to move your car after the maximum parking time, even if that means moving it one spot down. Otherwise, you’ll risk getting a parking ticket.
If you’re going to a major event, chances are street parking will be sparse. In that case, decide on an off-street parking location beforehand to ensure you’ll find a spot.
And don’t forget about Chicago winters, which makes street parking impossible at times.
Best Bets for Street Parking
- Find ample meter parking on both sides of State between Harrison and E. 11th St.
- This parking stretch is close to Grant Park and other popular attractions.
- Free street parking is available on Prairie between E. 16th St. and E. 17th St.
- There’s no parking allowed during events at Soldier Field (starting two hours before through one hour after the event).
- There’s ample metered parking on Wabash between Roosevelt and E. 14th Pl.
- Metered parking just south of Roosevelt Road costs half as much as metered parking north of Roosevelt.
South Loop Parking Meter Locations and Rate Areas
Metered parking in the South Loop costs between $2 and $4 per hour. Click here for an interactive version of the map above.
Find more information about metered parking in the South Loop, like disability parking and pay station hours, here.
Paying for Metered Parking in the South Loop
You can pay for metered parking in the South Loop at the pay stations located in the parking zone where you are parking. You should see a sign pointing to the direction of the pay station. Quarters, credit/debit/pre-paid cards are all accepted.
Another option is to download the city’s street parking app, ParkChicago, which allows you to pay from your smartphone. But its best feature is the ability to extend the time on your meter without having to go back to your car, especially in the winter!
South Loop Residential Parking Zone
Residential parking is a bit sparse in the South Loop, available in the Printer’s Row neighborhood and west of McCormick Place. Click here to see Chicago’s residential parking map.
To park in a residential zone, you need either a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker with Residential Zone Parking or a Daily Residential Parking Permit for guests. Some zones require a residential permit at all times, while others only require permit at certain times of day or night. Find more information about city vehicle stickers here.
Snow plows clear snow almost daily to maintain the South Loop’s streets in the winter. That being said, street parking is prohibited when there’s over 2 inches of snow. Don’t carry a ruler with you? Your best bet is to avoid street parking altogether when it’s snowing or when snow is on the ground. Park in a parking garage or lot instead.
The city also puts overnight parking bans in place during the winter so that the streets can be plowed at night. Check the City of Chicago website in the winter for more information about when exactly those bans are in place.
McCormick Place: McCormick Place is a convention center with impressive numbers. It has four state-of-the-art buildings and hosts around 3 million people every year. McCormick Place boasts 2.6 million square feet of exhibit halls, three theaters with 300 seats each, and 5,800 parking spaces. If that’s not enough, the convention center is also connected to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel, which has 1,268 rooms, six restaurants, and even more meeting rooms and event spaces.
You can choose parking from three of the convention center’s main parking garages: Lot A, Lot B, and Lot C. The basic rates vary from $15 to $36, depending on how long you park. Check out their parking rates to decide which lot is best for your parking needs.
Soldier Field: Soldier Field is a stadium with great historical importance to Chicago. The stadium derives its name from the reason for its construction – architects Holabird and Roche built the stadium as a memorial to fallen American soldiers. Soldier Field officially opened in 1924 and is home to the Chicago Bears. The stadium has also hosted the first Special Olympics in 1968, festivals, concerts, stock-car races, and more.
There are six main parking options within walking distance to Soldier Field: the North Garage, the South Parking Lot, the Waldron Parking Deck, the East Museum Lot, the Adler Planetarium Lot, and the Burnham Harbor Lot. Click here for Soldier Field parking rates.
ther affordable garage or lot parking within walking distance of Soldier Field include:
Grant Park: Known as Chicago’s “front yard,” Grant Park stretches along Lake Michigan, from the east side of the Loop and the South Loop. In the park, you’ll find the Art Institute, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, ice-skating rinks, the famous Chicago Bean, a skate park, and Buckingham Fountain. Year round, Grant Park hosts some of Chicago’s biggest events, including Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago.
Affordable garage or lot parking within walking distance of Grant Park include:
Essex Inn Valet
1130 S Michigan Ave Valet Garage
1 E 8th St Garage
- CTA – Chicago’s public transportation site with parking information near city trains and buses.
- Parknav – Helps parkers find the best street parking with real-time predictive data.
- ParkMe – Helps parkers find off- and on-street parking using full-time researchers and a predictive algorithm.
- Cityofchicago.org – City website with parking information, such as laws, restrictions, permits, and more.
- SpotHero – Find and reserve parking in advance with this free on-demand parking app.
- Parkopedia – Browse street and off-street parking rates with an interactive map.