Seattle Parking - Tristan

Seattle Parking

First and foremost, this find would have not been possible without the help of the website. This site allows you to see all of the major parking areas within any major US city. You can see rates and calculate costs based on hours you plan on being at the specific lot. You can also see a photo of the parking garage or lot to help you locate the correct place (sometimes it is hard to find these places even with GPS, especially underground parking that can sneak up on you in a major city).

With the help of I was able to find a place that charges $8 all day parking for the weekend (Sat and Sun). There may be areas that are better for you but this is what I have found and am happy using this place every time I attend an event at the Washington State Convention Center (there are similar garages that charge $10 a day that may be closer to your location of interest if you choose). Use the bestparking website to find something more suited to what you want. 

This parking garage is part of the Washington Mutual Tower located at 1201 Third Avenue in downtown Seattle. The garage entrance is located on 255 Seneca St between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. The reason I love this parking location is for a few reasons, first and foremost it is only $8 to park there all day on the weekends. This is because the bank is not open on weekends so they open the garage to public parking. The convention center will charge you over $20 if you plan on staying all day. Other garages in the area will charge over $30 for parking most of the day. Second reason is that it has a capacity of over 900 vehicles which is one of the largest underground parking in the city, so I never worry about it filling up (unlike the convention center parking which although has similar capacity will fill up for major events, as well as garages around the venue). Third is that it is far enough away from the venue that you sort of eliminate some of the more congested traffic. Now mind you this is still downtown Seattle so there is still traffic, but if you are planning on parking close to the venue then it can be a huge headache to get into and out of many parking garages.

Now a few caveats about this place. Parking there during weekdays is not viable. It is one of the more expensive places to park in the city from Mon-Fri. On the weekends the garage is open on Saturday from 7am – 11pm. Sunday from 10am – 11pm. Plan accordingly if you want to stay in the city past 11pm, or if you would like to attend at event on Sunday right when it opens (most events I’ve attended at the Convention Center start at 10am). Also the first 2 levels are for monthly parking holders or 2 hr max, so the first available level you will be able to park is "B".


Now because the building is closed, you cannot leave the parking garage from the ground floor of the building. If you go to the ground level via the elevators, you will be in a deserted atrium with all the doors locked from entrance or exit. You need to leave the building via the “AT” level, which is the maintenance level (you can also go back to the first level of the parking garage and walk out of the entrance, there may also be other exits you can take but I will just mention the one I know of and was told to use by security). Once on the AT floor take a right out of the elevator and go through some double doors (you will pass bathrooms which are usually open). Once through the double doors you will be inside a truck unloading area. The exit is to the left, there will be a set of pop machines to your left, you need to go down the ramp to the right and head through the door next to the security guard station (door left of the security guard station). Once through that door, you can exit to University street via the door at the end of the hallway on the right. Your first time it can be somewhat daunting, and I will admit at first I didn’t encounter anyone and got lost trying to exit the place, but a security guard informed me on where to go to exit the building. Coming back to the garage, you have to enter from the same entrance you drove in from (I have not found another way to get back into the garage).

If your destination is the convention center, the best way to go to avoid major hills is along 3rd avenue until you hit Pike street. From Pike street it is a small incline all the way to the main entrance of the convention center. If you go this route you will pass by a Bartell Drugs as well as a Walgreens.

Before returning back to your vehicle, make sure you validate (pay for) your parking via one of the machines located on the first or second floor of the parking garage (the ticket you had to take upon entering the garage).

If you are trying to get back to I-5 South, you take a right onto Seneca St leaving the garage. Then an immediate left onto 2nd street. Then another immediate left onto Spring St. Stay on Spring St. all the way to the I-5 South on-ramp which will be a right turn off of Spring St (get into the right most lane early).

I wanted to add that I have no affiliation with the Washington Mutual Tower or with website. This is just a place where I have found in the city to save tons of $ on parking, and has allowed me to attend more events from the $ saved. I do not live in Seattle, so every time I travel there for events it is costly for parking and for overnight accommodation. So over the years I have found ways to making attending events as cheap as possible so I can attend more of them during the year. 

last edited 4/19/2017 by Tristan

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