Parking in America’s largest cities can be expensive. Some parking lots in Manhattan require payments of $600 a month, close to the monthly price of an apartment in much less crowded cities. And, daily parking rates can be astronomical. In some of Manhattan’s largest office districts, or near major attractions, parking can be over $50 a day. As it happens, that’s what it costs to park at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the American tourist attraction with the most expensive parking.
Parking garage owners clearly find that areas where people either have to go, or want to go, allow for very high prices. It is supply and demand at its purest.
The attractions that draw the most people in crowded places usually have significant limits on parking space. Some cities have metered parking on streets, but demand means that most if not all of these are filled. (These are America’s 50 worst cities to drive in.)
Most large cities have museums. The parking around these can be prohibitively expensive. A few cities have large theme parks which can draw tens of thousands of people a day.
The driver’s education site Zuboti recently released a report titled “The Attraction Parking Report”. Data was based on the Google search term “top attractions in USA”. Each of the locations on the resulting list was contacted for parking rates. The universe was the first 20 locations based on the Google search results. The report not only looked at the most expensive parking locations, but also at those with free parking. (These are the 30 most popular national monuments in America.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has the most expensive parking of any attraction on this list, is located on Fifth Avenue, on the eastern edge of Central Park, near a residential area that is among the most expensive in the world. “The Met,” as it is known, was opened in 1872. The cavernous building with several wings is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. It houses two million pieces of art. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had over four million visitors a year.
At the other end of the parking price spectrum are four of America’s top tourist attractions outside New York City – Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Niagara Falls in upstate New York, Mall of America in a Minneapolis suburb, and South Beach in Miami Beach – all of which offer parking for free.
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