Parking around LA and SF is always a challenge. Don’t think that just because you don’t see a parking meter that parking is free. Look around for a central pay station. You’ll be able to use either your credit card or coins in those, and they will ask you for your space number. If you park in a place with no payment on it watch out!
Have you ever ran into a broken meter? Ever wondered if it is ok to park there? If you see the word “fail” flashing then the meter is broken. In short, parking is free in front of a broken meter, so score! However, most spots have a maximum time you can stay, so if you’re in a spot with a 2 hour time limit then you can still get a ticket for staying longer then 2 hours.