An Ice Hockey Fan’s Travel Guide to Tampa Bay

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A fun-filled weekend is planned in Tampa Bay during the NHL All-Star Weekend.

The National Hockey League All-Star Weekend will be held in Tampa Bay, Florida, for the second time in 2018. A fun-filled weekend is planned, with a rock concert, an exhilarating parade of pirates along the waterfront, lots of fan activities, and – oh, yes! – some ice hockey!

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the city of Tampa, Florida, will host the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend from 26 to 28 January. The last time the city hosted the event was in 1999.

NHL PreGame activities are scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon.

Hockey fans will have the chance to meet NHL Mascots, test their hockey skills in the NHL All-Sat Skills Zone, see the NHL Trophy Showcase, and meet and greet NHL current players and legends.

Anyone for autographs?

Friday Night Concert

Fitz and the Tantrums will kick things off at the Enterprise NHL All-Stars Friday Night concert at Curtis Hixon Park.

The Los Angeles-based sextet has been critically acclaimed for their “irrepressible energy: hopped up rhythms, shout-it-out choruses, and hooted background vocals.”

American alt-rock band Moon Taxi will also perform their new single, “Two High”, which has topped more than 60 million streams on Spotify, and other hits. The group’s “Let the Record Play” will commence in February.

The event will be hosted by Nashville Predators defenseman and 2018 NHL All-Star  P.K. Subban and 93.3 FLZ’s Scotty Davis.

The event will be free and open to the public. Tickets will not be required for entry.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest

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Navy participation in the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ruben Perez/Released.

Stages will be set up along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, with live entertainment before and after a parade of pirates, which is expected to attract a crowd of 200,000.

The parade will feature 140 units, including 103 floats, three marching bands, and more than 50 organizations marching along a 4.5 mile stretch of downtown Tampa.

The parade begins at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard. It continues along Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive.

The parade ends at Cass Street and Ashley Drive, but the fun will continue until well after dark.

Here’s a quick guide to the NHL All-Star Weekend’s activities …

Friday 26 January

  • 5.00 pm – 10.00 pm – 2018 NHL All-Star PreGame at Amalie Arena Silver Lot and Cotanchobee Park.
  • 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm – 2018 NHL All-Star Friday Night at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
  • 8.00 pm – NHL Mascots Showdown Best of Five Dodgeball Competition at the Franklin Family Hockey Rink

Saturday 27 January

  • 9.00 am – 9.00 pm – Gasparilla Pirate Fest will feature the 101st Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla with stages
  • 12 noon – 11 pm – 2018 NHL All-Star Pregame at Amalie Arena Silver Lot and Cotanchobee Park.
  • 2.00 pm – 5.30 pm – the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in downtown Tampa.
  • 2.00 pm – NHL Mascots Showdown Relay Races at the Franklin Family Hockey Rink
  • 5.00 pm – NHL Mascots Showdown Dance Competition at the Franklin Family Hockey Rink
  • 7 pm – 9.30 pm – 2018 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena (tickets required)

Sunday 28 January

  • 12 noon – 3.30 pm – 2018 – NHL All-Star Pregame at Amelie Arena Silver Lot and Cotanchobee Park.
  • 12.30 pm NHL Mascots Showdown Bean Bag Toss at the Franklin Family Hockey Rink
  • 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm – All-Star Player Red Carpet Arrivals at Amalie Arena.
  • 3.30 pm – 7.00 pm – 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game (tickets required)

Weekend Weather Forecast

Sunbirds flying in from Canada, the Midwest, and the Northeast will be happy to know that the temps in Tampa Bay are expected to be moderate. But there is the possibility of rain.

  • Friday 26 January – cloudy and comfortable with a high of 74 degrees and a low of 57 degrees with an 8% chance of rain,
  • Saturday 27 January – cloudy with a high of 76 degrees and a low of 64 degrees with a 25% chance of rain.
  • Sunday  28 January – rainy with a high of 75 degrees and a low of 54 degrees with a 75% chance of rain and a likelihood of thunder.

Top 10 Tampa Bay Tourist Attractions

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If you’re planning on attending an ice hockey game in Tampa Bay, why not spend a few days and take in some of the many sights?

Tampa Bay has a laid-back vibe and a booming arts scene. There are fabulous restaurants, great beaches, and activities for both families and adventure seekers.

One of the best ways to get around Tampa is by way of the city’s charming Water Pirate Taxis, which ply the city’s waterways.

Here are a few of the top things to see and do in Tampa Bay …

  1. Bush Gardens – interact with nature, enjoy live entertainment, and test your courage on world-class roller coasters and other thrilling rides.
  2. Adventure Park – make a splash in one of Florida’s top water parks.
  3. Florida Aquarium – explore the mysteries of the Deep Blue Sea at one of the best aquariums in the United States.
  4. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo – touch the stingrays, feed the giraffes, interact with giant tortoises, and pet the farm animals at this interactive zoo.
  5. Clearwater Marine Aquarium – be inspired by this hospital for sick and injured sea life.
  6. Museum of Science and Industry – see and do amazing things at one of Florida’s most interesting – and interactive – museums.
  7. Legoland Florida Resort – have a blast with the kids on the thrilling rides, fascinating attractions, and entertaining shows at this Lego-themed theme park.
  8. Beaches – catch some rays at one of Tampa Bay’s best beaches. Top picks: Clearwater Beach, Fort De Soto Park, Honeymoon Island State Park, and Caladesi Island State Park.
  9. SkySurfing – go sky surfing over the skies of some of the best beaches in the United States.
  10. Florida Jet Fighter Pilot Experience – this is gonna cost you, but if you’ve got deep enough pockets – and a penchant for adventure, why not fly a fighter jet in the sunny skies of the Sunshine State?

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Where to Eat in Tampa Bay

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From fine dining to cheap eats, Italian to Chinese, steaks to pizza, ice hockey fans won’t go hungry in Tampa Bay.

The region’s restaurants are especially strong when it comes to seafood and Spanish cuisine.

If You Are Flying to Tampa Bay …

Tampa Bay has two international airports: Tampa Bay International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

Tampa Bay International Airport is by far the larger of the two airports. The airport is served by more than 20 airlines.

There is daily service to numerous travel destinations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The airport is a hub for Silver Airways and a focus city for Southwest Airlines, which operates about 85 daily flights at the airport.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is used primarily by low-cost airlines. The dominant air carrier at the airport is Allegiant, which flies to numerous travel destinations throughout the United States.

Sun Country flies to Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi, and Sunwings operates a limited service to two cities in Canada.

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Tampa Bay is a great place for ice hockey fans to follow their favourites sport while taking a break from winter!

 

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