Well it’s that time of year again when the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs take place. Each team competes over an 82 game season with hopes to gain a playoff spot to battle it out for what many consider the hardest professional sports trophy to win, Lord Stanley’s Cup.
At the time of writing this article, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have entered the second round of playoffs, shortening the competition from 16 teams down to 8. Will it be the Nashville Predators?, the new expansion team of the Las Vegas Golden Knights?, or will the Pittsburgh Penguins make a triumphant return to the finals and clinch Lord Stanley’s Cup for the 3rd straight year? Whichever team you root for, one thing they all have in common, each city is a great place to visit so we have chosen to highlight each city of the remaining teams going into the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Nashville Predators – Nashville TN
Nashville Tennessee , also known as Music City is best known for its country music. Stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the world’s largest popular music museum. Staying with the music theme, visit the historic RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded more than 200 songs. Be sure to stop in at the Ryman Auditorium where the Grand Ole Opry takes the stage Friday & Saturday nights. Want a bit of history? Take a trip to the Parthenon. You’ll see the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece. After a day of exploring history, visit the clubs in Lower Broadway for eats, drinks and non-other than live country music.
Winnipeg Jets – Winnipeg , Canada
Many hear Winnipeg Canada and think nothing but snow. Did you know Winnipeg is home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights? Here you will find state of the art, interactive exhibits throughout with the Tower of Hope offering beautiful sites of the city from above. If architecture is your thing, take a trip to the exchange district to find a 30 block radius of 20th century buildings to marvel at. While in Winnipeg, take in the Assiniboine Park Zoo where their main attraction where you can view them dive, swim and frolic from a glass dome exhibit. One of the most remarkable buildings you will find in Winnipeg, is the Royal Canadian Mint. Here you will find a masterful piece of architecture featuring a reflective glassy exterior that is a must see at sundown as the whole building glows under an orange prairie sky.
Las Vegas Golden Knights – Las Vegas, NV
Well the old saying goes, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”. Although that may be true for many, there are still lots of things to share. Centralized in the desert, you can take guided tours out to the Grand Canyon, either on horseback, ATV or even dune buggies. The world famous Las Vegas Strip, features many of the most well-known casinos in the world. Try your luck at Blackjack, Poker, Craps or pull the handle on the slots. Las Vegas is a true gamblers paradise. Las Vegas isn’t just about gambling, but it sure is about entertainment. Take in a show at just about any casino to see resident acts like Brittney Spears, Celine Dion, get your comedy fix from Penn & Teller or enjoy the night life in the clubs featuring super star DJs from around the world.
San Jose Sharks – San Jose, CA
When in sunny California, the beaches are a given on the must see list, but did you know there is more than great weather and beautiful beaches in San Jose? Take in a visit to the Winchester Mystery House. The legend has it that the property took 38 years to construct, done with no real plans, filled with an interesting maze of rooms and alcoves. Next up is the Tech Museum of Innovation. Here you’ll find exhibits showing you the history of Silicon Valley and engaging the youth to inspire to change the world of the future. Want to visit the past? Stop by the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. Here you’ll find the largest collection of items from Ancient Egypt in the United States all constructed in the architectural style of the Ancient Egyptians. If nature is more your thing, take a visit to Alum Rock Park located at the foothills of the Diablo Mountain Range. With options of jogging, hiking and cycling or simply stroll through the park, you could see wild animals from mountain lions, bobcats & dear. The Alum Rock Park is one of the oldest municipal parks in California.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Tampa Bay Florida
Florida is a lot more than just orange juice and sunshine. There are lots of fun things to do and visiting Busch Gardens should be at the top of the list. Busch Gardens is known as one of the best amusement parks in the United States. The park features cutting-edge roller coasters & rides, live entertainment, and a 335 acre African-themed animal park called The Dark Continent. Tampa Bay is also home to the Florida Aquarium where you can explore and learn about more than 20,000 sea creatures. With hands on exhibits, you can touch a shark or a sea star at what is considered one of the best Aquariums in the county. If nature is your thing, Tampa offers several nature parks like Eureka Springs, Lettuce Lake, and Lowry Park. Here you can take up activities like hiking, canoeing & kayaking and just about everywhere in Tampa is cycling friendly.
Boston Bruins – Boston, MA
Boston is filled with history from the very beginnings of the United States. One of the most recommended activities when visiting Boston is following the 2.5 mile redbrick trail from Boston Common to Bunker Hill. Here you can go it alone, or take a guided tour along this historic path and see the likes of Paul Revere’s House, the Old North Church and even stop in at the Bell in Hand Tavern, America’s oldest bar. Keeping with the history theme, with a baseball twist, take a guided tour at the legendary Fenway Park or if you’re visiting during baseball season, why not take in a game. Enjoy the history and architecture of one of the most famous ballparks in the country. What would a trip to Boston be without stopping in the bar where “Everyone knows your name”. That’s right, the original cheers bar features from the TV show. Formally called the Bull & Finch pub, it has since been renamed to the more tourist-friendly Cheers.
Washington Capitals – Washington, DC
Washington DC may have the most to see out of all the places on this list. It has museums like the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the Air & Space Museum; you can even take a tour at the FBI. As for monuments to see, take a guided tour of the White House, visit the Capital building, Washington & Lincoln Memorials or the Healing Wall Vietnam Memorial. If you’re visiting at the end of March into April, be sure to visit the Tidal Basin where you’ll find thousands of pink cherry blossoms.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Pittsburgh, PA
Once known as the Steel City for all of their Steel Manufacturing Plants, there is a lot more to Pittsburgh than just industrial. Be sure to visit The Duquesne Incline. It is one of two uphill trolleys and has been carting visitors up Mount Washington since the 1870s. From this trolley you will take in views from Mt. Washington overseeing where Pittsburgh’s three rivers collide. Is Ketchup your favorite condiment? Be sure to visit the Heinz History Center which has everything from artifacts from the French & Indian War to the city’s football and baseball legacies. No visit to the Heinz museum would be complete without visiting their very own exhibit on the world famous Heinz Ketchup. To get your fix of art, visit the Any Warhol Museum which is home to the largest single-artist museum in the country. Here you will find 7 floors dedicated to one of the most famous Pittsburghers. Another must see is the Carnegie Science Center for a full day of family fun activities. It is home to a planetarium, an exploration station with electricity and weather exhibits, a sports-focused venue, a robotic experience, a naval submarine and much more.
So who will be victorious in this year’s chase for the Stanley Cup? We all have our favorites, one thing is certain, each one of these cities not only have great hockey teams, they are great places to visit with lots to see.
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