Gasparilla Pirate Fest is almost here and in order to party with the pirates, you’re probably asking…where can I park for Gasparilla? We’ve got you covered!
First, let’s go over the big details. Gasparilla Pirate Fest will be held on January 28, 2023 with festivities kicking off at 9am. The Gasparilla Flotilla Invasion takes off at 11:30am and the Parade of Pirates starts at 2pm.
As you make your way toward South Tampa on parade day, make sure you have a designated driver and plan to leave early since you’ll encounter a lot of traffic due to the numerous road closures and the event itself. Tampa Police and the city do a good job of directing you on where to go–they have several decades of doing this under their belts, so it’s pretty much down to a science now.
The key will be planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to get there. No matter how close you live, it will definitely take you extra time to get to the parade route.
Even though the Invasion and Parade of Pirates are at two different times and have different viewing spots, your best bet is to park early and stay put. Traffic only gets worse throughout the day and it will probably be faster to walk. If you do plan on attending both, look for a spot in between both events for an easy proximity to each.
Whatever you do, DO NOT park in the neighborhoods along the parade route. Tampa Police will be enforcing this strict no parking zone and you WILL get towed. See a FULL LIST OF STREET CLOSURES here.
To help you plan WHERE you’ll want to park, first, take a look at the Gasparilla parade route map before reading on.
Best Spots to Park for Gasparilla
Parking Spots Close to the Start of the Gasparilla Parade Route
One of our favorite places to park near the beginning of the parade route is at one of the nearby schools which charge for parking on parade day as a way to raise money for the school, so it’s a win-win! You get a great parking spot while supporting a local school.
In previous years, we have parked at Bayshore Christian and at the Academy of the Holy Names; both are on MacDill Avenue. It’s not too long of a walk to get to the parade route and you can avoid some of the busier downtown traffic.
The Academy of Holy Names is pre-selling parking spots for both Gasparilla parades right now for $30 – pre-sale closes on January 19. You can pay $25 cash on parade day, according to their site. That is what we’ve paid in the past as well, so don’t forget to bring some cash! Bayshore Christian also has a pre-sale of parking spots for $30.
Hyde Park Village is offering paid parking for Gasparilla Pirate Fest for $30. Learn more here.
You also might find other local businesses opening up their lots for paid parking. We do not recommend parking at one of the shopping centers near the parade route — you might get towed on parade day and who wants to deal with that? Just remember to designate a driver before the day begins! Police will be out in full force!
Parking Spots in downtown near the Gasparilla Invasion and end of the Gasparilla Parade Route
If you’d rather not deal with looking for a parking spot near the start of the parade route, plan to park near the end of the route and close to the Pirate Fest stages in Curtis Hixon Park and MacDill Park! Here are the recommended parking garages and lots in downtown Tampa for a $20 event fee:
- Tampa Convention Center Garage
- Pam Iorio Garage
- Whiting Garages
- Selmon Expressway Lots
- Royal Regional Lot (Tampa St and Fortune St)
- Scott Street Lot (Morgan St and Scott St)
- Poe Garage (N Ashley Dr and W Cass St) –this garage will close from 1pm-6pm
- Twiggs Street Garage (Twiggs St, west of Nebraska Ave)
- Centro Ybor Garage (5th Ave and 15th St)- standard hourly rate with $9 max
- Palm Ave Garage ( 13th St and 9th Ave) – standard hourly rate with $9 max
Free Transportation on TECO Line Street Car and HART
Not going to Gasparilla but need to park for the Tampa Bay Lightning Game?
If you’re planning to go to the Tampa Bay Lighting game on Saturday night and need to get to the Amalie Arena, there are ways you can access downtown to park. Give yourself more than enough time to get down there because traffic will be heavy due to road closures and increased traffic. The City of Tampa is sharing these suggested routes to the Water Street area from all directions of the Tampa Bay Area whether you are coming from I-4, 275, the Selmon and more.