Staying Local For Spring Break

This Spring Break, much like all the others, many college students will be traveling to popular beach destinations such as Cancun, Miami or Palm Springs. Others, perhaps, are going home to see their families.

Then there are those like me who will be staying in Tampa. Many students work, others just think it is a waste of time and money to travel for only one week.  Whatever the reason, if you are a University of South Florida student who will remain in the area over the break, have no fear; you are not alone.

Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your break locally!

Food:

If you live close to campus or just hate the city traffic, take this opportunity to try local favorites.

Koizi has amazing, all-you-can eat sushi for $10 at lunch.

If you’re not feelin’ fishy, Taco Bus has delicious tacos, and their menu offers many vegan options, including vegan steak strips and dairy-free cheese.

If you don’t mind driving through city traffic and want to experience some foodie classics, look no further than Tampa’s SoHo (South Howard) district. Nestled directly within Hyde Park, there is an entire strip of trendy restaurants for you to try if you haven’t already.

The ultimate classic is Datz, which offers a wide variety of comfort food with a twist, including burgers, tacos, sandwiches, hot dogs and much more. The alcohol selection here is also robust—tons of unique liquor, beer and wine options. If you are not of the legal drinking age, indulge in a fun coffee drink, such as their bacon latte. And of course, no trip to Datz is complete without a trip to their homemade bakery Dough.

The Beach:

Going to the beach is a must over Spring Break and luckily Tampa is close to what I think is one of the best beaches in Florida—Clearwater! Clearwater is about a 45 minute drive away from the USF campus.

The Theatre

If you don’t have a bunch of money to drop on a ticket for a show at the Straz, you should definitely check out the Tampa Theatre. The Tampa Theatre is a movie palace built in 1926. When you walk in, you are transported to a Mediterranean courtyard. The theatre is decorated with old- world statues, flowers and gargoyles.

 My personal favorite aesthetic touch is the theatre’s ceiling which is made to look like a night sky with twinkling lights. The Tampa Theatre shows movies that most theatres aren’t showing, has live concerts and special events. Tickets for most movies cost around $10. The Tampa Theatre is a great place to have a date night or just do something out of the norm.

Ybor City

Ybor is the most popular clubbing destination for USF students. But even if clubbing isn’t your scene, Ybor still has plenty to offer. You can go to Centennial Park and learn about the rich history of Ybor or check out the Ybor Art Studio.

If you are brave enough Ybor also provides ghost tours around the city to historical sites said to be haunted. The Centro Ybor is in the heart of Ybor and has movie theatre, clothing stores, restaurants, night clubs, and Tampa Bay Brewing Company. The best way to get around in Ybor is on the Street Car system that runs through Ybor, Channelside and downtown Tampa.

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