Tampa skyline

Tampa, Florida

Discover Tampa

You’re sure to find two things in Tampa: Diverse cultures and a whole lot of sun. According to the US Census Bureau, Tampa is one of the most diverse, integrated urban areas in the country. That means there’s something for everyone, no matter what nationality or religion.

If you love beautiful weather, you’ll feel perfectly at home with nearly 250 days of sun every year and some of the best beaches in the world. But the city is so much more than just a day at the beach. With a bustling nightlife and culture scene, there is no shortage of things to do. 

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Food options everywhere

Tampa’s multi-cultural population mixes with a waterfront locale to provide some of the most diverse food options you can find. Start with an original Cuban sandwich from Ybor City. From there, explore fresh seafood options at waterfront bistros scattered around town.

Find any ethnic cuisine you can think of, from Spanish to Middle Eastern, Japanese and anywhere between. There are a number of places to eat around the USF campus as well. If you’re in a hurry, Papa John’s Pizza, Subway, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Jamba Juice and Chick-Fil-A are great for food on the run. Or head to The Fresh Food Company where you can enjoy a variety of food stations ranging from American to Mediterranean, Italian and nutritional cuisines.

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USF cityscape

A place to call home

Shopping in Tampa

With both large malls and eclectic districts, Tampa has an abundance of shopping options. Here are a few:

  • University Mall
  • Hyde Park Village 
  • International Plaza and Bay Street 
  • Ellenton Premium Outlet 
  • The Shops at Wiregrass 

Getting around the city

While Tampa is a big city (population of more than 350,000) it’s still relatively easy to get around. The Tampa International Airport is only about 20 minutes from campus, and you can take a taxi or rideshare to just about anywhere. Take the TECO streetcar and trolley around downtown or grab a water taxi for a unique transportation experience. There are also bicycles for rent around the city.

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USF students at Disney World

Life in Tampa

Cool things to do

The city of Tampa was recently named “Top Arts Destination” by American Style Magazine and continues to live up to that title with independent and foreign films, opera and orchestra performances, an amazing Broadway series and a variety of museums and cultural centers. For more culture, head to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, celebrating works from the famed Spanish painter. Or try the St. Petersburg Art Walk, which takes places every month.

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is a free event every January that has been going on for more than 100 years. Check out pirate ships in the bay and enjoy live music at the Pirate Fest Street Festival.

Tampa sporting scene

Tampa is home to three major league sports teams, the NFL’s Buccaneers, Major League Baseball’s Rays and hockey’s Lightning. The Bucs (as they are affectionately called) play football in the same stadium as USF’s football team.

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Employability in Tampa

Students at USF can take advantage of the Strategic Sponsor Program, which spotlights employers who have made a commitment to students through the office of Career Services. They include:

  • Aramark
  • Enterprise Car Rental
  • Geico Insurance
  • Tampa International Forest Products
  • Ashley Homestore