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University of South Florida (USF)

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University of South Florida (USF)


USF is one of the largest schools in the nation, and is recognized as a leading public research university. Through its 13 colleges, the school offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and more than 135 graduate, specialist, and doctoral programs. A member of the Big East Conference, USF Athletics consists of 17 men’s and women’s varsity teams. The Bulls continue to experience extraordinary success on the field with several teams advancing to NCAA postseason play.

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Hotels

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Hotels


Families traveling to Tampa Bay have plenty of lodging options to choose from at a variety of price points. On campus is the Embassy Suites Tampa-USF, which features spacious two-room suites complete with family-friendly amenities including refrigerators and microwaves, free breakfast, and a complimentary shuttle to Busch Gardens. With all major hotel brands well represented, there are a bevy of choices conveniently located just minutes from campus.

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Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)

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Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)


Located directly across the street from USF is MOSI, the largest children’s science center in the nation. A favorite destination for families, MOSI offers an ever-changing roster of interactive exhibits and programs designed for all age groups. Visitors can explore the stars at the planetarium, be surrounded by images in the only IMAX Dome Theater in Florida, or test their skills and build confidence on the new Sky Trail Ropes Course, a multi-level obstacle course featuring rope and beam-based elements in an outdoor covered play area.

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Golf Courses

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Golf Courses


Thanks to the area’s mild climate, visitors can hit the links year-round on a wide range of public, semi-private and Championship golf courses. Just a short drive from campus is The Claw at USF, one of the more challenging public courses in the region, complete with a newly-refreshed 19th hole bar and grill. Some of the world’s best golf courses are located within a 30 minute drive of USF.

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Adventure Island

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Adventure Island


Water is the main attraction at this seasonal park, with fast-moving slides, corkscrews, and flumes as well as tranquil lagoons and wave pools. Picnic areas, outdoor cafes, a children’s play place, private cabanas, and championship sand volleyball courts create other opportunities for fun in the sun. Adventure Island is open daily from mid-March through early-September, and on weekends from mid-September to late-October. During the summer months, the park celebrates Island Nights and stays open for extended hours on weekends.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


This family adventure park offers an endless array of thrill rides, animal encounters, and live entertainment. Several new elements have been added recently, including Cheetah Hunt, a launch roller coaster with three velocity bursts of 60 mph and several seconds of weightlessness during a 130-foot drop. Also new is the Animal Care Center, which allows visitors to watch and talk with veterinarians as they conduct animal check-ups, treatments, x-rays and surgeries. Iceploration is Busch Gardens’ latest creation celebrating the wonders of nature from around the world, featuring 21 different live animals, ice skaters, life-sized puppets, acrobats, and high-tech special effects.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo


Just a short drive from USF, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo was recently voted the #1 zoo in the country by Parents magazine. The zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals including rare white alligators, endangered Malayan tigers, and African penguins. Kids can cool off in several water play areas, or interact directly with birds and wildlife in several hands-on exhibits and habitats. One of the most popular aspects of the zoo is the Manatee Aquatic Center and Rehabilitation Hospital, where guests can learn about these gentle giants that populate the warm waters off Florida’s coastline.

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Florida State Fairgrounds

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Florida State Fairgrounds


This 300-acre complex is conveniently located off interstate highways with close proximity to USF, numerous hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and nature parks. The Fairgrounds are always alive with activity, either through concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, horse shows and competitions at the equestrian center, or a wide variety of family-oriented special events in the Expo Hall. Also located at the Fairgrounds is Cracker Country, a seasonal outdoor living history museum that recreates pioneer life in rural Florida during the 1890s.

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Seminole Hard Rock Casino

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Seminole Hard Rock Casino


Patrons can try their luck at one of the top 10 largest casinos in the world, featuring over 4,100 machines and 90 table games. When it’s time to take a break from the action, the casino provides live entertainment most nights plus six different dining concepts, ranging from casual cafes to upscale steak and seafood. Those wishing to relax and unwind can do so at the Body Rock Spa, offering day guests a full range of treatments and services. It is important to note that adults aged 18 and up are permitted at the poker tables; those aged 21 and up may play the slots and other table games. Children are not permitted on the casino floor at any time.

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Ybor City

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Ybor City


A community built by Spanish, Cuban, Italian, German, and Romanian Jewish immigrants, Ybor City is a thriving cultural, entertainment and nightlife center that celebrates the area’s diverse heritage and rich cigar history. Visitors to this National Historic Landmark District have many options to explore Tampa’s colorful past, most notably by riding the historic streetcars that traverse the neighborhood, and by visiting the Ybor City Museum State Park and the Columbia Restaurant, which opened in 1905 and is Florida’s oldest restaurant.

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Channelside Bay Plaza

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Channelside Bay Plaza


Located along the waterfront in downtown Tampa, this multi-faceted entertainment district serves up plenty of opportunities for dining, shopping and nightlife. Channelside’s open-air courtyard stands at the center of the two-story plaza, surrounded by a 10-theater cinema, contemporary luxury bowling lanes, and multiple local restaurants and shops. The complex is a featured stop on the historic streetcar line, which also transports guests to Ybor City and the rest of downtown.

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Tampa International Airport (TPA)

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Tampa International Airport (TPA)


Consistently ranked as one of the world’s best airports, Tampa International is recognized for its ease-of-use and convenience. All major airlines fly into Tampa, resulting in extensive accessibility from all parts of the country. Its ever-growing international footprint has also provided access to new destinations across the globe. And since TPA is not a hub for one specific carrier, plenty of options exist for low-cost travel to the Tampa Bay region.

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Golf Courses Museum of Science & Industry Tampa International Airport Hotels Adventure Island University of South Florida Channelside Bay Plaza Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Ybor City Florida State Fairgrounds
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