Fun in the Tampa sun


During the fall and spring semesters, it can be easy for students to get trapped in a routine of classes, projects, homework and studying. However, during the summer the mood on campus tends to be more relaxed, and students get an opportunity to step away from the normal routine and explore what Tampa has to offer off campus.

When looking for something to do off campus, students should consider the variety of options. Whether activities to beat the heat or to just simply relax, there are opportunities for new exploration all around the Tampa Bay area.

Here’s a taste of what can be discovered in Tampa during the summer.

Caladesi Island State Park

While Clearwater during the summer turns into an overpopulated beach hot spot, Tampa residents can explore many alternative beach options. Caladesi Island State Park offers a remote location where beach lovers can relax on a white sand beach. The island also offers a three-mile nature trail where visitors can hike and take in nature. There is also a three-mile kayak trail through mangroves. The island is accessible by boat or ferry. The Caladesi Island Ferry departs every half hour from Honeymoon Island State Park during the summer and costs $14 round trip per person.

Caladesi Island Ferry, 1 Cause- way Blvd., Dunedin, FL, 34698

Yuengling Brewery

For students who are 21 and older, a great way to beat the Florida heat may be a nice cold beer. Many out-of-towners may not know that one of the Yuengling breweries is located right down the street from campus. The brewery offers free tours — a chance to learn the history of the brewery and the brewing process. As a bonus, explorers of the brewery are treated to samples of the beer in Yuengling’s “biergarten.” All ages may tour the facility, but only those with a valid ID and are drinking age may sample the beer, though a non-alcoholic option is available for those who prefer or who are underage. The brewery offers three tours Monday through Friday and two tours on Saturday.

Yuengling Brewery, 11111 N. 30th St., Tampa, FL, 33612

Tampa Theatre

The Tampa Theatre is a well-known and beloved gem in the Tampa community. It offers a unique, classical moviegoing alternative to the many national chains in the area. Not only does the theater offer an aesthetic change from the norm, but it also screens a unique selection of movies. This summer, the theater is hosting a “Summer Classics” movie series where films such as “Rear Window” (1954), “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “Casablanca” (1942) will be shown. The summer series runs on Sundays beginning in June and costs $9 per person.

Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL, 33602

Rainbow Spring State Park

A great place to relax and enjoy Florida nature is Rainbow Springs State Park. The park offers an alternative for tubing, canoeing and kayaking options. The best way to enjoy the scenery is to grab a tube and sit back and float down the river, coming close to a variety of wildlife, such as otter and fish — though naturegoers may want to be careful, as alligators and water moccasins have been spotted swimming only feet away. This is a great activity for large group of friends. Tubing starts at under $11 per person.

Rainbow Springs State Park, 10830 SW 180th Avenue Rd., Dunnellon, FL, 34432

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Located in the center of Downtown Tampa, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park hosts many free activities during the summer. The park is a great place to go for those who enjoy being outdoors. Activities summer include movies in the park, known as “Screen on the Green,” a free concert series and exercise with “Yoga in the Park.”

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa, FL, 33602