Safest Places to Visit Your Student This Semester

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We Still Love to Visit Our Bulls

Let’s face it, these are odd and crazy times! Things look very different at USF this semester but one thing is still for sure; we all still love to visit our Bulls and they love to have a visit from us. There are plenty of different food options that offer outside and patio seating, are operating at 50% capacity indoors, and others provide pick up or delivery to adhere to and cater to potential COVID-19 related concerns. Check out some of these places to eat.


Outdoor Activities

There are also many outdoor activities to participate in to make memories in a safe and socially distanced manner.

  • Manatee Viewing Center – I’m a Florida native, but it is always surprising when I meet someone who has never seen a manatee. These endangered, gentle giants are simply adorable. In the winter months, they search for warmer waters and a great viewing spot is the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. The Tampa Bay power plant emits warm water, and the viewing platform allows you to see them gather there. There are nature trails and picnic areas provided at this unique location. Admission is free and it is open November-April from 10 am to 5 pm daily.
  • Lettuce Lake Regional Park – This park is located just down the street from USF, but you will feel like you are in the wilderness. For just $2 per car, you can experience a beautiful atmosphere along the Hillsborough River. This park is 240 acres of nature trails, picnic areas, a playground, paved paths for bikers, a fitness course, and a 3,500 ft. boardwalk and observation tower. This is a great place to bird watch and see wildlife.
  • Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park – This park is 8 acres in downtown Tampa along The Riverwalk. There are a playground, skyline views, and the Riverwalk provides miles of beautiful spots along the Hillsborough River. There are occasional movies on the lawn, classical performances, and concerts, so check out their activities here.
  • Fort De Soto Park – The adjoining county, Pinellas, houses their largest park which is a park, beach system, campgrounds, and actual historical landmark. The beaches at Fort De Soto are stunning with powder-like sand. You are sure to see stingrays, dolphins, and an abundance of seabirds. The fort is a must-see!  It was built as a result of the Spanish-American war and was used as a mortar battery. Fort De Soto is about an hour’s drive south of Tampa.
  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Ever seen a real mermaid? Well, the mermaids here are legendary. I can remember being completely enamored with them as a child. Today, the “mermaids” still put on shows at Weeki Wachee. The park has been open since the ’40s and has one of the deepest, naturally formed underwater caverns in the US. Here, you can swim in Buccaneer Bay which is a natural spring water park, paddle down the Weeki Wachee River, or picnic on their grounds.
  • Rainbow Springs – About a two-hour drive from Tampa, Rainbow Springs is a popular spot in the warmest months. You will find many people tubing down the chilly waters. Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are popular here too.

Regardless of how you choose to visit your student this school year, we hope you make the most of your time with them in their college town by seeing their favorite places (via walking or driving), meeting their friends, and catching up on all the fun times they are having. Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.

2020-10-14T11:23:29-04:000 Comments

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