The Best of…

The Minaret staff knows what it’s like to be new new in town and not know the area, so we’ve compiled a small list of great places and things to do in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

To help out a bit, we’ve created a Google Map with all the places we listed so you can see where everything is. Click the pinpoints to see the descriptions or view the larger map to see the list of all the points.

View Larger Map

Best Cuban Sandwiches (a Tampa delicacy): La Teresita on Columbus Blvd. Also try the Media Noche! True locals love the deviled crab and Spanish bean soup.

Best place to see cute dogs if you miss yours: Dog park and dog beach at the end of Davis Island, a five-minute drive from UT. Also bikeable.

The closest place to see a great sunset: Ninth Floor of Vaughn (on campus) and the southern tip of Davis Island (between the small airport and the yacht club).

The closest place to see a great sunrise: It takes about 2 1/2 hours, but if you miss the Atlantic and beautiful over-the-water sunrises, take I-4 East to Exit 72, SR-528 to Cocoa Beach. Ron Jon’s surf shop awaits with their free beach parking and fantastic, world famous surf shop.

Best scenery to take a run/bike ride/rollerblade: Bayshore Blvd. It is the world’s longest uninterrupted sidewalk. Go south on Boulevard until you reach Hillsborough Bay.

Best place to eat at 4 a.m.: Waffle House on Westshore. It’s cheap, it’s easy and they’re friendly. IHOP on South Dale Mabry is a close second, but is more expensive.

Best off-campus breakfast within walking distance: First Watch Restaurant. Cross over the Hillsborough River on Kennedy Blvd and turn left on Tampa St. It’s a block and a half ahead on your left. Get the eggs.

Best place to catch a movie: AMC Theaters in Westshore Mall. The IMAX in Channelside is great, as well. There’s also Tampa Theatre, the most beautiful theater you’ll ever see, AND it’s walking distance.

Best place to see the real Tampa Bay: Weedon Island Nature Preserve. Take The Crosstown (or Dale Mabry) to Gandy. Go west across the bay bridge and when you hit land again, look for signs for Weedon, which is on the left. Kayak rentals are available. Take a camera, water bottle and sunscreen.

Closest good Mexican food: Estellas on Davis Island (on the left in the business district). Also, check out the quaint shops nearby.

Best cheap Jimmy Buffet-style river-front eating: Rick’s on the River. It’s close and fun. Eat outdoors or in. Take Boulevard north to Columbus. Turn left and as soon as you cross the Hillsborough River, turn left and follow the signs.

Best Sushi/Japanese: Joto on Dale Mabry, just south of Kennedy on the left side. Koba on Macdill is a very close second.

Best place to watch a game on TV: Hattrick’s on Franklin St. Take Kennedy across the Hillsborough, turn right onto Ashley Dr. Go left on Whiting St. and turn right onto Franklin St. It is an easy walk and they have great wings and burgers along with plenty of HD TVs. Get there early to request your favorite NFL team.

Best place to get a caffeine infusion late at night: Starbucks on S. Howard. Open 24 hours.

Know of another great place around town that you want everyone to know about? Let us know in an article comment and maybe we’ll add it to the map!

Leave a Reply

Back To Top