These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of RentTampaBay.com or any of our advertising partners.
The weekend is approaching – what do you have planned? For many, going out on the town is a no-brainer, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. As for me, I love spending my weekends by the pool with my girlfriends. However, whenever I'm visiting Tampa, it's a different story. I'm either shopping at the International Mall or enjoying the nightlife minutes away from USF apartments – no questions asked.
If you're looking to dance the night away or discover your new favorite live band, then Ybor City is the spot for you. Minutes away from many University of South Florida apartments, this area is teeming with bars, clubs and even restaurants to take a quick pitstop at on your way home. Another appealing aspect about going out in this area is that many bars and clubs are 18+, so USF freshmen and sophomores can have a night of their own.
- The Castle: If you're into themes and eclectic music, this should be your first stop of the night (especially when the theme is pop music video night). Be sure to check The Castle's website before you begin your night so you know what you're getting yourself into.
- The Ritz Ybor: This venue is deemed as the "premier spot in Tampa" for live music. Originally built in 1917, The Ritz has seen $2 million worth of renovations to that now boasts 3 gigantic rooms, a grand foyer, multiple full-service bars and electric sound and lighting systems.
Downtown Tampa is a sanctuary for dive bars and hosts some of the best happy hours I've ever seen (or eaten). Again, less than 10 minutes away from most apartments near USF, students are encouraged to frolic through the marvelous downtown area. I recommend walking to and from here for a scenic stroll, especially if you live in an apartment off of University of South Florida's campus.
- Taps Burger Bar and Gastropub: If you're looking for an espresso martini and fresh bruschetta that'll convince your taste buds you're in Italy, then look no further than Taps. This is definitely one of my favorite spots to hit for their mouthwatering happy hour every day from 2pm – 7pm.
- The Hub: When I think of a quintessential dive bar, THIS is the environment that comes to mind. You'll realize this by your third visit when the bartenders not only remember your name, but they'll remember your order. What makes this spot even better – there's a mini convenient store inside so once you're done drinking at the bar, you can take a Jai Alai for the road (if you're not driving, of course).
- Hotel Bar: Teeming with an old-school, cosmopolitan vibe, this bar features craft cocktails and artful bar bites. This is a perfect place to hang out during the week to unwind after a tough presentation or stressful exam since it has a vibrant, happy atmosphere, yet it's small enough to keep the space from becoming too noisy,