Florida is known for it’s warm weather, beaches and springs. Where are some “cool” watering holes near my University of South Florida apartment?

Photo of Lark on 42nd Cool off at the Lark on 42nd.
Florida has two seasons, hot and hotter. Yes, there are some chilly days that may dip to the frigid temperature of 60 degrees, but for the most part you can enjoy a relaxing day at the pool or the beach without it being too cold. The state is also unique in the fact that is a peninsula. Water surrounds three out of its four sides and in the center you can find all sorts of lakes, rivers and springs to cool off in. For days that the heat is unbearable, check out some of these places to make a splash at near your USF apartment.

Tampa Beaches

Tampa is situated along Florida's west coast, which means there are quite a few beaches right around the corner from your USF apartment. One beach you can put your toes in the sand at is called Indian Rocks Beach. This beach stretches for three miles and has 27 different access points. Make sure you stay for sunset to capture some unforgettable views. At Madeira Beach you can find John's Pass Village and Boardwalk. Enjoy beach access, local eats and public parks during your visit. Be sure to check out the annual seafood festival that is held on the boardwalk. Probably one of the better known beaches in the area is Clearwater Beach. If you are into water sports, this is a great place to rent jet skis, go parasailing or even chart a fishing trip! Winter the dolphin also calls Clearwater home. You can find her and all her other underwater friends at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Springs

Freshwater springs are something that is truly unique to Florida. You can find dozens of springs all across the state. These watering holes stay a nice 70-75 degrees all year round, talk about keeping cool! About an hour north of your apartment at the University of South Florida, you will find Weeki Watchee Springs. This spring was one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations in the 1950's. People flocked from near and far to get a glimpse of a real-life mermaid! You read right, mermaids! Elvis Presley himself even made a visit to see the mermaids. To this very day you can catch a performance from the Weeki Watchee mermaids in their 400-seat submerged theater. After watching the mermaids, head on over to Buccaneer Bay. Slide down three different water slides, float down a lazy river or take a dip in the refreshing waters of the natural spring.

Adventure Island

Why spend the day in a plain, Jane swimming pool, when your USF apartment is just minutes away from Busch Gardens Adventure Island? This 30-acre water park is located directly across the street from the theme park and contains 10 water slides! Adventure Island is seasonal and is open from March until October, giving you plenty of time to enjoy all the park has to offer. Want to have fun in the sun all year? Buy an annual pass, which includes unlimited visits during open months, free parking and discounts on food and merchandise. If water slides aren't your speed, take a dip in the lazy river or catch a few waves in the wave pool. You can even rent a cabana or chickee hut for the day, which are perfect for celebrations.
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