I’m moving to Tampa Bay for school, and I’m unfamiliar with the area. Where might I find the best USF apartments?

As a new student who's unfamiliar with the Tampa Bay area, finding an apartment near the University of South Florida may seem like a huge ordeal. The Tampa Bay area stretches across multiple counties and is home to a handful of colleges and universities. If you're looking to live near the campus, you can narrow your search to the northeastern part of town. The bad news is that this area is still quite large and can be a bit hard to navigate as a newbie.

My first recommendation would be to familiarize yourself with the main arteries or roadways leading into the heart of USF. Once you have a firm understanding of where the main roads are, you'll have a better idea of where you want your apartment to be. The single most important road you'll want to know as a student is Fowler Avenue. This road runs the length of the entire southern side of USF, so odds are you will become quite familiar with it one way or another. In addition to being connected to the University of South Florida, it is also home to a multitude of shops, restaurants and stores. My personal favorite place to visit is Mojo Books and Records. Mojo is a record store, bookstore and coffee shop all rolled into one, and you can easily spend hours perusing their selection of goods.

If Fowler Avenue seems like too busy of an area to live, I would direct your attention to 42nd Street. Unlike Fowler Avenue, 42nd Street is not directly connected to USF. It's a smaller street that connects Fletcher and Bruce B Downs Boulevard. Here you'll have less commuter traffic to deal with, which can save you a lot of time during rush hour. There are also quite a few USF apartments to choose from on this street, and all are within a short walk or bike ride to campus. If 42nd Street wasn't already nearing the top of your list, it is also on the Bull Runner route. Living here will allow you to easily walk, drive or take USF's bus to class.

If you're not finding what you're looking for on 42nd Street or Fowler Avenue, Bruce B Downs Boulevard or Bearss Ave could have the apartment of your dreams. Both of these streets are comparable to Fowler Avenue in that they are main roads directly connecting you to the campus. Apartments here are near a lot of conveniences like grocery stores and gas stations, so you won't have to travel far to run errands. Any time you move to a new city it can be very overwhelming. To better navigate the area, consider mapping out your daily commute to decide which aspects of your USF apartment are most important to you. Try to do as much research beforehand as possible, so that you may select an apartment that will match your needs and lifestyle. There are a lot of great communities in the area, so finding one you like shouldn't be hard. Have fun with it and enjoy the adventure!

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