I love history. Is there anywhere near my USF apartment where I can learn about South Florida?

Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida is not one of the oldest universities in Florida, but there are still plenty of places where you can uncover South Florida history near USF apartments. In fact, history buffs will be pleased to know that there's a museum right on campus. The USF Contemporary Art Museum contains a permanent collection as well as traveling exhibits for students and community members alike to peruse. There are also plenty of websites and articles about the history surrounding the founding of USF, such as this one from Tampa Historical. However, this only scratches the surface of local history; for students who crave more knowledge about the broader history of South Florida, this article will highlight the top places to go to learn about history around apartments near USF.

Historic sites near USF apartments

This first stop on our list, Mann-Wagon Memorial Park, is close enough that students can get there by bus. The park is home to Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center, where you can learn about the history of Sulphur Springs, view educational materials about broader history in Florida, and enjoy exhibits that cycle out seasonally.

There's also the Captain William Parker Jackson house. Just ten minutes south of University Mall, this certified local landmark is a historic residence in Seminole Heights. Unfortunately, the house is only open to visitors during the annual Old Seminole Heights home tour, but the short distance to USF apartments makes the landmark still worth a visit.


If these sites don't pique your interest, the next closest place to find historic attractions is the town of Ybor. Founded in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers, the historic district of this town is rife with opportunities for learning. It's the perfect place to take a day and walk around town with your roommates or pets.

In the historic district of West Tampa, you can find the Samuel L Davis cigar factory. The factory is currently abandoned, but still stands as a testament to old industrial Florida and a beautiful, established building. Visit the Ybor City State Museum, book a tour through the historic district, or visit the 911 Fallen Heroes Memorial. For University of South Florida students with a fascination for the macabre, there's the Oaklawn Cemetery tour with History 6 Feet Under. Stop by the city late at night for a spooky Ybor City Ghost Tour, then for some lighter material before you leave, consider visiting the Tampa Baseball Museum.

Tampa Bay

A little ways away from Ybor, the touristy Tampa Bay has a plethora of attractions, including many historical sites to visit. The most popular is undoubtedly the American Victory Ship and Museum, one of only 4 fully operated World War II ships in the country. Visitors can book a guided tour or explore the ship at their own pace. There's also the Tampa Bay History Center, the Henry Plant Museum, and the Old Tampa free public library. Finally, our list is rounded out by the Anderson-Frank house, another historical Florida residence.
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