Looking for a creative, unique date night experience that's convenient to your USF apartment and won't leave you flat broke? Luckily, there are loads of things to do around The University of South Florida and the immediate area. Unlike some other Florida schools, USF is nestled in a bustling big city, so there are plenty of opportunities to wow your significant other with your amazing date-planning abilities!
The absolutely stunning USF Botanical Gardens are conveniently located right off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and it only costs a single dollar for students to visit. The garden covers almost 16 acres and boasts an amazing collection of rare and unusual plants, flowers, and an apiary (home for honeybees). Take a romantic stroll with your boo down secluded lush green paths, enjoy an outdoor yoga class together, or visit the gift shop for super local honey, handcrafted natural skincare products, or an exotic orchid. Head down Fletcher Avenue to gorgeous Lettuce Lake Park (only $2 per car!) and have an intimate picnic. Rent a canoe or a kayak for a romantic float in the Hillsborough River – perhaps the amorous activities of mating alligators will get you in the mood for love.
Pub Crawl Olympics
If you're not feeling quite so outdoorsy, you can enjoy a decadent afternoon pub crawl & bar game extravaganza (but don't drink and drive!). World of Beer and Miller's Ale House are only about a block apart on Fowler Avenue, and both offer games, an extensive list of craft beers, patio seating, and a tasty menu of gastropub favorites. Grab the Bull Runner Shuttle a few blocks north and check out the scene at Bobalouie's, Bearss Tavern & Tap, or PJ Dolan's Irish Pub. Stop for a bite and some belly dancing at Acropolis, then round out your responsibly tipsy date night with some pool, darts, and a round of shots at Peabody's Billiards.
The New "Netflix & Chill"
You want to have a super romantic night with your bae, but funds are scarce – we get it. You can save money while still planning something unique and stimulating. Many apartment communities near USF offer included internet, so take a cozy blanket and some pillows down to your pool area, grab a tablet or cheap phone projector, and enjoy a movie night under the stars. Make it extra special with some inexpensive battery-powered LED holiday lights, chilled wine, and a loaf of fresh-baked bread and artisanal cheese from Publix. If you're culinarily inclined, you can create a gourmet meal for two way cheaper than going out to a restaurant. Grill some vegetables, make your own hummus, grab a selection of local microbrews, and challenge your date to a rousing game of strip Scrabble.
If you and your dear are proud pet parents, then a doggie date is crucial. There are several dog parks and pet-friendly apartments near the University of South Florida. The Hillsborough River State Park is the perfect place to take your pooch for a leisurely stroll. If you don't mind a wee drive, head south on Nebraska Avenue to the Hair of the Dog Park, a friendly pet play area with a beer shack. Cruise a little further to Downtown, pick up a bottle of cheap champagne at the historic Hub Bar, and have some fun at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The dog park there has stunning views of the river and the University of Tampa and is a très romantique spot from which to watch the sunset.
Break the bed, not the bank with these creative and totally affordable date night ideas that are right around the corner from your USF apartment. Keep checking ApartmentsforBulls for more ways to discover and enjoy the hidden gems near you!