St. Petersburg, Florida is more than just a Gulf-side city. With a wealth of galleries, a vibrant culinary scene, and miles of beaches and nature reserves, it’s the perfect place for city dwellers who want the best of everything: sun, fun, and always something new to discover. That’s why it’s no wonder that cultural capital attracts all types of people, including students.
Across the University of Southern Florida, St. Petersburg College, and Eckerd College, over 40,000 students call the Sunshine City home. Maybe you’re one of them! If you are, you’re in luck. We’ve put together our guide for all things student living in St. Petersburg — from the best cheap eats to everything you need to know about our St. Pete home, The Wayland by Common. Keep reading for our tips on acing your college experience in St. Petersburg, Florida.
We’d be remiss to write a guide to St. Pete student living without sharing a few of our favorite study spots. While some colleges’ and universities’ sprawling libraries are an attraction on their own, the drop-dead quiet environment of the stacks isn’t for everyone.
If you’re at St. Petersburg College, we recommend The Chelsea, a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk from campus. The cafe serves up great food and drinks with a homey vibe, creating a cozy atmosphere for reading, note taking, or writing.
For those of you at USF, check out The Blend. Reviewers of this part cafe part cocktail bar attest to great WiFi and strong cold brew. Plus, if you come at the right time, you can close your laptop and switch that cappuccino for a margarita.
Let’s face it: you came to college in St. Petersburg to enjoy the sand, waves, and sunshine (plus an awesome education) — not to be stuck inside at a museum all day. But even the biggest beach bums need a break from the endless sun and sea, and even the best students need to get a little inspired.
St. Petersburg is home to a wide variety of art museums and galleries, with exhibitions on everything from natural history to contemporary glass arts. You won’t find most of this work outside of St. Petersburg, so make sure to take advantage of it while you can. Most museums even have special rates for students. Here are our favorites:
- The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum): $18 for students
- Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg: $17 for students
- Imagine Museum: Contemporary glass arts: $10 for students, $7.50 for Tampa Bay residents all summer long
- Duncan McClellan Gallery: Free (and features over 5,000 square feet of outdoor courtyards and lushly planted sculpture gardens!)
Dining on a budget
Eating on a student budget isn’t always fun, and it especially isn’t easy in a big city like St. Petersburg. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself spending a lot more than you intended a night out with friends or even an innocent lunch break. Don’t whip out the Easy Mac yet though, there are plenty of options in St. Petes that fall between dining hall meals and Michelin Star restaurants.
For flavorful, well-priced Mexican, head to Casita Taqueria in the Grand Central District, where you can grab a burrito for under $10, and tacos for under $4. If you’re looking for a fun time with friends, Five Bucks Drinkery is the place to be. The name is pretty self explanatory, but they also have the biggest outdoor patio in St. Pete’s — a must for breezy St. Pete’s nights. For something light and fresh, check out Zaytoon Grill. A falafel sandwich combo (which includes fries and a drink) is only $10.
The best off-campus housing
The ultimate life-hack for St. Pete students starts at home, namely our Downtown St. Pete home, The Wayland by Common. This gorgeous building in the heart of the city is a short drive or walk from the area’s largest campuses, including USF – St. Pete (15 minute walk, 3 minute drive), SPC – Downtown Center (20 minute walk, 5 minute drive) and Eckerd College (10 minute drive). But it’s not just proximity that makes this place great for students. As a member at The Wayland by Common, your rent gets you a spacious studio, 1 or 2-bedroom apartment, with access to dozens of great amenities.
Host a study session right outside your door in the building’s 2,000 square feet of coworking space, complete with comfortable seating, complimentary coffee, and free WiFi. If you’d prefer to soak up the sun whenever possible, the home’s sundeck is a great spot to kick back with a book. Qhen it’s time for a break, you can unwind at the home’s beautiful outdoor pool (the largest residential pool in the city!) or burn off steam in the fitness center. Other amenities include laundry, a pet spa, poolside grills, a package locker room, and more.
The Wayland isn’t your standard rental though — it’s a Common home. And living at Common gives you access to our built-in community and free events. Meet your neighbors on our Connect by app, or attend one of the many parties and gatherings we throw at home! You can attend weekly happy hours on Friday, movie nights, and pool parties with delicious food and drinks. It’s a great way to meet new people, make friends, and even network with other students or professionals.
Rent at The Wayland by Common starts at $1550/month, with lease terms beginning at 6 months. Book a free virtual or in-person tour on our website!
Make the most of St. Pete student life
Study hard, play harder – that’s how the saying goes, right? If you’re looking to get the most out of your college experience in Downtown St. Petersburg, save this list for future reference or check out our other blog posts on things to do in St. Petersburg. And for the latest news on Common homes across the country and city living tips, follow us on Instagram.