Another school year at the University of Central Florida is rapidly approaching and with over 60,000 students on campus, things can get overwhelming. Especially if you are new to UCF it is important to know the best places to go for everything.
There are some insider tips that can make the adjustment process much easier. This is the guide you need for where to eat, study, live and enjoy campus life at UCF.
Where To Eat near UCF
Huey Magoo's is the place to be if chicken tenders are your thing. It is across from campus in a small space that is attached to a 7-Eleven, but don't let the unassuming surroundings fool you.
These tenders are for real and they come either grilled, fried or sauced in three, five or seven-piece meals. The crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, and coleslaw that come with every order are also nice additions.
Lazy Moon Pizza has had multiple locations by UCF, but their large slices remain as popular as ever. Their specialty slices are made-for-Instagram creations that taste as good as they look.
Lazy Moon also has an extensive list of craft beers available. Even after the drinks stop pouring, crowds come by on Friday and Saturday nights when the bars close to grab a bite.
4 Rivers started across town in Winter Park, but their barbecue delicacies have quickly become a favorite of UCF students. Their smokehouse on University Boulevard has all of the meats, sides, and sweets that are featured at the other locations.
Try a Signature Stacker like the Texas Destroyer, which comes with signature Angus brisket, onion rings, jalapenos, melted provolone and the 4R Signature Sauce. The sides also steal the show at 4 Rivers and you cannot go wrong with items like the mac and cheese, cheese grits or fried okra.
Where To Study In The UCF Area
The John C. Hitt Library will be the building on campus that carries on the legacy of the now former UCF president. It is certainly the most popular place to congregate and study, so much so that they are currently expanding it so there is more room to move around.
There are several study room that you can rent out and floors designated for quiet study space. They also have 196 computer stations and other areas that you can duck into to get into your study groove.
Each of these spaces has a large study lounge and small group study rooms. As an added bonus, AKS offers free printing and provides Scantrons for those rushing to their next exam.
The Burnett Honors College Meditation Garden is one of the most tranquil and secluded spaces on campus. There are plenty of benches to plop down in this relaxing area that is shaded by trees and bushes.
There is a beautiful Koi pond that adds to the welcoming nature of this garden. Ultimately, your grades may go up just by being in close proximity to some of UCF's most accomplished students.
Nightlife Near UCF
Knight Library has frequently been mentioned as one of the best college bars in the country. Inside of the bar, Dungeon Lounge offers a clubbier vibe and their outdoor Beach Bar creates more of a casual atmosphere.
Knight Library is known for the big parties they throw on holidays like Halloween, St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo. They also have great specials throughout the week, highlighted by Friday happy hour with free drafts, wine, and mimosas.
Knight's Pub has built on an original bar concept to create an entire complex for partygoers. This spot, located across the street from campus, has something for everyone, with multiple indoor bars and an expansive outdoor deck.
It is not an unusual site to see the line wrap around the main building on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday happy hour is a particularly good time to check out The Pub, with specials including free drafts and $2 wells from 4-7 p.m.
Stagger Inn has brought their brand of country fun to the UCF area after originally starting out with only a downtown location. With plenty of nods to American, truck-bed benches and a large cutout of a barn on the stage, the bar certainly has the country motif down.
Stagger also mixes an array of popular music in with the country tunes though so do not let the surroundings fool you. Saturday nights are a highlight here, with free wells and $2 Bud Light drafts from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Off-Campus Apartments Near UCF
With as busy as the surrounding area is, it is important to have an apartment close to campus. Sitting just across from Spectrum Stadium on the backside of campus, Northgate Lakes certainly fits the bill.
Northgate prides itself on their Students First Residence Life Program, which provides social, educational and developmental activities designed to promote residents' success. Places are starting to fill up, but Northgate still has rooms in four-bedroom units available
Plaza on University is located across the street from the main UCF entrance and it is one of the newest complexes built. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants on the ground level, meaning residents do not have to go far for a meal or other essentials.
The Plaza is run by the largest manager of high-quality student housing communities, American Campus Communities. Several units are currently on a waiting list, but there are four bedroom and two bedroom apartments still available.
University House is exactly a mile from campus and a UCF shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes. They have amenities like on-site study rooms, flat-panel HDTVs in the living room and a gaming lounge.
University House is also one of the newer buildings constructed and they currently have all floor plans for the 2018-19 year. For a limited time, take advantage of their zero down opportunity to pay no deposit and no application fees.
Where To Tailgate and Watch UCF Games
Memory Mall is the center of all UCF Football gameday action. For all Saturday games, it opens six hours prior to kickoff or at 8 a.m. for noon kickoffs and people flood the area to eat, drink and play a variety of tailgating games.
The sightseeing alone is enough for people to at least take a walk through the Mall, even if they are going to tailgate in another spot on campus. Spots become available for students and alumni to reserve the Sunday prior to home games.
As the closest bar to the stadium, Burger U is a great stop-off for people looking to get something over than the usual tailgating experience. The bar is also a good place to go watch games when the Knights are not in town.
Burger U lives up to their name, with high-quality, succulent burgers. Gamedays often feature a more limited menu, with some quicker, grab from the grill options.
Spectrum Stadium is the home of the UCF Knights and after an undefeated 13-0 season in 2017, everyone is anticipating this year's seven-game home slate. The stadium seats over 40,000 fans and is already almost sold out for the entire schedule.
Fortunately, that sellout number includes 12,000 seats split across the two endzones that are reserved each game for students. These student sections are the heart of the rowdy crowds at The Spec and students only need to show a valid student ID to gain admission to the stadium.
Related Content: This Year's UCF College Football Schedule and Parking Guide
Whether you are returning to UCF for another fall or just starting out, enjoy the new year as a student! Get involved in everything there is to do on campus and take some of these suggestions to make your college experience the best it can be!
Feature Image Provided By University Of Central Florida