The 10 Best Party Schools in Florida

To be sure, exemplary college students choose their college of choice by looking at the quality of their alumni, the achievements of their faculty, and the programs available. 

But good students also know that academic success is impossible without taking time to relax and enjoy themselves.

When you look at it that way, searching for a party school isn’t something reserved for lazy students. In fact, parties are a necessary part of staying healthy while in college, which makes for better grades and stronger research.

Additionally, nobody goes to college to spend their time reading books and conducting experiments in a lab. College is a social experience, where you learn how to be your best self by interacting with others. Parties and events are a great way to gain this essential education.

If you’re looking for party schools in Florida, you might assume that students all relax in the same way, by going to the beach or by dancing at clubs. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that Florida’s colleges have much more to offer. 

From cultural events to fundraisers and everything in between, Florida colleges host every type of party.

In this list, we break down the offerings provided by 10 of the best schools in Florida, outlining their offerings.

Stetson University (DeLand, FL)

Stetson University
Ebyabe, Stetson Univ – Flagler Hall1, CC BY-SA 3.0

Just looking at a map of Florida, one would assume that the good times at Stetson University all happen at the two nearby beaches. 

And while it’s certainly true that students spend a lot of time relaxing at Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, many other fun spots are nearby.

A mere one-hour drive north or south from Stetson’s campus takes students to some of the world’s most popular vacation spots. 

The latter leads to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States and a treasure trove of shops, sun, and sand. The former brings one to two of the greatest theme parks in the world, Disney World and Universal Studios.

For those who prefer a more low-key experience, there’s DeLand itself. Ranked by Parade Magazine and CNN as one of the nation’s best small towns, DeLand offers unique shops, live music venues, and restaurants of every conceivable type.

Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, FL)

Florida A&M University
Ebyabe, Tallahassee FL FAMU Lee Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the most respected historically Black colleges in the United States, Florida A&M University has a ton to offer on its legendary campus.

If there’s an event happening on campus, you can bet that the FAMU Marching 100 will be playing. 

One of the greatest marching bands in the world, the Marching 100 has performed throughout the world and has supported pop stars including Kanye West and Jamie Foxx. The Marching 100’s innovative and dynamic shows are sure to entertain, no matter what the event.

For those who prefer less bombastic musical performances, FAMU features a number of different bands and ensembles for those who prefer less bombastic musical performances. The official university concert choir plays everything from jazz and classical to contemporary music. In addition, the school’s gospel choir performs the best in gospel and blues.

Florida International University (Miami, FL)

Florida International University
DaveBenRoberts, Florida International University, CC BY-SA 4.0

To foster a vibrant community, Florida International University strives to offer its students a variety of entertainment and cultural options. 

From its more than 300 clubs to its outdoor recreation activities, FLU has everything students want to relax after a hard day of hitting the books.

One of the most popular yearly events offered by the school is the Summer Fest concert. Hosted by the Office of Campus Life, Summer Fest features the best in electronic dance music, right there on the school’s campus. 

Admission is free for students, giving them a reason to dance and celebrate with one another.

For those who want to do good in the world while having a good time, there’s Roarthon. Over the year, students raise money to benefit local children’s charities, including the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. The capstone of the fundraising campaign is a 17-hour dance celebration, in which over 300 students dance and party while helping the hospital.

University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)

University of South Florida
Jescholz2, University of South Florida School of Information building, CC BY-SA 4.0

Like most schools on this list, the University of South Florida has plenty of concerts and parties for students to enjoy. But for those who appreciate a fine cultural experience, USF has plenty to offer.

Since 1989, the USF Contemporary Art Museum has housed some of the world’s finest examples of contemporary art. The museum holds more than 5,000 pieces, including the works of artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and more. 

Special exhibits feature the best of cultures around the world, including the latest artistic movements from Latin America, Africa, and all over Europe.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the USF Botanical Gardens, where they’ll find more than 3,000 plants and animals. 

The living collection showcases some of the most diverse offerings in the state. Furthermore, the Botanical Gardens regularly host plant festivals and special events to draw in visitors and showcase some of the collection’s more beautiful and rare entries in the collection.

University of Tampa (Tampa, FL

Thanks to its centralized location in one of the most exciting cities in Florida, the University of Tampa has plenty of options for students for want to have a good time.

One of the most popular options is the Busch Gardens amusement park. With numerous roller coasters and rides, hourly shows, and animal exhibits, Busch Gardens has something for everyone, no matter what their interests may be. 

With tickets that start at only $35 a day, Busch Gardens is the perfect getaway for someone who wants to enjoy a top-level amusement park.

With just a 30-minute drive from campus, students can enjoy ZooTampa at Lowrey Park. The 63-acre zoo holds over 1,300 animals, a true representation of biodiversity. 

Newly renovated in 2018, ZooTampa features the latest and greatest in a modern zoo experience.

Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL)

Florida Atlantic University
Kmgcoolguy4, Schmidt Biomedical Center, CC BY-SA 3.0

Located next to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Florida Atlantic University is a prime choice for those who want a first-class education in a relaxing environment.

For most FAU students, the best activity is simply enjoying the Boca Raton beach. Protected by lifeguards and kept in excellent condition by the state, the beach is two beautiful miles long. 

Indoor kids will appreciate the newly-opened Living Room Theater, a special cinema experience designed by independent filmmakers. 

Located on campus within the School of Communications and Multimedia Studies, the Living Room Theater has the best in cutting-edge viewing and sound technologies, as well as comfortable rocker seats.

University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)

University of Miami
Darkflowerthree, Shalala Student Center, University of Miami, CC BY-SA 4.0

As one of the biggest and most popular schools in the state, the University of Miami has a diverse student body, representing multiple cultures and nations. 

To help those groups express themselves and better understand one another, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs regularly plans events and celebrations.

Every February, the Office puts on events as part of Black Awareness Month. These events range from presentations and speakers who address issues facing the community, to art displays and concerts. 

Part celebration, part social action meeting, the Black Awareness Month events bring together students to change the world.

Throughout the year, the Office hosts a variety of cultural celebrations, each put on by campus groups. These events include the sharing of food, dances and lessons, and musical performances. 

No matter what your interest, these cultural celebrations give you a chance to learn and to enjoy yourself.

University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

University of Central Florida
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The words “Orlando, Florida” are synonymous with fun, largely because of one famous attraction: Disneyland. 

But Mickey Mouse isn’t the only way students at the University of Central Florida have fun. Downtown Orlando has a whole host of offerings for students, from shops to museums to concerts.

Originally built in 1924 as a hotel and entertainment venue for Orlando’s Black community, the Wells’Built Hotel is an official historical location. 

Today, the hotel is a historic museum, which holds memorabilia of not just the segregation-era legends who performed there, but also the leaders who fought for equality in central Florida.

Located on a small lake famous for its fountain, Lake Eola Park is the place to be whether you want a tranquil space to relax and meditate or if you want to enjoy community events. 

The 23-acre park features fireworks for its annual Fourth of July celebration, performances from visiting ballet troupes, a yearly bicycle race, and more.

University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

University of Florida
Spohpatuf, Pugh Hall at the University of Florida, CC BY-SA 3.0

Famous as a leader in research and academics, the University of Florida features some of the best educational and cultural offerings in the state.

The largest natural-history museum in the state, the Florida Museum of Natural History has been collecting materials for more than 100 years. With exhibits focused on the history of the state and its peoples, stepping into the museum is to step back in time and to see the flora, fauna, and technologies of its peoples. 

In addition, the Museum regularly hosts traveling exhibits, bringing in the best that the world has to offer.

If the Museum whets your thirst for adventure, then you can visit the Devil’s Millhopper State Geological Site. The Site’s 67-acre grounds include pine trees and swamplands, plenty of space for visitors to hike and exercise. With several nature trails to enjoy, students will be able to explore the site again and again.

Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)

Florida State University
SeminoleNation, Florida State University Psychology Courtyard, CC BY-SA 4.0

As one of the best schools in the state, Florida State University is devoted to expanding the horizons of its students. That growth is not limited to just their academic interests, but their personal and cultural lives as well.

While the school certainly has its own on-campus restaurants and cafeteria, the fine dining enthusiasts at Florida State University explore their passion by venturing out into Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Foodies are the city’s premier community of food lovers. 

In addition to providing a guide to the city’s cuisine, the Tallahassee Foodies plan regular get-togethers, so they can share their favorites and explore together.One of the most exciting organizations in the area is the Council on Culture & Arts, tasked with supporting local galleries and concert venues.

Recent events put on by the Council include concerts from the French-Algerian group Sisters and a screening of the Sundance film Hive.