Clearwater Beach is a popular tourist destination located in Clearwater, Florida, known for its white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and vibrant entertainment options. The beach is situated on a barrier island and is a major hub for water sports and beach activities, including fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. There are also many restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area, making it a convenient and enjoyable place to stay for tourists. The warm climate, picturesque scenery, and lively atmosphere make Clearwater Beach a popular vacation spot for both visitors from the United States and internationally.
With a beautiful coastline, lots of dining choices, water sports, and other fun activities, Clearwater Beach is a great destination for families and couples. Here are our top recommendations for the best things to do in Clearwater Beach and across the causeway.
Best Things to do in Clearwater Beach, FL
Clearwater Beach is one of the main attractions when visiting Clearwater, Florida. It is a fun destination that offers a lot – beaches, restaurants, family activities, and a chance to unwind and relax under the Florida sun. The white sand beach and iconic turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico will beckon you to stay on its shores all day!
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Clearwater Beach walks are a great way to begin your morning. Grab your camera so you can snap some great photo memories, and a bag to hold all of the sea treasures you might find on your beach walk.
The beach is situated on a barrier island and is a major hub for water sports and beach activities, including fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. There are also many restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area, making it a convenient and enjoyable place to stay for tourists.
Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches in Clearwater. The beach is clean and well kept with ample sunbeds for relaxing in the shade. For those wanting a bit more action, beach volleyball is a popular sport on Clearwater Beach! There are nets on the north end of Clearwater Beach, down by Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill and also by Pier 60. Clearwater is definitely a gem on Florida’s west coast and is one of the state’s most popular beaches.
While Clearwater Beach is the heart of everything happening, there are other lovely parks and great beaches in the Tampa Bay Area that provide a hidden paradise. Explore 95 acres of long paths through salt marshes and sandy shorelines.
More Great Beaches to Visit in the Tampa Bay Area
While Clearwater Beach is the heart of everything happening, there are other beautiful beaches close by that provide a hidden paradise. Explore 95 acres of long paths through salt marshes and sandy shorelines.
Sand Key Park
Sand Key Park is the place to go for an uncrowded and relaxing day at the beach. You’ll find cabanas and beach chairs for rent, a kid’s playground, bathhouses, and a dog park. For those with disabilities, the park also offers free beach wheelchairs, which are designed to roll a bit more easily in the sand.
Sand Key is both a park and a beach, offering double the fun for a day at the beach! Spend the morning at the beach, then head to the park area for lunch under one of two picnic shelters.
After lunch, the kids can head to the playground while the adults clean up from lunch. Then head back to the beach for an afternoon of water fun, searching for ocean treasures, and building sandcastles.
Take a walk to the salt marsh before you leave, and sit on the benches, relaxing and birdwatching. Herons, anhingas, roseate spoonbills, and great horned owls all call Sand Key Park home.
Honeymoon Island State Park
If you are looking for a secluded area then Honeymoon island state park is the place to be. It has four miles of beach and is the ideal place for bird watching. Hike the trail among the slash pine forest and spot even more wildlife. Take a dip or soak up the sun on the beach. The calm waters are also great for paddleboarding and kayaking, so be sure to bring your gear if you want to explore more of the island. Don’t forget to stay until sunset and admire one of Florida’s famous sunsets — it is a sight that you won’t forget!
Caladesi Island State Park
From Honeymoon Island you can take the ferry to Caladesi Island State Park. This special island is practically untouched, mostly because you have to take a boat to get there. Here you will see the true beauty of Florida, with white sands and crystal clear waters, and relax away from the crowds and explore the mangrove forests or kayak around in search of dolphins, otters, and seabirds.
The shelling is also fantastic here! Gather some shells on the beach for a special souvenir of your time here. You will want to look for shells starting an hour before low tide. It is easier to find shells out on the sandbar during low tide than high tide. You can check the tide schedule here.
There are also several picnic tables, pavilions, and grills to enjoy a meal outdoors with friends or family. Be sure to reserve a pavilion.
Don’t miss out on this wonderful Florida island and create amazing memories of the real Florida!
Pro Tip: Be sure you have all the essentials for the beach – sunscreen, hat, sunscreen, and rash guard.
No visit to Clearwater Beach would be complete without visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Fans of the movie Dolphin Tale can get up close and personal with the famous dolphin, Winter, featured in the movie.
At the aquarium, you can also view other marine animals such as sea turtles, otters, and sharks. The interactive displays will show you more about these amazing creatures. Be sure to check out their daily schedule for feedings and special activities. After the aquarium, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants onsite.
The center was established to help rehabilitate injured marine life and release them back to their natural habitats. They also offer permanent homes for them if they are unable to return to the wild. You can learn more about the mission of Clearwater Marine Aquarium and its efforts to save marine life. It’s a great way to gain an appreciation for our wonderful oceans and the animals that inhabit them.
A trip to the aquarium is a great way to spend the day if you’re looking for a family-friendly activity or something for animal lovers!
Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach
Clearwater’s beaches are an excellent choice for viewing stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico! The best place to view the stunning sunsets is Pier 60. Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach lies just 3 miles down the coast from Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.
Extending into the Gulf of Mexico, Pier 60 is an ideal choice for sightseeing and fishing. If you get there and decide to go fishing, but realize you’ve forgotten your gear-no worries! There is a bait and tackle shop that sells everything you need to hook your next big catch. Clearwater Pier 60 offers an opportunity for year-round fishing.
Nightly Sunset Celebration
Pier 60 also has a nightly sunset celebration that runs all year. Currently, it runs from 5:30 to 9:30 so that visitors can enjoy the sites before and after sunset. Many visitors come to see the performers and browse the crafts artisans are selling.
Purchase hand-made crafts and watch musicians, fire performers, and other talents entertain until after the sun sets! Sunsets at Pier 60 provide fun for the whole family while simultaneously supporting the arts community.
Tiki Boat Cruise
Tikiboat cruises in Clearwater, Florida are an experience like no other! Taking to the seas on a stunning bamboo tiki boat is a unique way to explore the spectacular beauty of this tropical paradise. With fun music playing and tasty cocktails flowing, you can soak up some rays while taking in the views of nature’s wonders.
Whether you choose to take a sunset cruise, day trip, or private charter, Tikiboat Clearwater is the perfect place for an unforgettable experience! Clearwater and its stunning coastline have something special for everyone. The tiki boat carries up to 18 passengers and the open bar offers unlimited drinks. Make some great memories that will last a lifetime and get out there on Tikiboat Clearwater!
Search for Dolphins on the Dolphin Boat Adventure
Spend a morning or afternoon with Little Toot Dolphin Adventures. Captain Tim and his crew will entertain you as they lead you on a water exploration in search of dolphins and other wildlife. Captain Tim will ensure that you get as close as possible to the dolphins without putting these magnificent creatures at risk. You’ll see them playing in the boat wake, which is one of their favorite activities!
Things to do in Clearwater Beach, FL: Daytrips
Clearwater is so close to so much! Here are our top day trip ideas when visiting Clearwater Beach.
St. Pete is a large, bustling city. And like most large cities, there are unique communities begging to be explored! Among our favorites are the Edge District, St. Pete Pier District, and the Waterfront Museum District.
St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is a top beach in the United States, it is gorgeous! Spend the day on the beach, playing in the surf and sand, or get a day pass to Trade Winds Island Grand and spend the day with water slides, beach cabanas and more!
Dunedin is one of our favorite places to visit! Southern Living named Dunedin one of the South’s best beach towns in 2022, and that accolade is well deserved! Besides Honeymoon Beach and Caledesi Island, there is more to see and experience on a day trip to Dunedin!
Dunedin is like walking back to a quieter, laid-back time. The relaxed pace makes it perfect for strolling through the downtown area, popping into the local shops, or grabbing a bite to eat.
Tarpon Springs is a short 30-minute drive from Clearwater, and was named for the Tarpon fish, found in abundance in the surrounding waters. The downtown historic district is filled with enticing Greek restaurants, cute shops, art galleries, and of course, the world famous sponge docks. The area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’ve never visited Tarpon Springs, I highly recommend a day visit to this unique cool town!
The Best Places to Stay When Visiting Clearwater Beach
You have lots of choices when it comes to where to stay on Clearwater Beach! There are oceanfront resorts, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the views of the Gulf of Mexico, or you may also want to explore vacation rentals if you are traveling with a large group or family. There are many great accommodation options available to everyone.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Book a stay at Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa and you’re close to nighttime sunset events on Pier 60 and to the pedestrian-accessible beach walkway.
The Hilton is just steps away from the beach and a short drive away from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Relax under private cabanas or swim in the gorgeous outdoor pool. Take full advantage of their on-site spa to make the most out of your stay there.
Take full advantage of Hibiscus Spa to make the most out of your stay there. The spa is a perfect way to full relax and enjoy your vacation in Clearwater Beach. Try their lava shell massage or hot stone massage for a truly indulgent experience!
Stay at Sandpearl Resort and relax at the beach-front firepits. Find comfort in their beautiful rooms decorated with coastal luxury. During the day, sit by the pool, go for a swim or take advantage of wave runners and parasailing right on site!
Opal Sands Resort
Things to Do in Clearwater Beach: Top Clearwater Beach Waterfront Restaurants
Several Clearwater Beach restaurants are located along the beach or on the waterfront. This means you’ll almost always get dinner with a view if you want it! Enjoy a romantic evening with a sunset meal and some wine or tropical cocktails.
Caretta On The Gulf
Caretta on the Gulf, located at the Sandpearl Resort, is situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t miss a visit at Caretta’s when visiting Clearwater Beach!
Here you’ll experience freshly caught seafood, grilled to perfection mouth-watering steaks, and more, all accompanied by breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Other Waterfront Restaurants in Clearwater Beach
Clearwater is definitely not lacking in waterfront dining choices! Enjoy a romantic evening with a sunset meal and delightful wine or cocktails as you watch nature show off her artwork each evening.
Bobby’s Bistro and Wine Bar
Bobby’s Bistro and Wine Bar is another favorite, offering both land and seafood with a California flare. Perfect for wine lovers, you can enjoy a bottle or glass with your meal for the perfect dinner.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
For casual, right on the beach, dining check out Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. It’s open air concept allows you to feel the sea breeze right at your table. They offer fresh seafood, sandwiches and soups all with live music to accompany your meal. Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is the perfect place to have lunch after a morning relaxing on one of the top beaches in Florida!
The Bait House
The Bait House is one of the best seafood restaurants in Clearwater beach. Another location with a gorgeous view, this restaurant is located right on a dock on the water. Try their island fish tacos and their drunken shrimp. Relax all day while taking in the action of the boats on the water bringing in their next big catch!
Crabby’s Dockside is a cozy restaurant with great food and a friendly staff. Look out over the turquoise water and enjoy coconut shrimp or calamari fried to perfection.
Marina Cantina boasts not only great Mexican food, but also a gorgeous roof top bar with spectacular views of Clearwater marina. There are high top tables and comfy sofas up on the rooftop, ideal for watching the sunset.
The menu is huge, so come hungry! Jim loved the chargrilled octopus, which was delicious! I leaned grouper tacos, because I am a huge fan of grouper, and they were delicious as well. Tequila lovers will love the tequilas.
Best Sips in Clearwater: Beach Bars & Local Brews
There are many bars and waterfront spots that offer delicious drinks during your vacation to Clearwater Beach. These spots are a great way to spend the afternoon or top off your evening after laying out under the sun, enjoying the sugary sands.
A great waterfront bar, Palm Pavilion is where all the Clearwater beach locals hang out. A casual and laid back venue, enjoy the sunset with one of their signature drinks.
Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar and Grill
If you’re looking for a place to listen to great music Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar and Grill is the place to be. Walking distance from the beach Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar and Grill looks out over the gulf and relax while sipping on one of their craft cocktails! It is a great venue to relax with friends all day and then take a cool dip in the water.
Tommy’s Tiki Bar
Just steps away from the water, Tommy’s Tiki Bar is exactly that- a tiki bar on the sand! Part of the Hilton Clearwater Resort and Spa, it’s the perfect spot to grab a cocktail while relaxing on the white sand beach.
Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest
Located on top of Pier House 60, Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest rooftop bar gives you stunning views of the water, Pier 60, and, of course, the sunset! Grab your favorite tropical drink and settle in to watch the sun go down with your friends.
Clearwater beach is a hub for all kinds of fun activities and tropical vibes. With so many things to do in Clearwater Beach, Fl, it’s hard to choose what to do!
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