Clearwater Beach, Florida Travel Guide

From the sparkling white sands of Clearwater Beach to the miles of bicycle trails beneath the mangrove trees, barrier island Clearwater Beach along the Gulf of Mexico is sure to satisfy outdoorsy beachgoers. If shops, restaurants, museums, and spa treatments are more your speed, Clearwater Beach is still a perfect vacation rental destination. So, book your Clearwater Beach rental and start planning today! Also, if you have suggestions for what we should feature in our Clearwater Beach vacation guide, please let us know.

What To Do in Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachPier 60 at Clearwater Beach is a hub for families, with a playground, snack bar, souvenir shop, and long fishing pier. Active beach lovers at Clearwater Beach will enjoy parasailing, jet skiing, boat touring, and renting a fishing charter for snook, cobia, or sea trout. Get your sea legs on aboard the Little Toot Dolphin Boat in Clearwater Bay or take a chance on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise for a whole family adventure. The Clearwater Community Sailing Center and Flagship Sailing offer lessons for all levels of sailors-in-training, and Tanks-A-Lot Dive Charters is for the scuba divers who just can’t stay aboard.

Back on the beach, more leisurely folks will enjoy sunbathing, shelling, and building sandcastles along Clearwater Beach’s 2.5 miles of pristine sand.

In the Clearwater Beach area, sports fans can catch a pro ball spring training game (of the Yankees, Blue Jays, Tigers, or Phillies!) or a range of volleyball tournaments featuring professional or amateur players. The Clearwater Beach Recreation Center has lighted tennis courts, lighted basketball courts, line dancing lessons, yoga lessons, and a fitness center to pump iron! The center also has waterfront views and a park, an outdoor deck and boat launch, leisurely room to play bridge, and the Clearwater Beach Branch Library. Don’t forget your beach reading!
The Pinellas Trail is a unique and paved greenway trail for cyclists, joggers, walkers, and skaters-- stretching 34 miles from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg and right through Clearwater Beach. You can rent bikes at Clearwater Cycling to enjoy the trail’s live oaks, Spanish moss, and tidal streams.

Golfers will enjoy The Belleview Biltmore Golf Course, Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, Clearwater Golf Park, or the Clearwater Country Club, and Captain Bligh’s Mini Golf is for small and big mini-golfers alike. If self-pampering is more your sport, treat yourself to a massage or skin care salt glow at the Clearwater Beach Spa, Antonio’s Salon and Day Spa, or Sharmaines.

Start your day from your Clearwater Beach vacation rental with a picnic basket, and head out to the nearby Sand Key Park—an island with a large public beach and park area for picnicking. Sand Key is also a great place to fish, explore nature trails, or enjoy the beach concession stands. Nearby Caladesi Island is also an option, and can be reached by ferry or foot during low tide. Caladesi Island has been voted te "#1 Best Beach in the US"  and has 3 miles of hiking trails.

When you return to your Clearwater Beach vacation rental, you’ll be in for a good night’s sleep!

Back to top

What To See in Clearwater Beach

Some of the most amazing sights in Clearwater Beach are the most simple and natural, like the miles of immaculate sand, the breathtaking stars at night, and the dolphin sightings at Pier 60. After a comfortable dinner in your Clearwater Beach vacation rental, be sure to take an evening walk to catch the famous Sunset at Pier 60, where you will enjoy street performers, musical acts, and a sky full of blazing colors. If you prefer someone else do the steering, take a Clearwater Beach Tour with Clearwater Tours or a Clearwater Dinner Cruise on the Yacht Starship.

Clearwater Beach has museums for the art fan and scientist alike—the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has over 450 interactive activities, Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theater, and the Saunders Planetarium. Kids will enjoy the adjoining Kids in Charge science center or the nearby museum Great Explorations. For the art devotees taking a break from the sunshine, The Museum of Fine Arts features a variety of first-rate European, Asian, American, and Greek/Roman art.

Enjoy an afternoon at the Beach Walk, a historic and scenic walking area with beautiful red clay sidewalks, shops, restaurants, hiking trail, and biking trail. Animal lovers will value The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a rescue and rehabilitation center for local marine life, and music aficionados will take pleasure in the concerts at Coachman Park, overlooking Clearwater Harbor. For those who like to take their chances, there is the Derby Lane Greyhound Race Track, where adults can partake in a dinner buffet, poker, and para-mutual wagering.

Back to top

Where To Shop and Eat in Clearwater Beach

clearwater beach diningWhether you’re interested in a luxurious dinner or a quick meal on the go, Clearwater Beach has over 400 restaurants to choose from! You have your choice of the comfortable bistro Clearwater (yes that’s the name!), the dining patio of the Clearwater Wine Company, or the traditional American pub fare of Pete and Shorty’s of Clearwater. You’ll receive white glove service at Cesare’s on the Beach, local seafood and cuisine at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, or a fresh hot pizza pie at Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza. For those daytime meals on the go, try a big breakfast at the Beach Shanty Café, a light, savory lunch at the Clear Sky Beachside Café, or a delectable deli sandwich from Pickles Plus. If you have a hankering for something international, there is Tan’s Chinese, Shiki Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant, or Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse.

Shoppers will have their hands full after a day of browsing the Bay Bazaar Plaza or the Clearwater Municipal Marina area, shopping centers with men’s and women’s apparel, souvenirs, artwork, jewelry, and beach gear. The Clearwater Farmer’s Market happens many Wednesdays of the year, where you can buy flowers, fresh local produce, or cheeses for your Clearwater Beach vacation rental! If flea markets are more your style, you have your choice of the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, 49er Flea Market, or Oldsmar Flea Market… and for those who prefer shopping malls, there is the Clearwater Mall, Westfield Countryside Mall, and the International Mall. Be sure to check out the restaurant and shopping area on Beach Street-- perfect for pedestrians!

Back to top

When To Visit Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach’s climate is rather temperate, so the time of year to visit depends upon your preferences. Summertime high temperatures lean toward the upper 80s and wintertime high temperatures tend to be in the 60s. A Clearwater Beach vacation rental is pleasurable any time of year.

Back to top

What To Bring To Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is full of surf, sand, trails, and pedestrian walkways… be sure to bring all the personal things that make a beach getaway enjoyable! First and foremost, you want to bring the basics: your swimsuit and sunscreen. Check with the host of your Clearwater Beach vacation rental about towels, a picnic basket, and beach toys. Treat your feet right by bringing the appropriate footwear for the sand, pavement, nature trails, and biking. There’s plenty of sunshine in Clearwater Beach, so be sure to bring your sunglasses. 

Back to top

What To Know About Clearwater Beach

The sands at Clearwater Beach are spectacularly clean and the beaches themselves are wide. The water is initially shallow, making a great source of water play for kids, and there are plenty of lifeguards. The attitude at the beach is casual and relaxing, and rafts are welcome! Dogs are not permitted on the beach however.

Parking can be a challenge, as the metered spots require quarters. The general recommendation is to get to the beach early if you want a nearby metered spot. Some locals offer private parking and accept credit cards. Your best bet might be to take one of the trolleys around the Clearwater Beach area!

Back to top

Local Services at Clearwater Beach

Beach WeddingThere are many ways to get from your Clearwater Beach vacation rental to the attractions around town. The Jolly Trolley and the Suncoast Beach Trolley are a great way to get around the Clearwater Beach area, with both trolleys stopping at many beaches, parks, restaurants, and shops. There are also bicycle rental shops, rental car services, and taxi services.

If you decide to stock the kitchen of your Clearwater Beach vacation rental, there are several grocery stores, such as Nature’s Food Patch Natural Market and Café, Publix, and more.

With its immaculate sands and sparkling waters, Clearwater Beach can make a wedding even more beautiful and memorable. The Clearwater Beach City Parks and Recreation Department can help you reserve a beach area for the ceremony and the Beach Recreation Center (with a large deck facing Mandalay Bay) for the reception. An alternative location is nearby Sand Key Park, which can be arranged through the Park Ranger. Restaurants, churches, and boats listed with the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce can also provide romantic accommodations for your special day.

Back to top

Getting To Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is 20 miles from Tampa International Airport, and is pretty much a straight drive on Route 60 from the airport to Clearwater Beach. Route 60 takes on a few different names along the way, such as the Courtney Campbell Causeway and the Clearwater Memorial Causeway. Rental cars, airport limos (shared rides), and taxis are all available at Tampa International Airport to quickly take you to your Clearwater Beach vacation rental.

Back to top

Why Vacation Rentals on Clearwater Beach?

If you visit Clearwater Beach, you'll have your choice of Clearwater Beach rentals. But why would you choose an overpriced, unwelcoming hotel room when you could have a cozy, comfortable Clearwater Beach vacation rental instead? Clearwater Beach condos and houses have all the thoughtful touches that you'd expect from staying in somebody's actual home, all at a better price and with enough space for the entire family. Come right in off the beach and you won't have to worry about hotel lobbies, noisy neighbors, or splitting hotel rooms!

Back to top

You might also like...