Welcome to the Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide. Clearwater Beach is an easy 29 mile drive from Tampa International Airport and even closer to Clearwater/St. Petersburg International Airport. The beach has sugar white sands that you will only experience at Clearwater Beach. Whether you enjoy world-class fishing charters, relaxing on the beach, unique food and beverage experiences or visiting one of the many spa’s, there is something for everyone. Their accommodations offer many options, from mom-and-pop establishments to world class resorts. A visit to Pier 60 is highly recommended for one of their nightly festivals.
Even with all the activities Clearwater Beach has to offer, the best part of your trip might be as simple as a stroll on the beach at sunset. Clearwater Beach is an award winning beach voted among the “most beautiful beaches in the world” by Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today, “Dr. Beach” and FamilyTravelForum.com. You can check out the beaches of the Clearwater/St Pete Beach area here to find a good location to stay.
Weather (Best Time To Go)
When to go depends on whether you want to get a bargain or keep cool. Summer is the best time for inexpensive beach vacations. The humidity is high in the summer, making it seem even hotter than it actually is. The heat should be no problem, though, if spending time in the ocean or staying close to air-conditioning. The best weather is the January through March period (although with a few cool days at times) and September through November. It is also the most crowded time to visit.
Generally, the winters in Clearwater, Florida are dry and the summers are wet. There is plenty of sunshine all year long. During the summer, the rains don’t usually last long. Every once in awhile it will rain all day, but not very often. The average low in January through March is 50 degrees, while the high averages 76. It starts warming up April through June when the low averages 62 degrees and the high averages 90. July through September is the hottest period, when the averages are 73 for the low to and 90s for the high. Temperatures come down in October through December when the average low drops to 51 degrees and the high is a comfortable 84. The gulf water temperature is in the 80s most of the year, dropping to 60s-70s in January through March. This is higher than normal for most of other central Florida, because the water keeps the temperature swings at bay.
Things Not To Miss
Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
As you embark on your journey, soak up the sun and revel in the scenic views of Clearwater as you comb the horizon in search of dolphins. Get lost in the pirate antics during the two hour odyssey including a treasure hunt, face painting, water gun games, stories and dancing for all ages. For more information call 727-446-2587, or visit them on the web at Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise.
Beach Walk, a $30-million redevelopment initiative that has transformed the look and feel of south Clearwater Beach, is a broad, winding promenade surrounded by resorts, beautiful white sand, entertainment and artwork. It offers a unique environment for pedestrians to enjoy a view of the Gulf of Mexico dotted with palm trees, resting areas and lush landscaping bordering the meandering two-lane drive. The Award of Merit was given in the “Great Places in Florida Public Spaces” category.
Constructed in 1921, the Capitol Theatre is reminiscent of a classic Hollywood theater. One of the oldest operating theaters in Florida, it is known for having some of the best natural acoustics in the southeastern United States.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
A unique attraction where one can view, touch and experience the biology and behavior of bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, river otters, sting rays, fish, coral reefs, mangroves and more. Visit Winter, the bottlenose dolphin who was rescued in December 2005 after having her tail caught in a crab trap, causing her to lose her tail. The aquarium fitted her with a prosthetic tail which brought worldwide attention to the facility. Winter starred in the 2011 Dolphin Tale, a film based on her life events, which was filmed partially on location at the aquarium. For more information call 727-441-1790 or visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Sunsets at Pier 60
Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival on Clearwater Beach operates 364 days a year from two hours before until two hours after sunset, weather permitting. The nightly sunset celebration features artisans, crafters, street performers, and our world famous Pier 60 sunsets.
Things to Do
Scenic Intro flights in the motorcycle of the sky. A hands-on adventure that puts you in the pilot seat. Not a daredevil? No worries, they cater to the thrill seekers and scaredy cats alike. Take off and land on the ground or the water! See amazing sunsets with the sunset flights. Ready for blast-off? Call now and book your adventure today: 727-755-IFLY (4359) or visit Sky Surfing
Little Toot Dolphin Adventures
Dolphin sightings guaranteed! *or your next trip is free within 1 year from 1st trip! Because of their “tug boat” shape and power, they can create a huge wake, a wake that Dolphins love to jump and play in. Closer sightings because their boat is lower to the waters edge. Soft drinks, water and beer are available for your pleasure. Restrooms are on board for your convenience. Kids Love Dolphins Too!! The Little Toot is kid safe and children of all ages routinely go out with us. And they love it! Contact them at 727-446-5503 or visit Little Toot Dolphin Adventures.
Fins Jet-Ski Kayak & Boat Rentals
They offer private, customized, pre-booked—by reservation– Jet-Ski Tours around Clearwater Beach, the Nature Preserve of Caladesi Island, or head north to Three Rooker and Anclote Key…covering over 20 miles of open riding areas!! The most anywhere. Tell them what you want…open riding areas, dolphin watch, shelling, celebrity home tours. Their tours last for 60 minutes to 3 hours with no hidden fees, like extra charge for gas, or passengers, etc.! Kayak rentals in Clearwater are available by the hour or by the day. Kayak rentals in Clearwater are available by the hour or by the day. Enjoy a leisure cruise aboard Fins custom Pontoon boat for a sunset or dolphin watching cruise. Contact them at 727-480-6200 or Fins Jet-Ski Kayak & Boat Rentals.
Queen Fleet Deep Sea Fishing
With the ability to charter up to 150 passengers, Queen Fleet is the premiere fishing charter in the Tampa Bay area. Whether you’re after grouper, snapper, sea bass, or any other deep-sea fish, Queen Fleet’s captains have the experience and expertise to turn any novice fisherman into a full-blown, deep-sea angler! Queen Fleet’s two large party boats can accommodate up to 150 passengers. Whether you are looking for a half or full-day fishing trip, private charter or party, enjoy deep sea fishing in comfort. Contact them at 800-557-3006 or Queen Fleet Deep Sea Fishing.
Indoor Surfing – Surf Style’s Flowrider
The FlowRider is a self-contained wave-pool machine that mimics some of Mother Nature’s biggest waves. Water churns nonstop on the indoor FlowRider, which lets boarders of all ages and skill levels ride waves atop skim boards. Instructors stand by as boarders attempt kick flips and aerial maneuvers as the pool’s soft surface cushions wipeouts. Located right on Clearwater’s Beach Walk within Surf Style’s 55,000 sq. ft. shopping center, you can find the largest skateboard shop in Tampa bay and a variety of swim suits; surf brands; beach gear and convenience shop. For more information visit Surf Style Flowrider, or call them at 954-924-9779, ext. 175.
Best Places to Eat
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ – $$$ Island Way Grill
This seafood restaurant specializing in Japanese cuisine should not be missed. Indulge in some freshly caught lobster and crab legs on the outdoor patio overlooking blue waters lined with palm trees. The restaurant staff catch their own fish, which are featured under the catch of the day on the menu and can be prepared in one of six different ways. Alternatively, sit inside and check out the impressive raw fish bar, a testament to the freshness of this restaurant’s ingredients. In addition to a variety of seafood and sushi, Island Way Grill offers quintessential southern favorites like deviled eggs, blackened grilled chicken, and succulent rib-eye steaks. For vegetarians there are substantial salads featuring grilled fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to finish with the key lime pie. For more information call 727-461-6617 or visit Island Way Grill
$$ – $$$ Crabby Bill’s
This neon-lit fishing shack is the perfect place to roll up straight from the beach. At Crabby Bill’s, seafood is the star of the menu — from typical clams and oysters, to the New Orleans-style po’boy stuffed with grouper. Those looking to challenge their threshold for heat can order the Volcano Gator with Inferno Sauce, made with ghost chili pepper. For something a bit cooler, try Crabby’s twist on the hipster staple of avocado toast made with shrimp and feta, served on garlic toast. Happy hour is an all-day affair, starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m. For more information call 727-210-1313 or visit Crabby Bill’s
$$ – $$$ Salty’s Island Bar & Grille
Serving hand-crafted signature cocktails and Chef-Inspired Island cuisine. Have a seat on their second story patio with scenic views of beautiful Clearwater Beach, or enjoy their large bar on the first floor, providing hourly specials, and live music daily. For more information call 727-216-8085 or visit Salty’s Island Bar & Grille.
$$$$ Caretta on the Gulf
Savor fresh local flavors and an elegant ambiance at Sandpearl Resort’s Caretta on the Gulf. Named for the loggerhead sea turtles that grace our shores, Caretta on the Gulf invites guests to experience Clearwater’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. Breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico are complemented by fresh, seasonally inspired cuisine. In addition to Caretta’s standard menu, they are also pleased to offer an all-natural, organic menu with expertly paired organic wines. For more information call 727-441-2425 or visit Caretta on the Gulf.
$$ – $$$ Clear Sky Beachside Cafe
Breakfast at Clear Sky Beachside Cafe is served with an upscale twist (by the way, you can get great Mimosas and Bloody Marys with your breakfast). Lunch and Dinner menus offer an extensive mix of Tapas Appetizers, Gourmet Pizzas, Signature Paninis, Burgers and Salads. Enjoy the Freshest Seafood on the beach, including “en papillote.” Their award winning menu offers a culinary tour of the world’s best flavors all in one friendly cafe conveniently located in Clearwater Beach, Florida! For more information call 727-442-3684 or visit Clear Sky Cafe.
Nightlife In Clearwater Beach
The Bait House Tackle & Tavern
Open since the 1940s, The Bait House Tackle & Tavern is located in the marina on beautiful Clearwater Beach. They offer the freshest fish, highest quality tackle and gear, and some of the best food on the beach. Their daily menu features fresh, locally caught seafood, with an assortment of beers and wine. Stop by for a cold beer or to enjoy dinner while you watch a beautiful sunset on our deck. Go by boat and take the whole family! Contact them at 727-446-8134 or visit The Bait House Tackle & Tavern
Salty’s Island Bar & Grill
Serving hand-crafted signature cocktails and Chef-Inspired Island cuisine. Have a seat on their second story patio with scenic views of beautiful Clearwater Beach, or enjoy their large bar on the first floor, providing hourly specials, and live music daily. Contact them at 727-216-8085 or visit Salty’s Island Bar & Grill
Surfside Tap House
Clearwater Beach has long been a haven for year-round fun and is annually voted among the Top 10 Beaches in America. Their special focus is on Craft Beer with a wide assortment of local Tampa Bay area Breweries as well as unique Crafts from Florida and across the Country. They also pour the ABCs of the world’s best Macro Breweries. They feature an indoor/outdoor Bar, outdoor seating, amazing live Entertainment daily and a spacious inside area with Hi-Def flat screen TVs. Contact them at 727-201-3530 or visit Surfside Tap House.
Tropix Island Tiki Bar
A perfect place to unwind and relax, Tropix Island Tiki Bar is located directly on the sugar-white sands of Clearwater Beach. Along with breathtaking views of the water, the Tropix Island beach bar offers a full beverage menu as well as a delicious selection of snacks and finger foods. The bar is also a great spot to catch some seasonal live entertainment! Dining options include nachos, wings, onion rings, burgers, wraps, fries, and plenty more mouth-watering fare – all at reasonable prices. Contact them at 727-442-7171 or visit Tropix Island Tiki Bar
Stay hydrated with cold beverages from Tommy’s Tiki Bar. They offer beachside service along with beautiful sunsets. Sand Bar & Grill has diverse dishes that can be enjoyed poolside. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at Carambola with inside drinks at Coasters Lounge. For more information call 727-451-1126 or visit Tommy’s Tiki.
Top Clearwater Beach Hotels
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Located 150 feet from the Gulf of Mexico, the 4-star Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa features the full-service Sandava Spa, an outdoor pool, and 24-hour complimentary access to the fitness centre with cardio and weight equipment. Swim Bar & Grill offers Gulf-front views, a Pan Latino menu, and happy hour specials, or guests can enjoy American fare at SHOR for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and snacks are served at Skimmer’s Coffee Bar. Poolside food and beverage service is available when booking a climate-controlled cabana. Spa treatments include private suites, detoxifying facials, and massages. A kid’s club is also available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa.
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Sandpearl Resort, a 4-star beachfront resort, is within 4 minutes’ drive of Clearwater Beach Marina and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It boasts a lagoon-style outdoor pool, a full-service spa, on-site dining, and elegant guest rooms with free WiFi. Recreation options at Sandpearl Resort include parasailing, beach volleyball, and cycling with free bicycle hires. A state-of-the-art fitness center and daily children’s programs are also available. Guests can enjoy exploring the resort’s boutique or the fine art gallery. Dolphin encounters can be arranged, and a variety of meeting and banquet rooms are also available on site. Fine dining with beachfront views, premium meat selections, and an extensive wine list are offered at Caretta on the Gulf. Casual beachfront and poolside dining is featured at the Tate Island Grill. The Marketplace offers grocery items and Starbucks® coffee. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Sandpearl Resort.
Pier House 60 Marina Hotel
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Featuring free continental breakfast, this Clearwater Beach hotel is opposite the white-sand beach and adjacent to the Clearwater Marina. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, free WiFi, and dining. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is 1.2 miles away. Guests can watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest rooftop bar. Harbor and Intracoastal waterway views are also possible. All-American fare includes quesadillas, flat breads, and wraps with salad as well as local beer. Guests can work out in the fitness center, which includes cardio equipment and TVs. A daily maid service, dry cleaning, and a business center with fax and printing facilities are also available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pier House 60 Marina Hotel.
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Located in Clearwater Beach in the region of Florida, 0.8 miles from Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Opal Sands features a spa center and hot tub. The resort has an outdoor pool and fitness center, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Private parking is available on site. Exceeds expectations! Travelers who stayed at this property said it exceeded their expectations. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Opal Sands.
Sea Captain – Best Value
Located in Clearwater Beach, half a mile from Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Sea Captain features a year-round outdoor pool and barbecue. Free private parking is available on site. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Sea Captain.