Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide

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

Clearwater Beach Walk, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesBeach Walk

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.

Capitol Theatre, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesCapitol Theatre

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, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesClearwater 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, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesSunsets 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

Sky Surfing, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesSky Surfing

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, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesLittle 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 Rental, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesFins 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.

Queens Fleet Deep Sea Fishing, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesQueen 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

$  Pearly’s Beach Eats

Pearly’s Beach Eats opened on Papaya Street in Clearwater Beach, Florida during Fall 2014. Since then, they’ve been building a name for themselves by serving up some of the best Beach Eats available. They offer a unique blend of American, Mexican, and seafood entrees and a family-friendly kids menu.  With ample outdoor seating, shade from Palm Trees, and plenty of fans, they’ll help you beat the heat after a relaxing day on the beach. And no worries if it rains! They deliver to Clearwater Beach and Island Estates for free.  For more information call 727-223-9955 or visit Pearly’s Beach Eats.

$$ – $$$  Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill

Open-air beachfront dining overlooking the Gulf of Mexico with beautiful sunsets. Rockaway serves up a variety of fresh seafood and other Floribbean dishes.  Their specialties include their famous she crab soup, super grouper sandwich and the best Rum Runners on the beach! For more information call 727-446-4484 or visit Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.

$$ – $$$  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 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 Baithouse Tackle & Tavern, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida Beaches
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 Island Bar & Grille, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida Beaches
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, Cearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida Beaches
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, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida Beaches
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

 

Tommy's Tiki, Clearwater Beach Florida, Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide, Clearwater beaches, Florida BeachesTommy’s Tiki

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.

Sandpearl Resort

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.

Opal Sands

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.

 

27 Comments

  1. Kenton

    I have been to Clearwater Beach but there are so many things in this article that I didn’t know about! Sky surfing sounds awesome. I may have to look into it more. Also the deep sea fishing caught my eye. I’ve always wished I lived just a little bit closer to the coast. Thank you for all the helpful information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Kenton. Yes, sky surfing is great! Heck anything at Clearwater beach is great! I love deep sea fishing. It is probably the only kind of fishing I will do 🙂

      Reply
  2. Paula

    Hi there, well the photo alone at the top of this page wants me to dive right into that sea. It looks glorious. When I think of visiting the states, I automatically think of NYC, Boston or Chicago. The beaches here however are to die for. The activities also sounds fantastic- the jet ski being one of my favourite things to do on holiday. You have really got me in a very happy holiday mood after reading your post. thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Paula! Yes, I have to say that Clearwater and St. Pete are both wonderful and beautiful beaches that everyone should enjoy at least once. For me, I can’t stop at just going once 🙂

      Reply
  3. Colleen Oakley

    your site is really good. My children looked while I pulled it up. My youngest is a daredevil she liked the wind surfing. I noticed you had a ton of response about the dolphin part so my question is Would you consider do another web site just specializing in dolphin activities. I am just curious.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I could do a post on dolphins. Everybody likes them 🙂 Thank you for visiting!

      Reply
  4. Dennis

    Leahrae, What a great website you have. Everything is perfect. It gets me to really consider planning a beach holiday specifically. Beautiful. But first I need to get my beach body and at my age, man oh man what a challenge. I wish you all the success and I will definitely refer back to your website when I’m ready. Way to go girl!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok Dennis! You let me know if you have any questions or need help with travel. I am pretty good at finding the best rates. Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations

      Reply
  5. Craig

    Wow Clearwater looks like paradise.

    What are the restaurants like around the area? One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to go out for meals and this looks like my kind of place.

    I was in Miami in June and the weather was pretty bad: we had a tropical storm. When is the best time to visit Clearwater to avoid these conditions?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Well they say that the coast is hurricane prone from June thru November. I have been many times during those months. I have never had a tropical storm hit. The food is fantastic. I’d say you get a good mix of seafood, southern food, and of course key lime pie. Personally, I love the grouper sandwich, which is popular down that way. Thank you for reading Craig!

      Reply
  6. Jessie

    I would love to take advantage of this vacation!! Of all the places to be able to visit, Florida is always on my top 10. The beaches are gorgeous, you don’t need a passport!, and the temperatures are always amazing. Like you said, it is close to Tampa (which is also an awesome place too), which is so convenient when traveling. The pictures alone make me want to hop on a plane and get there right away! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Then you should do it Jessie! I can guarantee that if you like the sun, sand, sea and beaches, you will love Florida. Thank you for reading the Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide!

      Reply
  7. John

    Thank you for this article about the clearwater beach vacation guide!
    I am considering a vacation next year to the United States and after reading your article, this is definitely number one on my list.
    I do love the beach, and this looks like an awesome destination.
    There are some really great activities to do as well, and I am really interested in seeing the Dolphins!
    Thanks for bring this destination to my attention!
    ~John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you John for visiting Beach Travel Destinations! Clearwater is a wonderful beach destination. You cannot beat Florida for the sunshine and the ocean.

      Reply
  8. Skylet

    Oh my god, Ive been to almost every state in the US, and have yet to visit florida. I am a sucker for beaches, I love warm weather, sun, being outside, and most of all, beaches! I love the fact that its always warm. And I love that you offer information on air fair and hotel. This may be my next destination!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Skylet! Florida is wonderful! If you need any additional information, please let me know and than you for reading about Clearwater Beaches!

      Reply
  9. Peter

    Leahrae I think Beach Travel Destinations is a great site that is very well presented and easy to have a look around. For anyone looking for different options on holiday ideas this would make most interesting reading.

    With many helpful tips on saving money, with airfares and places to stay would be a great help with planning a budget.
    Living in Australia and have seen many beaches here at home I know many of them and can see this site is well done

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Peter! I am glad you enjoyed your visit. Please come again, and if you ever need help putting together a beach vacation, please let me know.

      Reply
  10. Farhan

    Hahaha…when I was reading through your article, the first thing that really caught my attention was dolphins! I would really love to see them in the ocean, rather than behind a glass.

    It seems like there are plenty of amazing eating places around at Clearwater beach. This is great, because after a whole day of surfing and swimming, I will surely want to relax and have an awesome dinner!

    Great review!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I love watching the dolphins. We always do jet skis and with them, always come up close with dolphins. They are truly beautiful animals for sure. Thanks for reading Farhan!

      Reply
  11. Joy

    Wow, looks stunning! I spent a few months travelling through Florida many moons ago. I explored the Everglades, Key West, and a few other off the beaten path locations.

    I planned on making my way to Clearwater Beach but never ended up getting there. I am hoping to go back to Florida this winter. I’ll definitely keep your site on my radar when the time approaches.

    Thanks for putting together such an awesome resource! I always wanted to experience swimming with dolphins but would only do so with a reputable guide. Do you happen to know of any reputable places that facilitate swimming with dolphins?

    Thanks,

    Joy

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Joy, I am glad you liked my Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide. A good (and reputable) dolphin tour is going to be the Florida Aquarium’s Wild Dolphin Eco Tour in Tampa. I would definitely go with them. Let me know if I can assist you in any other way.

      Reply
  12. Daniel OA

    The last time i tried deep sea fishing was i guess a long 8 months a go, that is really such a long time, by all means. Maybe I have grown old… I am considering revisiting my long lost time buster now, after reading in your site. Queen Fleet is top on my list for now. Thank you for this concise sneak peak. Great travel guide info on the Clearwater Beach area!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome. I love deep sea fishing. I actually don’t care for fishing with a rod off the shore, LOL. Thank you for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  13. Daniel OA

    The last time i tried deep sea fishing was i guess a long 8 months a go, that is really such a long time, by all means. May be I have grown old… I am considering revisiting my long lost time buster now, after reading in your site. Queen Fleet is top on my list for now.Thank you for this concise sneak peak.

    Reply
  14. Norman

    O boy vacation time who would like not to hear about vacation. I get so excited about vacation especially if i am travelling. But it is god to know were to go inorder for your trip planning to be more easy like your website that talks about travel guide, Your website is very beautiful and colorful, great job and keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Norman for reading the Clearwater Beach Vacation Guide. I am glad you found it useful. Please let me know if you need anything else.

      Reply

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