Clearwater and Clearwater Beach are idyllic destinations when planning an escape to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and this vacation hotspot offers a wealth of activities and options for all types of travelers. Clearwater Beach is one of the prettier beaches on the coast of Florida, and has been named one of America’s Top Family Beaches, one of the Top Singles Beaches in Florida, and also one of the Best Beaches from Maine to Hawaii. With an abundance of water activities, natural sites, tourist attractions and resort-based activities, there really is something for everyone when traveling to Clearwater.
Explore Clearwater’s cultural attractions to learn about the area’s rich history and growth of the tourism industry over the years. Participate in some of the area sporting activities or competitions to make the most of the sands, and show off your athletic skills. Enjoy a variety of delicious food and culinary specialties by enjoying a meal at one of the area’s top restaurants. Spend a day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see the world’s most famous dolphin, or relax on the pier to listen to some live music or to attend a local festival. You could also end up spending most of your days exploring the area state parks and wildlife preserves, some of the best destinations for birdwatching and wildlife viewing on the west coast of Florida.
Clearwater Beach is one of the best places to enjoy a few hours of sunbathing and play in the sands. The beach has been named the “Best City Beach On the Gulf of Mexico” by Dr. Stephen Leathermen, also known as “Dr. Beach”, a Florida International University professor. USAToday.com readers have ranked Clearwater Beach as one of the “Top 10” beaches from Maine to Hawaii, and even Conde Nast Traveler has recognized that Clearwater Beach is the best city beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Other natural beaches in the area, including Sand Key beach and the beaches around Caladesi Island State Park, are also picture-perfect destinations to enjoy some water activities and soak up some sunshine.
Whether you’re heading to Clearwater Beach for a few days or an entire week, you’re sure to find a variety of fun and interesting things to do around this beautiful coastal city. You can choose from several resorts, hotels and inns scattered around the beach or within walking distance of the beachfront and area attractions.
Clearwater Weather and Best Time to Visit
If you’re looking for low-cost accommodations and cheap flights to destinations near Clearwater, head to the coast during the summer season when temperatures are at their highest and when the majority of people spend most of their time indoors. Peak season in Clearwater is usually from November through April when northerners head to Florida to enjoy the sunshine and get away from the colder weather. The best weather in Clearwater is actually from January through March when it’s still warm but there is no humidity in the air, and then again from September through December when things begin to cool down after the long summer.
Winters in Clearwater are usually fairly dry and the average highs are in the upper 70s. Lows are usually around the 50s from January through March, but go up to the mid-60s during April through June. You can expect temperatures to stay in the upper90s from June through September, but then dropping to the mid-80s from October through December. Even when the rest of Central Florida is experiencing a heat wave, Clearwater tends to stay fairly cool and comfortable because of its proximity to the ocean. It can be challenging to find a hotel room or ideal accommodations during the peak season that runs from November through April, so it’s a good idea to book as far in advance as possible. If you’re planning an extended stay, consider renting a condo or a vacation home that offers easy access to the beach and also puts you within easy reach of area attractions and sites.
The easiest way to get around Clearwater is with a rental car or by taking a cab. Your options in public transportation are limited, so if you’re planning on staying in the area for a few days, consider renting a car. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority does offer bus service to Clearwater from Tampa and the surrounding area, but this may not be the most comfortable mode of transportation for you and your traveling party. The Jolley Trolley runs through Clearwater, and can be an easy way to get around the downtown area.
Clearwater is a family-friendly beach destination in Florida, and you’re likely to find some live entertainment and special events taking place on the pier and other destinations around the coast on any given day. Take the kids out to the pier to enjoy the sunset and catch a live music performance or other live entertainment. Family attractions such as the Sea Screamer and the Pirate Cruise are some fun ways to explore the waters of the Gulf and also learn about the area’s rich history.
Deep sea fishing, nature hikes, watersports, boating and shopping are just a few other activities to look forward to when you’re planning a trip to Clearwater. Downtown Clearwater is where you’ll find some unique cultural sites including art galleries and museums. The coast is dotted with marinas, diving tour operators and some beachside restaurants that serve up some local favorites and tasty cocktails.
One of the area’s best kept secrets is Pinewood Cultural Park, a 180-acre park that features the Heritage Village open-air museum and gives visitors a chance to learn about the area’s environment, history and nature. The Florida Botanical Gardens are another great place to see nature at its finest, and a trip here will give you a chance to see dozens of species of native and non-native wildlife resting and playing in their natural habitats.
You will find a number of value-priced hotels and budget-friendly properties throughout Clearwater, even during peak season. Many hotels also cater to Florida residents who want to enjoy the best of the coast just a short drive from home. Whether you’re a Florida native or are visiting from out of state, it’s easy to create an itinerary that meets your needs and budget.
Whether you’re heading to Clearwater for your honeymoon, planning a family vacation to the coast, or are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a beach retreat on your own, you’ll find a wealth of options in accommodations and activities to enjoy in Clearwater Beach.