Oh, there is so much we can tell you about Clearwater Beach, but this is one of those beautiful Florida towns that you have to come to see and drive down the main drag and enjoy what people flock here, not just from the north, but from all points in the USA to see – the pristine beach and the fun seaside city. We know it says Clearwater – and you’re hoping the water is clear, but remember this beach is near Tampa and the surf can get pretty heavy at times.
Still, the water is “clear” enough to see some amazing bottle nose dolphin (more on a famous dolphin in a bit) that hang out around the waterfront. You can snorkel here as well – kind of silty as the Gulf often is – so don’t expect to see too much.
One of the coolest things you will find – which we did – about Clearwater Beach is that they are continually upgrading the city, developing areas that have been a little stagnant. And it’s done great for tourism, and for local businesses. It’s not hard to find great hotels here and you can also use VRBO to find a great vacation rental. Check vendors far enough in advance to get the best deals. The city is clean and inviting and the locals are downright friendly.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Put this special gem on your Clearwater Beach ToDo list. We were so excited when we found this because we all have kids here at ThreeBestBeaches.com. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to a special dolphin named “Winter.” What makes Winter so special is that it is the actual dolphin the movie Dolphin Tale was written and produced about! Yes, that tailless dolphin! And you can actually visit Winter and see the tail they created for her. Now, we won’t tell you the whole “tail,” you have to get down to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and see for yourself.
But even if you’re not into visiting aquariums, Clearwater Beach has a lot of fun things to do. Naturally you can take long strolls along the beach – we suggest turning off all devices and unplug, except for a camera; you can also fish along shore or offshore here. There is the world famous Pier 60 which is a city run fishing pier with full facilities. Everyone in the family will enjoy hanging out here waiting for that big one to nibble. Use our search tool in the sidebar to search for the best fishing charter operations in the Clearwater-Tampa, Florida area.
There are some very cool kayak and canoe trails at Caladesi Island, a state park that could have it’s own page here on our website. This park lies north of Clearwater and you’ll see signs all along Florida Highway 19 that runs through the area here and up the coast for Caladesi Island State Park. You’ll have full facilities here, beaches, trails and the warm Florida weather people flock here for.
And if the kids are into Disney, or maybe you are into Disney (ha!), just know you are about an hour and a half drive west of Orlando on Interstate 4. Of course there are other parks there as well, and only a hop, skip and jump over to the Space Coast to see NASA if you want to make a full vacation. The planning is in your hands!