Dreaming of the Florida sunshine? Why not head to Clearwater in the Tampa Bay area, for a beach break in the most gorgeous city in Florida?
There are so many awesome things to do Clearwater Florida that it’s hard to know where to begin?
I’ve come up with a selection of some of the most fun things to do in Clearwater, to help you plan your Florida vacation.
Awesome things to do Clearwater Florida
If you are looking for a sunny beach holiday in Florida, then Clearwater in Tampa Bay is the obvious choice.
This picturesque peninsula averages around 361 sunny days a year. Come for the vitamin D and stay for the relaxed beach vibes.
Why you need to visit Clearwater Florida
Floridians and international visitors come to experience the ‘best beach in the USA‘ and to visit the many Clearwater attractions.
Clearwater has a fantastic selection of hotels, white sand beaches, boat trips, bars and water sports to keep you entertained throughout the year.
Travelling to Clearwater will require a little travel planning, so you know where you want to visit, where to stay and where you want to eat.
We talk more about travel planning on my weekly travel podcast – Travel Goals. Subscribe now and catch up on all episodes.
Read my guide on awesome things to do Clearwater, to get inspired for your next Florida holiday.
Disclaimer: Content created from a press trip with Visit St Petersburg/Clearwater
Spend a day on Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach, on a barrier island, is a glorious 3-mile stretch of white sand that is surrounded by swish hotels and hip restaurants.
Trip Advisor named it the number 1 beach in the USA in 2018 and 2019 and it is easy to see why. The whole area looks like it’s straight out of a glossy holiday brochure.
Clearwater Beach things to do
Clearwater beach is one of the top tourist destinations along the Gulf Coast and is a great place to swim, relax or try your hand at water sports.
Why not try your hand at Stand up paddle boarding? You can book you SUP Rental online and secure your sup experience.
Walking along the powdery sands at sunrise is probably one of the best free things to do in Clearwater. It was certainly my favourite thing.
At dawn, the beach is mostly empty except for joggers and yogis, so you can enjoy the ridiculously soft and immaculate sands in relative peace.
Caladesi Island is the definition of a dreamy island escape. It’s actually one of the few remote islands along the Gulf Coast.
The pristine beaches are perfect for sunbathing as the warm waters gently lap the shoreline, it almost doesn’t look real?
You can hire deck chairs and umbrellas and spend a day unwinding in the most gorgeous surroundings in Florida.
If you are in need some ‘me time’, this is the place to soothe your soul and get into a zen-like state of mind.
The Caladesi Island rental hours are 10:30 am – 4:00 pm and it costs $5 + tax, per day to rent a single deck chair.
Kayak rental Caladesi Island
One of the best ways to experience Caladesi Island is to rent a kayak and explore the island by boat.
You can kayak off the shore in the warm ocean waters or take the paddling trail, which begins and ends at the park’s marina and café.
The Caladesi Island paddle trail is one of the more unique things to do in clearwater. The trail allows you to paddle through a mangrove forest and spot wildlife and birds along the way.
I would really recommend taking a GoPro, or a DJI Osmo Pocket with a waterproof case on this trip. That way you can get some awesome beach and kayak shots.
GoPro’s are waterproof and shockproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting wet or dropping them in the sand.
How do you get to Caladesi Island?
The island is only accessible by boat, which gives it an extra layer of unspoiled intrigue.
The small Caladesi ferry travels to Caladesi Island State Park and allows visitors a four-hour stay.
The Caldessi island ferry costs $14 round-trip ferry ticket. You can Catch the Caladesi Connection ferry at the famous Honeymoon Island State Park.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Enjoy a spot of live music with your lunch at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. This uber-cool beach restaurant has a brilliant range of seafood dishes and devilishly strong margaritas.
Seafood lovers have to try one of their famous grouper sandwiches. These gigantic sandwiches are full of freshly caught Grouper from the shores of Clearwater Beach and are a taste sensation.
I would also recommend the Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries, Fish Tacos and Coconut Shrimp.
Frenchy’s is a great place for a spot of daytime drinking in Clearwater. The atmosphere is buzzing with bartenders busy shaking up cocktails, crooning from the musicians and the inebriated laughter of friends.
If you’re looking for a relaxed beach bar with delectable seafood dishes, then Frenchy’s is the place for you.
Go on a Clearwater dolphin tour
Not all Dolphin cruises are created equally. I have been on many a ‘wildlife spotting’ vessel that is overcrowded, noisy and frankly, a shipwreck waiting to happen.
The Little Toot is a far cry from these cowboy outfits. You can enjoy a dolphin-spotting adventure aboard their uncrowded ship and even enjoy a beer or two onboard.
Little Toot Dolphin Adventures
The Little toot Dolphin trip will let you get up close and personal with dolphins in the wild without chasing them and causing them distress.
The Little Toot’s boat is also lower in the water to bring you closer to the dolphins as they leap out of the water.
Little Toot crew were really friendly and knowledgeable about the dolphin behaviour and where they are likely to be. Which means that dolphin spotting is almost guaranteed on their trips.
Intrepid dolphin seeking captain also uses the boat to create a wake for the dolphins to play in, genius!
It was honestly one of the most magical experiences of my life to see dolphins jumping out of the water in a wild setting.
This is the best way to see dolphins in Florida, in their natural habitat and not in an aquarium.
Make sure to book your Clearwater Dolphin spotting trip online to secure your spot on one of the best activities in Clearwater.
Enjoy Sunsets at Pier 60 Clearwater
Sunsets at Pier 60 is frankly a local institution in Clearwater Beach. This free Clearwater event takes place year-round, weather permitting.
Locals and visitors gather to watch the most colourful and dreamy sunset as the sun dips into the ocean setting the sky ablaze with colour.
The 1,080ft fishing pier is delightfully retro, there is a cafe, fishing bait and tackle store.
As you stroll along you’ll notice that the pier is full of local fishermen casting their lines out to sea.
Clearwater Pier 60 things do
One of the best things about Sunsets at Pier 60 is that you can enjoy art stalls, street performers and musicians.
You can buy colourful trinkets and listen to lively music from local performers and soak up the awesome atmosphere.
It’s worth the stroll down the to the end of the pier and takes sunset snaps of the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico.
It only costs $1 to go to the very end of the pier and it is definitely worth it for the stunning ocean views.
It’s one of the most fun things to do in Clearwater Beach at night for sure.
If you are looking to spoil yourself on your Clearwater vacation why not book a Clearwater helicopter tour?
You will be treated to amazing views of Pier 60 and Clearwater beach from high in the sky. Can you imagine the awesome photos you will get from that vantage point?
Looking for more Florida travel ideas? Check out my guide – how to have a fun weekend in St. Pete Florida and get inspired!
Have a delicious dinner at Casa Tina
Take a short trip to nearby Dunedin for dinner at the family-run tavern Casa Tina. They have the best Mexican eats here including ceviche, tacos,
The decor definitely has a ‘Day of the Dead’ vibe with hipster touches and quirky staff shaking up some mean cocktails.
When dining at Casa Tina you have to order the Mole Poblano, one of Mexico’s most beloved dishes. Whist the dish isn’t exactly what one might describe as ‘Instagrammable’, it certainly makes up for it in taste.
Savour a contrasting blend of chocolate and chillies that make the dish both sweet and spicy.
It is served as a chicken or veggie enchiladas and was utterly delectable.
Bar hop in downtown Dunedin
Whilst you are in the Dunedin area you should definitely bar hop around the many hip bars and breweries in Dunedin.
Dunedin is one of the oldest towns on the West Coast of Florida and is just a short drive away from Clearwater.
The town has a great bar scene and is the perfect setting for an evening out in the Tampa Bay area.
Some of the best bars in Dunedin include:
- Sonder Social Club – Downtown Dunedin’s first craft cocktail bar, serving beer, wine and hand-crafted, unique cocktails.
- Dunedin Brewery – Florida’s oldest brewery and offers delicious food and live music. Beers are hand-crafted in small batches, 20 barrels at a time. The tasting room is laid back Florida with a Scottish touch.
- Woodwright Brewery – located in Downtown Dunedin, they specialise in traditional German and European style beer, served in the tasting room and beer garden.
Where to stay in Clearwater
There are many hotels in the Clearwater area to suit your budget and accommodation needs.
There’s a huge range of luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels and Airbnb properties to choose from.
Some of the best hotels in Clearwater include:
- Sandpearl Resort
- Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
- Wyndham Grand Clearwater
- Opal Sands Resort
Wyndham Grand Clearwater
Spoil yourself with a stay at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is an ideal getaway for some serious R&R.
This dreamy resort has 343 gorgeous guest rooms that offer incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway.
The hotel also has a huge outdoor pool that has the best beach views. It was definitely my favourite part of my stay there.
Luxury hotel Clearwater
You can also feast on award-winning Asian-fusion cuisine at the resort’s signature restaurant Ocean Hai.
There is also poolside casual fare at DocK’s Pool Bar & Grill available and there are also cocktails at the lobby bar.
Why visit Clearwater?
Clearwater is a perfect Florida vacation for families, couples and groups of friends.
This pretty beach city has a great range of beach activities, bars, great places to at and the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen.
Hopefully, this list of some of the most fun things to do Clearwater Florida has inspired you to consider a Clearwater holiday.
Getting to Clearwater Florida
If you are flying to Clearwater Florida, the major airports near Clearwater are:
- 10 miles to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE / KPIE)
- 18 miles to Tampa International Airport (TPA / KTPA)
- 55 miles to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ / KSRQ)
If you are flying to Clearwater from the UK, there are approximately 37 direct flights between London airports and Tampa International Airport per week.
You can compare and book flights to Clearwater and Tampa with Expedia. Search for discounted flight tickets from over 400 standard and budget airlines.
Airport Parking and lounges
Save money on your Florida trip by booking your airport parking in advance. You can find great airport parking deals online with Holiday Extras.
Get up to 70% off airport parking when you book in advance online. Keep your car secure and safe whilst you are on your holidays in an official airport car park.
You could also park your car at the airport with Car & Away. It’s the first person to person car-sharing service that matches car renters to car owners in a very simple and transparent way.
The service gives airport parking customers the opportunity to ‘rent and earn’ whilst on holiday. It’s a unique way to save money for travel, that’s for sure.
Why not spoil yourself with airport lounge access before your flight? Lounges don’t have to be super expensive, book online with Holiday Extras to save money on your lounge splurge.
Clearwater Florida FAQ
Recommended travel resources
Flights: To search for flight deals check out sites such as Skyscanner, Kayak and Travel Supermarket to compare the costs of flights. My top tip to save money is to fly mid-week and take just hand luggage if possible.
Accommodation: I love a nice boutique hotel on my travel and I regularly use Booking.com as they have fantastic flexibility and cancellation. I also recommend Trip Advisor and hotels combined for hotel browsing. Additionally, I use Airbnb and TrustedHousesitters for homestays.
Travel Insurance: I highly recommend you always get travel insurance for your trips. Check out my Travel Insurance Page to see out why. I recommend World Nomads or Post Office travel Insurance.
Group Tours: I love booking group tours as a cost-effective and convenient way of discovering destinations. I recommend booking a small group tour with G Adventures.
Travel Guides: My favourite travel guide books are Bradt Guides, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.
For more travel tools, head to my bumper travel resources page now!