Recognized as one of Florida's top beaches by multiple travel industries, Clearwater Beach Florida is a great place to check out... BUT... I'll warn you, it can also be known to be extremely busy and crowded, making it not as appealing to some. Since we visit Clearwater Beach often, we have a few 'local' tips below!
CLEARWATER BEACH FLORIDA TRAVEL GUIDE
Living in Orlando, we are essentially smack in the middle of Florida & get to choose between two very popular beaches to visit, Clearwater Beach (west coast FL), and Cocoa Beach (east coast FL). We have been to both beaches multiple times, and we prefer Clearwater Beach 99% of the time (weather, wind, & water clarity are the biggest factors).
On our most recent adventure, we not only take you out on the ocean and show you a couple of unique areas near Clearwater, but we also take you on land to Clearwater Beach, and explore with our bicycles, giving you a little insight on what to expect.
THINGS TO DO IN CLEARWATER
There is a MULTITUDE of things to do in Clearwater & even outside of Clearwater... and this list literally could go on for dayyyyyssssss. So I'll just drop a few items that come recommended and maybe a few things that no one really talks about! Oh and be sure to check Groupon for ANY of these activities... great way to save some $$$
※ See Some Wild Dolphins - There is a pretty good amount of Dolphins that hang around Clearwater and are spotted daily. Taking a boat tour or cruise is going to be the easiest and best way to see these amazing critters! QUICK TIP: Nearly every time we go to the edge of the Pier (Pier 60), we see the dolphins... maybe you can get lucky and see them there too! Here are a few tours that come recommended:
- Little Toot
- Sea Screamer
- Mega Bite Shark Boat Tour
- The Tropics Boat Tour
- Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise
- Totally Tubular Watersports
※ Cruise On A Floating Tiki - No really... picture a tiki bar with the thatched roof and all... with a motor that will drive around the waters of Clearwater!
※ Go Fishing On The Ocean - Florida is known for some of the BEST fishing in the world and trust me, this is ALWAYS a blast to experience! There are a ton of charters to take and the prices are pretty decent! The best way (in my opinion) to get an idea of prices, what accommodations are offered, reviews, compare multiple charters at once, etc, is to look at FishingBooker.
QUICK TIP: We are out on the water all the time and I can't stress this enough... cake on the 50+ SPF & wear an SPF shirt, wear a hat, stay hydrated, and if you get seasick easily, make sure to take Dramamine! There is nothing worse than booking a fishing charter and end up getting seasick... Blake (our son) knows this feeling all too well (poor kid!)
※ Rent A Jet Ski In Clearwater Beach Florida- This is definitely fun!
- Makin Waves
- Clearwater Watersports
- BouYah Watersports
- Fin's Jet Ski Tours
- Clearwater Jet Ski & Fun Boat
QUICK TIP: Again... I can't stress this enough... cake on the 50+ SPF & wear an SPF shirt, wear a hat, stay hydrated, and CONTINUE to reapply the sunscreen! The sun is INTENSE and you WILL get fried like a lobster... It only takes about 30 minutes in the sun and BAM... instant suntan and burns lol
QUICK TIP #2: Knowing what we know now (since we own jet skis), we always wear a pair of water shoes. I know... it doesn't sound 'cute' nor 'appealing' but when you are ripping around and hitting the waves, having some grip on the bottom of your feet is very necessary! Plus, if you end up getting off the ski at a sandbar or something, it's nice to have some type of 'shoe' on your feet!
※ Rent A Scooter, Mini Car, Golf Cart ... All Seriously fun and a GREAT way to see Clearwater!
※ Go Parasailing - Always a fun way to get a 'birds-eye view' of Clearwater and you might even see some dolphins from up high.
※ Go Tubing, Wakeboarding, Or Skiing - Sometimes you want something out of the ordinary when you are on vacation, and being able to do these things on the ocean is even more unique!
※ Explore Nearby Islands - You could consider some of the beaches to be on Floridas top beaches list as well! There are multiple cruises & boat tours that you can take... here are a few suggestions!
- Adventure Boat Rentals (& tours)
- Caladesi Island Ferry
- Hubbard's Marina (highly suggested!!)
- Coastal Cruisin Fun
- Clearwake Water Sports
※ Casual Ocean Cruises - If you are wanting to get on the water but nothing too crazy, these are some great options.
- Calypso Queen
- Cruisin Tiki's
- Kai Lani Catamaran
- Clearwake SunCoast Charters
- Schooner Clearwater
- The Tropics Boat Tour
WHICH PART OF CLEARWATER BEACH IS THE BEST
So this truly depends on what you are looking for... such as:
- Little to no crowds: The further North you go, you will find little to no crowds... but this also means you are further away from your basic amenities (bathroom, food, drinks, etc)
- Nearby bathrooms: Generally these are near public parking lots (which is normally a very busy place) and closer to the southern part of Clearwater Beach
- Dog friendly: Sadly dogs are not allowed on the beach of Clearwater, but you can have them everywhere else, as long as they are on a leash. If you have a car, there is a dog park located at Sand Key Park (south of Clearwater), or you can take them to Honeymoon Island onto Dog Beach (north of Clearwater). By the way... Honeymoon Island and Dog Beach are where the locals go and we promise, you won't be disappointed!
- Nearby shops/ restaurants: The further South on Clearwater Beach, the more shops & restaurants!
QUICK TIP: If you are looking for the 'clearest water', the weather has to be pretty much perfect. Little to no wind is the biggest factor! If you can find an area (Honeymoon Island, Caladesi Island, or the southern tip of Clearwater) where there is a bit of a 'cove' area, this is where you will get the clearest water
QUICK TIP #2: If you are going to Honeymoon Island, it's surrounded by mangroves and other shrubs.... and in Florida, shrubs = lots of hungry bugs that like to eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Be sure to bring some bug spray!
NEARBY BEACH'S TO CLEARWATER
If you are renting a car or some set of wheels, here are a few nearby beaches to Clearwater that we encourage you to check out! (As a local, I would consider a couple of these to be on Floridas top beaches list too)
- Honeymoon Island & Dog Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Madeira Beach
- Anna Maria Island
- Cortez Beach
- Siesta Key Beach
- Indian Rocks Beach
- Egmont Key (must take a ferry, but SOOOO worth it)
- Anclote Key (must take a ferry or other water vessel, also WORTH it)
QUICK TIP: If you want to get a quick look before driving to these locations, check these locations on Google Maps or Google Earth (best on a computer) to get a little bit better idea of what you can expect
QUICK TIP #2: Some of these locations are state parks and will cost a couple of dollars to gain access... but trust us...THEY ARE WORTH THE FEW DOLLARS!
And as always, if you enjoyed my rambling, and would like to hear more, be sure to click 'Follow' and stay tuned for more! And if you REALLY like us, we would so much appreciate you sharing this with someone else ❤ The referral of your friends & family is the greatest compliment you can give us!
We also have a YouTube channel that you can follow along, just search Adventure Encounters, and you can see many more adventures around the globe.
Thank you for your trust & Happy Adventures!
- Ashley From The Adventure Encounters
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