Clearwater Beach Guide

Welcome to the sun-kissed shores of Clearwater Beach, Florida, where pure white sands meet vibrant turquoise waters, and fun is the name of the game!

Prepare to be swept away by the infectious energy and lively atmosphere of this tropical playground on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater Beach holidays are like a never-ending party, where the sun always shines, and the beach vibes are contagious. Picture yourself basking in the warm rays, feeling the sand between your toes, and diving into the refreshing waves that beckon you with their irresistible charm.

This beach paradise is not just about relaxation; it’s an adventure waiting to happen! Our Clearwater tours (part of our wider range of Florida tours) are perfect for families, couples, and friends looking for adventure with a healthy slice of sunshine.

From boat rides to local attractions, and outdoor activities, we’ve got it all and this Clearwater Beach guide will try to give you everything you need to plan the perfect Clearwater trip for you!

Feel the excitement as you cruise alongside playful dolphins or set sail on a picturesque sunset tour, where breathtaking views are served on a silver platter. And when you’re ready to take a break from all the action, indulge in the vibrant Beach Walk promenade, boasting a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

So let’s dive into everything you need to know before visiting Clearwater, Florida!

If any questions come to mind as you read this Clearwater Beach guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Real Florida Adventures team. We’re here to help make your trip to the Sunshine State unforgettable!

Grab your shades, slather on the sunscreen, and get ready for a sun-soaked vacation full of laughter, joy, and memories that will last a lifetime. Our Clearwater Beach vacations are calling your name!

Where is Clearwater, Florida?

Let’s start by getting our bearings! Clearwater is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa itself is to the east on the other side of Old Tampa Bay. Another of Florida’s most popular resort cities, St. Pete Beach, is south of Clearwater. 

Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Pete are all within a 40-minute drive of each other, and Orlando is less than a two-hour drive away too.

Our blog What’s the Difference Between Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Pete? is a great explainer and can help familiarise you with the area before you arrive.

How to get to Clearwater

There are many options to choose from to get to Clearwater depending on your location, so we’ve rounded up the best for you.

Of course, if you’re already in the area and want someone else to take care of the driving, no problem! You can join Real Florida Adventures for Clearwater Beach trips from Orlando, where we’ll organize round trips and do the planning for you. All you have to do is enjoy the ride!

Our Orlando to Clearwater bus ride will ensure you’re comfortable, air-conditioned, and fully prepped to enjoy our array of beach tours. Check out our Clearwater Trip from Orlando for an example of what you can expect. Our tour guide will give you tips on the best places to see Clearwater’s hidden gems and, if you choose this tour, a delicious lunch is included.

Are you more of an independent traveller? We also offer Clearwater transportation only, allowing you to explore freely once you arrive.

Fly to Clearwater Beach

Hop on a plane and fly into Tampa International Airport. From there, it’s just a short drive filled with anticipation, blasting your favorite tunes, and maybe even some impromptu car karaoke. 

Drive to Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is a two-hour drive from Orlando, so if you’re staying in the city and road trips are your thing, grab your squad, pack up some snacks, and hit the highway. Car rentals are an easy option in Orlando, giving you the freedom to move as you please.

Picture this: wind in your hair, windows down, and a playlist of summer anthems blasting as you cruise your way to beachside bliss.

Read our blog How Long Does it Take to Drive from Orlando to Clearwater? before you hit the road for even more local tips about this trip.

Sail to Clearwater Beach

Channel your inner sailor and set sail to Clearwater Beach. Hop aboard a ferry or charter a boat, feeling the ocean breeze in your hair and the excitement building with each wave. Prepare for an epic nautical adventure as you navigate the coastal waters and approach the shores.

Best Times to Visit Clearwater Beach, Orlando

When it comes to picking the perfect time for Clearwater Beach getaways, let’s find the sweet spot where the sun shines, the crowds are just right, and the beach vibes are at their peak!

Is the weather an important part of your trip-planning process? Check out our blog What is the Best Time to Visit Florida Weather-Wise? It’s filled with information about what you can expect from the Sunshine State across all four seasons.

Spring at Clearwater Beach

If you’re all about a high-energy atmosphere and rubbing shoulders with fellow beach enthusiasts, get ready to join the party from late February to early April. It’s spring break time, baby! The beach becomes a buzzing hub of excitement to soak up the sun.

Off-season at Clearwater Beach

For those seeking a more relaxed and wallet-friendly experience, let’s talk about the shoulder seasons. From September to November and late April to May, Clearwater Beach takes on a delightful calmness.

You’ll have more space to spread out your beach towel, enjoy leisurely walks without the hustle and bustle, and snag some awesome deals on accommodations. It’s like having your own private slice of paradise!

Summer at Clearwater Beach

Now, if you’re a sun worshipper and don’t mind a little extra heat, summer in Clearwater Beach is your jam! Sure, it can get sizzling hot and a tad humid, but the beach truly comes alive in July and August.

Embrace the sunshine, take refreshing dips in the ocean, and enjoy those epic beach days where you can practically feel your worries melting away.

Temperatures at Clearwater Beach, Florida

The temperature in Clearwater Beach is generally warm throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for people who want to escape the cold weather!

The temperatures vary depending on the season, with summers being hot and humid, while winters are mild and pleasant.

The average temperature during the summer months of June to August ranges from 85°F to 90°F.

During the winter months of December to February, the average drops slightly from 55°F to 70°F.

Whenever you decide to visit, sunscreen is an absolute must!

If you’re looking for a more manageable temperature, the best time to visit Clearwater Beach is from December to May when the temperature is mild and there’s less humidity.

Just be mindful that during hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, the temperatures can be unpredictable and can rise rapidly.

This year-round warmth is perfect for beach lovers! And if that’s you, we think you’ll love our blog What is the Prettiest Beach in Florida? Spoiler alert: Clearwater Beach is one of them!

In fact, there are many reasons why Clearwater Beach is the best beach… in our opinion! But we’ll leave the decision to you.

Clearwater Beach Dining

Clearwater Beach is a foodie’s paradise, with a vibrant culinary scene that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy!

The top of our list when it comes to seaside tucker is Crabby’s Dockside. This legendary restaurant offers unparalleled views of the beach alongside delicious, freshly caught produce. With a huge menu, packed with seafood, the only issue you’ll have is that you can’t eat everything in one visit.

When putting together our Clearwater Beach day tours, Crabby’s was the obvious choice. From the Sea Screamer and Clearwater Beach day trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Beach trip, all our tours come paired with lunch in Crabby’s Dockside.

For a beachside feast with a twist, head over to Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. This iconic seafood joint serves up a mouthwatering selection of fresh catches and beachy favourites. Indulge in their famous grouper sandwich, accompanied by a side of crispy fries and a cold beverage. While most restaurants are family-friendly around Clearwater Beach, we think Frenchies is arguably the best family spot!

Frenchy’s at Clearwater Beach (Source | License)

If you’re in the mood for waterfront dining with a touch of elegance, make your way to Marina Cantina. Nestled on Clearwater Beach Marina, this Mexican-inspired restaurant offers flavourful fish tacos, refreshing margaritas, and a vibrant atmosphere.

You can find another upscale dining experience with beautiful waterfront views at Island Way Grill. This incredible spot has an extensive seafood menu with Asian twists on traditional classics, not to mention an amazing Sunday brunch.

For a taste of the Caribbean, visit Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar. This family-friendly beachfront gem serves up island-inspired dishes and tropical cocktails. Sink your teeth into their jerk chicken, paired with a refreshing mojito, as you enjoy the ocean breeze and live music.

The Original Crabby Bills is a great family-owned restaurant that is gentle on the wallet. They provide local seafood at an affordable price and offer indoor and outdoor dining spots. Watch the waiters shuck oysters and check out happy hour — all day between opening and 6 pm.

Last but not least, satisfy your sweet tooth at the legendary Frenchy’s Saltwater Café. Known for its homemade key lime pie, this charming family-friendly café will transport your taste buds to citrusy heaven.

These are just a few of the top dining spots in Clearwater Beach that will tantalize your taste buds and create unforgettable dining memories.

Clearwater Beach Activities for Families

Clearwater is a great destination for families, with plenty of things to do to keep the kids entertained. In addition to the relaxed beach atmosphere where the waves are gentle, you can explore parks, visit the Clearwater Beach aquarium, and enjoy boat tours.

Want some more? Absolutely! You can tick dolphin-watching off your bucket list in the Gulf of Mexico and get a bird’s eye view of this stunning region by going parasailing!

Take a look at our activities on Clearwater Beach below and get in touch with our friendly local team if you have any questions. 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration for your Florida adventure? Read our blogs 5 Fun Things to Do in Clearwater Beach, Florida with Kids and 12 Ways for Families to Have Fun in Clearwater, Florida!

Boat Rides from Clearwater Beach

There is plenty of sunshine and fun to be had on any boat rides at Clearwater Beach throughout the year!

If you want to experience the sea, take to the waves on our Clearwater Florida boat tours. For a day out with an adrenaline rush, look no further than the Sea Screamer day trip.

Head to the marina, board the world’s largest speedboat, and roar along the coastline.

Do you want to experience the world of big game fishing? On our Clearwater Beach and Deep Sea Fishing day trip, you’ll have plenty of chances to reel in tuna, blue marlin, red snapper, and more. Will you be able to catch your own lunch?

For smaller sailors, there’s also a Pirate Ship Adventure. See the 17th century brought to life on a pirate ship!

For two hours of pirate antics, including treasure hunting, face painting, water gun games, story-telling, and more, this is a great activity for young scallywags.

Roam Clearwater’s Parks

Clearwater is home to incredible parks that add a touch of magic to your outdoor adventures.

Sand Key Park is a must-visit for outdoor lovers. Its pristine beach offers winding trails, lush foliage, and is a great place to catch stunning sunsets. You can even spot dolphins from the park if you’re lucky!

This Clearwater hidden gem is a great place for picnics, beach volleyball matches, and a game of frisbee with the kids.

Moccasin Lake Nature Park, on the other hand, immerses you in a serene oasis with its boardwalks and wildlife. The park also offers educational programs and interactive exhibits, making it a perfect destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting boardwalk, immersing yourself in the serene surroundings of cypress trees, mangroves, and tranquil ponds. As you explore, keep your eyes peeled for alligators, turtles, and an array of colourful birds.

These natural sanctuaries are so stunning, and such pleasurable places to visit, that we included them on our list of the things that Clearwater, Florida is known for.

Explore Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater, Florida is packed with beautiful creatures roaming in the sea and those enclosed as part of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium rehabilitation program.

Your kids will love this working animal hospital where they can see sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and even sharks!

Our Clearwater Marine Aquarium & Beach Trip includes lunch, a guided tour, transportation, and a meeting with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The center cares for creatures no longer able to swim in the wild, so you can meet these friendly fish while supporting the aquarium’s mission.

Stroll Around Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach

This 1,080-foot fishing pier is one of Clearwater’s most popular spots. It reaches into the Gulf of Mexico and is a great place for family activities and fishing.

Between the park, trampolines, and playgrounds, kids will have plenty to choose from!

Pier 60 is also a great spot for awesome sunsets. Before sundown, the nightly Sunset Celebration market of more than 30 local vendors offers watercolours and handicrafts to peruse.

The pier’s buskers add a laid-back soundtrack to the sea washing against the shore.

Are you thinking of staying for a night or two in Clearwater? We don’t blame you! Check out our tips for the best beach resorts in Clearwater Beach and find your perfect home away from home.

Beach Walk at Clearwater, Orlando

Beach Walk is a scenic promenade that runs along Clearwater Beach. Families can walk or bike along the pathway, which offers beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico.

There are also plenty of restaurants and shops along the way in case you need to stop and grab a bite.

And there are plenty more activities in Orlando and beyond! If you’re still hungry for more fun-filled Florida activities, read our blog about the Best Things to Do with Kids in Florida

Adventure Parks at Clearwater Beach

Splash Harbor Water Park

If you want a break from the beach, Splash Harbor Water Park is located at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and offers plenty of water slides and pools for families to enjoy. There’s also a lazy river and a kiddie area for younger children.

Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

If you’re seeking more thrills, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is just a short drive away. This world-class amusement park is a treasure trove of excitement, offering a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping rides, captivating animal encounters, and live entertainment.

Brace yourself for heart-pounding roller coasters like SheiKra, Montu, and Cheetah Hunt, or embark on a safari adventure to observe majestic animals up close.

With thrilling attractions, mouthwatering dining options, and captivating shows, Busch Gardens is a must-visit for adventure lovers.

No matter when you choose to visit, Clearwater Beach promises a great time. So grab your sunscreen, put on your beach hat, and get ready to dive into the fun, because every season and activity has its own unique charm in this coastal paradise!

Whether you choose one of our Clearwater Beach day trips or just need our Orlando to Clearwater bus transportation, Real Florida Adventures is here to help you plan a break that will be as relaxing as the destination!

We’ve been welcoming visitors and locals alike to this spectacular destination for over 40 years, so we’re experts at advising you on the right activities for you and your travel group.

Just get in touch with our local experts for more information and make your beach dreams come true at Clearwater!

Busch Gardens, Florida (Source | License)