A Clearwater vacation means sun, sand, and seashells. Beautiful Clearwater Beach on the Gulf coast of Pinellas FL offers the best of Tampa Bay. Its ideal location is the perfect base to explore Florida’s bay area.
Fun in the Clearwater sun includes sunbathing on white sandy beaches, diving into a game of beach volleyball, renting fishing boats, taking a dolphin-watching cruise, or parasailing. Clearwater Marine Aquarium features otters, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays. It is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals and sea turtles.
Clearwater Public Beach, also known as Pier 60, is a beach lover’s paradise, with white sands and gentle waves for excellent swimming. Memorial Causeway connects this sandy 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula to downtown Clearwater.
Sunsets are a nightly celebration at Clearwater Beach. Two hours before the sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico people flock to Pier 60 to salute the setting of the Florida sun. Local artisans and crafters offer handmade treasures and street performers display spectacular feats of skill while you sink your feet into the sand and dance to the rhythm of live music flowing from Pier 60 Pavilion.
Pier 60 offers beach volleyball, lifeguards, playgrounds, restrooms, showers, concessions, a fishing pier, and a bait-and-tackle shop. Head to the ocean end of Bay Esplanade for quieter diversions like shell collecting. Or jog or walk on the wide beach at Sand Key Park, on the northern tip of Sand Key facing Clearwater Beach.
Nearby Clearwater Beach Marina provides boating cruises, water sports rentals, and other water activities. Gated municipal parking is available.
Just north of Clearwater, Caladesi Island State Park is on a 3.5-mile islet, accessible only by ferry. This is perhaps the finest Clearwater Florida beach and an ideal spot for bird watching, shell collecting, and saltwater fishing.
The park is made up of soft sand dunes covered in sea oats and palmettos, and is brimming with wildlife. Offshore dolphins and sea turtles swim offshore. On shore, where pets are restricted, you’ll find shore birds, rabbits, raccoons, snakes, and armadillos from the parks nature trail. Amenities include picnic pavilions, bathhouses, refreshment concessions, and an overnight marina.
Nearby St. Petersburg is a museum-lover’s town, with the Florida International Museum’s extensive JFK memorabilia, the Florida Holocaust Museum, and the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. Or soak up the sponge fishing heritage of Tarpon Springs. Just north of Clearwater FL this Greek immigrant community is known as “Sponge Capital of the World.”
Clearwater is the jumping off point for the heavenly beaches of the barrier islands. Experts hail Fort De Soto beach, on Mullet Key, as the number one best beach in the world. This natural jewel is a long, wide, sugar sand beach with great shelling and thriving natural dunes. Along with being a wonderful place to swim, there's fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, biking, walking, and even a dog park. The beach offers modern changing rooms and restrooms and plenty of parking.