Destinations USA

What To Do In Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Jet Ski

Clearwater Beach is a beautiful area on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Being just about a two-hour drive from Orlando, it’s the perfect add on to an Orlando vacation and has activities for families and couples alike. These are our top tips on what to do in Clearwater Beach.

1. Visit Sand Key Park Or The Main Town Beach

A Florida Pelican

A Florida Pelican

The shining star of Clearwater Beach is, of course, the white soft sand and the crystal clear shallow water. Whether you want to simply relax by the ocean, splash in the sea, watch the pelicans or rent a jet ski you can here. If you are spending time on the public town beach or venturing over to Sand Key Park you will surely find your idyllic beachside spot.

Sand Key Park is a great beach area with plenty of parking and amenities. Facilities for kids include a playground, whilst dogs are looked after with a dog park and you can even hire a beach cabana. If you like watersports you can rent a boat, a paddle board or a kayak too.

Sand Key Park is also an important beach for conservation as endangered sea turtles lay eggs on the beach and endangered birds nest and feed in the salt marsh.

2. Visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a sanctuary for sick animals. Their mission is based on Rescue, Release and Rehab and wherever possible sick animals are treated and released back into the wild. You may have heard of it as it had a starring roll in the family film Dolphin’s Tale, a true story about Winter the dolphin who was rescued from the wild after damaging her tail in a crab trap.

The staff at Clearwater Beach Aquarium educate and inform the public on conservation and collaborate on scientific research into animal behaviour, illness, treatment and the prevention of marine life decline. It’s a real working animal hospital and scientific research unit.

The many animals you can see at Clearwater Aquarium include dolphins, otters, sharks, rays, turtles and pelicans and it’s an interesting day out for all the family.

3. Go On A Boat Tour And See The Dolphins

Clearwater Dolphin Tour

Clearwater dolphin tours

Clearwater Beach is known for its wildlife and its warm waters are the perfect habitat for dolphins. Take a boat trip with a company such as Little Toot or Encounters With Dolphins to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

Dolphins love swimming in the waves created by boats so you won’t have long to spot one or even a pod of dolphins. These highly intelligent marine animals are amazing to see in real life, so be quick and catch a photo for a memory you will never forget.

4. Watch The Sunset At Pier 60

Clearwater Pier

Clearwater Pier

Pier 60 is situated right in the middle of Clearwater Beach and is the place to go when the sun goes down. Stalls selling hand made jewellery, decorated shells, beach themed candles, and paintings of Clearwater Beach line the pier and street entertainers and buskers keep the crowds happy.

On selected evenings they even have free movies by the pier, so it’s well worth checking out. Find a bar with outside tables and sit with a cocktail people watching in the glow of the legendary sunset.

5. Check Out The Restaurants And Beach Bars

Sunset Cocktail

A cocktail while watching the sunset

From upscale restaurants to little beach shacks and cool hotel bars, Clearwater has something for everyone. The Clear Sky Cafe and Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill are places to go for some great cocktails.

While you are in Clearwater you need to check out the Frenchy’s chain, a small group of cafes and restaurants in the town with the simple goal to have a friendly laid back vibe and serve fresh seafood and cold drinks. Their signature grouper sandwich is so fresh you can almost see it swim, our favourite Frenchy’s spot was Frenchy’s Saltwater Cafe.

Travel Planners have a range of offers in the USA. Their Gulf Coast deals cover Naples, St Pete and Clearwater Beach and if you book before you know it you could be on the beach in Clearwater with a cold drink in your hand.

Let us know, have you been to Clearwater Beach Florida? Would you consider it as a holiday destination?
What to do in Clearwater Beach, Florida

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  • Maxine
    September 2, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Awesome to read about Clearwater Marine Aquarium and their rescue efforts! Also that cocktail while watching the sunset looks absolutely perfect. Pretty cool that they run free movies by the pier too, what a great setting for watching a movie!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      We loved the Marine Aquarium and unlike other places, they only keep the creatures that are unable to survive back in the wild.

  • Divyakshi Gupta
    September 2, 2017 at 10:25 am

    All these activities seem super exciting especially watching the Dolphins in the wild! It’s therapeutic and brings in so much joy! I would love to see the turtle eggs hatch. That is something I do wish to witness:) thanks for this amazing list!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      We could also watch the Dolphins from the balcony of our hotel room.

  • Tom
    September 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Would i visit this place for some Holidays? Maybe. Would i visit this place on a route through the US? Heck yeah! I love the vibe it seems to have and we both absolutely love animals. We would absolutely visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and try and see the turtles hatching. Unfortunately we missed this in Tortuquero in Costa Rica, so it is still on our bucket list.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

      We loved our stay here, it was really laid back. Good food too.

  • Siddhartha Joshi
    September 3, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I love beaches and I think this is perfect for me! I would love watching the sunset with beer too 🙂

    I am not a fan of aquariums, but a sanctuary for sick animals is certainly something worth having!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      Yes, the Marine Aquarium is not your usual tourist attraction, it does some good work and most of the staff are volunteers.

  • Danik
    September 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I would love to see the wildlife here, relax on the beach and have a good wine at the end of the day. Beautiful post and loving the photos.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 3, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Sounds like a perfect day.

  • Drew
    September 4, 2017 at 9:03 am

    It is great to read about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and it efforts to rehab and release back into the wild. Places like that are important for both research and for the local ecosystem, so it is fantastic that you can help support their efforts.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

      It was really interesting, we went on a short boat ride with them into the bay. A lot of the staff are volunteers.

  • Johann
    September 4, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    You’ve listed some good activities. I’d love to see Dolphins some day. So nice to read about the marine sanctuary. I’m hearing this for the first time and I think it’s really needed these days with the constant trawling activities that goes on.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

      The dolphins came really close to our hotel jetty, also saw them out in the bay when on jet skis.

  • Marion Halliday (Red Nomad OZ)
    September 5, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Haha, when I first saw the Pelican pic I thought it was a statue!! Even though our downunder pelicans are similar in size and shape, they’re black and white – but they still hang around anywhere that they might get fed!! So many things to do here, but watching the sunset gets my vote – it’s so great to see the colours reflected in the water!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 5, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Those pelicans are greedy old things. The sunset was beautiful especially good with a drink in your hand.

  • Punita Malhotra
    September 5, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I would probably just laze on the beach all day long, sipping drinks and reading books, or staring at the incessant waves. And there’s the Aquarium if I’m not feeling that lazy sometime 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Lazing on the beach sounds a good option.

  • Megan Jerrard
    September 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I’m a huge fan of wildlife experiences, so I would love to visit Clearwater beach, what with the opportunity to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, I love that they educate and inform the public on conservation as well as running as a hospital and science research unit. And I’ll never say no to a tour out to see dolphins!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      September 9, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Seeing the dolphins was great, we could see them from the jetty and balcony of our hotel too.