Skip to content

10 Top Things To Do in Clearwater Beach

by Chris Chatelain on November 12th, 2015

Gulf beach with white sand and palm trees at Fort De Soto State Park near Clearwater, Florida

 

Clearwater Beach is the stuff that postcards are made of — a Florida vacation destination that offers picturesque blue waters so clean and clear you can see through to the bottom. But while it is visually stunning and filled with enough natural beauty to make you forget about the rest of the world, there is much more to this key community in the Tampa Bay area than its tranquilizing waters.

Here is a list of a few things to do in Clearwater Beach, Florida:

Award-Winning Beaches

Pine-shaded spot on white-sand beach at Fort De Soto State Park near Clearwater, Florida.

While this might seem like a no-brainer, visitors often underestimate just how beautiful the beaches truly are here. In fact, the soft, white sands of Clearwater Beach are consistently ranked among the best in the country — and this year these beaches have once again been named a 2015 Top Travelers’ Choice on TripAdvisor. The sand is clean and soft enough to lie on, the breezes are cool, and the waves are typically gentle. And, with an annual average of about 250 days of sunshine, you are sure to get plenty of Vitamin D the natural way! Whether wading out for a refreshing walk through the water, or playing a friendly game of beach volleyball, or simply enjoying a sensational sunset over the water — Clearwater Beach is every bit as impressive and enjoyable as Caribbean or Hawaiian destinations.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

This place is much different than the typical aquarium in that it is primarily where injured and rescued marine life are brought to be treated, rehabbed, and re-released into the waters. For some, re-release is not possible, and so they stay as permanent residents. One of these is Nicholas, a male bottlenose dolphin whose mother was stranded ashore when he was just six months old. Nicholas followed his mother ashore, suffered severe sunburns, and never had the chance to learn hunting and survival skills. This playful mammal is now a star of shows at the aquarium and loves to interact with people and splash children. So, as you can see, the animals’ stories, as much as the animals themselves, enlighten and entertain visitors of all ages. From dolphins like Winter — who starred in the Dolphin Tale movies — to sea turtles, stingrays, pelicans, and more, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers enough to see and do for an entire afternoon.

Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, swims in her tank at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Winter, the famous dolphin with the prosthetic tail, swims in her tank at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Photo courtesy of visitstpeteclearwater.com.

The Pinellas Trail

Bring along your bikes and experience the area from two wheels via this urban pathway that is a series of trails and bike lanes developed out of an abandoned railroad corridor running from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. One of the most popular trails in the country, the Pinellas Trail  connects multiple parks and coastal communities. Exercise might never be more scenic than this, as you will cross bridges and glimpse history, culture, and of course, natural beauty and beaches, along the way.

Offshoots of hiking trails offer even more adventure, while restaurants, shops, and boutiques provide plenty of places to refuel or relax. This is, after all, a trail that cuts through communities, so activities are never in short supply.

The Segway Adventure

The perfect way to take in all the major scenic parts of this coastal city without blowing out a flip-flop is this well-planned tour on a Segway — a motorized people mover that puts you in control without all the walking. This tour lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours and leads participants through the Beachwalk, up the Memorial Causeway (where the panoramic view is perhaps the best of all places), past the downtown marina, and through the historic Harbor Oaks area with homes that are more than 100 years old. There will also be short breaks on the fishing dock, as well as spectacular views from the beach. Great for families, couples, or individuals, this is a way to take in the entire city in under two hours so you can get back to your vacation rental in time for a breathtaking sunset.

Air Tours

Okay, so you’ve explored Clearwater Beach by land and by sea – now take advantage of the views from above. Besides creating an adrenaline rush from soaring, you’ll also enjoy spectacular views of the Tampa Bay area. See how the barrier islands, the bays, and the land all fit together to form this area, which is often cited as one of the most scenic in the State of Florida. Witness the turquoise waters, the white sand, the green palms, and the colorful beach homes and businesses as a canvas from an elevated vantage point, and you’ll look at things very differently when you are back on the ground. Safe and FAA approved, there are local companies that will take you on a piloted tour in a Cessna, or will rent out motorized gliders that are kind of like a motorcycle with hang glider wings.

 

four brightly colored bumper boats filled with riders at Celebration Station amusement park in Clearwater, Florida -- one of many family-friendly things to do in Clearwater Beach.

Kids of all ages – and more than a few adults, too – will enjoy the bumper boats and other rides and games at Celebration Station.

Celebration Station

Find family fun for the young, as well as the young at heart, at Celebration Station. A place where you could literally spend an entire afternoon and still not be done with everything there is to do there, this park features an arcade with more than 100 games, batting cages, miniature golf, air hockey, pool tables, go-karts, bumper boats, and laser tag as well as prize games and a few rides for thrill-seekers. There are also snack bars and party packages that include pizza and all-day passes at discounts, so you only need to bring yourselves and your sense of fun and adventure, because Celebration Station will supply everything else.

Take in Sunsets at Pier 60

Sunsets are so spectacular from the vantage point of Pier 60 that a festival is held each evening (weather permitting) celebrating the occasion . This festival is family friendly and features arts and crafts, street performances, and live entertainment. What could be better than a perfect view with a party to boot? The Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival is a free event, so you have nothing to lose and the best view in Clearwater to gain.

Deep-Sea Fishing

Anglers will be in heaven with the fleet of charter boats available from the Clearwater Marina. The sports fishing here is as good as just about anywhere. In fact, this area is referred to as the “Grouper Capital of the World,” so chances are pretty good that you can return home from an afternoon of fishing with an ice chest full of fresh fish. Friendly and knowledgeable captains will help you with everything from finding the schools of fish to filleting them. No prior experience required here, just bring your imagination so you can create your own fish tales as you reel in mackerel, marlin, amberjack, mahi, barracuda, the afore-mentioned grouper, and a few other species.

Congo River Golf

If you’re serious about your miniature golf, then Clearwater has something that will tear you away from the beaches and water for an afternoon of friendly competition. Put on your game face and display your skills navigating golf balls through waterfalls, caves, cliffs, and summits, as well as a tropical rainforest. Consistently voted the top miniature golf course in the Tampa Bay area year after year, Congo River Golf is guaranteed to make your family lose track of time. Players of all ages will find fun and adventure at this cool park that sparks the imagination and tests your coordination.

Gulf sunset, a sailboat in the Gulf, and people on the beach at Sunsets at Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach

At Sunsets at Pier 60 daily festival

Sand Key Park

Clearwater’s Sand Key Park, located on the barrier island called Sand Key, is everything you need for spending an entire day enjoying the surf, sand, and family fun. Besides boasting a beautiful and clean beach, Sand Key Park also features a picnic area with grills and tables, a playground, volleyball nets, restrooms, outdoor showers, and even a dog park! Taking a couples trip instead? This park features a salt marsh with nature trails/boardwalks and viewing benches where you can enjoy watching coastal wildlife like herons, spoonbills, owls, sea turtles, and more.

A Clearwater Beach vacation rental can be the portal to a seemingly endless supply of relaxation, family fun, adventure for thrill seekers, and unbelievable beauty for nature lovers. Whether you choose an amenity-filled hotel or a fully-furnished condo or beach home in Clearwater with a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll want to plan some time to get out and enjoy the many activities and attractions in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS