Ideally situated on the Gulf of Mexico and with a seemingly endless supply of sun, a mild and temperate climate, world-renowned beaches, wide-ranging recreational and cultural activities and events, as well as nature-based attractions, Clearwater is one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations.
Its proximity to St Petersburg, Tampa, Sarasota and Orlando make it an ideal “base” for daily excursions.
Visitors won’t have any problems finding the right place to sleep, eat or shop.
With over 7,000 rooms and 400 restaurants to fit every lifestyle and budget, Clearwater provides visitors with a number of options.
In addition, the greater Clearwater area is known as the “Retail Center” for Florida’s west coast due to its abundance of specialty, high-end boutiques, beach-town surf shops, major shopping complexes, flea markets and outlet malls.
More than anything else, Clearwater is best known for its magnificent Gulf beaches, some of which have been recognized internationally for their overall “beach health,” including sand and water quality, as well as for safety and their vast array of recreational offerings.
Several of the area’s beaches consistently rank among the best, including Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island and Fort DeSoto Park.
Many of the Clearwater area’s beaches have also received the Blue Wave Clean Beach designation from the Clean Beaches Council acknowledging that a beach is a safe, healthy and clean place to visit. Area beaches that have received the Blue Wave Clean Beach certification include Caladesi Island, Clearwater Beach, Fort DeSoto Park, Fred Howard Park, Honeymoon Island, Sand Key Park, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island.
Clearwater Beach is one of the most popular of all the area beaches due to its family-friendly environment and offerings. Visitors will want to check out Pier 60 with its recreational complex and Sunsets at Pier 60, a daily festival featuring music, entertainment and Gulf sunsets. Clearwater Beach has consistently been ranked among the top beaches in the country by readers of USAToday.com, Condé Nast Traveler magazine, Tampa Bay Magazine and Florida Sports magazine.
Travelers are increasingly seeking out attractions and places that help them reconnect to the natural environment, and the Clearwater and Tampa Bay areas do not disappoint. From native alligators and crocodiles to manatees and loggerhead sea turtles, and all manner of seabirds and native plants, Florida is home to some of the most interesting flora and fauna on the planet.
The Clearwater Marina is home to the largest fishing fleet on the west coast of Florida with both party and charter boats available. Across the street, Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60, open 24 hours a day (except Christmas), offers a full service bait house with gear rental and sales, live bait, snacks and beverages. In addition to fishing, boats berthed at the Clearwater Marina offer a myriad of activities including sightseeing, sailing, “hands on” marine life adventures, parasailing and more.
The Clearwater area is a golfer’s paradise with eight golf courses in Clearwater alone. The Clearwater area boasts some of the country’s best facilities for tennis, indoor swimming and beach volleyball, and is home to all manner of racing competitions throughout the year, including regattas, triathlons, marathons, canoe/kayak races, bicycle and road races.
Clearwater is “lots more than the best beach”. In fact, more and more visitors are discovering “old Florida’s” heritage and a burgeoning cultural hot spot. West central Florida’s links to its diverse past, including its Native American heritage, strategic position in the Spanish-American War, key involvement in the early development of the railroad system and the early settlers and “cracker” cowboys is well represented by a host of educational attractions and interactive experiences. At the same time, the area is enriched by a variety of world-class museums and performing arts institutions that celebrate contemporary artistic achievement.
A wide variety of special events throughout the year complement visitors’ experiences. From events that celebrate the arts, culture and gastronomy, to indoor and outdoor entertainment and sporting activities, Clearwater always provides its guests with something fun and interesting to do.