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Your guide to Clearwater Beach
All about Clearwater Beach
Located on a barrier island, Clearwater Beach is a slice of vacation paradise that stands apart from its parent city, Clearwater. Although only separated by a ribbon of water, the pair have distinct personalities. Clearwater Beach boasts 2.5 miles of white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, whose warm, shallow waters are favored especially by those seeking a family-friendly getaway. Rows of colorful umbrellas and beach chairs line its perfect shore, where people gather nightly to enjoy the sunset and live music at a festive pier. Clearwater, with its quaint downtown, has its charms, too.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Clearwater Beach?
Clearwater Beach’s nearly tropical climate means that the weather is warm (or hot) just about all year round. April through October brings average highs in the 80 degrees Fahrenheit (with spikes in the 90s, especially in August) while November through March sees average highs in the 70s. June through September brings rain and thunderstorms almost daily, so plan ahead and pack for wet weather during those months.
What are the top things to do in Clearwater Beach?
Coated in fine, sugary sand, the island’s main beachfront is well loved for its placid, shallow waters perfect for wading and splashing around. The beach is hugged by a lengthy palm-lined promenade populated by cyclists and pedestrians, and everything you need for a fun day at the beach — food, drink, gear rentals — is available nearby. Two hours before sunset, Pier 60, the beach’s 1,080-foot fishing pier, comes alive with street performers, musicians, and craft vendors as part of its sunset celebration, which happens 365 days a year — weather permitting.
Caladesi Island State Park
Live the life of a (very lucky) castaway for a few hours on this pristine island wilderness. Here you can pilot a kayak through shady mangrove forests, explore inland where slash pine and oak trees grow, or relax on one of the few barrier reef beaches in Florida that has escaped development. Most people who visit Caladesi State Park take a private boat or catch the Caladesi Island Ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park, which is located about a 25-minute drive from Clearwater Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also walk to the park from Clearwater Beach — but be sure to plan ahead and bring water, as the 3-mile walk can take more than an hour. You can rent kayaks, chairs, and beach umbrellas on the island, as well as nosh on fare like fish and chips at a small cafe.
Sand Key Park and Beach
If you’re looking for a respite from the busier Clearwater Beach, tranquil Sand Key Park and Beach is fewer than ten minutes away by car. While you may leave crowds behind when visiting Sand Key, you don’t have to forgo amenities. This 95-acre park encompasses a beach, nature trail, grills, concession stands, gear rental, and a playground. Benches overlooking a salt marsh offer a chance to spot some of the many birds that live here, including spoonbills and great horned owls.