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A Complete Guide To The Best Things To Do In Clearwater, Florida


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Lorri Leija



Clearwater, Florida is a vibrant city located on the Gulf Coast of the United States. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a wide array of attractions and activities, Clearwater is an ideal destination for travelers seeking sun, sand, and relaxation. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a food enthusiast, there is something for everyone in Clearwater.


The city’s most famous attraction is undoubtedly Clearwater Beach, a stunning stretch of white sands that consistently ranks among the top beaches in the United States. Here, visitors can swim, sunbathe, and engage in various water sports, or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. The beach is complemented by the lively Pier 60, where you can catch breathtaking sunsets, enjoy street performers, and browse through local vendors and artisans.


Beyond the beach, Clearwater offers a number of other must-see attractions. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a popular spot where you can get up close and personal with dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life. For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Caladesi Island State Park is a must. This pristine barrier island is home to lush mangroves, hiking trails, and secluded beaches, making it a perfect spot for birdwatching and picnicking.


If you’re looking for adventure, Clearwater has plenty to offer. Embark on a sunset sailing excursion and experience the beauty of the Gulf waters while enjoying the serenity of the open sea. For a unique experience, board Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise and set sail on a family-friendly adventure complete with pirate-themed activities and entertainment.


Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is a paradise for beach lovers and is often ranked among the best beaches in the United States. With its powder-soft white sands, sparkling turquoise waters, and breathtaking sunsets, it’s no wonder why this beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, or engage in exciting water sports, Clearwater Beach has it all. The beach offers a wide range of amenities, including beach chair and umbrella rentals, beach volleyball courts, and concession stands where you can grab a snack or a refreshing drink.


One of the most notable features of Clearwater Beach is the iconic Pier 60. Stretching into the Gulf of Mexico, this pier is a gathering place for both locals and visitors, offering stunning views of the beach and the opportunity to witness breathtaking sunsets. Each evening, Pier 60 comes alive with the Sunset Celebration, where you can enjoy live music, street performers, and a vibrant atmosphere as the sun dips below the horizon.


If you’re looking for adventure, Clearwater Beach has plenty to offer. You can rent a jet ski, paddleboard, or kayak and explore the sparkling waters of the Gulf. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, take a leisurely stroll along the beach, collect seashells, or simply bask in the warm Florida sunshine.


Clearwater Beach is also home to a variety of dining options, ranging from casual beachside cafes to upscale waterfront restaurants. Indulge in fresh seafood, tropical cocktails, and stunning views as you savor the flavors of the Gulf Coast.


With its pristine beauty and endless activities, Clearwater Beach is a must-visit destination in Clearwater, Florida. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a place to unwind, you’ll find it all at this spectacular beach.


Pier 60

Pier 60 is not just a regular pier; it’s a lively hub of activity and entertainment located in the heart of Clearwater Beach. Stretching 1,080 feet into the mesmerizing waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Pier 60 offers stunning panoramic views and a host of attractions for visitors of all ages.


One of the highlights of Pier 60 is the daily Sunset Celebration. Each evening, as the sun begins to set, locals and tourists gather to witness a truly magical moment. Street performers, magicians, and musicians entertain the crowds as they wait for the breathtaking sunset. The Sunset Celebration is a perfect blend of relaxation, entertainment, and natural beauty, making it a must-see attraction in Clearwater.


In addition to the Sunset Celebration, Pier 60 offers a variety of activities and amenities. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the crystal-clear waters and try their luck at catching local fish species. The pier is equipped with bait shops, fishing gear rental services, and cleaning stations to accommodate anglers of all levels of experience.


Pier 60 is also a great place to explore the local arts and crafts scene. Each evening, local artisans set up their stalls along the pier, showcasing their handcrafted jewelry, paintings, sculptures, and other unique creations. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local artists and find a one-of-a-kind souvenir to commemorate your trip to Clearwater.


For those looking for some fun in the sun, Pier 60 offers beachfront parks with picnic areas, playgrounds, and showers. It’s the perfect spot to take a break from the sand and enjoy a family picnic or engage in a game of beach volleyball with friends.


If you’re feeling hungry, Pier 60 has you covered with its selection of delicious dining options. From casual eateries serving up fresh seafood and beachside snacks to upscale waterfront restaurants offering gourmet cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate.


Pier 60 is not just a place to visit; it’s an experience. Whether you’re taking in the stunning sunset, exploring the local art scene, enjoying outdoor activities, or indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, a visit to Pier 60 is sure to create lasting memories of your time in Clearwater, Florida.


Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is much more than your average aquarium. It is a renowned marine hospital and rehabilitation center dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured marine animals, with a particular emphasis on dolphins and sea turtles.


Located on the beautiful shores of Clearwater, the aquarium provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about marine life conservation while getting up close and personal with these incredible creatures.


The star of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is Winter, a bottlenose dolphin who became famous for her inspiring story of survival. Winter lost her tail after becoming entangled in a crab trap, but with the help of a dedicated team of experts, she was fitted with a prosthetic tail, allowing her to swim freely once again. Winter’s story has been the inspiration for the popular movie “Dolphin Tale,” which was filmed on location at the aquarium.


Visitors to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium can participate in various interactive experiences and educational programs. You can attend scheduled animal presentations to learn more about dolphins, otters, sea turtles, and other marine species. You can also embark on a guided tour led by knowledgeable marine biologists who will share fascinating insights into the animals’ behaviors, habitats, and the challenges they face in the wild.


In addition to its rehabilitation efforts, the aquarium is a hub of scientific research and conservation initiatives. The dedicated team of marine biologists and veterinarians work tirelessly to study the behaviors, health, and habitats of marine animals, contributing valuable data to the conservation and preservation of these magnificent creatures.


Aside from the marine life, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also offers a variety of exhibits and interactive displays. Visitors can explore underwater viewing areas, touch tanks where they can interact with stingrays and other marine life, and even participate in animal care experiences, such as feeding the resident otters.


By visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, you not only get to witness the incredible resilience and spirit of the marine animals in their care, but you also play a vital role in supporting their ongoing efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured marine life. It is a truly rewarding experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the ocean and a commitment to marine conservation.


Caladesi Island State Park

Escape to untouched natural beauty at Caladesi Island State Park, a pristine barrier island located just off the coast of Clearwater. This hidden gem offers visitors a secluded and serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Accessible only by boat, Caladesi Island State Park boasts stunning white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush mangroves. As you step ashore, you’ll be greeted by the sounds of nature and the gentle sway of palm trees, creating a tranquil and picturesque setting.


Explore the island’s nature trails, which wind through dense mangrove forests, providing the perfect opportunity to spot various bird species, including herons and egrets, as well as nesting sea turtles during the nesting season.


With its untouched shoreline, Caladesi Island is a haven for beach lovers. Sink your toes into the soft sand, lounge under the shade of an umbrella, or take a refreshing swim in the calm, clear waters. The beach here feels secluded and uncrowded, allowing you to truly unwind and embrace the natural beauty surrounding you.


For those seeking adventure, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities in the park. Rent a kayak and explore the mangrove-lined waterways, keeping an eye out for dolphins and manatees that often frequent the area. Alternatively, paddleboard across the calm waters, enjoying the tranquility and feeling at one with nature.


If you’re in the mood for a picnic, Caladesi Island State Park offers shaded picnic areas with grills, making it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal with family and friends. Alternatively, you can visit the on-site café and enjoy a delicious lunch with mesmerizing views of the Gulf of Mexico.


Caladesi Island State Park truly offers a unique and immersive natural experience. With its serene beaches, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes, it’s a place where you can disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with the beauty of nature.


Sunset Sailing

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Clearwater’s breathtaking sunsets with a sunset sailing experience. Picture yourself sailing across the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with the golden hues of the setting sun reflecting off the waves, creating a mesmerizing ambiance.


Clearwater’s coastline is renowned for its stunning sunsets, and what better way to witness this natural spectacle than aboard a sailboat? Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a first-time adventurer, sunset sailing offers a peaceful and romantic way to enjoy the picturesque views.


As you set sail, you’ll feel the gentle sea breeze on your face and hear the soothing sounds of the water against the boat’s hull. The captain and crew will guide you along the coastline, pointing out notable landmarks and sharing interesting stories and historical facts about the area.


As the sun begins to lower on the horizon, casting vibrant colors across the sky, you’ll have the perfect vantage point to witness the magical moment. Snap stunning photos, soak in the atmosphere, and cherish the tranquility as the sailboat glides effortlessly through the water.


Many sunset sailing experiences provide additional perks to enhance your voyage. Some boats offer complimentary beverages, including wine, champagne, or tropical cocktails, allowing you to toast to the beauty of the sunset. Others may have live music performances, creating a soothing soundtrack to accompany your journey.


Whether you choose a private sailing excursion or a group tour, sunset sailing offers a unique and memorable experience. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with nature, relax, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life.


No matter the occasion – a romantic date, a family outing, or a gathering with friends – sunset sailing in Clearwater is sure to create lasting memories. So sit back, unwind, and let the beauty of the sunset and the tranquility of the sea captivate your senses.


Dining and Shopping at Cleveland Street District

When it comes to dining and shopping in Clearwater, the Cleveland Street District is the place to be. Located in the heart of downtown, this vibrant district is filled with a variety of culinary delights, trendy boutiques, and eclectic shops, offering visitors a unique and enjoyable experience.


The dining options in the Cleveland Street District cater to all tastes and preferences. From upscale restaurants serving exquisite seafood and fine dining fare to casual eateries offering mouthwatering burgers, pizza, and international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every palate.


As you stroll through the district, you’ll encounter a range of charming cafes and coffee shops, where you can indulge in a freshly brewed cup of coffee, enjoy a light lunch, or savor a delectable pastry. It’s the perfect spot to relax, people-watch, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Clearwater.


In addition to the culinary scene, the Cleveland Street District is a shopper’s haven. Explore the unique boutiques and specialty shops that line the streets, offering an array of fashion, accessories, home decor, and gifts. From trendy clothing boutiques featuring local designers to antique shops showcasing vintage treasures, there’s something for every style and taste.


The district is also home to the Cleveland Street Farmers Market, where local vendors gather to showcase their fresh produce, handmade crafts, artisanal goods, and more. Stroll through the market, chat with the vendors, and discover unique products that will make for memorable souvenirs or gifts.


Throughout the year, the Cleveland Street District hosts various events and festivals, adding to its lively atmosphere. From art walks and live music performances to holiday celebrations and cultural fairs, there’s always something happening in this vibrant district. Check the events calendar to see what’s happening during your visit and immerse yourself in the local culture and entertainment.


Whether you’re indulging in a culinary adventure, searching for the perfect souvenir, or simply enjoying the vibrant ambiance, the Cleveland Street District offers a delightful and memorable experience. So, venture into this lively district and discover the diverse flavors and unique shopping opportunities that await you in downtown Clearwater.


Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise

Embark on a swashbuckling adventure aboard Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise, a thrilling and family-friendly experience that brings the spirit of pirates to life. Climb aboard the pirate ship and prepare for an unforgettable voyage filled with excitement, entertainment, and plenty of pirate-themed fun.


Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise offers a unique opportunity to explore the waters of Clearwater while immersing yourself in the world of pirates. Set sail on a replica pirate ship complete with towering masts, billowing sails, and a crew dressed in full pirate attire. As you embark on the cruise, you’ll feel like a true buccaneer ready to conquer the high seas.


The cruise is suitable for all ages, making it a perfect activity for families, groups, and even couples looking for a unique and memorable experience. Children will particularly enjoy the interactive nature of the cruise, with opportunities to engage in pirate face painting, treasure hunts, and pirate games.


As you sail along the Gulf of Mexico, Captain Memo’s crew will entertain you with singing, storytelling, and engaging performances. They will regale you with tales of pirate legends, share interesting facts about the area’s history, and even teach you some pirate lingo along the way.


In addition to the interactive entertainment, you’ll have the chance to take in stunning views of the coastline and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins playing in the waves or seabirds soaring above the waters.


The cruise typically lasts for about two hours, allowing ample time to enjoy the pirate-themed activities, interact with the crew, and soak in the overall experience. Snacks and beverages are available onboard, ensuring that you stay energized throughout the adventure.


Whether you’re a fan of pirates, seeking a fun-filled family activity, or simply looking for a unique way to explore Clearwater’s waters, Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lifelong memories of your time on the high seas.


Visit the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a highly anticipated annual music festival that brings together jazz enthusiasts from near and far. Held in the scenic Coachman Park, this four-day event showcases world-class jazz performances, creating an immersive and unforgettable experience for music lovers of all ages.


Since its inception in 1980, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday has become a significant cultural event in the region, attracting renowned jazz musicians and artists from around the world. With a lineup featuring a diverse range of jazz styles – from traditional and swing to contemporary and fusion – there’s something to captivate every musical taste.


During the festival, the park transforms into an outdoor concert venue, complete with multiple stages, ample seating, and a vibrant atmosphere. Festival-goers can relax on the grassy lawn, bring their own chairs or blankets, and fully immerse themselves in the rich sounds of jazz.


In addition to the world-class performances, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday offers a variety of food and beverage vendors, allowing attendees to indulge in delicious cuisine while enjoying the music. From mouthwatering barbecue to gourmet treats, the festival’s culinary offerings ensure that you’ll stay nourished and satisfied throughout the event.


The festival also features additional activities and attractions, such as art exhibits, a marketplace for crafts and unique merchandise, as well as interactive experiences and workshops for aspiring musicians. This creates a dynamic and engaging environment that goes beyond the music performances.


Aside from the impressive lineup of musicians, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday is lauded for its commitment to the community and the arts. The festival promotes jazz education in schools, sponsors scholarships for aspiring young musicians, and provides outreach programs that enrich the cultural landscape of Clearwater.


If you’re a jazz aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of this timeless genre, attending the Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a must. The festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the magic of live jazz in a beautiful outdoor setting, surrounded by fellow music enthusiasts, and immersed in an atmosphere of pure joy and musical excellence.


Clearwater Ferry

The Clearwater Ferry is not just a means of transportation; it’s an experience that allows you to explore Clearwater and its surrounding areas from a unique perspective. Offering scenic and convenient rides across the waters, the ferry is a popular mode of transportation for both locals and visitors.


With its fleet of comfortable and spacious vessels, the Clearwater Ferry provides an enjoyable and stress-free way to get around. Whether you’re heading to the beach, visiting nearby islands, or simply looking to enjoy a leisurely cruise, the ferry offers a picturesque and memorable journey.


One of the highlights of the Clearwater Ferry is the stunning views it offers of Clearwater’s coastline. As you glide across the waters, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the panoramic vistas, taking in the beauty of the surrounding area from a different vantage point. Keep your camera ready to capture breathtaking shots of the waterfront and the city skyline.


The ferry services a variety of popular destinations, including Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, and the Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands. This allows you to easily explore different areas without the hassle of driving and parking. Whether you want to spend a day lounging on the sandy shores of Clearwater Beach or discover the quaint charm of Dunedin, the ferry provides a convenient and enjoyable way to hop between destinations.


Aside from its transportation services, the Clearwater Ferry also offers sightseeing cruises and special events. From dolphin watching tours to sunset cruises, these special excursions allow you to experience Clearwater’s natural beauty and marine life up close and personal. It’s a perfect way to create lasting memories and immerse yourself in the coastal splendor.


The Clearwater Ferry operates on a regular schedule, making it easy to plan your day and navigate the area’s attractions. The staff and crew are friendly and knowledgeable, offering assistance and sharing valuable insights about the area and its attractions, ensuring that your journey is both enjoyable and informative.


Whether you’re looking for a convenient mode of transportation, a scenic cruise, or a unique way to explore the Clearwater area, the Clearwater Ferry provides an unforgettable experience. So sit back, relax, and let the ferry take you on a memorable journey across the sparkling waters of Clearwater.


Explore the Clearwater Threshers

For sports enthusiasts and baseball fans, a visit to the Clearwater Threshers is a must-do when in Clearwater, Florida. As the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Clearwater Threshers offer an exciting opportunity to watch professional baseball in a charming and family-friendly atmosphere.


The Threshers’ home games take place at Spectrum Field, a state-of-the-art stadium situated in the heart of Clearwater. With its modern facilities, comfortable seating, and excellent sightlines, the stadium provides an optimal viewing experience for spectators of all ages.


Watching a Clearwater Threshers game is not just about the action on the field; it’s also about immersing yourself in the ambiance and excitement of a live baseball game. From the crack of the bat to the roar of the crowd, every moment contributes to the electrifying atmosphere that makes watching baseball in person an unforgettable experience.


Attending a Threshers game is perfect for families, as the team goes above and beyond to provide entertainment and fun activities for kids. From between-innings games and contests to the chance to meet the Threshers’ mascot, Phinley, young fans are sure to have a blast and create lasting memories.


In addition to the on-field action, Spectrum Field offers a variety of dining options to satisfy your hunger during the game. From traditional ballpark fare like hot dogs and nachos to local specialties and craft beers, there’s something to please every palate.


For those who want to get in on the action themselves, the Clearwater Threshers offer unique experiences such as batting practice on the field, autograph sessions with players, and even the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. These experiences allow fans to get closer to the game and create unforgettable memories.


Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a fun and entertaining activity, a visit to the Clearwater Threshers is a home run. Immerse yourself in America’s favorite pastime, cheer on the future stars of the Phillies, and enjoy a memorable day at the ballpark in beautiful Clearwater, Florida.



Clearwater, Florida is a destination that truly has something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and natural beauty to its vibrant downtown district and diverse range of attractions, this coastal city offers a perfect balance between relaxation and excitement.


Clearwater Beach, with its pristine sands and sparkling waters, is a must-visit for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The iconic Pier 60 adds an extra touch of magic with its breathtaking sunsets and lively atmosphere. Clearwater Marine Aquarium provides a unique opportunity to interact with marine life and learn about conservation efforts. Caladesi Island State Park offers tranquility and untouched natural beauty, while sunset sailing allows you to experience the sheer beauty of Clearwater’s sunsets from the open water.


But Clearwater is not just about nature—its downtown district, including Cleveland Street, pulsates with life and offers a range of dining and shopping experiences. From delicious cuisine to unique boutiques, the Cleveland Street District has something to suit every taste. And for those seeking entertainment, Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise and the Clearwater Jazz Holiday deliver unforgettable experiences.


To get around and explore, the Clearwater Ferry provides a scenic and convenient mode of transportation, while a visit to a Clearwater Threshers game lets you immerse yourself in the excitement of professional baseball.


With its warm weather, friendly atmosphere, and a vast array of attractions and activities, Clearwater invites visitors to unwind, explore, and create lasting memories. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a chance to bask in the beauty of nature, Clearwater, Florida has it all.


So pack your sunscreen, get ready to make a splash, and discover the wonders of Clearwater – a destination that will captivate your heart and leave you yearning to return.