Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Are you looking for the best ways to travel from Tampa to Clearwater Florida?  If so, you’re in the right place.

In this blog, I’ll cover all the best routes, discuss transportation options if you don’t have your own vehicle, and talk about fun “road trip” style stops to make the short drive more fun.

Use this as a guide to help you set your travel plans.



aerial view of the river and Downtown Tampa Florida
Tampa Interstate Highway Road sign



photo of an airport shuttle running



Are There Any Tolls From Tampa To Clearwater?

There are no toll roads between Tampa and Clearwater, you can save the toll money for ice cream on the beautiful beaches of Pinellas County, United States



green shelter by Tampa Riverwalk at sunset

Tampa Riverwalk

One of the best things to do in Tampa is to meander (on foot, by bike, or by scooter) along the Tampa Riverwalk.

This beautiful 2.6-mile stretch of riverfront connects the Hillsborough River and the Garrison Channel.

There are far too many attractions along this route to mention them all, but Sparkman Wharf is an amazing spot to enjoy delicious cuisine from a variety of cultures, plus local brews, and more.

The Tampa Bay Historic Center is a fascinating place filled with exhibits about pirates, shipwrecks, Spanish treasures, and conquistadores.

You’ll also learn about the Tocobaga Indians and how they were the first to call Tampa Bay home.

night scene at Ybor City in Florida with cars and street lights

Ybor City

Looking for a good time? If so, Ybor City could be the perfect spot to enjoy eclectic shopping, hand-rolled cigars, incredible architecture, and surprising history. 

And did I mention food?

Ybor City’s fabulous mix of cultures makes it a perfect place to delight your taste buds with a wide range of mouth-watering cuisine.

Be sure to walk down 7th Avenue, one of the “Great Streets in America.”

It is rich in history, culture, and strong community involvement.

Photo credit – Unsplash by Itai Aarons

an exciting roller coaster ride with people in Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens 

If you’re looking for a safe environment for your family, Busch Gardens Theme Park is sure to get parents and kids hooting and hollering with joy.

This Africa-themed park features over 2,700 animals plus wild rides like the Scorpion, Kumba, Montu, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, and Stanley Falls.

There’s even a triple-launch roller coaster called the Cheetah.

Excellent live shows make Busch Gardens even more of a diversion hot spot.



Ben T Davis Beach

For anyone fresh off the plane who can’t wait to bury their toes in the sand, Ben T Davis Beach is quite handy.

This narrow beach stretches beside the Courtney Campbell Causeway that links Clearwater to Tampa.

Although you will hear cars due to the proximity of the highway, it is a unique spot with beautiful views and lovely birds.

This is a favorite beach for people who like to sit and view the water, chat, exercise, or read a book.

It is the nicest during the day.

green forests and the lake at Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Mix up your beach vacation with a trip to the Moccasin Lake Nature Park.

This 51-acre park features a large lake, small ponds, creeks, nature trails, an interpretive center, and a boardwalk.

Birding aficionados are likely to spot a large array of feathered creatures.

And even the non-birding inclined are sure to enjoy seeing the rehabilitated hawks, owls, vultures, and bald eagles cared for at the center.

Tampa Bay Grand Prix

Ready, set… go! It’s time for go-kart racing!

The Tampa Bay Grand Prix is going to bring out the competitive spirit in your family or friend group.

Hit the gas in the electric karts and you could reach speeds of 50 mph!

All skill levels can enjoy themselves on various tracks and races.

You can also see your personal lap times so you can race yourself for your best time.

HorsePower For Kids & Animal Sanctuary 

Another great place to spend time with children is HorsePower For Kids.

This outdoor animal sanctuary also has a petting zoo and a playground.

Pony rides, playground fun, swings, and a tree house are sure to keep your little ones entertained.

HorsePower for Kids is open for fun Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 9 am to 5 pm on the weekend.

Tip: Go on the first Thursday of the month for a special admission fee (only $5 per person instead of $14).

Photo credit – Wikimedia

exterior view of the Clearwater Marne Aquarium

Clearwater Aquarium 

Rescued dolphins, a marine animal hospital, and beautiful underwater exhibits make the Clearwater Marine Aquarium another top spot to hit on your Tampa to Clearwater trip.

Learning the backstory of the rescued animals is a big highlight for many visitors.

You can see lemon sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and more.

👉 Interested in marine wildlife? Take a look at Clearwater’s top-rated Dolphin Tours! 👈



sunset scene at Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach Florida

Pier 60

Congrats!  You’ve made it to Clearwater Beach!  Now it’s time to celebrate by heading to Pier 60.

This 1,080-foot-long fishing pier is an outstanding place to fish and enjoy the views.

But the real attraction happens 2 hours before sunset until 2 hours after.

Go to Pier 60 any night of the year for the city’s famed “Sunset Celebrations.”

Fireworks, fire breathers, musicians, and dancers put on an incredible show.

You can also shop the local wares on offer from tons of vendors.

Seeing the artisans at work creating paintings, glass sculptures, and more is also really cool.

Violinists, acrobats, actors dressed up as your favorite characters (like Captain Jack Sparrow) and tasty food add to the festival atmosphere.

Of course, watching all of this while an enormous golden sun sinks into the ocean makes it even more spectacular.



Clearwater Beach view from inside the car



Tampa to Clearwater Beach - How to get there & Stops to Make



Additional Clearwater Beach Travel Blogs 

Me on a recent trip to Jimmy Hula's in Clearwater Beach

Me on a recent trip to Clearwater Beach having lunch at Jimmy Hula’s, a block from the beach.

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Booking a last-minute trip to Tampa and Clearwater?  

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Top Tours in Tampa and Clearwater – Viator

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Travel Resources


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