Clearwater Beach is one of the most stunning areas in Florida with its beautiful beaches and fun activities. I loved it here and in this post, I’ll be sharing some of the best things to do in Clearwater, including the beaches, Pier 60, and restaurants, such as Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.
What Is Clearwater Best Known For?
Clearwater Beach is famous for its white sands and clear blue waters on the Gulf Coast. Both the beaches in Clearwater Beach and the sunset out at the pier make this part of Florida a must-see.
There are numerous beach activities to enjoy, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking.
Taking A Day Trip To Clearwater Beach?
We Recommend This √ Clearwater Encounters With Dolphins Tour
Another great thing to do in Clearwater Beach is to explore the area’s many shops and restaurants. For shops- there is something for everyone, from casual beachwear stores to snacks and ice cream.
You’ll also find a variety of dining options, ranging from seafood shacks to fine dining establishments.
And don’t forget to check out the nightlife scene in Clearwater Beach – there are plenty of bars that keep the energy high into the night.
Clearwater Beach is known to have some of the best beaches in Florida, and this is the perfect place to take a trip!
Best Things To Do In Clearwater Beach, Florida
1. Visit Clearwater Beach
This one is pretty obvious right?! Clearwater Beach is the main beach in the city of Clearwater Beach and is amazing with its soft, white sand, and you could spend your entire day trip here, just relaxing.
The beach is really clean and there are plenty of umbrellas to relax under in the shade. There are also plenty of places to stay right at the beach, since the area is lined up with hotels and resorts.
The weather here was a nice and sunny 82 degrees on New Year’s Eve. However, the water is a little chilly this time of year, around 60-65 degrees.
Clearwater Beach is not only one of the best beaches in Florida, but it’s often considered to be one of the best beaches in the country.
For me, there’s just something so peaceful and serene about the waters on the Gulf coast.
The beach is about a half-hour away from both Tampa and St. Petersburg.
The drive from Tampa to Clearwater Beach has the most gorgeous views and you’re often surrounded by water and go over some long bridges.
If you’re coming from Orlando, it’s about an hour and a half drive.
It can be a little difficult to find a parking spot right at the beach. This Clearwater Beach access point shares parking with Frenchy’s and other restaurants, so it was full and we weren’t able to park there.
However, there is a parking ramp just a couple of blocks away in the downtown area and it’s fairly inexpensive to park there.
2. Go On A Boat Cruise & Do Water Activities
Clearwater Beach is popular for year-round water activities such as parasailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and jet-skiing.
There are scuba diving and fishing charters in the area, as well as sightseeing boat cruises and boat rentals.
Tiki Boat Cruise
A Tiki Boat Cruise is the perfect place to let loose and have some fun. They take you out on the floating bar and show you around the Gulf of Mexico and the amazing views of Clearwater Beach.
Bring your own snacks and drinks, and experience the best party on the water.
The cruise is perfect for any occasion, so gather your group of friends (up to 6 people total) and come join them for a day or evening you won’t forget.
Private Boat Tour
Clearwater Beach is a top tourist destination for a reason! And one of the best things to do is go on a private boat tour.
You get to cruise the Gulf of Mexico waters on a double-decker boat, and see all sorts of wildlife in the water, like manatees, stingrays, and dolphins.
They take you to the best area beaches and also offer shelling, swimming, snorkeling…the list goes on!
These private boat tours are perfect for your friends and family, up to 10 people.
Dolphin Boat Adventure
Dolphin Adventures in Clearwater Beach offers cruises throughout the day so you can see these beautiful creatures up close.
The captain will teach you about the wildlife in the area, and you can purchase drinks (beer, wine, soda, and water) on the boat.
You’ll have a chance to get up close and personal with dolphins on a cruise.
There are several time slots throughout the day to choose from, so book this adventure on your schedule.
Bring your friends and family along for a fun day out on the Gulf of Mexico waters.
A kayak tour offers a guided journey through the mangrove tunnels of Caladesi Island.
You’ll have the opportunity to spot dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife as you paddle along.
Plus, the knowledgeable guides will teach you about the history and ecology of the area.
The kayaks are stable and easy to maneuver, so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings.
And you make frequent stops so you can take pictures, explore the area, and learn more about what you’re seeing.
It’s a perfect way to spend a day in Clearwater Beach!
If you’re looking for an adventure above the water, a helicopter tour is a great option! Fly over some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches and see the area from a whole new angle.
Whether it’s a romantic date night or just an activity to do with a small group of friends, a helicopter tour takes you high above Tampa Bay.
You’ll see some of the area’s most famous landmarks including Tropicana Field, The Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach, and of course Clearwater Beach!
If you’re interested in any of these activities, links are also below!
3. Get Some Food By The Beach
We got a late lunch at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. It’s a bar and grill right on the beach just a couple hundred yards away from the water.
This place is well known for its local caught seafood and different Grouper sandwiches. They have a large selection of drinks at the bar, from fruity beach drinks to taps beers and wine.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill was also featured on the food tv show, Food Paradise.
The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining. Their patio is a popular place for watching sunsets and they often have live music.
It was about a 45-minute wait for a table, so it gave us some time to hang out at the beach for a little while before eating, and also grow a larger appetite.
This place is oyster heaven! We got the baked and steamed oysters, as well as Crab fries. I also got the Cajun Grouper sandwich.
You can also get this grilled, fried, Caribbean style or Buffalo. Or you can even try the Grouper Reuben sandwich.
I really love the food and drinks here. The Grouper sandwiches are really good and I see why they are famous for them. Definitely one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach!
My friend thought the food was good and even liked his Grilled Grouper sandwich, but he likes the food more at Grills Tiki Bar, near Cocoa Beach.
They are both excellent places for seafood, just on different sides of Florida’s coast.
There are 5 Frenchy’s restaurants in Clearwater Beach and Dunedin Causeway. Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is the biggest restaurant.
And just a couple blocks away from the Rockaway Grill, in downtown Clearwater Beach, is the original Frenchy’s Cafe.
4. Go To Pier 60 At Clearwater Beach
The beaches in Clearwater Beach are known for their beautiful Florida sunsets over the Gulf, and there’s probably not a better place to watch them, than right here at Pier 60.
Pier 60 Clearwater is about 3/4 of a mile down the beach from Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. It’s a great place to walk around and check out the dolphins and fish in the water.
The pier has vendors selling their arts and crafts, and oftentimes performers as well. Many people also come here for the fishing.
Clearwater’s Pier 60 has fishing year-round and sells everything from daily, weekly, and monthly fishing passes, equipment, and bait.
Popular fish caught here at Pier 60 are Grouper, Whiting, Bluefish, Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Snook, and Spanish Mackerel.
What Is There To Do In Downtown Clearwater Beach?
The downtown Clearwater Beach area is really nice and is only a block or so from the beach. As I mentioned they have the original Frenchy’s Cafe here.
This is right around the corner from Mandalay Drive, which is the main street in the northern part of Clearwater Beach. They have several other restaurants and bars on the main drive, too.
Downtown Clearwater Beach also has Pelican Walk, which is a plaza with 2 floors of shops including a surf shop, pizza place, ice cream shop, arcade, spa, bars, and more. They have a DJ here on weekends, too.
I’ve always been a big wrestling fan and I grew up idolizing Hulk Hogan so it was nice seeing that they have a Hogan’s Beach shop here at Pelican Walk. You can buy memorabilia, clothing and other merchandise.
6. Have A Drink At One Of The Bars
A couple doors down from Hogan’s Beach Shop is Hogan’s Hangout, which is a bar and grill right on the corner of Mandalay Drive. We stopped here for a couple drinks.
The bar area is nice and one side opens to the outside so people can enjoy their drinks outdoors while sitting at the bar.
It’s a pretty fun and lively area, especially at night. They also have a little shop section here where you can buy a Hulk Hogan shirt.
Next door to Hogan’s Beach Shop is The Brown Boxer, a sports bar and grill. They often have live entertainment and the arcade that I mentioned, also. The outdoor area at The Brown Boxer is dog friendly.
7. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
We didn’t get a chance to make it here during this trip but I wanted to recommend the aquarium since it’s often ranked as one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach.
At the Clearwater Aquarium, you can see rescued animals such as dolphins, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, pelicans, and otters.
They have several different exhibits here. A couple of these include Dolphin Terrace where you can watch the dolphins and learn about them, and Otter Oasis, where you can see the otters play.
See online for hours and ticket prices.
8. Take a Segway Tour
Segway tours are a great way to see all that Clearwater Beach has to offer.
You’ll be able to glide along the Causeway, taking in the sights and sounds of this lively area.
And you can head down to Pier 60 by the beach and enjoy the gorgeous views of the water and sand.
Either way, Segway tours are a fun and unique way to explore Clearwater Beach.
Tours typically last around 2 hours, and all participants will receive training on how to use the Segway before setting off.
Tours are led by experienced guides who will share interesting facts and stories about Clearwater Beach as you go.
If you’re looking for a fun and different way to explore Clearwater Beach, be sure to check out Segway tours!
We Recommend Booking Your Tour Ahead Of Time Through This Company
9. Explore Sand Key Park & Nearby State Parks
Sand Key Park is a beautiful beach park located in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
The park offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and its white-sand beaches and clear waters are simply gorgeous.
Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities like swimming, fishing, kayaking, or just soaking in the sun.
This park offers a boardwalk, nature trail, picnic area, grills, and a dog park.
There’s also a variety of restaurants located nearby.
Sand Key Park is definitely a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the clear waters of Florida!
Other beach parks in Clearwater Beach include Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park, which are both north of the city and great if you’re looking for a private adventure.
Honeymoon Island State Park and Honeymoon Island Beach
Honey Moon Island State Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. With its beautiful beaches, pine tree forest, and wildlife, you can’t go wrong spending your vacation here.
What’s even better is that you can take the ferry to Caladesi Island, which is popular for shelling and birdwatching. So not only will you be able to relax at the park, but you can also explore other areas as well.
Caladesi Island State Park (Dunedin)
Caladesi Island State Park is a hidden gem in Florida that offers a unique experience for visitors. It’s only accessible by boat, so it’s the perfect place to go fishing, kayaking, or camping.
There’s plenty of wildlife to see, including dolphins and manatees in the water during the ferry ride, and ospreys and other birds. You may even see tortoises and keep an eye open for snakes!
Fun Things To Do Near Clearwater Beach
√ Johns Pass– Boardwalk in Madeira Beach with lots of shops, restaurants, and water activities. 30 minutes from Clearwater Beach. Go here to see the best waterfront restaurants and activities at John’s Pass!
√ St. Pete Pier– The St. Pete Pier is over 3,000 feet long and offers fishing, activities for kids, and restaurants right on the water. Located in downtown St. Petersburg, a 40-minute drive from Clearwater Beach. Downtown St. Petersburg also has many shops, restaurants, and fun museums to visit!
√ Treasure Island- 30 minutes from Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island is just a short drive from John’s Pass. This little town is located on the Gulf of Mexico and offers incredible beaches with the highlight being the City of St. Petersburg Municipal Beach.
√ Busch Gardens- Busch Gardens is a theme park that offers thrilling rides, exciting animal tours, and plenty of activities for kids. And if that’s not enough, you can come for free beer in the summer. 45 minutes from Clearwater Beach.
√ Zoo Tampa At Lowry Park- Zoo Tampa is the perfect place to take your kids for a day of learning and fun. This zoo has everything from panthers to hippos to elephants to manatees. You and your family will have a blast exploring all the different exhibits they have here. Zoo Tampa is a 40-minute drive from Clearwater Beach.
√ Tampa Beaches- There are several amazing Tampa area beaches nearby including Pass-a-Grille Beach, Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa and so many more!
Indoor Activities Near Clearwater Beach
If you’re looking for a rainy-day activity or just need to escape the Florida sun for a little while, take a look at these indoor activities near Clearwater Beach.
√ Escape Room Clearwater Beach- Located at Pelican Walk Plaza, find the clues to make your way out of the escape room.
√ Flowrider Indoor Surfing- Ride the indoor waves, located at Surfstyle in Clearwater Beach.
√ Simcenter Tampa Bay- Located in Clearwater, enjoy this awesome virtual reality facility with flight, space, and race car simulators.
√ Celebration Station- Indoor and outdoor activities in Clearwater. Arcade, bumper cars, and mini-golf.
√ Ruth Eckhard Hall- Take in a show or live music by a big-name performer at Clearwater’s legendary venue.
√ Clearwater Brewery- Grab a beer or a glass of wine at this popular Clearwater establishment. They have open mic nights every Wednesday night.
Credit to Visit St. Pete Clearwater/Youtube for this video
Best Things To Do In Clearwater Beach, Florida- Final Thoughts
Clearwater Beach is a really great place to go to and take a trip. There are plenty of fun things to do and the Clearwater, Florida beaches are amazing.
Many of the activities here are within walking distance from the beach. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is about a mile and a half away from the downtown activities. Sand Key Park is about a 2-mile drive.
Check out Clearwater Beach. And for more fun nearby, visit Anna Maria Island, just an hour from Clearwater Beach!
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