5 Best Beaches in Clearwater, FL
Home to miles of sugar-sand beaches and cool blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater, Florida, is a great destination for anyone who’s looking for sun, surf, and fun.
March, April, and November carry the best weather for on-the-water activities like boating, sailing, fishing, parasailing, snorkeling, and jet-skiing. Of course, there is plenty more to do at any of the best Clearwater beaches:
- Clearwater Beach
- Belleair Beach
- Caladesi Island State Park
- Sand Key Beach
- Honeymoon Island State Park
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1. Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach has long been one of the “go-to” destinations on the west coast for tourists worldwide, nearby residents, and college kids on spring break.
It is well known for its startling white sand that feels like a soft cushion beneath your feet. Pick a spot on the beach, rent a cabana, enjoy the fresh breezes wafting in from the Gulf, and watch the many activities of the other beach enthusiasts. Water activities are plentiful, from swimming and paddleboarding to parasailing and navigating the Gulf on a jet ski.
The beach is bordered on the other side by a promenade accessible to rollerbladers and cyclists. Along the promenade are a variety of restaurants with delectable menus from burgers to fresh seafood. Save time to venture to Pier 60. The 1,080-foot pier is a premier attraction where vendors set up shop at sunset. You can also go to the end of the pier to fish, check out the views through available telescopes, and, for more fun, ride the 2-story inflatable “on-land” water slides.
2. Belleair Beach
Continuing the long stretches of white sand, gently rolling water, and unlimited scenic views, Belleair Beach is less than 15 minutes from Clearwater. Visitors can access this hidden gem using public access at Morgan Park, also located on Gulf Boulevard. It offers a quiet and relaxing setting and is not crowded. It’s the perfect oasis for sunbathing, shell collecting, swimming, picnicking, and savoring spectacular sunsets.
Amenities at the park include a pavilion, benches, restrooms, showers, metered public parking, and direct access to the beach. Morgan Park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., so there’s ample time to sit back and soak up some sunshine.
3. Caladesi Island State Park
Just 10 minutes from Clearwater is Caladesi Island State Park. It is accessible by taking a 20-minute ferry ride from Honeymoon Island, or for the more adventurous; you can walk from Clearwater to the island but be prepared for a 3-mile trek that can take close to two hours.
Caladesi has earned recognition through the years as one of the best beaches in the country. The landscape is diverse, with assorted wildlife, mangrove forests, and habitat for assorted fish, wildlife, and birds.
The white sand beaches on the island are stunning and provide visitors with yet another extraordinary destination to explore. Along with sunbathing, swimming, and fishing, visitors can paddle or kayak the mangrove trails or hike the nature trail. Picnic shelters and tables are available. There’s also a marina for those arriving by boat.
4. Sand Key Beach
Located on Gulf Boulevard is Sand Key Park, where you’ll find plenty of things to do. Sand Key Beach is an area within the park with a large beach area bordered by the Gulf of Mexico. It is the perfect place for lounging in the sun, strolling the beach looking for shells, and enjoying a picnic. It is a more secluded and quiet location. Bring food and drinks. There are restroom facilities. There’s also the Sand Key fishing pier if you want to drop a line. The park is dog friendly, too.
5. Honeymoon Island State Park
At Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, visitors have over four miles of beaches and scenic trails through the pine forest. The island has a mix of the traditional sugar-white sandy beaches but also features a more rugged coastline where the beach is dotted with driftwood and shells. Swimming, fishing, sunbathing, surfing, shell collecting, picnicking, paddling, hiking, biking, and relaxing in a serene setting are what to expect when visiting. There is a beach designated especially for fur friends located on the south end.
Amenities include a nature center, elevated boardwalks, wheelchair rentals, a gift store, a concession stand with food, picnic tables and grills, a playground, showers, and restrooms. Kayaks are available for rent. The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sundown.
Under the Sun Fun with Boatsetter
Florida’s West Coast has some of the best beaches, beach hotels, and beach towns. You can enjoy Clearwater Beach and several other key locations like Fort De Soto Park, Mobbly Bayou Beach Park, and Old Tampa Bay. And luckily, we have boat owners in every one of those locations.
Book a half-day or full-day boat rental and explore the abundance of natural beauty, plus numerous restaurants, boutiques, and historical sites!
For history, visit Pass-A-Grille, situated at St. Pete Beach’s southern edge, which is just one of several great opportunities to experience Old Florida. For leisure, go to Sunset Beach! It’s a small cozy spot located at the southern tip of Treasure Island.
For on-the-water action, hop on a wave runner and shred waters along Redington Shores (between Clearwater Beach and St Pete). Although a smaller beach, it has plenty to offer, along with swimming and sunbathing. Rent a wave runner or paddleboat, or go on a deep-sea fishing charter excursion.
Explore water-travel destinations! Find your next trip at Destination Guides and other boating resources here.
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