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Clearwater Beach: A Calmer Side to Florida
Away from masses of tourists and spring break revellers, Clearwater Beach is one of Florida’s more calmer and inviting destinations. Basking in old-fashioned charm and glorious year-round weather, the city is famous for its impeccable beaches. But Clearwater Beach boasts more than just that, with this family-friendly location providing varied shopping opportunities, highly regarded restaurants and exciting attractions.
As its name alludes to, Clearwater Beach has one main attraction: beaches. So much so, that the city features some of the most pristine and alluring beaches that Florida – and the entire country – has to offer. Now while there is an enviable amount of white sandy beaches available and none are a bad pick, there are a few exceptional ones that are worth highlighting. One of which is Sand Key Park. Along with stunning views, a separate park area and an expansive patch of flawless sand, Sand Key Park is not just a welcoming destination for humans – as well as being the base for Florida’s artificial reef program, the beach is often used by sea turtles when laying their eggs! Another in Clearwater Beach is the Caladesi Island State Park. One of the few beaches in the state that is completely natural and untouched, Caladesi Island is regularly regarded as amongst the best beaches in America.
Things to Do
Now while the beaches are the main draw, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things to do when in Clearwater Beach. One of the most visited – and acclaimed – attractions is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Self-labelled as ‘not your typical aquarium’, this is a rehabilitation centre where you can learn first-hand how specialists care for marine life. Pier 60, along with being an ideal place for fishing or simply relaxing, is a hotspot that brings in plenty of locals and tourists. This is because that every two hours before and after sunset, the pier transforms into a festival-type atmosphere with street performers, musicians and crafters. For a closer look at the clear sea – and even the dolphins that call it their home – a ride on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise is an enjoyable adventure for both young and old. And for a further bit of family-friendly fun, a trip to Celebration Station is recommended. This attraction contains entertaining activities such as arcade games, laser tag and mini-golf.
Shopping & Dining
From well-known brands to eccentric establishments, Clearwater Beach has a diverse selection of shops available. As an example of a shopping experience that’s a little different, you only have to look at Hogan’s Beach Shop. Endorsed by the iconic Hulk Hogan, this store is a haven for fans of professional wrestling, as the walls and shelves are covered with all kinds of memorabilia of the sport. Although for a centralised area that supplies a varied selection of retailers, the Westfield Countryside Mall – with 150 shops, a theatre and numerous restaurants – has you covered. As far as food goes, Clearwater Beach is not slacking in this department either. Whether you are in search of a romantic beachside restaurant, something that won’t break the bank, international flavours such as Italian and Thai, and so on, the city has you covered in essentially every area. This is because, with approximately 500 dining options in Clearwater, there is something for everyone – no matter what budget or tastes you have!
Although booking one of the hotels in this area of Florida might be a little bit more difficult than normal, visiting Clearwater Beach during one of its annual events is certainly an added incentive. The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is one of the biggest, with this yearly celebration of live world-class musicians taking place every year in October. Looking for a scrumptious feast of food that ranges from casual cuisine to fine dining? Well the Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week – held each May – is certainly something you should add on your to-do list. For some racing fun, the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship is a popular fixture on the city’s calendar each year. And ever since they began training in Clearwater all the way back in 1948, the famous Philadelphia Phillies baseball team makes Bright House Field stadium its home during spring training – something that certainly draws a crowd every time they visit.