15 Best Things to Do in Clearwater (FL)

Written by Bethany Storms
Updated on
Our travel recommendations are based on our personal experiences and research, written by locals and travel experts with deep familiarity with the destination. When you book a hotel or tour that we link to, we may earn a commission.

The city I call home, Clearwater, has a rich history spanning over 100 years. It’s renowned for its allure as a holiday destination, enticing visitors throughout the year. Living here, I’m privileged to be surrounded by a plethora of natural beauty. At every turn, I’m greeted by breathtaking views of pristine sands and waters so clear they seem like liquid crystals. The marine life in this part of the world is simply unparalleled.

I’m greeted by a magnificent array of creatures whenever I venture into the water. Stingrays gracefully glide through the depths, sharks command respect with their powerful presence, dolphins playfully leap through the waves, and gentle turtles navigate the shoreline. These are just a few examples of the diverse species that call Clearwater home. It truly is a marine lover’s paradise.

But Clearwater has more to offer than its incredible beach life. It pulsates with energy, boasting vibrant shopping districts, delectable dining options, and thrilling sporting venues. There’s always something to do or explore here, ensuring that boredom is a foreign concept. And let’s not forget that Clearwater is nestled near the magnificent Gulf of Mexico, granting us the pleasure of warm breezes that make it difficult for many visitors, including myself, to ever consider leaving.

Now, let’s embark on an adventure together as we discover the best things to do in my beloved city of Clearwater.

1. Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine AquariumSource: flickr
Clearwater Marine Aquarium

I recently had the incredible opportunity to visit the famous aquarium in Clearwater, Florida, and let me tell you, it was an experience I will never forget. From the moment I stepped through the entrance, I could sense the strong dedication this place had towards the rehabilitation of aquatic life and the profound message of environmental education it aimed to convey.

As I made my way through the aquarium, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement as I approached the section where Winter, the beloved resident dolphin, resided. Winter’s incredible story had inspired the heartwarming film “Dolphin Tale,” featuring the renowned actor Morgan Freeman. Seeing Winter in person was truly a dream come true, and the connection I felt with this incredible creature was beyond words.

But Winter was just the beginning of the awe-inspiring marine life I encountered at the aquarium. As I explored further, I was greeted by a dazzling array of marine creatures, each more fascinating than the last. Majestic dolphins gracefully swam through the crystal-clear waters, their playful antics captivating the audience. The sight of these intelligent beings in their natural habitat left me in awe of their beauty and grace.

Alongside the dolphins, I encountered graceful turtles gracefully gliding through the water, their ancient wisdom apparent in their eyes. Charming otters entertained the visitors with their mischievous antics, their adorable faces bringing smiles to everyone around. And the thrilling presence of sharks reminded me of the power and magnificence that resides within our oceans.

What truly sets this aquarium apart is its emphasis on providing an interactive experience. I had the privilege of getting up close and personal with stingrays, feeling the soft brush of their wings against my fingertips as I fed them. The joy and wonder on the faces of children and adults alike as they interacted with these gentle creatures was contagious.

Book online: Marine Aquarium Tickets

2. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachSource: flickr
Clearwater Beach

As I stood on the warm sand of Clearwater Beach, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the breathtaking view that unfolded before my eyes. The sun was beginning its descent, casting a golden glow across the horizon. This wasn’t just any beach; it was the main beach in the Clearwater area, and it held a special place in the hearts of locals like myself.

Having heard countless tales of the mesmerizing sunsets that graced this beach, I eagerly joined the flock of people gathering along the shoreline. Families, couples, and visitors from near and far all shared the same anticipation, their faces turned towards the shimmering waters as the day transitioned into evening.

Clearwater Beach had earned its reputation as one of the best beaches in Florida, and it was easy to see why. The stretch of sand was velvety soft beneath my feet, inviting me to take off my shoes and embrace the coastal ambiance. The pristine turquoise waters stretched as far as the eye could see, creating a picturesque backdrop for the imminent sunset.

As I ventured further along the beach, I noticed the diverse range of activities available. Fishing enthusiasts had cast their lines into the glistening sea, hoping to reel in their catch of the day. The joyous laughter of children echoed in the air as they built sandcastles with their parents, their imaginations running wild with each scoop of sand.

Related tour: Boat Cruise with Dolphin Sightings

3. Pier 60

Pier 60Source: flickr
Pier 60

As I approached the iconic Pier 60 in Clearwater, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement building up within me. The name itself, Pier 60, held a certain allure that hinted at an unforgettable experience waiting just beyond its entrance. Standing tall and proud, this fishing pier was nothing short of a local powerhouse, boasting an impressive length of 1,080 feet. It was more than just a place for fishing; it was a vibrant hub of activity that offered a multitude of attractions.

Stepping onto the pier, I was immediately greeted by a picturesque park surrounding me. Lush greenery and colorful flowers lined the walkway, inviting me to take a leisurely stroll along its well-maintained paths. As I made my way further, I couldn’t help but notice the bustling bait house situated nearby. The tantalizing aroma of freshly caught seafood filled the air, luring me in to explore its offerings.

Inside the bait house, I found myself surrounded by an array of fishing gear and supplies. From rods and reels to an extensive selection of baits, it was a haven for any angler seeking a successful day on the water. I eagerly stocked up on everything I needed, ensuring I was fully prepared to embark on my fishing adventure.

4. Sand Key Park

Sand Key ParkSource: flickr
Sand Key Park

If you’re searching for the ultimate blend of a sandy beach and a lush park, let me transport you to my personal haven: Sand Key Park. The moment I set foot on this enchanting slice of paradise, it felt like stepping into a dream that I never wanted to wake up from. Every detail of my experience left me breathless, as if I had truly become one with the tranquil surroundings.

As I strolled along the pristine coastline, my senses were awakened by the rhythmic crashing of the waves and the gentle caress of the sea breeze against my skin. The beach was a sight to behold, adorned with adorable beach cabanas that seemed to beckon me closer. I couldn’t resist the temptation, so I settled into one of these cozy sanctuaries, basking in the warm embrace of the sun while admiring the picturesque horizon.

Not far from the beach, I discovered well-appointed bathhouses that offered a welcome respite for beachgoers like myself. These thoughtfully designed facilities provided the perfect place to rinse off the saltwater and rejuvenate after a day of seaside fun. With their clean and modern interiors, I felt like a true VIP, enjoying a touch of luxury amidst the natural wonders.

The surprises continued as I ventured further into the park. A sense of joy welled up within me as I stumbled upon a dog park, where four-legged companions frolicked with boundless enthusiasm. It was heartwarming to witness the playful interactions and unbridled happiness shared between the dogs and their human companions. The contagious energy of the place made me wish I had a furry friend of my own to join in on the fun.

5. Beach Walk

Beach WalkSource: flickr
Beach Walk

I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled upon Beach Walk in Clearwater. It was as if the vibrant palm trees had formed a natural pathway just for me, leading to a world of adventure and discovery. The inviting pedestrian area beckoned me to explore its secrets and soak in the essence of this picturesque beachside town.

As I embarked on my journey along Beach Walk, I was immediately captivated by the twisting and turning path that meandered through the heart of Clearwater Beach. Each step brought me closer to a tapestry of local businesses, each one exuding its unique charm and character. It felt like I had stepped into a different era, surrounded by an array of quaint and delightful establishments.

I found myself tempted by the alluring scent of freshly made ice cream wafting through the air. Unable to resist, I entered one of the old-fashioned ice cream parlors that lined the street. The interior transported me back in time, with its retro decor and cheerful atmosphere. The colorful display of delectable flavors made my mouth water as I struggled to decide which one to choose. Eventually, I settled on a scoop of creamy, homemade vanilla, savoring each spoonful as I continued my leisurely stroll along Beach Walk.

The journey wasn’t just about indulging my taste buds, though. It was a treasure trove of unique boutique arts and crafts shops that caught my attention. The storefronts showcased a dazzling array of handcrafted souvenirs, each one a testament to the creativity and craftsmanship of the local artisans. I couldn’t resist stepping inside to peruse the displays, my eyes alight with wonder at the beautiful trinkets and artworks on offer. From intricate seashell jewelry to vibrant paintings depicting the stunning Clearwater scenery, there was something for every taste and preference.

6. Clearwater Beach Marina

Clearwater Beach MarinaSource: flickr
Clearwater Beach Marina

I couldn’t resist the allure of Clearwater’s sparkling waters and breathtaking views any longer. So, with a sense of adventure coursing through my veins, I made my way to the Clearwater Beach Marina. As I stepped onto the marina’s wooden boardwalk, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the lively atmosphere that surrounded me.

The marina was a bustling hub of activity, with 126 boat slips stretching out before me. It was a sight to behold, with vessels of various sizes and colors bobbing gently in the water. The air was filled with the invigorating scent of saltwater, and the sound of seagulls echoed in the distance, setting the tone for the aquatic adventure that awaited me.

I approached the marina office, eager to explore the possibilities that lay ahead. The friendly staff greeted me with warm smiles, their enthusiasm contagious. They presented me with two enticing options: I could either rent a boat and navigate the azure waters myself or embark on a guided boat tour, where I would have the opportunity to witness the marina in all its splendor.

After a brief moment of contemplation, I decided that I wanted to fully immerse myself in the experience and opted for the guided boat tour. I eagerly boarded the vessel, anticipation building with every step. The boat was spacious and well-equipped, with comfortable seating and panoramic windows that promised uninterrupted views of the surrounding beauty.

As the tour commenced, the boat gently cruised away from the marina, carrying me toward a world of discovery. The warm Gulf breeze enveloped me, tugging at my hair and rejuvenating my spirit. I closed my eyes, allowing the gentle caress of the wind to transport me to a place of tranquility.

Opening my eyes, I was greeted by an awe-inspiring panorama. The sprawling city of Clearwater stood tall on the shoreline, its vibrant buildings contrasting against the crystal-clear waters. The sun bathed everything in a golden hue, casting a magical glow over the scene. It was as if time had momentarily stood still, allowing me to savor the beauty before me.

7. Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ruth Eckerd HallSource: limoservicetampaarea
Ruth Eckerd Hall

As I walked into the magnificent Ruth Eckerd Hall, I couldn’t help but be in awe of its grandeur. The reputation of this premium performing arts venue in Clearwater had preceded itself, and now I was about to experience it firsthand. The anticipation coursed through my veins as I eagerly looked forward to immersing myself in a captivating show.

Stepping into the elegant foyer, I was greeted by the gentle hum of excited conversations and the scent of freshly brewed coffee from the nearby cafe. The atmosphere was buzzing with energy, as people of all ages and backgrounds gathered in anticipation of an evening filled with artistic brilliance.

As I made my way into the auditorium, I marveled at its vastness. The hall could accommodate over 2,000 spectators, and every seat seemed to offer a perfect view of the stage. The rich red velvet seats beckoned me to take my place, and I found myself settled comfortably in the midst of an expectant crowd.

8. Starlite Cruises

Starlite CruisesSource: visitflorida
Starlite Cruises

One of my most cherished experiences in Clearwater was indulging in an elegant cruise, allowing me to immerse myself in the breathtaking scenery from the tranquil waters. The moment I set foot on the StarLite Majesty, a sense of excitement and anticipation welled up within me.

As I stepped onto the twin-decked floating entertainment venue, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer beauty of the ship. The StarLite Majesty exuded a refined elegance, with its gleaming exterior and luxurious interiors. I was immediately drawn to the spacious picture windows that adorned the ship, offering unobstructed views of Clearwater’s picturesque landscape.

After boarding the cruise, I eagerly made my way to the dining area. The aroma of delectable cuisine wafted through the air, tantalizing my senses and whetting my appetite. I settled into a comfortable seat, eagerly awaiting the culinary delights that awaited me. The attentive staff, dressed in impeccable uniforms, treated me with warm hospitality, ensuring that my dining experience would be nothing short of extraordinary.

As the ship gracefully glided through the sparkling waters, I gazed out of the expansive windows, taking in the enchanting sights of Clearwater. The panoramic vistas unfolded before my eyes, revealing pristine beaches, swaying palm trees, and glistening waves that seemed to dance in harmony with the gentle breeze. It was as if nature had painted a masterpiece exclusively for my enjoyment.

Time seemed to stand still as I savored every moment on the cruise. The sun began its descent towards the horizon, casting a warm golden hue over the surrounding landscape. The sky transformed into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, as if nature was showcasing its artistic prowess. I couldn’t help but marvel at the ethereal beauty of the sunset, a sight that left me awestruck.

9. Pinellas Trail

Pinellas TrailSource: pinellascounty
Pinellas Trail

The Pinellas Trail, also known as the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, holds a special place in my heart as I recount my personal experience along this famous rail trail in Florida. Named after the esteemed former County Administrator, Fred Marquis, the trail winds its way through the picturesque landscapes of Pinellas County, spanning from the enchanting city of Tarpon Springs to the vibrant St. Petersburg. Along its path, it weaves through the heart of Clearwater, captivating visitors and locals alike with its diverse offerings.

As I embarked on my journey, I discovered numerous access points in Clearwater that led me to this breathtaking trail. The warm sunshine greeted me as I set foot on the trail, filling me with excitement for the adventure that lay ahead. The possibilities seemed endless as I witnessed fellow enthusiasts engaging in a myriad of activities, each choosing their own unique way to savor this remarkable trail.

Embracing the spirit of exploration, I opted for a leisurely stroll along the trail, allowing me to immerse myself in the beauty of the Florida countryside. The rhythmic sound of my footsteps mingled with the chorus of birdsong, creating a symphony of nature that seemed to echo my own joyous spirit. The scent of blooming wildflowers danced in the air, enticing me to pause and inhale deeply, relishing the sweet fragrance.

As I continued my journey, I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the vibrant tapestry of colors that surrounded me. Lush greenery stretched out in all directions, providing a soothing backdrop to my meandering path. The occasional glimpse of shimmering ponds and tranquil lakes added an ethereal touch, casting a spell of serenity over the entire experience.

The Pinellas Trail proved to be a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, as I encountered fellow adventurers indulging in various activities. Cyclists whizzed past me, their vibrant jerseys creating a blur of color as they embraced the trail’s smooth surface. Joggers and runners, determined and focused, powered their way forward, their dedication serving as a testament to the trail’s appeal for fitness enthusiasts. Even roller skaters gracefully glided by, their fluid movements adding an air of grace and elegance to the already picturesque scene.

While the trail’s full length stretched an impressive 38.2 miles, I chose to undertake a smaller section, allowing myself ample time to appreciate the wonders along the way. The charm of the Florida countryside, interwoven with the sense of adventure, made every step a treasure trove of sights and sensations. From the vibrant murals that adorned the walls of nearby buildings to the delightful cafes offering respite, there was always something captivating to discover.

10. Sky Surfing Aviation

Sky Surfing AviationSource: youtube
Sky Surfing Aviation

If you’ve ever dreamed of soaring through the sky on a flying motorcycle, let me tell you about my exhilarating experience at Sky Surfing Aviation. It was an adventure like no other, where I had the chance to ride a trike and surf the very air itself. From the moment I arrived at their location, I knew I was in for a thrilling ride.

As I stepped into the aviation center, a sense of anticipation washed over me. The friendly staff greeted me with warm smiles and introduced me to my experienced instructor, who would be my guide on this incredible journey. He exuded confidence and knowledge, instantly putting me at ease.

Before taking flight, my instructor took the time to walk me through all the intricate details of operating the aircraft. From the throttle controls to understanding the principles of flight, he patiently taught me everything I needed to know. His expertise and passion for flying were infectious, fueling my excitement to take to the skies.

With my heart pounding, we embarked on our flight. As we ascended into the heavens, the world below transformed into a breathtaking spectacle. The panoramic views of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater Marina, and Pier 60 unfurled before my eyes, each landmark taking on a whole new perspective from above.

But the true marvel of this experience was when we ventured out into the boundless expanse of the Gulf of Mexico. The crystal-clear waters sparkled below, revealing a vibrant underwater world teeming with life. With a sense of wonder, I spotted graceful dolphins gracefully leaping through the waves, their sleek bodies reflecting sunlight. I marveled at the sight of sharks gliding effortlessly beneath the surface and even caught glimpses of majestic sea turtles as they gracefully swam along.

11. Bright House Field

Bright House FieldSource: flickr
Bright House Field

Bright House Field holds a special place in my heart whenever I crave the electrifying atmosphere of an all-American baseball game. Stepping into the stadium feels like stepping into a world of dreams where Major League teams collide, and the air buzzes with anticipation. It’s not just any ballpark; it’s a hallowed ground where legends are born and dreams take flight.

The moment I set foot inside Bright House Field, I am overwhelmed by the palpable energy that emanates from the crowd. The scent of freshly cut grass wafts through the air, mingling with the mouthwatering aroma of sizzling hot dogs and popcorn. The stadium boasts over 8,000 seats, each one meticulously arranged to ensure an unobstructed view of the field. But what truly sets Bright House Field apart is its open concourse, granting fans like me a 360-degree panoramic view of the game. No matter where I stand, I’m guaranteed an unobstructed glimpse of every heart-pounding play.

As I wander around the concourse, I’m enticed by the tantalizing smells coming from the food court located just behind the home plate. My stomach grumbles in anticipation as I spot the enticing array of concession stands. The options are seemingly endless—classic cheeseburgers, crispy fries, and of course, the iconic ballpark hot dogs. The mere thought of sinking my teeth into a juicy, mustard-slathered hot dog sends shivers of excitement down my spine. The crack of a baseball bat hitting a home run might be music to some, but for me, it’s the satisfying crunch of that first bite into a perfectly crafted stadium snack.

12. Clearwater Farmers Market

Clearwater Farmers MarketSource: flickr
Clearwater Farmers Market

I woke up early on a sunny Saturday morning, feeling the warm Florida breeze gently caressing my face. Excitement coursed through my veins as I realized it was the perfect day to visit the renowned Clearwater Farmers Market. With a spring in my step, I headed towards the market, eager to indulge in the culinary delights that awaited me.

As I arrived, the vibrant atmosphere immediately enveloped me. The market was bustling with activity, as locals and visitors alike reveled in the abundance of fresh produce and local delicacies. It was a feast for the senses, a true celebration of the flavors and colors of Florida.

The farm-to-table philosophy embraced by the Clearwater Farmers Market was evident in every corner. Stalls overflowed with an enticing array of fruits and vegetables, each one more vibrant and succulent than the last. The scent of freshly picked herbs and the sight of glistening, crisp greens beckoned me closer. It was as if nature’s bounty had been plucked straight from the earth and presented before me.

But the market offered more than just raw ingredients. A symphony of delectable aromas wafted through the air, luring me towards the enchanting aroma of freshly baked goods. Local bakers proudly displayed their creations, tempting passersby with an irresistible assortment of pastries, bread, and other treats. The scent of warm cinnamon filled my nostrils, and I couldn’t resist indulging in a flaky croissant, its buttery layers melting in my mouth.

13. Capitol Theater

Capitol TheaterSource: flickr
Capitol Theater

If you’re looking for a captivating blend of history and culture, there’s one place that stands out in my mind—the Capitol Theater. I recently had the pleasure of visiting this remarkable establishment, and let me tell you, it was a journey back in time that I’ll never forget.

As soon as I stepped through the theater’s entrance, I could feel the weight of its rich heritage. The Capitol Theater has been standing tall since 1921, making it one of the oldest theaters still in operation in the entire Florida area. Just the thought of the countless performances, laughter, and applause that have echoed through its halls over the past century sent shivers down my spine.

While the Capitol Theater may not boast the grandeur of some of the larger venues in the state, it more than compensates with its undeniable period charm. Every nook and cranny oozes with nostalgia, transporting you to a bygone era where elegance and sophistication reigned supreme. The worn wooden floors creaked beneath my feet, whispering stories of countless visitors who had walked the same path before me.

The diversity of performances held at the Capitol Theater is simply astounding. Whether you’re a music lover, a fan of standup comedy, a dance enthusiast, or even a movie buff, this historic gem has something for everyone. I was lucky enough to attend a music night during my visit, and the atmosphere was electric. The stage came alive with talented musicians who effortlessly transported the audience to another world, where worries melted away and pure bliss took over.

14. Cleveland Street District

Cleveland Street DistrictSource: calihike
Cleveland Street District

I stood atop the 30-foot bluff, taking in the breathtaking vistas that stretched out before me. The Cleveland Street District in Clearwater was my go-to spot to soak in the beauty of the city and its harbor. As the sun began its descent, casting a warm golden glow over the waters, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over me.

The district had a charm of its own, known not just for its scenic views but also for its vibrant dining and shopping scene. It was a place where locals flocked to in the evening, eager to immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and explore the numerous culinary delights and unique shops that lined the streets.

As I wandered through the district, my senses were greeted by an array of tantalizing aromas wafting from the restaurants that dotted the area. The air was filled with a medley of flavors, enticing me to indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine. I found myself drawn to a cozy bistro, its inviting ambiance and flickering candlelight promising an unforgettable dining experience.

After satisfying my taste buds, I continued my leisurely stroll along the streets, my eyes drawn to the captivating public art installations that adorned the district. Each piece was a testament to the creativity and talent of local artists, their work adding a vibrant and dynamic touch to the already picturesque surroundings. It was like walking through an open-air gallery, where every corner held a new surprise.

15. Cliff Stephens Park

Cliff Stephens ParkSource: bsc2250c
Cliff Stephens Park

Cliff Stephens Park holds a special place in my heart as one of the most captivating parks I have ever visited in Pinellas County. From the moment I set foot in this enchanting haven, I was immediately captivated by its sheer beauty and tranquil atmosphere. With a vast expanse of 44 acres, this park offered a diverse range of facilities, creating an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As I embarked on my exploration of the park, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the mesmerizing biking and hiking trails that meandered through the lush greenery. The scent of fresh pine and the symphony of chirping birds accompanied me as I ventured deeper into the woods. It felt as if I was stepping into a magical world, where each twist and turn unraveled new wonders waiting to be discovered.

Curiosity led me to try something new and exhilarating. With a sense of adventure coursing through my veins, I decided to embrace the thrill of inline skating. Gliding along the paved paths, the wind rushed past me, tickling my cheeks and reminding me of the freedom and joy that comes with exploring the great outdoors.

As the day progressed, I found myself drawn to the tranquil waters that bordered the park. Fishing enthusiasts dotted the shoreline, casting their lines with hopeful anticipation. The rhythmic splashes echoed a sense of peace and serenity, tempting me to join in on the fishing adventure. With rod in hand, I immersed myself in the art of angling, relishing the stillness and the possibility of a prized catch.

15 Best Things to Do in Clearwater (FL):

  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Clearwater Beach
  • Pier 60
  • Sand Key Park
  • Beach Walk
  • Clearwater Beach Marina
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall
  • Starlite Cruises
  • Pinellas Trail
  • Sky Surfing Aviation
  • Bright House Field
  • Clearwater Farmers Market
  • Capitol Theater
  • Cleveland Street District
  • Cliff Stephens Park