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25 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Clearwater Beach Florida

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Clearwater Beach Sunset

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I took a trip to Clearwater, Florida in May of 2019. Although I did a lot of research before leaving for the trip, I don’t feel like all of my questions were answered. I decided to make a list of things that I wish I knew before going. Here is a list of the 25 things you should know before visiting Clearwater Beach, Florida.

I LOVE to travel, so, I recently booked a trip through a travel agent. You can read about my experience here. As a result, I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go, so, I asked my travel agent for some ideas.

Clearwater Florida was one of the ideas that she came up with. Clearwater is a city that is located about 40 minutes outside of Tampa. So, if you’re planning to visit Clearwater you want to fly into the Tampa International Airport.

Not to mention it stood out to me mostly because of the beautiful hotel options, the price, and the beautiful beach. The beach is white sand and is around 2.5 miles.

Granted that this trip was important because it was the first trip that my boyfriend and I were taking together, outside of the random road trip here or there. We wanted to be sure that the trip was entertaining, relaxing, and something new all wrapped into one.

We were able to find all of that and more on our trip to Clearwater Florida.  I put together a list of pros and cons to give you insight into deciding if Clearwater Florida is right for you or not.

My list will consist of a pro and a con regarding that specific Pro. truthfully, I feel like I am a lawyer at heart. I can debate any side of any subject, no matter how much I’m for or against a topic. I decided to go this route to give you a full picture of my stay without bias.

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Bye Florida ❤

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My personal video

Resorts

Pros:

  • There are several hotels and resorts located along the beach. We stayed at the Wyndham Grand Resort.  We arrived to steel drums playing; and mimosas upon our arrival. I’m not a drinker. However, my fiance was more than happy to have a drink.
  • The resort was beautiful and the staff was amazing! It was by far the best hotel experience I’ve ever had.
  • The Wyndham Grand is not for you or if it is not within your price range there are several beautiful hotels that you can choose from along the beach.

Cons:

  • One thing to consider before visiting Clearwater Beach, Florida is, if you opt to stay at one of the beachfront hotels please keep in mind that you may be charged a daily resort fee.  The resort fee is $25 per day per room.
  • Finding parking is next to impossible at times. If you park at the resort you will incur a daily valet parking fee of $25. However, I don’t feel renting a car is necessary. I suggest using Uber or Lyft. The area is a huge strip with lots of food and entertainment options with small parking lots that fill up quickly. We walked the entire time we were there.
Salmon Dinner

Food – Clearwater Beach Florida

Pros:

  • The food was amazing! There are several different restaurants to choose from so you will never run out of options.  
  • Unbeknownst to us, we visited in early May, during the Annual Clearwater Beach Taste Fest! We paid one flat rate for each person and we ate at several different local restaurant vendors at no additional charge.  There were at least 20 or more restaurants that we could choose from. They had a little of everything, including dessert. We sampled ALL of them! It was yummy to my tummy! 😋

Cons:

  • The waits at restaurants tended to be pretty long. I am not sure why because spring and fall tend to be the off seasons. I can only imagine what it is like during peak season.
  • Very few restaurants use plastic straws. They opt to use paper straws. This may not be a con for you if you are cutting back on plastics or if your state has prohibited plastic straws. Unfortunately, I could not get used to the straws getting soggy in my mouth. Nothing tasted the same. I found a plastic straw and held on to it!
Clearwater Beach
The view we had after the proposal. Pic taken with my Samsung Note 9

Clearwater Florida Beach

Pros:

  • The beach we SO beautiful. We enjoyed walking barefoot in the sand. They had several wash stations to wash the sand off of ourselves.
  • Although the beach is not private, we were not stopped by any vendors or approached, except when people offered to take our picture for us.
  • The sunsets are beautiful! My fiance proposed to me on a pier during sunset. It was an overcast day but SO romantic! (Hint hint fellas! 😉 )

Cons:

  • The beach was a bit rocky in some areas. Which can suck if you like to walk along the water’s edge and get our feet wet as much as I do. It wasn’t horrible by any means. However, I would avoid this beach if you don’t care for rocks in the sand.
  • There is a LOT of seaweed in the water. I don’t like the feeling of seaweed on my legs! (It gives me the heebie geebies!) EVERY TIME it touched me I thought I was being attacked by a shark or jellyfish. Maybe I was a tiny bit dramatic. 😂
Photo I took of the beach using my Samsung Note 9

Exercise

Pros:

  • If you are a person that likes to take a certain number of steps, you will love it here. I was able to double and sometimes triple me step goal every day.
  • The beach is a great place to get a good workout in! I suggest going early in the morning because it can get very hot.

Cons:

  • One of the things you should know before visiting Clearwater Beach Florida is, If you have trouble walking you might want to consider different options. Such as having food delivered, renting a cabana or getting a beach chair, or speaking with your hotel to see if they have carts that can be used to get around.
Clearwater Beach
Picture I took while on the dolphin tour with my Samsung Note 9

Fun Things to Do In Clearwater

Pros:

  • Pier 60 is awesome. The scenery at the end of the pier is beautiful! It is a great place to catch the sunset. An added bonus is, at night during the weekend, vendors line up along the pier and sale all kinds of cool things!
  • Fishing – There is a bait shop located on the pier, they have all the equipment you will need to fish.
  • Speedboats tours
  • Dolphin tours – I enjoyed seeing them in their natural habitat.
  • Marine Aquarium
  • Numerous Cruise Options
  • Tampa Zoo

Cons:

  • The ONLY con I have is, if you opt to go on a dolphin cruise there is a chance you may not see any dolphins. If you decide to go on the cruise please choose one that will give you another ride for free if you don’t see any dolphins.
Clearwater Pinterest Pin

(19) Comments

  1. Luna S says:

    Parking at destinations like this is always a nightmare! I also didn’t know some places had daily resort fees so that is good to know. Thanks for this post!

    1. I was shocked by the resort fee as well. The fee also can’t be paid when you book the room, it has to be paid when you check out. The hotel is quite beautiful.

  2. Great tips – love that area of Florida … I’m in Michigan, but my parents live near there!

  3. What a great article and tips about Clearwater, Florida. I bet the sunsets are beautiful at Pier 60. Good insider tip about the dolphin cruise too 🙂

  4. Elizabeth O says:

    I will keep this in mind when travelling to Clearwater. Thank you for the tips.

  5. Joanna says:

    I am surprised that you have to pay for a resort fee, and that the amount is so high. That would definitely put me off and I would choose a different destination for my holiday.

  6. Sarah says:

    Good to know! I’ve never been to Florida but I have lots of friends who visit so I’ll share this info with them

  7. I went to Clearwater, FL a few years ago for a conference. I stayed at a resort, which was nice, but I thought the town had a strange vibe. I agree, though, you don’t need a car. Especially since parking at the hotels are waaayyyy overpriced.

    1. Strange vibe how so? Did you feel eerie in some way? It does seem like a very small secluded town, but I enjoyed myself.

  8. Thanks for taking your time to list the pros and cons. Have not seen a paper straw before.

    1. It was my first time seeing a paper straw too Oluborode. I am not a fan. Ha!

  9. Neil Alvin says:

    Wow! Thanks for this information. I will keep it in mind. 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading Neil!

  10. Wow. Good to know about the resort fees! Thanks

    1. The resort fees can hurt when you are on a budget. The trip was a lot more affordable than we thought and that includes airfare. That was thanks to my travel agent.

  11. It looks like such a nice place to go! Thanks for sharing!

    1. We really enjoyed it. You should visit sometime!

  12. Great post! I haven’t been to clearwater in FOREVER but now I am thinking I need to make a trip!!

    1. That is awesome Ashli! We’re actually considering making it an annual family vacation. We can’t start until 2021 because our wedding is next May. Have fun in Clearwater!

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