Located in the Tampa Bay area, Clearwater Beach, FL is known for stunning sunsets, warm coastal waters, and lush white-sand beaches. It’s a fantastic destination year-round, especially for older couples and families looking to escape the frigid winter months. With so many things to do, there are Clearwater Beach activities for every member of your group. Add these Clearwater Beach tourist attractions to your itinerary today!
The Top Clearwater Beach Tourist Attractions for Lively Family Fun
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is perhaps the most popular Clearwater Beach tourist attraction and if are looking for things to do in Clearwater this should definitely be on your list. This aquarium is dedicated to rescuing sick and injured marine life like dolphins, turtles, and pelicans, with the goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat. The facility opened in 1972 and is now famous for housing the two dolphins that stared in the movie Dolphin Tale. You can stop in a check out the animals and even feed them to nurse them back to health.
For family fun, check out Pier 60. This is one of the hottest tourist attractions in Clearwater Beach. The fishing pier is just over 1,000 feet long and features pavilions, telescopes, and even a stocked bait house. It also boasts one of the largest beach playgrounds on the Gulf so the kids will be very occupied if you want to drop in a line and try your hand at catching trout, snappers, tarpon, flounders, and more. As the sun dips down, you can also enjoy some lively nightlife with life music, artisan booths, and street performers.
Last, but not least, Safety Harbor is another great Clearwater Beach vacation destination for families. Safety Harbor is a nice mix of historic old-world charm and modern comforts and your family will love exploring the Native American settlement and playing in the natural mineral spring.
Best Clearwater Beach Attractions for Exploring the Sea Life
Clearwater Beach has some amazing waters surrounding it and they are meant to be explored. If you are looking to get into the water to snorkel, kayak, or explore, there are many Clearwater Beach tourist attractions that can help you do just that.
Down South Kite & Paddle is one option for some Clearwater fun. They have kiteboarding, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, surfing, and more! The experienced instructors will guide you through the exercise of your choice, teaching you how to properly and safely operate the equipment you choose. For a more laid-back option, you can also rent a one or two-person kayak and explore the mangroves that are populated with birds, fish, and more!
For exploring the water, Dream Catcher Explorations is another great option. This tour starts with a 30 to 40-minute boat ride along the inter-coastal until you reach Three Rooker Bar. This tiny remote island is where the boat will slow up so you can view sea life in their real habitat. You can see dolphins and fish swimming about, and once you’re close enough to the island you can hop in the water to snorkel and explore on your own. Here, you’ll find basking manatees, sting rays, and more. If you want to stay dry, or someone in your group does, they can explore the beach that is covered with coral, sea sponges, and sand dollars! It’s BYOB and BYOF, so be sure to pack a cooler to keep you fueled during this four-hour tour.
If dolphins are all you are looking for, Encounters with Dolphins is the excursion for you. This is a three to four-hour tour that is narrated. You will glide around the Clearwater Beach harbor on this 40-foot boat and learn about the marine life all around you. You can also see dolphins flittering about before the boat stops at Compass Island where you are able to collect shells or hop into the water to swim or snorkel.
What to Do in Clearwater Beach: Best Clearwater Beach Nature Parks
Clearwater Beach is well known for its beautiful parks. After fueling up at one of the top Clearwater Beach restaurants, check out Moccasin Lake Nature Park. Located just a couple hundred yards away from the US-19, this park is a serene place to take your family. You can explore the 50 acres of land on oak-lined nature trails, which are dotted with education posts to explain what you’re seeing. There’s also a boardwalk that crosses streams and leads you past plenty of wildlife. Most notable are The Cypress Trail and Brigham Dock, both of which are great for birdwatching.
Philippe Park is another great Clearwater Beach, FL destination. This is comprised of a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, and even some great fishing spots. You’ll get some great views of Old Tampa Bay and can even view some Native American ruins. The Temple Mound form the Tocobagga is housed in the park, comprised of layers of shells. This site is believed to have been a site for religious ceremonies and is actually a historic landmark.
Bikers will also love Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail. This is a multi-use bike trail that connects the Florida Progress Trail and Pinellas Trail. It’s a great off-road trail that connects Clearwater Beach to Safety Harbor. Along the way, you can stop for picnics, fishing, or even photography opportunities.
The great thing about Clearwater Beach is that you can visit any time of the year. So, even if you don’t have flights booked yet or Clearwater Beach vacation ideas laid out, it’s not too late! Book some airfare, pick a hotel and make this Clearwater Beach vacation something to remember.