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Why Go To Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach sits on a long, thin island off of Florida's west coast within 25 miles of both St. Petersburg and Tampa. Though a trip to the town from the mainland takes just a few minutes, you'll feel worlds away from the big-city atmosphere you're leaving behind. This laid-back area is known for its beautiful coastline – U.S. News ranks Clearwater Beach as one of Florida's best beaches – but you'll also find a number of other attractions worth checking out.

When you're not at the beach paddleboarding, riding Jet Skis or parasailing, among other water sports activities, take some time to enjoy Clearwater Beach's historical theaters, parks, shopping districts and casual beachfront restaurants. You'll also want to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see the attraction's famous dolphin resident. If you love sports, no trip would be complete without watching the Philadelphia Phillies play at Spectrum Field during MLB's spring training season.

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Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.

Best of Clearwater Beach

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Clearwater Beach Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best time to visit Clearwater Beach is between October and December. During these autumn months, you'll find low humidity, fewer tourists and many holiday events to experience. However, October and November technically fall within the Atlantic hurricane season, and although they're not peak hurricane months, you should be aware of the possibility of a storm developing. July, August and September's frequent rainstorms and January, February and March's high volume of snowbirds (retirees and part-time residents from the northern U.S.) make summer and winter two seasons to avoid. If viewing wildlife is your main objective, consider visiting in April, May or June when migratory birds, stingrays and sea turtles are commonly spotted. While the area is different every season, Clearwater Beach benefits from warm weather year-round.

Weather in Clearwater Beach

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Average Temperature (°F)
69
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53
75
57
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62
85
68
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73
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72
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66
77
59
71
53
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Average Precipitation (in)
3
3.1
3.8
2.4
2
6.7
8.1
8.3
7
3.3
2.2
3
Jan
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See details for When to Visit Clearwater Beach

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

  • You have two airports to choose from You can easily reach the downtown beach area from both St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

  • You can dance the night away While Clearwater Beach is a family-friendly area, it does offer its fair share of nightlife options, from beach bars to nightclubs.

  • You can chill out The island has a laid-back vibe, so don't be afraid to relax, dress comfortably and trade traditional dine-in restaurants for grab-and-go meals on the sand.

How to Save Money in Clearwater Beach

  • Park smart Avoid the crowded metered parking spaces near the beach by parking for free in downtown Clearwater and taking the Clearwater Ferry to the island.

  • Ride the Jolley Trolley If you don't want to walk in the heat, climb aboard the charming Jolley Trolley to get to and from popular attractions like the beach and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Each ride costs $2.25 per person (an unlimited day pass is also available for $5).

  • Take a free ride Download Florida Free Rides on your devices for complimentary transportation around town. Don't forget to tip your driver!

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Honeymoon Island State Park is a secluded area north of town that offers countless wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Tinik/ Getty Images

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