If you’re visiting Florida and wondering whether you should take a few days away from Miami or Orlando, these things to do in Clearwater will convince you. But, the crystal clear water of the Gulf Coast and picturesque white beaches are just the beginning. Fun new attractions are opening up all the time here too.
You’ll find excellent attractions, classy cruises, and delightful days out below. Save them in your favorite notes app so you don’t forget! When planning my trips, I use Obsidian; it syncs between devices and stores all my vacation ideas.
Things to Do in Clearwater, Florida
Are you taking a few days out of a Disney-filled vacation to come to the city of Clearwater, Florida? Even if you’re hoping to relax and take it easy, you still need to entertain the kids. These attractions will rival anything you’ll find elsewhere on the peninsular.
Get Out on The Water in Clearwater, FL
It’s called Clearwater for a reason! So if you’re here, even for just a few days, you must go on one of the many cruises available. Few things are as tranquil as looking down at the sparkling, pristine water while sailing on a yacht or cruise ship.
Here are four cruises you won’t want to miss
1. Tiki Boat Cruise
Ever thought you’d be floating around Clearwater on your tiki bar? You can even bring your own beverages!
2. Clearwater Ferry
The Clearwater Ferry will take you from Downtown Clearwater to Clearwater beach, the aquarium, and Dunedin. The best way to avoid parking problems at Clearwater beach.
3. Sail the Clearwater Pass at Sunset
Few sights beat sunsets from the deck of a cruise ship and sailing through the Clearwater Pass. You’ll have a picturesque view.
4. Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise is the best boating experience you’ll find specifically designed for children. The two-hour adventure includes treasure hunting, face painting, a water gun battle, and pirate stories.
Entertainment and Shopping in Clearwater, FL
People come to this beach town for white sand beaches. Why not spend the day walking the boardwalk overlooking the beautiful beach with ice cream or paddling in the sea? Once you’re back on dry land and your sick of roller coasters, it’s time to stroll the promenade!
5. Pier 60
If you’re looking for Key West vibes in Clearwater, Pier 60 has it. This 1,080-foot pier, lined with entertainers and street performers, is an incredible place to come for a walk and some sightseeing.
Pier 60 is a world-famous fishing spot, but you don’t need to be a lone sigma male fishing to enjoy it. Most bring picnic baskets rather than rods. Watch the pelicans come and go or find yourself a place early for the most fantastic sunset.
6. Ruth Eckerd Hall
If you’re looking for an evening of culture, look no further than Ruth Eckerd Hall. There’s always something worth seeing, from music and dance to comedy and seasonal concerts.
Find out what’s on right now at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
7. Westfield Countryside Mall
When you need a little retail therapy, the largest mall in Clearwater has you covered.
With everything you’d expect of a large shopping mall, you’ll find boutique stores, your favorite retailers, and great restaurants and fast food.
The 12-screen CMX Cinema and ice rink will entertain older ones, and Bounce City is an excellent option for younger children.
Things to Do Outdoors in Clearwater, FL
8. Sand Key Park
Do you want to lounge on a beach that isn’t packed full of people? Sand Key Beach is the answer. A lesser-known strip of waterfront, the sands here are as perfect as anywhere in Clearwater.
But at only $5 for parking, you’d think there would be crowds of tourists here year-round, but there aren’t. Instead, sand Key Beach is a hidden gem, so come and unwind beachside and when you’re done for the day, the beachfront Sheraton Sand Key Resort is right next door.
9. Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is 46 miles of urban pathways. It connects Clearwater to St. Petersburg and is the perfect way to explore the beauty of both areas.
The trail traverses bridges and crosses heavy traffic, so be careful, but if you want to find out what Clearwater is all about, you can’t go wrong with the Pinellas Trail.
10. Moccasin Lake Nature Park
The Moccasin Lake Nature Park is 51 acres of nature preserve offering scenic walks under great oak trees and wildlife in its habitat. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm, it’s the perfect day out when you need a bit of nature therapy.
You can see gopher turtles, raccoons, and a variety of local birds, including herons that fish in the lakes and bald eagles.
Learn a little about the wildlife while you have a take-it-easy day at Moccasin.
11. Cliff Stephens Park
If you’re into hiking, biking or want a relaxing walk in nature, Cliff Stephens Park has what you need. There are many trails to be found here, even some for inline skaters.
With lots to do and see, this large park is popular with picnic goers and families who will find a disc golf course and spots for fishing and boating.
12. Honeymoon Island State Park
The views from Honeymoon Island State Park are unlike any other, which is why this is the most popular trail in the Clearwater area. The four miles of white sand beach and three miles of nature trail will transport you into a Honeymoon Island Wonderland.
You’ll see eagles, osprey, great horned owls, gopher tortoises, raccoons, and armadillos. Besides the fascinating wildlife, Honeymoon Island is also home to rare botanical species, such as one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests.
Things to Do With the Family in Clearwater, FL
13. Busch Gardens
A short trip on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, State Road 60, across Old Tampa Bay will take you toward Tampa and Busch Gardens, where you’ll find some of the best rides in Florida. But will your kids dare to ride the SheiKra with its 90 degrees vertical track?
With river rapids, log flumes, and family roller coasters like the Cobra’s Curse, thrill seekers and family fun are here to take at Busch Gardens.
Check out the Serengeti Flyer too, opening in 2023.
14. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Get a selfie with sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Kids will love the hands-on aspect of the touch tanks, and older ones can learn about marine biology, conservation, and the rehabilitation of everything from otters to pelicans.
ZooTampa is a world-class zoo and at only 30 minutes drive from Clearwater, it’s not to be missed.
Hippos, rhinos, elephants, and manatees are some of the largest animals at ZooTampa. There are orangutans, giant tortoises, and panthers too.
ZooTampa hosts Breakfast with the Animals on Saturdays and Toddler Tuesdays. The family won’t forget a day out at ZooTampa.
16. Adventure Island Water Park
You’ll be forgiven for wanting a day to cool off and laze around the pool in a state with no winter. Adventure Island will entertain the kids while you have the day off you deserve.
It’s about a 40-minute drive to Adventure Island from Clearwater, but it’s a day out you won’t want to miss.
You can have a family race down Riptide, a four-lane water slide, or free fall down Vanish Point if you dare.
17. The Florida Aquarium
Ever heard of the tomato frog, the roseate spoonbill, or the pot-bellied seahorse? How about the Giant Green Anemone? Neither had I till our family trip to the Florida Aquarium.
Explore the habitats hosting these weird and wonderful creatures. The aquarium also has some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Set sail on their Wild Dolphin Cruise to find dolphins in Tampa Bay or take an underwater tour in diving gear.
If all this talk of tranquil beaches and trail walking puts you to sleep, why not spend an afternoon at iFLY for something a little more intense?
iFly is an indoor skydiving center based in Clearwater, so if you’re not yet ready to jump out of a plane, gain some confidence without falling through the sky. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something to do alone.
The flying part of the experience lasts about 60 seconds, but the entire process, including training and suiting up, will require about 90 minutes, so plan accordingly.
19. Sim Center
Originally started as a Boeing 737 simulator out of the owner’s living room, The Sim Center has offered visitors simulation and virtual reality experiences for over 20 years.
Constantly updating their technology to keep up with the times, the original one-hour flight sim experience is still available for future pilots.
When you’re on holiday, you have to make every day count, so why not try something you’ve never done before?
Now with fighter jets, F1 race cars, and many other experiences, you’re bound to find the virtual reality for you.
20. Celebration Station
When was the last time the fair came to town? Well, at Celebration Station, the fair is in town every day! Celebration Station is the perfect day out for reminiscing.
If the weather isn’t great, this indoor attraction park is a great choice, hit the arcades or ride the bumper cars, try the bumper boats, laser tag, or go-karts. However, the attractions are priced individually, so this can get expensive if you want to do everything.
21. Clearwater Threshers at the BayCare Ballpark
There’s no need to drive to Tampa or Miami when you want to see a ballgame when the Clearwater Threshers are right here in Clearwater. A minor league team with a beautiful stadium, The Threshers also host the Philidelphia Phillies during spring training at Baycare Ballpark.
Visit Clearwater, Florida
You won’t regret a trip to Clearwater, Fl. Its laid-back vibe makes it the perfect spot for a relaxing vacation, and with Tampa and St. Petersburg within driving distance, you’ll never run out of things to do. Once you’ve fallen in love with Clearwater, you’ll want to get a condo and come back every year.
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Photo Credit: [@felixtm/DepositPhotos]
Originally from the U.K Greg has lived in Asia for over 15 years. Fluent in a handful of languages, he ran a management consultancy before creating Kill The Dragon Get The Gold, he spends his time traveling around Asia, writing, taking photos, and drinking coffee.