Clearwater Beach, Florida is an ideal family getaway destination as it features something for everyone when it comes to activities and all-around fun. Spend the day splashing along the shoreline and building sandcastles with the kids, or partake in a little underwater adventure with a snorkeling or diving expedition. From water fun to go-karts and everything in-between, this seaside community has plenty to offer, with many attractions within walking distance from numerous Clearwater Beach vacation rentals. To help you get started on planning your itinerary, here’s a top 10 list of popular activities in and around Clearwater Beach.
1. Spend the Day at Pier 60
Pier 60 is a popular attraction in Clearwater Beach that boasts a 1,060-foot fishing pier, concessions, and one of the Gulf’s largest beach playgrounds. Pack a picnic lunch and catch some shade in one of the pavilions while the kids play, or rent some fishing gear and purchase some bait and enjoy a family fishing day off the pier. As the sun sets, enjoy “Sunsets at Pier 60,” a three hour nighttime festival with live entertainment, tasty food, arts and crafts, and more.
2. Take a Family Cruise From Egmont Key
For a unique view of the surrounding shorelines of Clearwater Beach, as well as what lies beneath the water, sign up for a family cruise from Egmont Key. Boats leave from Clearwater Marina and carry up to 125 passengers, so both you and the kids will have an opportunity to meet new friends as you cruise along the coastline. Breathe in the fresh sea air as you check out the dolphins and pelicans, then stop by Indian Rocks Beach for a little snorkeling.
3. Indoor Surfing at Surf Style
If your kids are itching to surf during your Florida holiday but not quite ready for the big ocean waves, head over to Surf Style surf shop and try out the FlowRider simulated wave machine. While there are no age restrictions, kids must be at least 42 inches tall to ride. Each session lasts 30 minutes, and your kids can also use boogie boards instead of surfboards if the waves are too intense.
4. Mini Golf at Captain Bligh’s Landing
Mini golf is the ultimate family activity, and Captain Bligh’s Landing is one of the most popular courses in Clearwater Beach. Start your game with a greeting from a parrot who guards the entrance, then enjoy the unique course that travels through a pirate ship. When you’re finished golfing, pop into the game room for a chance at winning some great take-home prizes.
5. Swim With Manatees at Crystal River
For a life-changing experience that your kids are sure to remember for years to come, sign up for a River Venture at Crystal River where you can swim right next to the gentle giant manatees that gather in the area. If you’d rather stay above water, additional venture options include kayaking and pontoon tours.
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6. Visit the Clearwater Beach Aquarium
Clearwater Beach Aquarium is a fun, educational attraction that’s perfect for families. Home to Winter the Dolphin who starred as herself in the Dolphin Tale movies, the aquarium features a variety of exhibits and hosts a dolphin show. Stop by and visit with Winter and her pals Hope and Nicholas, then check out the other animals that call the Aquarium home, including sea turtles, pelicans, and sharks.
7. Sail the Seas on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
For an exciting swashbuckling adventure, sign up for Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise. Take in the views from the deck of the Pirate’s Ransom, a Coast Guard-approved ship complete with games, music, treasure hunts and more. The cruise takes approximately two hours, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture some great shots of local dolphins splashing around in the water.
8. Ride Go-Karts at Tampa Bay Grand Prix
If the family needs to burn some energy after relaxing at your vacation rental, spend the day at Tampa Bay Grand Prix indoor go-kart track. Located in St. Petersburg just a short drive from Clearwater Beach, this family fun center boasts a huge track, and karts are available for both juniors and adults. The minimum age to ride the karts is 6, and your little ones should be at least 48 inches tall.
9. Take a Gypsy Saltwater Fishing Expedition
For a fun day on the water and the possibility of bringing some grouper or yellowfin back to your vacation rental for a feast, sign up for a Gypsy Saltwater fishing expedition. Kids are welcome, and packages include half-day or full-day expeditions. Everything from bait to licenses is provided by the charter company, so just remember to bring your sunblock. Once on deck, the captain and assistants provide hands-on assistance to help ensure your group lands a few big ones.
10. Enjoy a Beach Day at Sand Key Beach Park
A trip to Florida isn’t complete without a few days at the beach, and the beaches that surround Clearwater are truly breathtaking. One of the most visited beaches is at Sand Key Beach Park, where you’ll find picnic areas, miles of sandy shoreline, concessions and more. Rent some kayaks or paddle boards from Sand Key Paddle Sports, or pack up a cooler and a beach umbrella and soak up the sun with your family.
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