Clearwater, Florida is located in Tampa Bay, offering gorgeous Gulf Coast views and plenty of sunshine. In addition to beach fun and outdoor recreational excursions, Clearwater features a host of attractions ranging from aquariums and local museums to everything in between. Most Clearwater vacation rentals put you in close proximity to the beach where the sunsets are incredible. If you’re planning on visiting Clearwater and looking for some great things to do, check out this top 15 list.
1. Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach features miles of white sandy shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing beach day. Take a walk along the shoreline and hunt for pretty seashells, then set up a beach blanket and umbrella in the sand for some fun in the sun and amazing views of the aqua blue gulf waters.
2. Birdwatching at Sand Key Park
For a day of birdwatching and soaking up a bit of nature, head over to Sand Key Park. Bring your binoculars to view endangered birds feeding in the salt marsh, and keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles along the sand. The park also has beach cabanas if you need a little shade after exploring the park under the sunshine.
3. Florida Botanical Gardens
Spend the day among beautiful plants and flowers at the Florida Botanical Gardens, located just four miles away in neighboring Largo. Admission is free, and the flora and fauna that call the garden home are truly breathtaking. Sign up for a guided tour, or explore the gardens and aquatic habitat on your own by following the trails and lovely foot bridges.
4. Moccasin Lake Nature Park
Take an exhilarating nature hike at Moccasin Lake Nature Park. This patch of native forest in the heart of Clearwater features a quaint boardwalk above a flowing stream, as well as nature trails that wind through the woods. Hike at your own pace, or sign up for a guided tour to learn more about the area.
5. Heritage Village – Largo, Florida
For a walk through local history, take the 4-mile trip into neighboring Largo to visit Heritage Village. This open-air living history museum, which sits surrounded by pine and palmetto trees, houses over 31 historic buildings. Check out the 19th-century structures and demonstrations that include blacksmithing and sugar cane milling, and then stop by the gift shop for a few souvenirs.
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6. Celebration Station
Enjoy a day of fun with the family or your travel group at Celebration Station. Play some video games in the massive arcade, splash around in the bumper boats, or get your adrenaline pumping on the Eurobungy that has the power to hoist you up to 24 feet in the air.
7. Paddle Out Adventures
Explore the gulf waters by paddle board by signing up for a tour with Paddle Out Adventures. The tour starts off with a pontoon ride into the beautiful lagoons and secluded areas of water that are perfect for paddle boarding. When you reach the paddle boarding destination, skilled guides provide instructions and safety tips before allowing guests to venture into the waters.
8. Congo River Golf
For a fun day of mini golf with a unique twist, sign up for a game at Congo River Golf. This place isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill mini golf course; it is also home to a group of Florida alligators that visitors can feed as they make their way through each hole.
9. SimCenter Tampa
Get the adrenaline pumping at SimCenter Tampa, an action-packed fun park that offers flight simulators, race car simulators, space simulators, and combat simulators. Strap yourself into your seat to navigate controls on space ships, planes, helicopters and more. While you’re guaranteed not to go flying into the air, the experience is truly realistic.
10. Crest Lake Park
If you’re hoping to catch a few fish during your Clearwater vacation, Crest Lake Park has you covered. The park surrounds Crest Lake, where you just may reel in a few bass for a tasty meal at your vacation rental. If you feel like a little exercise during your outing, walk along the half-mile trail that surrounds the lake.
11. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Spend the day with beautiful sea creatures, and learn about marine life at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Home to Winter the Dolphin, star of the “Dolphin Tale” movies, this world-famous attraction is a great place to spend the day. Watch a live dolphin show, then take a self-guided tour through the aquarium area to visit with other residents that include sea turtles, pelicans, otters, and more.
12. Philippe Park
Absorb some Clearwater history while enjoying the beautiful weather with a trip to Philippe Park, located a few miles away in neighboring Safety Harbor. Located on the former plantation grounds of Count Odet Philippe, the man known for introducing grapefruits to the state of Florida, this historical park overlooks Tampa Bay and is considered by some to be the best park in Safety Harbor.
13. Concerts at Coachman Park
For a little music and outdoor fun, catch a concert at Coachman Park. The park hosts multiple festivals, music concerts, and events throughout the year, and the grassy pavilion provides the perfect outdoor atmosphere for a balmy Florida night. Check the schedule before heading over, as events change often.
14. Calypso Queen Cruises
Enjoy a day on the Gulf waters with a little dolphin-watching mixed in on a Calypso Queen Cruise. Calypso offers several types of cruises that include daytime adventures with a lunch buffet, sunset cruises with dinner and cocktails, and evening cruises with tropical dinner buffets. Skilled guides on deck help guests spot dolphins in their natural habitat, and the surrounding atmosphere is truly beautiful.
15. Pier 60
Pier 60, one of Clearwater’s most visited attractions, is a massive boardwalk that’s approximately 1,080 feet long. Locals and visitors alike enjoy fishing off the pier, and it also serves as home to the Pier 60 bait house, where you can enjoy a snack and pick up a fish-themed shirt, hat, or souvenir. The pier also hosts “Sunsets at Pier 60,” a craft fair that takes place every night, complete with live entertainment and delicious food.
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