fun things to do in Clearwater

With its refreshing gulf breeze, tranquil white sands, and pristine clear waters (now you see where this glorious tourist hotspot gets its name), Clearwater is the ultimate destination for every kind of traveler.

Regardless of your age and interests — be they adventure, art, or zen — the sun-kissed city is never short of engaging activities.

Officially part of Pinellas County, this Floridian city enjoys sunshine nearly all year round, with the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and Tampa Bay to the southeast. Thanks to its gorgeous weather; outdoor activities are much loved by its locals and tourists.

Couples; embark on a romantic sunset cruise, or families bring the kids on a pirate-themed sailing expedition instead! Visit endless parks and walk or go rollerblading along the Marquis Pinellas Trail running through the city. Hit the coastal trail at Honeymoon Island State Park or chill out at the Botanical Garden and meander amongst the butterfly garden.

So whether you want a trip full of theme park thrills (some of which are located in nearby Tampa) or a week snoozing on the warm sand, with a remarkable selection of things to do in Clearwater, this gorgeous oceanside city is beckoning.

Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!

1 – Marvel at beautiful marine life at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida
credit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Besides its resident dolphins, the renowned Clearwater Marine Aquarium also houses slippery eels, clever pelicans, humorous otters, cute sea turtles, and intimidating rays — many of which are in the kid-friendly touch tanks!

With a focus on educating visitors about animal rehabilitation and rescue, it’s both an interactive and informative day out.

There is a dedicated Rescue Center which is their working animal hospital. The aquarium aims to release the marine creatures back into their natural habitats once nursed back to full health.

2 – On a dolphin-watching cruise, get close to the intelligent mammals

dolphin-watching cruises in Clearwater

If the aquarium just doesn’t scratch that marine itch, one of the undisputed best things to do in Clearwater is watching bottlenose dolphin pods pierce the surface in their natural habitat.

Several packages — such as the catamaran or tugboat-based tours — allow eager travelers to get within arm’s reach of these beautiful ocean-dwelling mammals!

Cruising along the Gulf of Mexico, opt for a one-hour excursion, a 1.5-hour or two hours of dolphin-spotting adventures… Some tours even include free ice cream on deck!

3 – Set sail on a private boat at Clearwater Beach

private boat tours in Clearwater Beach

Arguably the most postcard-worthy strip of sand in Florida, Clearwater beach boasts crystal clear waters, beautiful marine views, and no shortage of open ocean to relax and unwind.

Travelers can hire and drive their own private boat (a surefire way to impress friends and family), or charter a yacht with a captain included.

While it’s not the cheapest of activities on face value, with room for up to six people on deck, it’s far more manageable when split evenly.

4 – Devour a tropical-themed buffet on the Calypso Queen

Calypso Queen cruise

If cruising is your thing, Clearwater’s renowned Calypso Queen should sit atop any traveler’s Clearwater bucket list.

After digging into the all-you-can-eat buffet and admiring the vibrant sunset, dance the night away at the Caribbean-themed party with bottomless wine, beer, and rum punch.

It’s like a nightclub… on the ocean!

These two-hour ocean fiestas are offered as daytime or evening cruises, and boats depart and dock from the Clearwater Beach Marina. Cruising the Clearwater coastline, look out for playful dolphins swimming by!

5 – Walk along the famous Pier 60

sunset at Pier 60

The 1,080-foot-long Pier 60 is a world-famous fishing spot, so it should come as no surprise that visiting the vibrant pier (whether fishing or sightseeing) is one of the most popular things to do in Clearwater.

Besides reeling in your own dinner, Pier 60 also makes for a great pelican-watching or picnic spot. Plus, with a rotating roster of street performers and no shortage of nearby restaurants, it’s a lively evening destination.

6 – Feel the thrills on the 10 roller coasters at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens, Tampa

Owned by SeaWorld (so you know that it’s gonna be good), Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay (about a 40-minute drive from Clearwater) is the place to be if you’re looking for an adventurous day trip.

Hop on the first Dive Coaster in America, enjoy the African-themed shows; encounter African animals as you glide down a zipline, and so much more — for both young and old, there’s a lot of exciting things to explore at Busch Gardens.

Hot tip: during the busy summer months, a skip-the-line ticket is well worth the extra few bucks!

7 – Explore the city on a segway tour

segway tours in Clearwater

Exploring on foot can get tiring, so why not get on a Segway tour and check out this beautiful beachside city in speed and style?

As the tour travels around its near-8-mile loop around the Boardwalk area and Clearwater Beach, expect to see all the popular and important tourist attractions along the way, including the dolphin dub that is the old fishing pier.

Clocking in two hours, before the segway adventure kicks off, you’re shown how to drive and ride the two-wheeler.

8 – Get your Sherlock Holmes on during a riveting scavenger game

scavenger games in Clearwater

For when slow-paced tours get a little boring, a high-paced and competitive scavenger hunt can reinvigorate any trip!

As you explore the entire city in the hunt for hidden objects, completing challenges, and solving riddles along the way, you’ll see all the best bits of Clearwater — a great activity for couples and families!

Choose between a one or two-hour game and get moving! (This is kind of like a mix between an outdoor escape room vibe and the Amazing Race). Plus, this is an epic way to sightsee Clearwater in a fun and interactive way.

9 – Embark on a helicopter tour of Clearwater Beaches

helicopter tours in Clearwater

While oceanside views from a cruise ship are wonderful, nothing beats the unobstructed aerial views of the city and coastline.

With a knowledgeable and experienced pilot at the helm, scenic flights not only soar over Clearwater, but also (depending on your adventure of choice) must-see places like Tarpon Springs, the Anclote River, and Caladesi Island.

A great activity for couples or photographers, flights span 20 minutes, or if you’d prefer more air time, there is a longer 45-minute tour. Other points of interest you’ll pass by include Pier 60, Honeymoon Island State Park, Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Clearwater Beach.

10 – Hop from one beach to another on the Clearwater Ferry

Clearwater Ferry

The beach might be stunning, but it’d be remiss of any visitor to shun the other areas that Clearwater has to offer.

The best way to go about seeing the entire region — avoiding the hassle of the road traffic — is on board the famous Clearwater Ferry, with stops including Dunedin, North Beach, Downtown Clearwater, and the Clearwater Marina.

Of course, if you’re up for a decent 45-minute stroll (and brought comfortable shoes), you can always walk along the Causeway Bridge between Downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach instead.

11 – Pretend to be a pirate onboard the authentic Captain Memo’s pirate cruise

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise, Clearwater
credit to Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise

Themed cruises are what make Clearwater such an exquisite tourist attraction, and there’s none more suited to the entire family than the famed Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise on board the classic-looking ship, ‘The Pirate’s Ransom’.

With crew-run activities like face painting, a treasure hunt, and water gun games, not to mention the dolphins that commonly swim alongside the ship, it makes for a brilliant day out on the water!

12 – A beach and park green in one? Hang out for the day at Sand Key Park

Sand Key Park, Florida

Sand Key Park is divided into two parts: the park and the beach — the breathtakingly beautiful white sand beach is one of a kind, while the park is great for walks and picnics.

With no shortage of activities, travelers can spend an entire day here, exploring the different artificial reefs, water fountains, and playgrounds.

Hot tip: After tiring out the legs, eat at the historic Columbia Restaurant, a popular join relish known for top-notch food!

13 – Watch the Clearwater Threshers at the BayCare Ballpark

Clearwater Threshers

Sports fanatics, take note!

Built in 2004, BayCare Ballpark is a beautiful baseball stadium that serves as the training center for the Minor League Baseball team, the Clearwater Threshers.

Since the Threshers are a tier-two team, cheap tickets and excellent seats are easy to come by — just be sure to check the team’s website for upcoming matches and events.

Not only home ground for the Threshers, but since 1947, the Philadelphia Phillies has utilized the stadium for training. Although this Major League Baseball team’s home turf is elsewhere, this is base for their Phillies Spring Training.

14 – Shop till you drop at the Westfield Countryside Mall

Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater
credit to Westfield Countryside Mall

Shoppers, rejoice — the Westfield Countryside Mall is the biggest shopping center in the area, home to hundreds of boutique retailers and big-box stores.

With a 12-screen Cobb theater, plus an on-site ice-skating rink, there’s still plenty to do once the credit card’s maxed out.

Once you’re all shopped out, consider visiting some of the top-notch nearby restaurants, such as Beyond the Wall and the East Shore Resort.

15 – Spend an evening at the Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
credit to Ruth Eckerd Hall

A performing arts hub located on the eastern side of Clearwater near Old Tampa Bay, the widely-known Ruth Eckerd Hall is known for its live music.

From Pink to The Allman Betts, Travis Titt, and Jake Shimabukuro, many talented and renowned people have performed here over the years, with plenty more big names to come.

Besides concerts, the location also hosts theatrical and dance performances!

16 – Take a guided tour of the Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

The lush, oak-lined paths of Moccasin Lake Nature Park are so much more than just a beautiful slice of nature — it’s a wonderfully educational experience that promises a delightful day for kids and adults alike.

Discover the beauty of nature through a guided tour of the 51-acre natural preserve or sign up for one of several educational trips — either way, it’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

17 – Go on a guided underwater walking tour inside The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium, Tampa

Home to a natural coral reef ecosystem of about 500,000 gallons of seawater, the 250,000-square-foot Florida Aquarium in nearby Tampa is a crowd favorite — so much so that it ranks in the top 10 aquariums in the USA!

Once you’ve stepped inside the sprawling aquarium, guests can learn about the animals on display and even touch stingrays, lemurs, and jellyfish.

While it’s a rather bizarre attraction, the hissing cockroach-filled tree is certainly unique.

18 – Relax at the Cliff Stephens Park

Cliff Stephens Park in Clearwater

Home to several biking trails, a disc golf course, water sports, and fishing centers, the ever-popular Cliff Stephens Park is one of the largest and most noteworthy parks in the city.

If relaxation is what you’re looking for, there’s more than enough picnic space to take the family.

On the flip side, for those hoping to stretch the legs, the park also offers a 19-station exercise course (plus plenty of hiking routes).

19 – Beatlemaniacs, discover the Beatles Museum in Dunedin

Penny Lane, Beatles Museum, Clearwater
credit to Penny Lane, Beatles Museum

Introducing one of the West Coast’s oldest towns and a destination that oddly so has a strong Scottish heritage, Dunedin is truly unique.

Coupled with a mix of coastal and pine forest landscapes, it’s an ideal holiday spot for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as travelers after a bit of culture. Enscaped by world-class parks (including the Honeymoon and the Caladesi Island State Parks), the walking trails are second to none, and that goes for cycling too.

Join bike tours along its dedicated biking trails, such as the Pinellas Trail running through the city.

Not to miss attractions include the Penny Lane, Beatles Museum; go on a craft beer tour and explore its bustling Downtown for shopping, eating, and markets.

20 – Get a little wild on a Tiki boat cruise

Tiki boat cruise in Clearwater

Most of the things to do in clearwater include boats and cruises, however, for social butterflies, the Tiki Boat Cruise is a one-of-a-kind experience that should be on your bucket list without fail!

Step aboard the tiki boat, slowly float over the water, and, best of all, down a few BYO drinks!

With an onboard cooler and ice, it’s the perfect pre-game before a night out.

21 – Jog or skate along the Marquis Pinellas Trail

Marquis Pinellas Trail, Clearwater

The ever-popular Marquis Pinellas Trail — a protected greenspace that connects Tarpon Springs in Clearwater’s north to St. Petersburg in the south — presents as an unbeatable way to explore the entire region, not just the main tourists draws.

So grab your running shoes, roller blades, or bike, and tackle some (or all, if you’re feeling wildly ambitious) of this 47-mile-long urban pathway.

Formally known as the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, the urban track opens from 7 AM and closes for activities around sunset. It forms part of the Pinellas Trail Loop, a 75-mile loop throughout Pinellas County.

22 – Skydive without jumping out of a plane at iFLY

indoor skydiving in Tampa

Skydiving is thrilling, no doubt, but leaping from a plane is also extremely intimidating.

So, why not visit the indoor skydiving center in Tampa where spine-tingling thrills come without the need to jump from the clouds?

Propelled by a giant fan, the skydiving room throws massive vertical air at your body, allowing you to feel like you’re floating in the sky.

There are no age limits (only weights), and the adrenaline-inducing activity is set up in Tampa (just over 30 minutes away).

23 – Frolic in crystal-clear waters on Shell Key Preserve at one of the USA’s best secret beaches

Shell Key Preserve, Clearwater

A paradise for nature enthusiasts and beach bums alike, Shell Key is the glorious coming-together of 1,800 acres of raw coastal habitat — pristine beaches, wildlife-rich mangrove swamps, and untouched barrier islands.

Ride the Shell Key Ferry to kick back and relax at a beach that won’t be touched by fellow tourists; take a glass-bottom kayak tour to appreciate the marine life while staying dry, or join one of the shelling tours that’s sure to be as educational as it is entertaining.

However, you choose to experience this beautiful (and seriously underrated) slice of Florida, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife — dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of birds frequently pop up to say hello!

24 – Enjoy cocktails and ocean vistas from the best beach clubs

Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar & Grill, Clearwater
credit to Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar & Grill

In Clearwater, there’s a multitude of different types of beach clubs, from the typical all-day venues to more private affairs.

Vacationing with family? Carlouel Beach & Yacht Club is a prime option, with a long white boardwalk leading straight onto the shoreline. Spend the day in the sun around its two pools, there’s an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as its own tennis courts and fun children’s activities.

Mandalay Beach Club is equipped with a heated pool, its own spa, saunas and fitness center, and BBQ facilities for happy grillers.

Technically more so a beach restaurant than a beach club, Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar & Grill delivers with its beachfront location, tasty refreshing cocktails, reggae tunes, and live acts.

25 – Reel in a snapper on a fishing trip!

fishing tours in Clearwater

Clearwater’s sparkling shores are home to a plethora of fish and marine life (Red Snapper, King Mackerel, and the enormous Goliath Grouper, just to name a few), so it’s no surprise that the area dishes up several types of fishing trips.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or a total newbie — with an expert captain on board, everyone has an equal chance of reeling in huge 4-feet fish.

Take your pick from these operators.

Queen Fleet Deep Sea Fishing specializes in all-day ventures way out at sea, and there’s even a fishing party boat; FishEye Sportfishing offers deep sea and inshore excursions; and 2 Shea Charters actually have targeted fishing trips, for example, Red Snapper trips or the Middle Grounds Deep Sea tour.

26 – Grab a beachside table at the Palm Pavilion

Palm Pavilion, Clearwater

Established in 1926, the Palm Pavilion has been a laid-back local favorite for the better part of a century, with the Clearwater faithful flocking not only for the live music, but for also what is arguably the sunset spot in town.

Moreover, this place also boasts a renowned beachside restaurant, with delicacies like crab chowder and smoked ribs a surefire hit. The menu is extensive, with something for all tastebuds.

Dine with your feet in the sand night or day (open for lunch and dinner) and the restaurant doubles up as an accommodation with its very own inn — imagine the views to wake to every day!

27 – Chill out on a pontoon boat tour

pontoon boat tours in Clearwater

Dubbed the Sunshine State for very good reason, Florida – and Clearwater, in particular – always provides sublime weather for a day out on the water.

But if you don’t feel like paddling and would rather kick back and relax, then a pontoon boat tour might be just the thing for you.

With a licensed captain along for the ride (meaning that you can sit back and enjoy the view with a couple of drinks throughout the day), you can hop around the area’s diverse islands, go snorkeling in one of the protected bays, pull up to remote beaches to go shelling, or just drift around in the area’s many rivers and gulfs, soaking up that glorious sun.

Ideal for group outings — birthdays, stag weekends, bachelorette parties, and the like — these customizable can be relaxing, rowdy, or anywhere in between… it’s totally up to you!

Hot tip: Rent your pontoon mid-afternoon, so that you can appreciate the sunset.

28 – Drive bumper cars at Celebration Station

Celebration Station in Clearwater
credit to Celebration Station

If a day at an amusement park is what the kids are nagging for, Celebration Station is the answer.

This arcade-like space transports visitors back in time to the classic carnival, with the chance to drive bumper cars, play on arcade machines, and brush up your go-karting skills.

Miniature golf, laser tag, Eurobungy, batting cages, bumper boats and the kids’ Playland are the other fun attractions designed for all ages, set up both indoors and outside.

Enjoy a hearty meal at the American Eats outlet to make your day extra special!

29 – Show off your skills on the indoor surfing waves!

FlowRider, Clearwater
credit to FlowRider

There’s plenty of surf around Clearwater, but if you’re a newbie in the field and want to practice a little before you hit the waves, indoor surfing is the way to go!

FlowRider is a famous wave house brand now in Clearwater, mimicking a real-time wave with the help of modern technologies. Reinventing how we learn to surf, the artificial wave flows from the top of a soft riding surface — in case there are any wipeouts!

P.s. The ideal time to go surfing in Clearwater is winter. If you’re here in summer and want more wave action than what’s around, this is also a fun alternative.

30 – Sample Floridian bottles and take a few home with you during wine tours

wine tastings in Clearwater

Wine connoisseurs (or anyone with a serious love for vino), while it may not be Napa, there are one or two wineries around Clearwater.

Perfect for a date idea or an excursion with a small group of friends, embark on wine tours to Aspirations Winery.

Over the course of one hour, treat your palettes to five wine varieties produced in its vineyards, with a brisk tour of the fields, too.

Tastings are accompanied by food pairings of either cheese, chocolate, fruit, or baguettes with seasoned dipping oils, sampling for yourself which pairings work well with the different wine notes.

31 – Feel the thrill in an escape room

escape rooms in Clearwater

For those travelers who fancy themselves somewhat of a Sherlock Holmes, there’s nothing more thrilling than a fully immersive, high-tech, and problem-solving pirate-themed escape room!

What’s the deal, Watson? You and your team are locked inside a themed room. Working together, decipher your way through each clue, and lock, one at a time. If you make it to the end in a limited amount of time (one hour), you make your grand escape!

If you’re cunning enough to solve the riddles and find the clues in the main experience,  there’s also a multi-room challenge for those looking for a faster-paced adventure.

32 – Eat till you’re stuffed at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill

Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, Clearwater

Grilling is a huge part of the local culture, making it one of the most popular things to do in Clearwater.

Therefore, whenever someone visits the area, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill should sit high atop the bucket list! Hailing from Clearwater, this local institute now has six locations across the city, including four down on the beachfront.

Enjoy delicious grilled seafood and chicken, embrace the warm coastal air from the deck, and cap it off with a homemade cocktail!

33 – Ride the flight simulator at Sim Center

SimCenter TampaBay
credit to SimCenter TampaBay

A venue rapidly growing in popularity, the Sim Center hosts an array of virtual reality and simulation activities. Even though the center is over 20 years old, it continues to advance its technology to ensure that thrill-seeking guests have the best time possible.

Whether young of age or young at heart, the arcade and the fully immersive flight simulation make for highly memorable experiences.

34 – Walk the nature trail at the Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park

Clearwater is known for its several beautiful state parks, however, Honeymoon Island holds the claim to fame as being the city’s most popular,  with ample activities that offer a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Explore the park’s three-mile trail; and keep an eye out for armadillos, tortoises, raccoons, and owls along the way!

35 – See a T-Rex at Dinosaur World Florida

Dinosaur World in Florida

Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Dilophosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Spinosaurus and, and, and … Relive the Dinosaur Age and your wildest Jurassic Park fantasies at Dinosaur World Florida (just under a one-hour drive from Clearwater).

No matter your age, the thrill of walking among more than 200 life-sized dinosaurs is unsurpassable, each positioned between the park pathways and its tropical trees.

Split open your own crystal geode at Geode Crack, unearth fossils in the Fossil Dig, discover a skeleton replica in the Boneyard, or pop into the Florida Fossils Museum to marvel over real artifacts.

With a paleontologist leading the way, head into the Exploration Cave or test your dino-knowledge at the Triviasaurus Rex Game Show.

36 – Enjoy the racing experiences at Showtime Speedway

racing in Clearwater

“Racers, start your engines…” Get ready for a Saturday night filled with high engine revs, twists and turns, backpedals, and stunts at the Showtime Speedway — Clearwater’s hottest tracks for drag racing events!

The main arena has a seating capacity of 4,000 and visitors are allowed to set up blankets and chairs to watch the races. If you plan on picnicking during the occasion, no food and drinks are permitted in this part, however, you can park your cars at the backstretch parking and light up the grill from here.

If you’re dead keen on putting some serious pedal to the metal, instead of watching a race, you can attempt racing yourselves with Tampa Race Rentals!

After a safety briefing and a few practice rounds, helmet up for competition time! Whizzing around the tracks, winners from each round qualify for the next — so it really feels extra authentic!

37 – Remind yourselves of Asia inside the tropical Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park

The Caladesi Island State Park is another of the beloved state parks in Clearwater guaranteed to leave you in awe.

Here, nature lovers can kayak through the mangrove forests or stroll along the untouched beaches.

After a leisurely nature walk under the canopy, cap off the day with an oceanfront table where you can enjoy the salty breeze and sip on a fruity cocktail (or three).

38 – Grab a table on a scenic dinner cruise

dinner cruises in Clearwater

If love is in the air, there’s no better date night than a scenic dinner cruise on the calm Clearwater shores.

Hop on a luxury yacht and take advantage of the free-flowing drinks; slow dance on deck to live music; or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the twinkling coastline views!

No matter your budget or style, there’s a dinner cruise suitable for everyone.

39 – Spend an afternoon in Downtown’s Cleveland Street District

Clearwater Downtown

The Cleveland Street District is one of the oldest shopping areas in Clearwater — its vibrant cultural roots come to fruition through its several shopping strips, alfresco eateries, and regular entertainment events.

Thanks to its position atop a downtown bluff overlooking the sparkling Clearwater Harbor, this popular area dishes up splendid open-air views.

An ideal location to explore on foot; there are many must-see sites and landmarks within close proximity like Clearwater Harbor and the historic Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, and some cool galleries. Don’t miss out on weekend farmers markets and there are some great bars in the area too.

40 – Sail through the Clearwater Pass at sunset

sunset boat tours in Clearwater

Sailing is one of Clearwater’s ultimate open-air activities, and there’s nothing better than sailing at sunset!

With an experienced crew manning the equipment on the roughly two-hour-long evening cruise, guests can simply unwind and soak up the beautiful serenity on offer as the vessel makes its way from Clearwater Bay, through Clearwater Pass, to the Gulf of Mexico.

Many sunset sails conclude with a toast of bubbles, and you can also purchase drinks tickets for certain cruises if you want to turn it into an (elevated) booze cruise with cocktail sundowners. As you glide the waters, try looking out for cute dolphins playing in the waves.

41 – Admire the flora at the Florida Botanical Gardens

Florida Botanical Gardens, Clearwater
credit to Florida Botanical Gardens

Housing a wedding garden, a rare flora garden, and an array of stunning floral pathways (making up more than 25 gardens and display areas in total), this 100-acre slice of beauty is an undisputed natural wonder.

The Florida Botanical Gardens are open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM, frequented by locals, tourists, and wildlife — none more iconic than the alligator!

For serious botanists, private guided tours are available and the flowers and plants to see within the botanical garden change with the seasons. Other gardens worth exploring are the Butterfly Garden, Tropical Fruit Garden, and the Native Garden, and there is also a wetlands walkway and overlook.

42 – Do like the locals and join Jolley Trolley tours

Jolley Trolley, Clearwater

What’s that vintage red and yellow bus driving through the city? Why, it’s the Jolley Trolley, of course, providing transport to residents (and tourists) since 1982.

Operating daily and with multiple routes to choose from, it’s an awesome and fun way to go sightseeing, stopping at Clearwater’s major attractions, monuments, and locations — this makes it an affordable way to tour the city as well.

Downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks are examples of places where the jolley trolley passes during public routes or the antique vehicle is available to hire for private charters.

43 – Enjoy the performing arts at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre

Capitol Theatre, Clearwater
credit to Ruth Eckerd Hall

Built over 100 years ago in 1921, enjoy an evening of culture, performance arts and appreciating unique theatrical architecture at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

Hosting concerts across all genres, as well as comedy acts and other forms of entertainment today, since its earliest days the theater has welcomed performing arts in various shapes and forms.

Circa the 1920s and the theater opened with silent movie picture screenings, continuing to keep up with the times then showcasing vaudevilles, talking pictures and classic plays. It’s been renovated and refurbished a few times since, updated with modern features.

Officially the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, the intimate venue is known to the locals simply as the “Capitol Theatre.” It’s one of Florida’s oldest operating theaters to date.

44 – Treat your adventurous self with kayaking, kitesurfing, or paddling

water sports in Clearwater

For a city known for its beautiful shores, year-round sunshine, and comparatively calm waters, water sports activities are a dime a dozen.

While travelers are more than welcome to rent their own equipment — be that a kayak, paddleboard, or kitesurfing gear — a professionally led experience is the easiest and safest way to test out a few of the sports.

Enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding through Shell Key Preserve or Crystal River, and go kitesurfing beneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (the most popular spot for it).

45 – Go putt-putting at Congo River Golf

Congo River Golf in Clearwater

Why would you want to go golfing anywhere else when you could putt-putt at a Congo-themed miniature golf course amidst waterfalls, rockeries, caves and tropical rainforest setups?

Introducing Congo River Golf — one of the most fun things to do in Clearwater for families and those with young kids … You’ll even tee off inside a wooden boat!

If arriving with the little ones, expect them to want to spend (at least) two hours here, and there are some other awesome activities to try.

Get involved in ‘gator feeding’ where you have the chance to feed the live alligators, hit the gem mine and see if you strike gold, and play the arcade game room with classics like air hockey, racing cars and more.

46 – Go museum-hopping in St. Petersburg

Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg

When you’re in Clearwater, it would be a sin to bypass St. Petersburg — this small yet charming locale boasts some of the most picturesque views in Florida while offering a range of museums to satisfy all kinds of interests.

Need some suggestions? Visit the Dali Museum, Sunken Gardens, Duncan McClellan Gallery, and Imagine Museum to delve deep into the world of art.

47 – Take the youngsters to ZooTampa

ZooTampa, Florida
credit to ZooTampa

A perfect spot for the entire family at just over 30 minutes drive from Clearwater, ZooTampa has long been recognized as the number-one family zoo in the United States (by Parents Magazine).

The 63-acre complex is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and rare big cats, as well as squirrel monkeys, chimps, rhinos, penguins, meerkats, and many more animals from all kinds of ecosystems.

48 – Join an illuminated kayak tour under the moonlight

illuminated kayak tour in Clearwater

By day, Clearwater Beach is a haven for kayakers and stand-up paddleboards. You’d be forgiven for thinking that once the sun goes down, the water-bound fun stops. But, when you’ve got glass-bottom kayaks and powerful underwater LEDs at your disposal, nothing could be further from the truth.

Once night falls, a different beauty emerges on Clearwater Beach – and there’s no better way to appreciate it away from the crowds than on the water, with the star-filled sky glittering overhead.

Taking place (usually) around Treasure Island near St Petersberg, these roughly 90-minute moonlit tours will see you paddling out into the night, where you can soak up the shimmering lights of the coastline from a new perspective.

As your friendly guide waxes all kinds of tidbits about the area and the Gulf of Mexico wildlife, you’ll be able to appreciate the diverse (and colorful) marine ecosystem as you paddle, passing over all kinds of fish, and if you’re lucky, even the occasional turtle and ray!

And, if you’re guide’s feeling generous, you might even get to feed the baby fish.

49 – Cool off at Adventure Island Water Park

Adventure Island, Tampa
credit to Adventure Island

As the largest water park in the Clearwater and Tampa region, Adventure Island is always a great addition to the holiday schedule, particularly on those toasty summer days.

Whether you want to cool off in the 37,000-foot wave pool, chill out on the Lazy River, or tackle the Solar Vortex (America’s first dual tailspin waterslide), there’s something for everyone.

50 – Do you believe in ghosts? Meet the specters of Clearwater during a haunted tour

ghosts tours in Clearwater

Led by published author Joshua Ginsberg, acclaimed for his writing on the supernatural, particularly around Tampa and its neighbors like Clearwater; it’s time to take a deep dive into the darker side of this coastal locale during a haunted tour.

Not only will you hear of ghostly tales, but your expert on things paranormal will take you directly to spooky locations around the city renowned as haunted playgrounds. (Some might even surprise you.)

Curious to know more? During the one-hour stint, visit the likes of Clearwater Municipal Cemetery, the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, Andrew’s Memorial Chapel, the Fenway Hotel and Curtis Fundamental Elementary School, but we’ll leave the rest of the gruesome details up to your time guide.

51 – Wet your whistle at the Big Storm Brewing Co

Big Storm Brewing Co., Florida
credit to Big Storm Brewing Co

Florida is known for its strong and delicious craft beer, and some of its most notable brews come from right here in Clearwater, at none other than the award-winning Big Storm Brewing Co.

A couple of pints of either of the 7-percent brews — the Bromosa Tangerine IPA or the Palm Bender Gulf Coast IPA — will get you nice and wobbly, while the Key Lime Shandy (among many others) is light and refreshing.

52 – Wet your whistle at Wave

Wave, Clearwater
credit to Wave at Shephard’s Beach Resort

Are you in the mood for a good time tonight? Here are the best bars and clubs to let your hair down.

Open all weekend, Wave (at Shephard’s Beach Resort) is a multi-story club with VIP tables and bottle service available.

Arrive for the free evening fireball shots from Jimmy’s on the Edge, and mingle with other party-goers around its eight-meter-long firebar. DJs take over on Fridays.

Syringe shots and tropical cocktails? Jamminz Beach Bar stays open till 3 AM.

Perched on the 10th floor, join Jimmy’s Crows Nest for its nightly Sunset Celebration from this epic rooftop bar.

Add a new track to the duke box machine at The Shipwreck — Clearwater’s oldest bar.

Keen on a round of drinks but no dancing moves? Closing between 9 PM and 10 PM, both Marina Cantina and Bar Tiki are fab options.

How to get to Clearwater?

Most travelers arriving in Clearwater land at the St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport. If this is your first time visiting, or if you’d prefer a more convenient way to travel, consider booking pre-organized airport transfers for when you first arrive in town.

After landing at the airport, collect your luggage, sort out your admin and head out the airport gates where your personal driver awaits you — holding up a placard with your name on it … fancy, right?

Leaving the airport behind, hop into your private, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and be transported directly to your accommodation, stress-free.

Need a ride back to the airport once your vacay is over? Transfers are available from your hotel and back to St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport if required.

Where to stay in Clearwater?

After long salty days and all of the outdoor adventuring, make sure you return to an extra comfortable stay, provides excellent service and where you can totally unwind.

Wake up to views of the Gulf from your bright, white and super spacious room at Wyndham Grand — favored by guests for its excellent central location and service.

Enjoy your morning coffee from your private balcony with ocean vistas in front. The super spacious rooms at Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach are well equipped, with floor-to-ceiling views and there is an on-site spa.

So close to the sea you can hear the waves rolling in, Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key offers guests stylish suites and has great guest facilities like an outdoor pool with its own waterfall and poolside bar, a gym and spa.

From the private beach to rooms with balconies to the location, Hampton Inn and Suites Clearwater Beach ticks all the boxes.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Clearwater is a stylish setup. Guests love the fabulous breakfast, hotel amenities and its facilities, and they are a pet-friendly stay.

A fantastic family option; Belleair Beach Resort Motel also boasts a beachfront locale with both room and suite options available. Enjoy extra touches like toys for kids and beach umbrellas.

Where to go next?

Situated in the Sunshine State, there are plenty of places to explore and venture to next in the area around Clearwater, and there are many other things to do in Florida.

Suitable for a day trip or overnight stay, St. Petersburg is a 30-minute drive from Clearwater. Ideal for families and couples, it boasts many great museums, including the special Salvador Dali one.

A great mix of culture meets the outdoors; things to do in St. Petersburg include a helicopter tour over the landscapes or discover on land its beaches, lakes, parks, and wetlands.

Tampa is also 30 minutes from Clearwater and is well-favored for its outdoor adventures, activities as well as nightlife. There are many fun things to do in Tampa. Grab drinks from a floating tiki bar or soar across the Gulf in a hot air balloon.

Discover the things to do in Sarasota; an hour away (ideal for a day venture or spending a couple of days here) and is located south of Tampa. It’s renowned for its breathtaking beaches and a slew of other unique activities.

Spend the day investigating its unique museums, like the classic car museum, Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy, or the Ringling Circus Museum, or bring the kids to the theme parks.

Traveling family troupes, the little ones are probably begging you to bring them to Orlando, and it’s less than two hours from Clearwater only. Home to some of the biggest and most famous attractions in the USA, have endless fun at Disneyland, Legoland, and the Kennedy Space Center. There are plenty of family-friendly things to do in Orlando.

Drive two hours and explore the things to do in Kissimmee, from water parks to airboat rides to lakefront parks and even a Gatorland!

Final thoughts

Whether you’re in the mood to spend your vacation full-on relaxing at the beach for most of the time or hunting down a cute coastal family-friendly city, there are plenty of things to do in Clearwater to keep all (family) members happy.

Have you ever visited Clearwater before? Or one of the nearby cities? What are your best memories and favorite moments from your trip? Share with us in the comments.

As always, happy and safe travels.

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Evan Bryce Riddle is a versatile and ambitious content producer whose passion for globetrotting runs deep. When he’s not crafting travel content, Evan is the Content Executive at Australia’s leading digital marketing agency, managing end-to-end video production and written content to build brands to 7 and 8 figures. Evan has also spearheaded content for world-leading digital media channels (TheRichest, TheTravel), written multiple published books, photographed weddings, and hosts the coveted MegaMinds podcast – a handful of highlights from his 10+ year content and marketing career. Where does the love for travel come from? Born in Melbourne, Australia but having grown up in Hollywood, Evan fell in love with international jetsetting from a young age. Fast forward to today and he’s visited 30+ countries, highlighted by a 4-year stint in vibrant Montreal.