Are you looking for the best things to do in Clearwater Beach, FL? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with all the best places to go in Clearwater Beach.
Clearwater Beach is less than an hour’s drive from Tampa, making it a great option for a day trip.
However, if you’re staying in Clearwater Beach, you’ll be able to take full advantage of all this awesome, laid-back area has to offer. Many Clearwater Beach attractions include being by the water. From relaxing on the beach to heading out on the water, Clearwater Beach is the perfect seaside getaway.
Whether you are interested in nature, historic buildings, or water sports, there are things to do in Clearwater Beach, FL for everyone!
15 Best Things to Do in Clearwater Beach FL You Shouldn’t Miss
Explore Pier 60
At the top of our list of things to do in Clearwater Beach would have to be walking Pier 60. This fishing pier/recreational park stretches 1,080 feet into the Gulf, and it offers fun for the whole family.
Pier 60 is popular amongst fishermen, and you can rent equipment to join them. The most commonly caught fish in the area are Spanish mackerel, trout, snook, redfish, and snappers.
Even if fishing isn’t your thing, you can walk the boardwalk and browse souvenirs, t-shirt shops, and available snacks, all while taking in the ocean views.
Each evening you can enjoy live entertainment as you watch the sunset across the waves.
Eat at Frenchy’s
If you’re looking for a place to eat in Clearwater Beach, you have to try Frenchy’s. Named for its French-Canadian-born founder, Frenchy’s is known for its “super grouper sandwich”. In addition to fish sandwiches, Frenchy’s offers great seafood gumbo and she-crab soup.
You have several different options if you want to visit a Frenchy’s establishment. Of course, one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach is to see where it all began at Frenchy’s Original Cafe. However, if you want to try Frenchy’s without leaving the beach, you’ve got Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill and Frenchy’s South Beach Cafe.
All of Frenchy’s restaurants use fish caught by Frenchy’s Seafood Company. You can watch the fishermen unload their catches at the docks every morning on East Shore Drive.
Swim at Clearwater Beach
Obviously one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach, FL is to go to the beach! Clearwater Beach is one of the best white sand beaches in Florida. It was even voted #1 by Trip Advisor!
Walk the powdery, white sand or take a dip, a paddle, or snorkel in the beautiful emerald waters at the beach. The water is always nice and warm thanks to the gulf stream.
Playing at the beach is one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach for families since there are lifeguards on duty! Search for shells and build sand castles with peace of mind.
Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Another of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach with kids is to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The Aquarium is in its 50th year of rescuing and rehabilitating marine life!
Kids (and adults) can get up close to the resident animals, including dolphins, sea turtles, otters, sharks, birds, and fish. Take part in hands-on experiences to learn about how the animals are cared for (like building a salad for a turtle).
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium inspired the 2011 film Dolphin Tale, based on the true story of Winter, a rescued bottlenose dolphin who was taken to the aquarium for rehabilitation where she was given a prosthetic tail.
Go On a Dolphin Cruise
If you want to see dolphins in addition to the aquarium, one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach is to go on a dolphin cruise! You’ll be able to enjoy seeing dolphins in their natural habitat.
A dolphin-watching boat tour will take you from Clearwater Bay into the Gulf, where you’ll spot bottlenose dolphins in the aqua-colored water. The captains are knowledgeable and full of facts about the region. Plus, you’ll learn about the mansions you see along the coast.
Book here: Clearwater Dolphin-Watching Tour
Discover Caladesi Island State Park
For those looking for a quiet getaway, one of the best things to do near Clearwater Beach is to visit Caladesi Island State Park. This barrier island is mostly undeveloped, making it a perfect spot for those who like the outdoors and nature trails.
Caladesi Island State Park offers beautiful white sand beaches on which to relax. You can stretch your legs wandering the nature trails through oaks and slash pines. Birders will enjoy spotting herons, osprey, and ibises in the mangrove forest.
If you’re up for a hike, you can walk the six miles from Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island. However, it’s much easier to reach Caladesi Island by boat. You can take the Caladesi Island Ferry, which leaves from Honeymoon Island State Park.
Watch Sunset From Jimmy’s Crow Nest
Head to Jimmy’s Crow Nest if you are near Pier 60 around sunset. Watching the sunset is one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach, but why not make it even better with a rooftop view?
Jimmy’s Crow Nest is a rooftop bar that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Clearwater Marina. It’s located on the tenth floor of Pier House 60, and is a popular spot, especially in the evenings.
If you’re visiting with friends, order a punch bucket to share! Plus, you’ll receive a free shot at sunset!
Catch a Show at Bilheimer Capitol Theatre
Located across the causeway in Clearwater, FL, the Billheimer Capitol Theatre is a lovely, historic theater that dates back to the 1920s. If you enjoy live music, visiting the Billheimer Capitol Theatre is one of the best things to do near Clearwater Beach.
From rock and jazz concerts to comedians, you can catch different kinds of shows at the Capitol Theatre. The space holds about 750 people, but it is actually an intimate venue. The theater has gone several renovations, the most recent of which was in 2013.
If you liked the Frenchy’s restaurants in Clearwater Beach, you’ll be happy to know there is a small Frenchy’s on the rooftop terrace of the Capitol Theatre. Enjoy concessions there before your show!
Stroll the Clearwater Beach Walk
If you’re looking to get your steps in, one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach is to promenade along the beach walk. Stroll along the beachside path, for exercise or pleasure, or both!
The Clearwater Beach Walk is several miles long and well-kept. It winds along the beach with beautiful landscaping and views of the emerald waters. Going for a walk is actually one of the most pleasant free things to do in Clearwater Beach!
The Beach Walk is also a great place to cycle or rollerblade.
Sail on a Pirate Ship
One of the most adventurous things to do in Clearwater Beach would have to be Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise! This family-friendly pirate cruise offers games and entertainment as well as scenic views (especially at sunset). It’s one of the most beloved Clearwater Beach attractions, with its bright red ship, the Pirates Ransom.
Young scallywags will enjoy face painting and treasure hunts, while those over 21 have a choice of free beer or wine. All ages will enjoy searching for dolphins among the waves and being entertained with stories and songs from the pirate crew.
Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise lasts two hours and reservations should be made in advance.
Breakfast at Clear Sky Cafe
Located just a block from the beach, eating at Clear Sky Cafe is one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach, no matter the time of day. However, if you’re looking for a great place for breakfast in Clearwater Beach, head to Clear Sky Cafe.
From breakfast staples like omelets and waffles to a wide variety of Eggs Benedict, Clear Sky Cafe has a delicious breakfast menu. Folks especially love the French Toast options, such as cinnamon bun, java, or Nutella. Be sure to order one of their Bloody Marys as well!
Relax at Sand Key Park
This serene section of the barrier island is equipped to handle crowds, but it doesn’t often get the number of people that Clearwater Beach does. (Plus, it’s cheaper to park!)
Like its neighbor, Sand Key Park has soft white sand and warm waters. You can rent cabanas and beach chairs and amenities include bathhouses and a playground.
Many wild sea turtles migrate to Sand Key Park to lay eggs, so be aware of marked nests!
Shop on Cleveland Street
If you’re in need of some retail therapy, make your way over the causeway to Clearwater proper. There you’ll find the walkable stretch of Cleveland Street, which is one of the best things to do near Clearwater Beach.
Full of boutique shops, restaurants, and public art, Cleveland Street offers an urban alternative to Clearwater Beach’s beachy vibe. Dine alfresco and enjoy anything from Mexican dishes to sushi or stroll through the popular farmer’s market, then stop in the unique shops.
There are also benches where you can just rest and take in the public art, all framed with palm trees.
Journey to Honeymoon Island
Another one of the great Florida State Parks near Clearwater Beach is Honeymoon Island. Visiting Honeymoon Island is one of the best things to do near Clearwater Beach for nature lovers, or those looking to really get away.
Honeymoon Island has four miles of beaches and three miles of trails to explore. While it does have white sand beaches, it also has rocky coast and beaches dotted with driftwood trees. You can take your pick of Main Beach, Dog Beach, and North Beach!
There is plenty of wildlife to be seen on Honeymoon Island, especially birds. Birders can expect to see osprey, snowy plovers, terns, egrets, great blue herons, and pelicans.
Check out our post about visiting Honeymoon Island for more info.
Putt-Putt at Captain Bligh’s Landing
One of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach for families is to challenge each other to a game of mini-golf! Captain Bligh’s Landing is a fun, nautical-themed mini-golf course that will keep both kids and adults entertained.
This 18-hole course will take you through waterfalls, a wooden pirate ship, palm trees, and caves. Best of all, it’s an affordable thing to do in Clearwater Beach, at just about $10 a person! It’s a great thing to do in Clearwater Beach with kids or on a date.
We hope you get to relax at Clearwater Beach, but also that you get to explore the nearby areas. The west coast barrier islands are so worth visiting.
With so much natural beauty and fun things to do in Clearwater Beach, we know you’ll have a good time!