Clearwater Beach in One Day
There’s so much to do when visiting Clearwater Beach that you can easily stay for a week or even longer. But, if all you have is a single day, here’s how to maximize your time on Clearwater Beach, Florida!
Morning in Clearwater Beach
If you’re visiting Clearwater Beach for a single day, the first thing you’ll need to figure out is how to get there and where to park when you do! You can avoid the crowded parking and frequent traffic jams headed to the island by parking in Downtown Clearwater and taking the Clearwater Ferry! Keep up with their routes and schedules on their website or the app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).
Taking the Clearwater Ferry not only helps you avoid traffic and parking issues and gives you an opportunity to squeeze a fun boat ride in for your day in Clearwater Beach. I suggest taking the Purple Line leaving from Downtown Clearwater and exiting at North Beach.
If you arrive in North Clearwater Beach in the morning and need breakfast, there are some great places nearby! Within a few blocks, you’ll be able to find Clear Sky Cafe (with a Bloody Mary bar on the weekends), Another Broken Egg Cafe, and Beach Fire Beach Bar & Grille!
After Breakfast, head out to the beach! You’re only steps away from the soft white sand that Clearwater Beach is known for. If you took the Clearwater Ferry to North Beach, you’re in a great area! North Beach is less crowded than South Beach and still has many great restaurants and shops nearby!
When finding a spot on North Beach, look between Sandpearl Resort and Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar. This area is right next to the breakfast locations mentioned before, a short walk to many stores and great restaurants, and has Clearwater Beach Lifeguards in the area. Being next to the Lifeguards will make it easy to keep an eye on any changing weather conditions or other things to keep an eye on. The Lifeguard stations will be flying flags that mark the conditions on the beach and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Afternoon in Clearwater Beach
After hanging out on the beach for a few hours, you may be interested in some lunch. Keep the great views going and grab lunch right on the beach at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill or Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar. If you’re looking for a break from the sun and maybe even some air conditioning, you can grab a delicious Grouper Sandwich at Frenchy’s Original Cafe or head down to Jimmy Hula’s only blocks away!
After lunch, you can stop in at some of the nearby storefronts for a little bit of retail therapy, or even just to pick up some extra sunscreen or beach toys! You can find some great stores nearby like Surf Style, Freaky Tiki Surf Shack, Hulk Hogan’s Beach Shop or just a CVS to pick up an item you’re missing.
After lunch and a quick shopping trip, it’s time to enjoy more of the warm sun! Head back to the beach and enjoy more time in the ocean! If you’re nervous about swimming in the Gulf of Mexico you can also stop by the Clearwater Beach Community Pool that features a 6 lane Junior Olympic size swimming pool and an area for kids with a water slide shaped like a frog, squirting water jets, a mushroom-shaped waterfall and more! In addition to the pool you can also find tennis, basketball and pickleball courts!
Evening in Clearwater Beach
After a wonderful afternoon at the beach, pool or playing on the courts; it’s time to start thinking about some sunset fun!
The order of your evening plans may change based on what time of year it is and what time sunset is. During the summer, sunset is later in the day and may one to grab dinner first. During the winter, the sunset is quite a bit earlier and you’ll most likely want to grab dinner after seeing the sunset.
One of the best places to watch a Clearwater Beach sunset is at Pier 60’s Daily Sunset Festival! In addition to a beautiful sunset; Pier 60 offers a great area for kids to play, shopping from local artists and crafters directly on the pier and some great shows by street performers.
The daily sunset festival starts 2 hours before sunset and ends 2 hours after sunset. This timing allows you to choose the best time to eat dinner either before or after the beautiful Clearwater Beach sunset! Pier 60 is located right in the center of Clearwater Beach and has many restaurants nearby including The Bait House Tackle & Tavern located in the Clearwater Beach Marina for some great outdoor dining!
Nearby Dinner Suggestions
- The Bait House Tackle & Tavern
- Marina Cantina
- Crabby’s Dockside
- Poke Havana
- Badfins Food + Brew
- Ocean Hai
- Jimmy’s Crows Nest (appetizers and drinks)
Stick around the Pier 60 area after dinner and sunset for a free outdoor movie! Enjoy a free movie under the stars at Pier 60’s Sunset Cinema every Friday and Saturday night! View the schedule of what’s showing here.
Depending on the time you can grab one of the last Clearwater Ferry rides from The Clearwater Beach Marina (located across the street from Pier 60) back to Downtown Clearwater or you get back to your car by taking a short taxi, Uber or Lyft.
While you can pack a lot of fun into a single Clearwater Beach in one day trip, you’ll still be missing a ton of fun things to do! Despite being a small island, Clearwater Beach has so much to offer that you could easily spend a full week and even longer here and not see everything. If you need more time in Clearwater Beach, come stay in our beachfront condos at The Villas of Clearwater Beach or Surfside Condominiums. We offer large luxurious condos with private beachfront balconies, full kitchens, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, swimming pools and more!
See what your beachfront view could be right now with our Live Clearwater Beach Webcam! Save the link and watch the sunset with us every night!
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