In Clearwater itself, residential areas are a buffer between the commercial zone that centers on U.S. 19 and the beach, which is moderately quiet during winter but buzzing with life during spring break and in summer. There's a quaint downtown area on the mainland, just east of the beach. You’ll find a nightly sunset celebration on the beach and tons of options for dining and entertainment. Among this area’s celebrity residents is Winter, the young dolphin who was fitted with a prosthetic tail and depicted in the 2011 film Dolphin Tale. She’s helping to put this place and its renowned beaches on the map.
If you’re up for a day trip, you have two good options if you head north on U.S. 19. One is Dunedin, a Scottish settlement that’s packed with cute shops, restaurants, and craft beer bars. You’ll find some gorgeous beaches to the west.
Farther north is charming Tarpon Springs, which has a highly Greek-influenced downtown. Here, you’ll find historic sponge docks, a Greek restaurant or two, and some great beaches for watching the sunset.
Clearwater at a Glance
- Caladesi Island State Park
- Clearwater Beach
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
- Fort Island Gulf Beach
- Honeymoon Island State Park
- Howard Park Beach
- Indian Rocks Beach
- Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium