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-   -   Is car necessary in Clearwater FL area? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/is-car-necessary-in-clearwater-fl-area-242025/)

Ann Jul 22nd, 2002 08:30 AM

Is car necessary in Clearwater FL area?
 
My daughter is flying to Clearwater (Tampa) to visit a friend who is visiting from China. My question is, is a car absolutely necessary to get around this area, or are there buses or tours to places like Busch Gardens or even WDW? Perhaps from the major hotels? My daughter is too young to rent a car and her friend does not drive. They want me to come along (for the car) but I'm just not into heat and high humidity (trip is this August). Will they be able to get around without me? Are taxis expensive there? Any advice would be helpfull.

floridagirl Jul 22nd, 2002 08:34 AM

I think they would need a car. ALthough they may be able to get to Busch Gardens, WDW is about one and a half or two hours away. They will need transportation to eat, go to the beach, etc. as well. There is some public transportation, but as in the rest of Florida, it isn't very prevalent. Hope this helps!

linda Jul 22nd, 2002 08:48 AM

Ann,<BR> If they want to do WDW, I imagine they would need a car- but there are tours to Busch Gardens from hotels. We were in St Pete last week and saw those.<BR>Where are they staying? There is a trolley which runs from Clearwater to St Pete and there's lots to do.It's also reasonable.VERY easy to get around the area without a car.

Ann Jul 22nd, 2002 01:09 PM

Thanks for the advice. If anyone else can add to it, please do. My daughter's friend is doing a summer internship at an insurance company in Clearwater, and part of the deal is that they have given her a 2br/2bath apartment (all to herself) in Clearwater (not Clearwater beach). That's all I know. If they can get around, especially to Busch Gardens, then I think I'll stay home. ps, my daughter is 20, but that's still too young to rent a car.

r-travels Jul 22nd, 2002 03:10 PM

For bus schedules & routes, etc., try http://www.psta.net/systemmap.htm for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)<BR><BR>For public transit info almost anywhere in the US, try http://www.apta.com/sites/transus/<BR><BR>Hope this helps .. (remove the x in my eddress to reply)

Veronica Jul 22nd, 2002 04:51 PM

She deinately needs a car in Clearwater. The public transportation is the area is not good and taxis are expensive. If she is staying in a residential area, even resteraunts and shops are probably not within walking distance. BG is about and hour drive from Clearwater, and the beach could be a 30 minute drive...especially with summer beach traffic! (We have good air conditioning in FL to save you from the heat!)

OO Jul 22nd, 2002 06:07 PM

Agreed, staying in Clearwater they will absolutely be stranded without a car--but how is the intern getting around, unless the 2BR/BA is within walking distance of work and restaurants and they expect her to walk everywhere?<BR><BR>You will encounter high heat and humidity in August, no doubt about it. It can (and has for me the past couple of weeks) feel oppressive even for residents, but unless they corral a 3rd person old enough to rent a car, I don't see anyway around your visiting too. Look at it as one of the few Mother/Daughter outtings you'll have left before she flies the nest, and enjoy. (This from a mom whose chicks have taken wing.)

Ann Jul 23rd, 2002 12:57 PM

Our intern friend has been given a bike to get around from her apartment. She also said it was a short walk to her office as she doesn't want to ride in her work clothes. That doesn't help while my daughter is there. I'm still trying to find alternatives so I won't have to go, even though it would be a nice mother/daughter trip. She also wants to go somewhere with me before school starts, aside from this Florida trip (she's a terrific daughter).

linda Jul 23rd, 2002 01:11 PM

Ann,<BR> The trolley I mentioned runs from Clearwater BEACH to the other areas. Perhaps you could go rent a nice hotel room with her, let her visit her friend when possible, (you drive them). They could do a tour from your hotel to Busch Gardens, you shop in Tampa? Tampa has lots to do, great restaurants/shopping. I imagine it could be a fun vacation for both of you with quality time together and still some time alone. Yes it's hot and humid, but if you stay on the beach you'll have the water and a good breeze.

mmm Aug 1st, 2002 04:55 PM

I live in Clearwater. There is bus service, but it is somewhat limited. There is a jitney that runs to the beaches. First Class Grayline offers tours to Busch Gardens and Disney parks. Their number is 800 282-8020. Unfortunately, it is an area that is easier with a car.


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