Where to Stay in Clearwater Beach: Top Picks and Insider Tips


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Clearwater Beach, Florida, is a popular vacation destination known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. With its proximity to both St. Petersburg and Tampa, this area offers visitors an incredible variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. Choosing the perfect place to stay during your visit can make all the difference in creating unforgettable memories. In this article, we’ll explore some top accommodations in Clearwater Beach to help you find the best option for your needs.

One interesting story is the heartwarming tale of Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This facility rescues and rehabilitates marine animals, and Winter’s story of survival and perseverance has inspired people from around the world. Staying at a hotel like Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club not only puts you close to the aquarium but also supports their mission.

During your visit, don’t forget to explore all the fun things to do in Clearwater Beach—from checking out friendly local spots like Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill to taking a stroll on the famous Pier 60. With a variety of hotels and vacation rentals available, you’ll be sure to find the perfect accommodation for your stay.

Popular Areas in Clearwater Beach

North Clearwater Beach

North Clearwater Beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere, making it a great destination for families and those looking for a peaceful vacation. This area is home to several popular hotels such as the Sheraton Sand Key Resort.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the North Clearwater Beach area is also known for its gorgeous sunrises and sunsets? They offer the perfect backdrop to start or end your day.

Things to do: North Clearwater Beach offers various activities such as watersports, beachcombing, and trips to the nearby Caladesi Island State Park. Additionally, you can visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to the famous dolphin Winter.

South Clearwater Beach

South Clearwater Beach is perfect for first-time visitors as it boasts a lively atmosphere, bustling nightlife, and a wide range of accommodation options. Some of the top-rated hotels in this area include the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa and the Shephard’s Beach Resort.

Interesting Story: Shephard’s Beach Resort is not only known for its amazing beachfront location, but also for its vibrant beach club that serves as a hotspot for visitors and locals alike.

Things to do: South Clearwater Beach offers various attractions such as parasailing, jet skiing, and dolphin watching tours. Don’t forget to check out Pier 60, which hosts nightly sunset celebrations with street performers and local vendors. Additionally, this area is home to many great dining options and lively bars, perfect for enjoying a night out on the town.

Types of Accommodations

Budget-Friendly Options

If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations in Clearwater Beach, there are several options available that won’t break the bank. The Avalon Club Clearwater Beach offers 4-star facilities, complete with an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and terrace – all facing the beachfront.

Another great option is the Bungalow Beach Place 6, which offers free WiFi and air-conditioned rooms. This cozy hotel is located in Indian Shores, providing a comfortable and affordable stay for visitors.

Some of the budget-friendly hotels that travelers recommend on Hotels.com include the Sandpearl Resort and Pier House 60 Clearwater Beach Marina Hotel. Both are situated near popular attractions, such as Beach Walk, making them perfect choices for convenience and affordability.

For those who prefer staying in a vacation rental or condo, KAYAK offers options like the Royal North Beach and Bayside 19. These properties combine value with the comforts of a home away from home.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Clearwater Beach is home to the famous Winter the Dolphin from the movie “Dolphin Tale”? The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter resides, is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick or injured marine animals.

Things to do

When visiting Clearwater Beach, there’s no shortage of activities that cater to a variety of interests, including:

  • Relaxing on the beautiful white sandy beaches
  • Exploring the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Strolling along the lively Beach Walk promenade
  • Enjoying a variety of water sports, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding
  • Taking a sunset cruise or dolphin-watching tour
  • Sampling local cuisine and drinks at numerous beachfront establishments

Mid-Range Accommodations

If you’re looking for a comfortable stay without breaking the bank, Clearwater Beach has several mid-range accommodations to choose from. One popular option is the Pier House 60 Clearwater Beach Marina Hotel. This hotel is perfect for sun-seekers, as it’s just a short walk to the beach and features a swimming pool right on the property.

In downtown Clearwater, the Residence Inn is an excellent choice for mid-range lodging. It provides easy access to both the beach and the city center, and offers several on-site amenities such as a gym, swimming pool, complimentary breakfast, and free parking.

Here are a few more mid-range options in Clearwater Beach:

  • Hotel Cabana Clearwater Beach: A boutique hotel with modern amenities and a convenient location near the beach.
  • BeachView Hotel: A family-friendly hotel with spacious rooms and a large sun deck overlooking the beach.
  • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Clearwater Beach: Offering comfortable accommodations, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant on site.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Clearwater Beach is famous for its stunning sunsets? Many visitors and locals gather at Pier 60 every evening for the “Sunsets at Pier 60” celebration that features street performers, live music, and local artisans selling their crafts.

Things to do

While staying in Clearwater Beach, be sure to take advantage of the many activities and attractions available in the area. Some popular things to do include:

  • Relaxing on the pristine white sand beaches
  • Exploring the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter the dolphin
  • Cruising on a dolphin-watching excursion or pirate-themed adventure
  • Visiting the nearby Caladesi Island State Park for a day of hiking and beachcombing
  • Renting bikes or paddleboards to explore the coastal areas

With so many options for mid-range accommodations and fun activities to take part in, Clearwater Beach is undoubtedly a fantastic destination for a memorable vacation.

Luxury Stays

Clearwater Beach is a popular vacation destination with a variety of luxury stays that cater to the needs of travelers looking for a relaxing and luxurious getaway. One of the top luxury hotels in Clearwater Beach is the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort. This hotel boasts a great location, comfortable beds, and an outdoor pool for guests to enjoy.

Another excellent luxury hotel option is the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa. This beachfront property offers stunning views, a full-service spa, and various dining options for guests to indulge in during their stay.

For families, the Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club is an ideal luxury hotel that offers family-friendly activities and accommodations. With its proximity to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, families can enjoy a unique experience with the famous Winter the Dolphin.

For an upscale splurge, the Sandpearl Resort is a popular choice among travelers. This property pampers its guests with lavish amenities, beautiful accommodations, and fine dining options.

Here are some of the popular luxury stays in Clearwater Beach:

  • Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort
  • Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
  • Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club
  • Sandpearl Resort

Fun Fact: Clearwater Beach is home to some beautiful natural attractions, one of which is the Sand Key Park—a serene park with a beautiful beach, picnic areas, and a dog park. This park is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it is home to many species of migratory birds.

In terms of things to do, Clearwater Beach offers a wide selection of activities for visitors, including beachcombing, watersports, and fishing at the famous Pier 60. Additionally, the area has a vibrant nightlife scene and offers various dining options, from casual beachside cafes to upscale seafood restaurants. With so many exciting activities to choose from, a luxury stay in Clearwater Beach is sure to be a memorable experience!

Best Time to Visit Clearwater Beach

Visiting Clearwater Beach can be a delightful experience when you choose the right time. The best time to visit Clearwater Beach is between October and December. During these autumn months, you will find:

  • Low humidity
  • Fewer tourists
  • Many holiday events to experience

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Clearwater Beach is known for its fine white sand, which is made up of pure quartz and creates a sugar-like texture. This unique sand stays cool underfoot, even during the hot summer months.

Things to do

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Clearwater Beach. Here are a few things to do during your stay:

  • Hit the beach: Relax on the pristine white sand, swim in the clear waters, or rent a cabana for a day of sunbathing.
  • Visit Pier 60: This lively pier offers daily entertainment, craft vendors, and stunning sunset views.
  • Aquarium adventures: Meet Winter, the famous tailless dolphin, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and learn about marine life rescue and rehabilitation.
  • Dolphin cruises: Join a boat tour to spot playful dolphins in their natural habitat and enjoy learning about the local ecosystem.
  • Honeymoon Island State Park: Just a short drive from Clearwater Beach, this park offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and undeveloped beaches for a more secluded experience.

Remember to explore the southern half of the island for a mix of upmarket hotels and budget motels that cater to various preferences. With the ideal timing and a range of activities, you’re sure to have a memorable experience at Clearwater Beach.

Tips for Booking Your Stay

When planning a trip to Clearwater Beach, it’s essential to keep a few factors in mind to make your stay more enjoyable. Picking the right location, finding a suitable place to stay, and scheduling your trip during the best time of the year can greatly enhance your vacation experience.

First, consider which area of Clearwater Beach you would like to stay in. The main areas to choose from are South Beach, North Beach, Downtown Clearwater, Sand Key, and Indian Rocks Beach. South Beach is perfect for first-time visitors as it is the heart of the town and offers plenty of attractions and amenities.

Next, choose a hotel or vacation rental that suits your needs and preferences. For example, if you’re looking for a resort with a lively atmosphere, consider staying at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa. However, if you prefer a quieter experience, opt for a place in North Clearwater Beach, where you can find a more peaceful and laid-back atmosphere.

Also, consider your proximity to popular attractions like Pier 60. Staying within a 10-minute walk of this area ensures you’ll have quick access to many dining options and activities, while also eliminating the need for a car during your stay.

Finally, try to schedule your trip during the best times to visit Clearwater Beach. The most popular months are typically March through August, although the area becomes busier during Spring Break, major holidays, and various festivals. It’s also worthwhile to check for special events and promotions, which can provide discounts on accommodations and attractions.

Fun Fact: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is the home of Winter, the amazing dolphin from the Dolphin Tale movies, which were based on a true story.

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Clearwater Beach, like enjoying water sports, going on a sunset cruise, or simply relaxing by the beach. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to have a memorable time in this beautiful destination.

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