clearwater beach vacation

Clearwater Beach is among the best in the world.

Trip Advisor ranks the main Clearwater Beach no. 1 on its list of Top Beaches in the US for 2016. It’s also the only beach in America on their list of Top 25 Beaches in the World. So why travel far away for your next beach vacation or destination wedding, when you can enjoy the very best right here in Clearwater, Florida?

Travel + Leisure calls Clearwater Beach a top Five U.S. Summer Trip Idea, describing it as “one of the most desirable summer getaways.”

What most people don’t know about Clearwater Beach is that it’s not just one beach – there are many places along the island where you can enjoy the warm Gulf water and perfect white sand. There are even a few hidden gems on the Bay side of the island.  Of course each hotel on the beach side has access to the sand in front on the hotel.  If you are staying at a hotels on the Bay side of the road, or if you are coming to Clearwater Beach for the day, there are many public access points all along the beach.

Clearwater Beach North at Pier 60

There is public parking at Coronado Drive and S. Gulfview Blvd. (just south of the roundabout – you have to be traveling south to enter this lot.)  There are restrooms and showers. Except for parking, there is no beach access fee.

You can rent cabanas, chairs and sun umbrellas.  The water is usually calm and safe for swimming.  There are lifeguards on duty here between 9:30am – 4:30pm until Labor Day.  There are also volleyball nets if you are feeling energetic and if you’re on a family beach vacation, there’s is a lovely children’s playground on the north side of Pier 60.

It’s really simple – just find an empty cabana and settle in.  Soon enough the rental people will come by and collect from you.  Chairs can be rented from the lifeguards.


North Beach at Mandalay Park

There is lots of metered parking here,  but it can get busy after 10 am.  There is a parking area off Mandalay between Rockaway and Bay Esplanade.  The Palm Pavilion and Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill are located here, right on the beach.  Come early, have breakfast and the spend the day on the beach.  Then you can watch the sunset before you head home.

There is also another access point a bit further north between Kendall and Avalon. There is a very small parking lot, with showers and water.  There are no restrooms.  All these beach parking areas have meters and it is strictly enforced, so bring a bag of quarters.

Clearwater Beach South

This is another area where there is public parking, easy access to the beach, showers and restrooms.  It does get very congested after 10 am, so plan to come early.