Clearwater Beach


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Clearwater Beach
Clearwater beach is most popular with couples and young families and is a fairly 'middle of the road', unsophisticated beach resort but with plenty to offer the sun bather.

Accommodation is generally budget to medium-range. The main strip of hotels and restaurants extends for about 2 mls. The beach itself is uncommonly wide and sandy along most stretches. However, during the late 1980s/early 1990s, sections of beach eroded, leaving some properties perched precariously above the water with only a sea wall or a thin strip of rough sand as a buffer.

Where the beaches are wide they are particularly good, such as at Sand Key and the middle section. Hotels do not provide free beach sunbeds or water sports, but they are available from concessionaires. Lifeguards are posted at some points along the main beach. The gulf waters are calm, warm and excellent for swimming, the beaches are gently sloped and suitable for children. The long pier offers good fishing.

Shoppers have all the usual and perfectly adequate options, but unexceptional and of little sophistication.

Entertainment and attractions in the area offer approximately 20 golf courses, but the only one attached to a property in Clearwater is near the Belleview Biltmore hotel. Public tennis courts, but not many hotels have their own. Water sports include water-skiing, para-sailing, sailing, aquacycling and pedal boating. Deep-sea fishing boats and charters may be arranged at Clearwater Marina.

Local events include the Fun 'n' Sun Festival in April, a jazz festival in October and yacht races in November. Nightlife here is fairly low-key, though there are some bars with live bands, and others to choose from in Clearwater. Eateries offer a full range from fast food to formal dining. Getting around the local area is made easy with the "Jolley Trolley", a red minibus which runs from the shops at Sand Key N along the beach beyond the Clearwater hotel, as well as to downtown Clearwater, operating 10am to 10pm. There are public buses too. Ferries cross the harbour to Clearwater and go from downtown N to Sarasota and undeveloped Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island. The speed limit for drivers is 25 mph.

Local excursions consist of day trips to Orlando's attractions and Tampa's Busch Gardens. Local sightseeing includes Clearwater Marine Science Centre Aquarium; harbour and dinner cruises; Boatyard Village, an 1890s fishing village; and Celebration Station, a funland for children and adults.