A Guide to Clearwater Beach
Credit: Courtesy of Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, located just north of the popular resort city, St. Petersburg, is famous for its incredible sunsets, sugar-white beaches, and warm surf. Its mild climate makes it a great year-round destination — particularly for travelers eager to escape the colder temperatures up north during the winter. With such a large variety of events taking place and excursions available, there is something to be found here for every type of traveler. Add these four things to your to-do list during a trip to Clearwater Beach.

Attend a Sunset Festival

Watching a spectacular sunset at Pier 60 is a must-follow tradition while in Clearwater Beach — so much so that a daily festival was created based around the event. Each evening (weather permitting) visitors gather to check out wares from local artisans and watch street performers (magicians and fire breathers, for example) from two hours before sunset until two hours after.

Sample a Local Brew

For the beer lover, the Sunshine State may be a surprising answer to more traditional "beercation" destinations like Vermont or Colorado. But the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail, which runs from Tarpon Springs to Gulfport, is flanked by a number of independent breweries that produce craft beers exclusively for those visiting in person. Make sure to try Florida’s signature Florida Weisse: a unique local spin on the Berliner-Weisse.

Create a Sand Sculpture

Each year, the 10-day Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival pays tribute to the area’s famous beaches. Visitors are welcome to take part in a sand sculpting class in addition to many other activities and attractions. The festival lineup is stacked with concerts, amusements, and fireworks, and a number of vendors hawk their crafts during the event.

Go on a Dolphin Cruise

The area just off the coast of Clearwater Beach is home to the largest pod of Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, making it a great place to see wild dolphins play in the surf. Encounters With Dolphins offers tours that depart the Clearwater Beach Marina multiple times a day, and make a half-hour stop at Compass Island, where guests can swim, snorkel, and relax.