Clearwater Beach is a fun destination with activities around Pier 60, surfside restaurants, boat tours and a playground for kids. The only problem can be getting there. Traffic can be miserable on the Memorial Causeway, especially during tourist season. So come early to ensure a parking spot during the winter months and spring break, and don't forget to bring quarters for the meters.
Clearwater Beach is hopping with activity. Take a stroll along Mandalay Avenue, where you can hear live music, grab a hot dog or even get a tattoo or belly-button ring.
Definitely plan a meal at one of the several Frenchy's cafes. The fish spread is a must and even on a hot day, it's hard to resist the seafood gumbo.
Beach volleyball is a popular pastime here. Clearwater is host to several professional and amateur beach volleyball tournaments. Visitors can also rent parasails and jetskis.
The beach bristles with activity near sunset. Families and couples crowd into Pier 60 for the Sunset Celebrations, which includes live music under the pavilion. Next door, children have fun at the playground.
Along the pier, artisans sell handmade beach jewelry, blown-glass figures and souvenirs. Go back to work with more than a tan. Temporary tattoos, henna body paint and hair braids are other options.
All bets are off during spring break. If you're planning to visit during this time, pack patience in your beach bag. College and high school students head here in droves.
One drawback of the beach can be garbage. At the end of the day, the waste baskets are full and beachgoers heave their trash in piles in the sand. Not a pretty site during a sunset walk.
If you bring a lot of stuff, it may be a good idea to pack your own garbage bag. Fellow beachgoers will appreciate it.