There are heaps of reasons. We’ll tell you some of the best in this quick guide…
Picture it: the sun is shining, the kids are playing happily, warm gulf waters fold over pristine white sands, and a nightly rainbow of pinks, purples and oranges fill the sky as the sun sets on yet another fantastic day. Florida’s Clearwater Beach features some of the finest beaches in the USA along with some of the nation’s best weather. With great shops, welcoming restaurants, family attractions and more just metres from the dazzling shore, a Clearwater Beach holiday could be the dream ticket.
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At the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and drenched in sunshine for an incredible 361 days a year, the charms of Clearwater Beach are obvious. You can also make the short hop to St Petersburg (more amazing beaches and a good glug of culture) or Tampa, which swings to a Latin beat and welcomes families to attractions such as the Busch Gardens theme park. Oh, and it might be worth not telling the kids that Orlando is just two hours away by road! Hire a car when you visit Clearwater Beach and you can take family sunshine holidays to the next level.
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We’ve already established that Clearwater Beach gets a whopping 361 days of sunshine. Find out what else you need to know about the seasons here.
Florida is known for its mild winter weather and hot and humid summers, which makes Clearwater Beach a year-round destination. Average daytime temperatures hardly ever drop below 20C, even in January, although winter evenings can feel cool (enough for a light coat or cardigan).
The summer months can see daytime temperatures in the mid-thirties, with occasional afternoon rain chasing away some of the humidity. August is the hottest and wettest month. But don’t let that bother you: most of the sudden downpours are over quicker than you can find your umbrella.
Life by the sea can only be improved by good food and good music. Clearwater Beach has sand sculptures too!
Clearwater Beach Uncorked; February: Food, wine, beer, right on the sands… for many, this sounds like bliss, which is why you should buy your tickets as soon as you’ve booked your holiday – it’s a sell-out event.
Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival; April: There’s plenty of it, so it was only a matter of time before someone starting using this fine sand to create astonishing sculptures. If it makes you feel bad about your paltry sandcastle, the fireworks, music and entertainment will soon cheer you up (you can even take a class to brush up on your sand skills).
Clearwater Jazz Holiday; October: Add some toe-tapping rhythm to your holiday in the sun at this 10-day jazz event. Some of the world’s best have performed in the past, so check to see who’s playing before you go.
There’s no shortage of holiday attractions on this stretch of the Florida coastline…
Kids and teens: With a focus on rescue and education, a day out at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium equates to entertainment with a good cause at heart. See Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail (the kids might recognise him from hit movie “Dolphin Tale”). Young swashbucklers will also enjoy a pirate cruise.
Shopping: Pier 60 is a fine place to catch one of those famous sunsets in Clearwater Beach. Why not browse while you wait; arts and craft stalls set up shop on the boards for two hours either side of sunset. Elsewhere, the weekly Downtown Clearwater Farmer’s Market is ideal for filling a picnic basket full of delicious local goodies.
Nightlife: Beach bars and dimly lit wine bars are perfect for a drink or two of an evening; follow the crowds on to one of the area’s nightclubs for late-night partying. Whether you want a relaxed nightcap or a revved-up dance, Clearwater Beach has nightlife to suit all types.