When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- Clearwater Beach is one of Florida’s top destinations for white-sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
- Summer can be humid and rainy, but it’s also a good time to find hotels at lower rates.
- We rounded up the best Clearwater hotels, from Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
Living on Florida’s east coast, I’ve always enjoyed taking road trips across the state to indulge in the fresh seafood, laid-back lifestyle, and cotton-candy sunsets that are synonymous with the Gulf Coast. Clearwater Beach, located along the central coast not far from Tampa, is one of the most sought-after destinations for its waterfront properties and postcard-perfect beaches.
The resort town has plenty of budget-friendly and luxury hotels that are just steps away from the beach, which is annually ranked by Tripadvisor as one of the top 25 beaches in the United States for its natural beauty.
Beyond the beach, things to do in Clearwater include touring the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (home to Winter, the dolphin that starred in the “Dolphin Tale” movies); taking a picnic to Sand Key Park; kayaking through the mangroves at Caladesi Island State Park, and strolling down Beach Walk, a half-mile promenade lined with shops and restaurants, that leads to Pier 60 — where nightly entertainment by local street performers are the opening act for those magical sunsets over the Gulf.