Laid-back Clearwater Beach is known for its namesake stretch of soft, white sand, which draws visitors year-round for jet-skiing, parasailing, and stand-up paddleboarding in its calm waters. Cyclists and rollerbladers glide along a winding beachfront promenade lined with casual seafood restaurants and cafes. Come sunset, Pier 60 hosts a nightly festival with street performers and craft vendors.
So beloved is the sun that every evening, the sunset is celebrated just across Clearwater Harbor at Pier 60 with street performers, local vendors and a lively crowd. Clearwater is also the home of Winter—not the season, but the famous tail-less dolphin who resides at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The city is also enjoying the revitalization of its downtown area, known as the Cleveland Street District, where you'll find great little shops, bars and restaurants, along with the restored 1921 Capitol Theatre, home to intimate music events of every genre.
Speaking of events, special events in Clearwater are a serious affair. Fans from around the country come for the Clearwater Offshore Nationals & Festival, a celebration of all things powerboat. For sports fans, the Philadelphia Phillies hold their spring training here at Spectrum Field. And you absolutely should plan a visit to Clearwater around the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a weekend jazz festival in October that draws a huge crowd (and big names in jazz) to the waterfront Coachman Park.
Island Estates is a quiet island neighborhood in Clearwater Bay, home to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. A rescue and rehabilitation center, the aquarium has natural habitats for dolphins, sea turtles, otters, and white pelicans. The area’s marina is a jumping-off point for water sports and boat tours of the bay. Eateries along Windward Passage and Island Way serve casual, cafe-style fare, seafood, and sushi.