One of my first trips to the beach when I moved down to Florida was to Clearwater Beach. It’s iconic and world renowned as one of Florida’s best beaches to visit.
Fact: If you’re considering moving to Florida, you think you’ll go to the beach a lot more often than you actually do. You have to MAKE time for it, life keeps you busy.
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Over the years, I have visited Clearwater Beach often, sometimes staying in a hotel for a special occasion or just doing a daytrip and savoring those sunset moments. Whether you are there for the day or a few weeks, there’s a wide range of hotel options perfect for family travelers.
Beachfront hotels supply towels, access to food and drinks, and even some beach rental equipment. For those that just want to walk to the beach and save on food by cooking some meals, there are condos, and homes to rent with additional amenities, such as scenic views, rooftop decks, free parking, bikes, and pools.
You’re never far away from the beach or restaurants even when you head a little further south down the road to Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, or north to Dunedin.
Pier 60 Clearwater, FL
7 Causeway Blvd. Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Pier 60 is the epicenter of Clearwater Beach. If you like to go fishing, there’s a 1,080 foot fishing pier and a bait house that offers fishing tackle, rental equipment and souvenirs.
It’s also the setting for the nightly celebration of Sunsets at Pier 60 where you let the kids play at the playgrounds and enjoy street entertainment. The restrooms are always open and local artisans even come out with wares to sell.
Clearwater Beach Waterslide offers additional play options including a waterslide, dry slide, obstacle course, and bounce house on a per ride ticket (starting at 2 rides for $6) or an unlimited daily ticket $35.
You can also purchase access to a bungee trampoline for $12 and a Hydro Rush for $17. All tickets can be purchased on site in cash or credit card.
Pier 60 Parking
There are a lot of private and city parking options available nearby if you are driving in the area. This may be one reason to stay closer though because the streets do get very congested and there can be delays which can be further compounded by looking for parking.
The city parking lot near pier 60 has 139 spaces plus an additional 346 spaces by the marina across the street with rates at $3 per hour. To make parking easier, take advantage of the interactive map which can give you detailed parking options and information.
You can pay for parking at the parking kiosks or with the Parkmobile app. I highly recommend the app because you can easily extend your time if needed from your beach chair.
Vehicles with handicap tags do not have to pay for parking.
Parking garages that are city owned with easy access to the beachwalk:
- Britt’s Surf Style parking garage, 311 S. Gulfview Blvd. (access via Coronado Drive), has 300 public parking spaces.
- Hyatt Aqualea’s parking garage, 301 S. Gulfview Blvd. (access via Coronado Dr.), has approximately 550 public parking spaces.
Be warned that there are many places where it says that you cannot back into the parking space. A $25 fine will be issued.
Best Place to Stay in Clearwater Beach
For budget to mid-range minded families looking for easy access to the beach, I recommend several of the Marriott properties nearby. The accommodations are larger suites that can hold families of 5 – 6 easily and often include free full American breakfasts.
309 Coronado Drive, Clearwater, FL 33767
A short walk away from the beach, this 3 star hotel offers clean comfortable accommodations. The modern studio suites come with fully equipped kitchens. Continental breakfast included and pet friendly. Daily Parking Fee $29
309 Coronado Dr, Clearwater, FL 33767-2433
Enjoy a close, short walk to the beach and restaurants nearby. When you’re looking for a large suite for the family with a comfortable sofa bed, Springhill Suites is the answer with their signature 3-in-1 trundle sofas. Your stay includes a free buffet breakfast and access to cocktails and light snacks at the bar. Pet friendly and on-site daily parking fee is $29.
1201 Gulf Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33767
Soak up the aquatic playground available just a short walk from the beach. A 65-foot cascading waterfall is the main pool feature. All suites with private balconies and sweeping bay views.
Clearwater Beach Resorts for Families
For a slightly higher price point, these beach resorts offer a host of resort amenities and a range of room options with bay or gulf views. Some are located right on Clearwater Beach. Expect to pay a daily resort fee and/or parking fees.
Some benefits of going to a resort instead of the hotel might be the additional service available including spa, cabana, and restaurant dining on site. Additionally, they often have kids programs with daily activities and poolside entertainment.
100 Coronado Dr, Clearwater, FL 33767-2428
Features a prime beachfront location with rooms that boast intracoastal views and gulf coast views. A special kid-friendly feature is the Winter & Friends Bunk Room with decor inspired by the World Famous Winter the Dolphin from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
The Bunk Gulf View Room has a king bed and clean coastal decor with bunk beds for the kids.
The $35 resort fee includes 2 beach chairs with an umbrella on the beach, dining and spa discounts, and activities. Resort Activities include yoga, fun treats (snow cones, fruit skewers), poolside games, sunset tradition toast, and aqua zumba.
619 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767-2643
From studios and cabana rooms to 2 Bedroom suites, this resort offers a little bit of everything including its own Tiki Beach Bar and a full events calendar with nightlife and live island music. This resort may be more enjoyable for families with young adults or multi-generational travelers.
301 South Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767-2460
One of the best features at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater is the heated outdoor pool on the 8th floor giving you a majestic view of the day’s sunset. Treat yourself to a climate controlled cabana with a private veranda. Room options offer spacious accommodations starting at 400 sq. ft to 900 sq. ft but extend further with 1 and 2 bedroom suites available as well.
655 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767-2643
An eco and family-friendly waterfront hotel inspired by Winter the Dolphin. Experience interactive and educational marine life activities and witness sustainable actions in progress like sea turtle safe lighting.
500 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater, FL 33767-1738
700 feet of private coastline and a zero-entry pool will make it hard to choose where to spend most of your day at this 4-star beachfront resort. Daily children’s activities plus free bicycle rentals add to your experience plus there’s plenty of food options on site and nearby.
Clearwater Beach Vacation Rentals
What makes these homes some of the best options for a clearwater beach family vacation rental? They are proven winners with a minimum of 50 reviews averaging more than a 4.5 and offered by a Premier Host. Premier hosts earn this designation by consistently providing great experiences to guests.
Clearwater Vacation Rentals on the Beach
Oceanfront Key West Style Beach Bungalow from $274/nt
- 3 bedrooms
- 4 beds
- Sleeps 6
- 2 bathrooms
- 2 full baths
Driftwood Beach Cottage from $383/nt
- 2 bedrooms
- 3 beds
- Sleeps 6
- 1 bathroom
- 1 full bath
White Sands House with rooftop deck, sleeps 12 from $433/nt.
- 4 bedrooms
- 6 beds
- Sleeps 12
- 3 bathrooms
- 3 full baths
Unique Places to Stay near Clearwater Florida
Nearby towns are another good option for finding some of the best beach homes. Indian Rocks Beach rentals are large with private beach views and access. There are 27 public beach access points in the quiet community plus miles of pristine beach and free recreational facilities to include tennis courts, basketball courts, and a skatepark. 18 of the beach access points have free parking.
Explore the 17 Best Beaches near Orlando during your visit.
Ocean Sands Beachfront home with private pool, sleeps 12 from $1,100/nt.
- 4 bedrooms
- Sleeps 12
- 4 bathrooms
- 3 full baths
- 1 half bath
- Living Room
5BR Private Beachfront home in Indian Rocks Beach, sleeps 14 from $610/nt.
- 5 bedrooms
- 8 beds
- Sleeps 14
- 4 bathrooms
- 4 full baths
- Living Room
No matter where you stay, you are sure to have a great vacation in the Clearwater Beach area. Take pictures, enjoy the sunsets and beach living.