Tag Archives: beach vacation

beach road

To Drive or Not to Drive on your Clearwater Beach Vacation

Facts Travelers Need to Know

Clearwater Beach entranceOne of the most important facts that travelers need to know is how they will get to their destination. We are centrally located on the Florida Gulf Coast, at the heart of Clearwater Beach.  A fair number of visitors who use our vacation rental office drive here from other cities in the United States. A large number also fly in, primarily using Tampa International Airport. Those visitors arrive from both the U.S. and foreign cities. It probably will come as no surprise that our beach is known worldwide as a vacation destination. Clearwater Beach is here to welcome you regardless of where your journey began.

 

Tampa International Airport

The airport, as the name suggests, is located in the neighboring city of Tampa, one of the big three of Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater. The drive from the airport to Clearwater Beach is 21 miles and can take 35 minutes on days when traffic is light. During rush hours or other heavy traffic periods, it is a good idea to plan for a 40 to 60 minute drive. The route takes you across one of the most beautiful stretches of road in our area, known as the Courtney Campbell Causeway. It is a low-lying, man-made land bridge, reaching across the upper portion of Tampa Bay. Visitors arriving via this route are treated to sweeping views of the sparkling blue waters of the famous bay. It is the perfect introduction to our beautiful coastal area.

 

To Walk or Drive on your Clearwater Beach Vacation

Clearwater Beach roadsThe island of Clearwater Beach is only three and a half miles long. The tourist district of Clearwater Beach is even smaller, making it a perfect place for a no-car vacation. You can walk to the beach, restaurants, and gift shops, as well as some of the great attractions, like Pier 60 or the marina to catch a dolphin watching boat tour. While a walking-only vacation is an option, there might be some nearby sites that are just too far for walking. Those include neighboring tourist towns like John’s Pass, Dunedin, and Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, or regional theme parks like Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, and Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. For those options, a car is a handy item to have. However, if you do not want to bring your car, or you simply live too far away to drive to Clearwater beach, there are other options for getting around on your beach vacation.

 

Jolly Trolley

Jolly TrolleyThe Jolly Trolley is a great way to get around the coastal communities of our county. It runs from the town of Tarpon Springs in the north, to Sand Key, which is the southern end of the beaches that are part of the City of Clearwater. The Jolly Trolley also heads east, to the town of Safety Harbor, where you can find some fun tourist shops. The trolley is all about tourism, with a fun look and an open air design that allows you to view the sights as you travel. For beach transportation from Belleair Beach down to St Pete Beach, a trolley-style bus will take you using the same pass you purchased for the Jolly Trolley.

 

Day Tripper

daytripper autosDay Tripper provides charter transportation for groups up to twenty to key locations around Tampa Bay. Some of the stops include Tarpons Springs, Dunedin, Downtown St Petersburg, John’s Pass, and Busch Gardens. Day Tripper is familiar with the normal length of stay at the sites visited and is ready to transport you back to where you boarded at the end of your visit.

 

Beach Taxi Services

Taxi services at the beach range from the expected to the unexpected. While you will find normal automobile taxi services, you will also find more unique forms of transportation. Many of the bars, such as Shephards, Brown Boxer, Toucans, Pier 60 House, Shipwreck, and others will give you a ride in a golf cart style taxi. Naturally these services are aimed at clientele. While this might seem limiting, some of them will give you a free drink when you arrive at your destination. Aside from the golf carts, you will also find bicycle taxis during peak times at locations like Clearwater Beach.

 

Getting around your Beach Town

Whether you bring a car on your beach vacation can be matter of choice or circumstances. Having a car for sightseeing is a great idea. However, if you wind up at Clearwater Beach without a car, you can still get around to a surprisingly large variety of tourist destinations.

Clearwater Beach

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Explore the Gulf Coast Dolphin Trail

Top Clearwater Beach Day Trip Destinations

Top 7 Walks at Clearwater Beach

Beach Bar

5 Favorite Party Spots at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachFavorite Party Spots on Clearwater Beach

Finding a fun place to let your hair down at night on Clearwater Beach is not really that difficult. Bright lights and lively music give these locations away. However, to make our list worthwhile, we have include why each of our five favorites have made the list.

 

Tropix Island Tiki Bar

Clearwater PassTropix is a bar located along the Clearwater Pass, that strip of water connecting the Gulf of Mexico to Clearwater Harbor. This bar includes access to its own tiny strip of beach. It is located at the back of the Quality Beach Resort of well-known Quality Hotel. This made our 5 favorite party places list for being laid back and comfortable. It is an open-air bar, right next to the pool, with very nice views of the water.

 

Cooters Clearwater BeachCooters of Clearwater Beach

Cooters is the next Clearwater Beach party location on our list. It made our list because of its ability to seamlessly blend a fun hang out spot that serves alcohol with a great family restaurant. The staff are friendly and laid back. It is located on Poinsettia Avenue that runs parallel to Mandalay Avenue. While it is not on the sands of the beach, it succeeds quite well at being a very beachy establishment. It is also one of the hosts of the yearly Stone Crab Festival at Clearwater Beach.

 

Crabby’s Bar and Grill

Crabbys Bar and GrillAnyone who knows Clearwater Beach knows the name Crabby Bill. A restaurant by that name sits at the central beach roundabout. However, the party location of which we speak is on the South Beach portion of the strip and is called Crabby’s Bar and Grill. This two story bar is flashy and bright, yet homey. It has fantastic views of the beach and immediate access to and from the popular Beach Walk that runs along the sands of Clearwater Beach. Party with friends and watch the sunset from this quintessential beach bar.

 

Brown Boxer

Brown Boxer Clearwater BeachThe Brown Boxer is located on the north end of the business district of Clearwater Beach on Mandalay Avenue. It has made our list of beach bar favorites because of two very important words, Happy Hour. Don’t let the terminology fool you however, because the happy hour specials at the Brown Boxer go from 11Am to 7PM. That’s quite an hour. Enjoy discounted drinks and maintain your center by eating happy hour chicken wings. You can even lean over the railing and wave at us here at the Florida Beach Rentals office. As a disclaimer, there is no guarantee that we will see you waving.

 

Shephards on Clearwater Beach

Shephards of Clearwater BeachAnyone who has strolled or driven Clearwater Beach after dark has surely discovered Shephards. Their rocking live music is a well-known beacon to beach bar party seekers. Have your smile ready at the door, as well as a high tolerance for ear thumping tunes and wild times. Shephards is an establishment for those who take their beach bars seriously. It has two options for night-clubing as well as a restaurant. Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar has a waterfront deck facing Clearwater Pass.

 

 

Note Regarding Coconut Cove

Florida Beach Rentals manages vacation rentals at the Coconut Cove, sister hotel to the Quality Beach Resort mentioned above. That means that anyone staying in Coconut Cove has access to the beach and swimming pool at the Tropix Island Tiki Bar.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

The Amazing Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival at Clearwater Beach

9 Need to Know Differences between Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Top Clearwater Beach Day Trip Destinations

 

Clearwater Beach

Secrets of the Fall at Clearwater Beach

Gorgeous Autumn Weather at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach has seasonal weather just like anywhere else. While you will never find snow here, it can dip down to perhaps the 40’s in the winter time. However, we are fortunate enough to not see those extremes very often. The fall in Clearwater Beach is never so cold. The weather is warm and the sun is most often shining. The subtropical rainstorms of summer afternoons are fading away and all that is left to replace them is warm air and sandy beaches. While autumn might not seem like prime time to take a beach vacation, you might be surprised how much fun you can have here at Clearwater Beach from September to November.

 

Fantastic Fall Festivals at Clearwater Beach

Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachOne of the best parts about autumn at Clearwater Beach is the festivals. You will find some of the best events hidden in the last third of the year. Among the best known festivities are the various stone crab festivals, the Chalk Walk festival, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Super Boat Races, the TriRock Triathlon, and the Dunedin Celtic Music festival. Coming to Clearwater beach after summer has Clearwater Beach Chalk Walk 3013ended can definitely have its advantages. All the above events draw great, upbeat crowds, all those attending enjoying the setting of the Florida Gulf Coast. Clearwater Beach comes alive during many of these events, adding an exciting buzz to the air in addition to the natural beauty of the beach.

 

Find Cheaper Vacation Rentals at Clearwater Beach

Vacation rental with beach viewOne of the most popular things about coming to Clearwater Beach in the autumn months is the price. While the cheapest time to come is still November and December, you will find that the rates you search for online for autumn are going to be less expensive than spring and summer.

 

Cleawater Beach in Autumn

Clearwater harbor lightsIf the tourism high season of spring or the traditional beach days of summer aren’t for you, then consider a trip to Clearwater Beach in the fall. You will find warm days with good weather, an abundance of festivals to attend, and rates that might put a smile on your face. Clearwater Beach in the fall is a great vacation idea.

 

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival

Clearwater Beach TriRock Triathlon 2013

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

 

Clearwater Beach Pier 60 acrobats

Ultimate Tourist Attraction at Pier 60 Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Is at the Heart of Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Clearwater BeachIt is impossible to walk the white sand shores of Clearwater Beach without noticing Pier 60. The pier derives its name from Highway 60, which is the route that leads from the city of Tampa all the way across the city of Clearwater and onto Clearwater Beach. The pier is in a direct line with the highway, an easy landmark to find. Pier 60 is the central hub of beach activities and is visible from all of the beachfront hotels, condos and cottages of Clearwater Beach.

 

Pier 60 Gift Shop and Fishing Pier

Pier 60 fishermen Clearwater BeachThe Pier 60 gift shop and fishing area might not be the pier’s best known features, but they are still very popular. Midway along the pier you will find a building and a gate. To pass the gate to the fishing section of the pier you need to pay a dollar. While this might not seem like much money, in fact, so many fishermen use pier each year that it makes a surprising amount of revenue. It also leaves the fishing end of Pier 60 mostly to the fishermen. The building at mid-pier is a tackle and gift shop. You can buy fishing bait or vacation souvenirs, such as T-shirts or seashells. The division in Pier 60 makes it a great multi use location at Clearwater Beach.

 

Pier 60 Nightly Sunset Festival

Pier 60 sunset festivalThe nightly festival at Pier 60 is one of the main tourist attractions at Clearwater Beach. From two hours before sunset to two hours after sunset the pier hosts a nightly festival. Artisans and craftsmen of all types set up tables and booths at the pier to sell their wares or their talents. You will find seashells, paintings of seascapes, jewelry, and a large variety of other assorted crafts for sale. You will also find face painting, hair braiding, hand drawn portraits, and other unique trades. The craftsmen at the sunset festival make Pier 60 a perfect tourist destination for anyone vacationing at Clearwater Beach.

 

Friday and Saturday Night at Pier 60

Clearwater Beach Pier 60 acrobatsThe weekend at the Pier 60 nightly festival is a prime entertainment event at Clearwater Beach. On the weekend nights, street performers join the festivities. You will find jugglers, fire breathers, sword jugglers, magicians, acrobats, or break-dancers putting on their shows at the pier. The entertainment always varies, which means you never know which show you will catch. If you are on vacation at Clearwater Beach, the weekend sunset festival at Pier 60 is not an event you want to miss.

Related Posts:

Top 7 Walks at Clearwater Beach

5 Best Places to Escape at Clearwater Beach

The Best Beaches in America

Pier 60 Clearwater Beach

Tiger Busch Gardens Tampa Florida

Top Theme Parks near Clearwater Beach

Homosassa Springs

Homosassa Springs hippoHomosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located seventy miles drive north of Clearwater Beach. The park displays rescued and other creatures native to Florida. The list includes black bears, alligators, bald eagles, otters, and many more. The number of different bird species at the central pond and the aviary are amazing. A unique park resident is the hippopotamus once used in Hollywood movies, granted official Florida citizenship to overcome its status as a non-native species. The number one attraction at the park, however, are the manatees. Both wild and park animals can be seen swimming in park waters. The manatees you will find in pens are there to receive care, followed by release back into the wild. The park has a unique underwater room where you can view the manatees being fed.

 

Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo orangutanLowry Park Zoo sits just north of the city of Tampa and is a 25 mile drive east from Clearwater Beach. It is a large zoo with plenty to see. Stoll on wooden boardwalks past large aviaries or ground level animal enclosures. You can get a close up view of a wide variety native and exotic species of animals. The Lowry Park Zoo is large enough to plan an all day trip from Clearwater Beach. Kids love the zoo because of the carnival rides located at the center of the park. The kids’ area includes fun things like slides, a water fountain area to play in, pony rides, and a petting zoo.

 

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Florida tigerBusch Gardens is the top theme park within easy reach of Clearwater Beach. Busch Gardens in Tampa has an African theme, which goes well with the animals you will view there. You will find fantastic roller coasters and other fun rides, as well as kid-friendly attractions, like the massive playground called Treetop Trails. Click here to see their huge list of attractions. If you want to offer your family some extra excitement on your Clearwater Beach vacation, then give Busch Gardens in Tampa a try.

 

 

Related Links:

Florida Springs

Gulf Coast Bald Eagles

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

 

Beach community vacation rental witha pool

St Pete Beach Pool House

Gulf Coast Vacation Rental Is a Charmer

3. Pool and Florida room 6-24-13

You know you are near the beach just by the feel of this vacation rental. While you will need to drive out to the shore, it’s not far off. This charming house is a great for a base camp for a Gulf Coast vacation. The interior has charming beach décor and is unarguably in keeping with the Florida lifestyle, with its two screened porches and swimming pool.

 

11. Dining room 6-24-13Vacation House Floor Plan

This home has seen additions, all of which add to its charm. The kitchen area is a great space for kids as well as a place to dine. The kitchen is centrally located for easy access from the rest of the house as well as making the kids easy to watch. A front screen room lets sandy feet enter the house without the mess, while the screened back porch allows you to relax in the shade by the pool.

 

Coffee Nook on the Florida Gulf Coast

24. Front patio room 6-24-13Does this vacation rental have a great place to relax with your coffee? No. It has several.

Let’s start with the screen room on the front of the home. This converted garage space couldn’t have more Florida appeal. Enjoy your joe here while watching the world go by.

The dining room is remarkably relaxed if you enjoy your coffee with breakfast. Roll up the shades and take in the sun.

If not the dining room then go right outside to sit on the patio furniture in the back porch screen room. This setting gives a great feeling of space, aside from being right next to the pool and shady palms.

Last but not least, why not go outside and sit in the shade of one those palms, with your feet in the pool? Really. Why not?

 

2. Swimming poolBeautiful Poolside Rental

The gem of this Gulf Coast vacation rental is the pool. The setting is beautiful, with a waterfall spilling into the pool and tall palms waving overhead. The wood fence gives the setting a sense of privacy.

 

 

Beachy Neighborhood with Nearby Attractions

27. Upham Beach 6-24-13

This neighborhood has a beachy feel as it is near the bottom of the peninsula. Though it is close to shopping areas, the immediate streets are calm and pleasant for walks. The beach is not too far off and a neighborhood pool with fun water fountains for the kids is close by. Fort De Soto Park is within easy driving distance and is repeatedly voted one of the best beaches in America. Be sure to look into nearby theme parks like Busch Gardens or even Disney World.

 

 

7. Florida RoomEntertain Your Friends or Family

This house is great for weekend bar-b-ques. Why not have a get together around the pool while serving up burgers for your guests? This vacation rental is well equipped for anyone who likes to relax and play before even leaving the house.

 

 Why I Would Stay at The Saint Pete Beach Pool House

This house has everything vacationers needs to enjoy their stay without ever leaving the house. Florida atmosphere permeates this rental, making it a great place to feel like you are on vacation every minute of the day. Despite the comforts, the area has plenty of attractions to draw you out of the house. The community is very much about the beach, and nearby public beaches are fantastic.

23. 2nd bedroom 20. Master bedroom 6-24-13

 

 

 

 

Related Posts:

Florida Beach Rental Review of Sand Dollar Clearwater Beach

How to Prepare for Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

Central Gulf Coast Cities

Beach Cottage

Sand Dollar Clearwater Beach Cottage

We had a chance to personally experience what the SanDollar Clearwater Beach Cottage had to offer while on the photo shoot for this rental. The Florida Beach Rental unit is in the heart of the Clearwater Beach community and has some really great features.

 

1. Front elevationBeach Cottage Appeal

This beach community rental home has a great seaside feel starting right from the curb appeal. A collection of shells greets you at the door while on the inside, the furniture and color schemes are all in keeping with what you would expect from a beach cottage. Pinks, blues and greens keep the spaces lively and carry you away to the beach even when you are indoors.

 

11. Family roomCozy Cottage near the Beach

The floor plan makes staying this seaside cottage a breeze. The kitchen forms the central hub from where you can travel easily to the living room, family room and kids’ room. This beach style rental will make an easy to use launch pad for getting out to the nearby beach whenever you want.

 

16. Master bedroomCottage Decor Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is reminiscent of the sea with its blue color scheme and oversize jars of seashells collected from the shores nearby. The en suite bathroom is decorated to never let you forget you are enjoying the sunny shores of Florida.

 

Poolside Coffee in the Shade at this Clearwater Beach Rental

The opportunities available to enjoy the morning coffee at this beach cottage are fantastic. Enjoy your brew in the family room while looking out through the wall of windows or sit on the patio set just outside within the screened porch that enjoys shade all day long. If you’d like some sun, head out to the exterior patio table or get comfortable on a poolside recliner. Even the front porch offers a space to unwind while you watch the world go by.

 

7. KitchenBright Kitchen with Beach Cottage Appeal

The kitchen enjoys the bright beachy feel spread throughout the rest of the rental. Parents can keep an eye on things from this central room with a view of the living room, family room, kids room and the swimming pool! The wide floor also has some space to accommodate that extra cook.

The Amenities You Need

This three bedroom rental is equipped with two bathrooms, a garage, and a screen room. Towels for the pool are on-site and you will find a washer and dryer in the garage.

 

26. Screened patioRelaxing Cottage Patio in Sun or Shade

The backyard has great shade trees for reclining in the breeze as well as open spaces to catch some sun. Plenty of chairs of various styles wait for you around the pool. If a towel is more your style, lay yours out on the spacious, decorator-brick patio.

 

Safe and Upscale Living

This beach community is prime living space in Clearwater. Enjoy a well maintained street where you can take morning and evening walks to take in some air. A bike ride can take you right down to the beach!

 

30. PoolsideBeach Cottage Poolside

This backyard pool at this beach cottage rental has some great extras. Aside the spacious yard, this pool is surrounded by chairs, recliners, a patio dinging set and a hammock. An enclosed, outdoor shower awaits you to rinse off after your swim. The bar-b-que brill is not far off. What more could you ask for?

 

Vacation Cottage for the Kids

This beach rental is great for kids. Aside from ample sleeping arrangements, it has TVs in both the living room and the spacious family room. The pool is a favorite for kids and the low traffic neighborhood is kid friendly.

 

29. PoolsideGreat for Get Togethers

This beachy rental has lots of seating in the family room and outside on the patio furniture. A wicker bar occupies one corner of the screen room while outside seating and the bar-b-que grill are just asking for a get together.

 

Why I Would Stay at the Sandollar Vacation Rental Cottage

This beach house is just plain great. It has lots of room, two TV rooms, and looks like it would be a blast to hang out in. The Florida sun can’t get too hot when you have a pool to jump into. The neighborhood is prime beach community, a fun place to live or vacation. This Gulf Coast vacation rental is close to the hot spots of Clearwater Beach but far enough away to let you completely unwind when that’s what you want.

Related Posts:

440 West Condo 508 S Review

Dinner and Coffee at Clearwater Beach

Beach Vaction Cottages

 

440 West Condo 508 S Review

Florida Beach Rentals

Florida beach rentals enjoys keeping our guests up to date on upgrades and improvements to our rentals. On a recent update photo shoot I had the opportunity to take in the accommodations for this beach front rental condominium.

 

Buildings FrontProfessional Seaside Charm

This tower condo is crisply decorated for the upscale guest or business professional. The modern decor blends well with the amenities such as an exercise room, rec room with pool table and sitting area, and the Gulf-side pool surrounded by a large deck.

 

2. Dining roomComfortable Floor Plan

The floor plan of this fifth floor condo couldn’t be simpler. Everything is within easy reach, including a serving window from the kitchen to the dining room that has the added bonus of providing a harbor view from the kitchen. The couches are cozy and the harbor view can’t be missed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.

 

7. Master bedroomHarbor View Master bedroom

The master bedroom is large but the mirrored closets and en suite vanity and bathroom add even more to the space.

 

17. Patio viewCoffee Nook with a View

Aside from the dining room table with a view, the balcony is the most obvious coffee nook in this channelside beach rental. A seat on the patio furniture offers a view of both the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach Inlet. When the sun is shining bright, the white sands on the bottom light up, giving the waters a turquoise hue. Watch Clearwater Harbor boat traffic go by with the shores of Sand Key just beyond.