by Barbara Ann Weibel of Hole In The Donut
Much of the time I prefer secluded beaches in out-of-the-way places that few people know about and fewer people visit. Once in a while, however, I prefer a beach that is smack dab in the middle of the action. A beach where I can stroll across the street to a great restaurant or walk to the end of an ocean pier. A beach where I can cool off under a cabana or rent a wave runner. A beach that offers plenty of opportunity for people watching but allows me to blend in with the crowd. On those occasions, I head for Clearwater Beach.
Located on one of the barrier islands just offshore of the Tampa Bay area, Clearwater Beach is home to Pier 60, deep sea fishing charters, dinner and adventure cruises, hotels, local restaurants, and attractions, all within walking distance of the beach. During the day, walk along three miles of pure white sand, or just bake in the Gulf Coast sunshine. Every evening offers stunning sunsets, live entertainment, and street performers.
Clearwater Beach wins awards and accolades every year. According to Dr. Stephen Leatherman (“Dr. Beach”), a Florida International University professor who has been ranking America’s beaches for more than 15 years, Clearwater Beach is the “Best City Beach On The Gulf Of Mexico.” USATODAY.com readers ranked Clearwater Beach in their Top 10 list of best beaches from Maine to Hawaii. Conde Nast Traveler has also recognized Clearwater Beach as the best city beach on the Gulf of Mexico. And an added bonus for families with small children: Clearwater Beach is also the only beach in Pinellas County with year-round lifeguards.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Weibel