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13 Reasons Clearwater Beach is a TOP vacation spot in the US

a beach path lining clearwater beach with palm trees

Over the years, Clearwater Beach is constantly winning awards for being the #1 beach, most recently being named the “Best Beach in the South” by USA Today, so it’s no surprise that it is also one of the top vacation spots in the US! 

As the owners of A Boat Day boat charters, we know firsthand why this is. I’ll admit, while we might be a little bit biased, the beauty of Clearwater Beach speaks for itself.

The Clearwater area is not just a flashy tourist stop, but it is also filled with stunning ecotourism! Clearwater is home to many amazing natural islands off the coast so boating is a super popular activity to be able to explore the different barrier islands.

These are just a few reasons, but if you’re wondering what exactly makes Clearwater Beach one of the best vacation spots in the US keep reading!

a beach next to water

1. Clearwater Beach has one of the best white sand beaches in the United States

You have probably seen the whiteness of the sand in photos of Clearwater Beach.  The color is not edited, it really looks THAT white in person! Even better is that the sand feels like powder on your feet and it doesn’t get hot!

Why is this? Well, the sand on Clearwater Beach isn’t made up of rough crushed-up seashells like most tan or brown sand beaches but instead, it is pure crystallized quartz. It has been discovered that the quartz originally travel down rivers from the Appalachian mountains and settled in the Gulf of Mexico where it then washed up on the shores of Clearwater Beach as well as on other beaches along the Gulf Coast. 

Due to its white color, it reflects the sun instead of being absorbed into the sand. While the sand can get warm it will never get hot enough to burn your feet, even during a hot summer’s day!

2. Clearwater Beach is clean and well-maintained

If you decide to take a beach vacation to Clearwater you will be impressed by how picture-perfect the beach looks. This isn’t by accident! Every morning before the sun rises a grounds crew team uses a barber surf rake attached to a tractor to gather any trash and debris from the sand. 

This added element of care makes it look so pretty and it even makes it easier to find a spot on the beach when all of the sand is smooth and clean! 

3. Enjoy the green Gulf of Mexico waters

a small boat in a large body of water

Booking a boat tour with A Boat Day is one of the best ways to get the water all to yourself!

You would think based on its name that Clearwater Beach would have clear waters but this isn’t the case. On a sunny day, the water here is a beautiful green/teal color which is typical for Gulf Coast beaches. 

It’s not quite as dreamy as Caribbean waters but it definitely outbeats a majority of beaches in Florida that have murky or dark blue water, let alone comparing it to other popular beach destinations throughout the United States.

4. The water is warm!

What would a beach vacation be without being able to swim comfortably? The good news is that Clearwater Beach has consistently warm waters!

The average water temperature ranges from 73°F in the spring to 85°F in the summer! During the middle of winter, you’ll have to be a bit braver because the temperatures can get as low as 59°F, although the average range is typically between 64°F to 69°F. 

5. Ideal atmosphere for a family vacation

a large body of water

Clearwater Beach is one of the most family-friendly vacation beach destinations that you will find anywhere in the US! 

Clearwater Beach has something for everyone! For kids, there are two water slides, playgrounds, bungee trampolines, dolphin and pirate cruises, parasailing, and jet skis to enjoy from. 

Whereas the adults can walk Pier 60, shop the boutiques around town, grab cocktails from one of several beach bars, enjoy fresh seafood, charter a boat, go fishing, and more! 

6. Clearwater Beach is patrolled by lifeguards

If you have young kids or are worried about rip currents Clearwater Beach has on-duty lifeguards in certain areas that keep watch during core hour. 

This is an element that will help to give you some peace of mind while on vacation.

7. Opportunity for great boating tours and charters

Sandbar Boat Party Clearwater Beach

You can even charter multiple boats with A Boat Day if you have a huge group!

There are tons of different boating opportunities in Clearwater whether you want to go parasailing, offshore fishing, go on a dolphin tour, or rent a private boat. 

If you are vacationing as a family or with a group of friends our A Boat Day private tours are a great choice for a fun-filled day of island hopping, swimming, shelling, sightseeing, and dolphin watching in this slice of paradise!

We will always work with you to customize an itinerary that will not only meet but exceed your expectations! If there’s a birthday or special occasion we can even create the ultimate party boat experience for your group too! 

We offer two different types of boat tours in Clearwater and deciding on which one will depend on your group size and activity preferences. The Funships hold up to 12 people and feature an upper tanning deck and a slide whereas our speedy Deck Boats fit six people comfortably. 

You can find more about our tours here and make your reservations online in advance. You won’t have to worry about getting to our dock as pick up and drop off is included if you are staying in either the Clearwater or Indian Rocks area. 

As you can see, Clearwater Beach makes for an ideal United States beach vacation if you are looking to get out on the water!

8. One of the best winter vacation spots in the USA

Another reason Clearwater Beach is one of the best vacation spots in the US is that you can take advantage of its lovely year-round weather! Even in winter months, you’ll find pleasant temperatures. 

For example, during the month of December, temperatures average around 70 degrees so even though the water will be on the chillier side it’s likely that you’ll be able to lay out and tan on Christmas or New Year’s Eve even if you can’t brave getting in the water!

If you ask me, this is definitely an incentive to vacation in Clearwater Beach during the winter months!

9. Clearwater Beach has wonderful resorts

gulf of mexico with clearwater beach resorts in the background

The big pink building is the Hyatt Regency!

If you want to plan a luxury beach vacation or stay at a hotel with a lot of amenities, Clearwater Beach is a great choice. This is because there are several reputable beach resorts here unlike many of the other nearby beach cities that tend to offer more casual stays.

Some of the most popular luxury choices with private beach access are the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, Opal Sands Resort & Spa, and the JW Marriot Resort & Spa

10. Beautiful sunsets

sunset in clearwater with silhouette of person taking a picture orange sunset seen from boat in clearwater

While on a beach vacation, the highlight for many is watching the sunset. 

What gives Clearwater Beach an advantage for sunset is that it has a beautiful long pier (Pier 60) that you can go out on for an even better view than you will get from the beach. 

If you want to enjoy the sunset with a drink in your hand you could enjoy one at dinner from one of the beachfront restaurants or head up a few stories at one of the rooftop bars for magnificent views of the entire beach. 

11. There are many public beach access points

Clearwater Beach is only 3 miles long and along this strip of beach, there are a few main parking lots but they fill up super quickly. The good news is that the area has plenty of other smaller beach access points so if you have to park in a parking garage or in a lot that is further away there will be other smaller entry points for the beach that will be more direct than having to walk back to one of the main parking lots. 

However, if you want to make things easy on yourself I recommend waking up early so you can snag a spot in one of the main lots.

12. Clearwater Beach is walkable

a beach path lining clearwater beach with palm trees

From the beach, it will be super easy to walk to everything!

There is an amazing walking path that borders the main beach with access to showers and restrooms and connects to the parking lots, it’s fun to walk, bike, skate, and scoot on to see all of the people! 

There are also many walkable amenities from the beach and the many local hotels such as convenience stores, surf shops, ice cream shops, restaurants, and boat tours! Can it get any better than this?

13. Clearwater Beach is lively at night

a street in downtown clearwater at night

Looking for a beach vacation destination in the US that doesn’t shut down after 6 pm? Clearwater Beach is one of them! 

While it will be nothing crazy like Miami, Clearwater does have a lot of fun bars and nightclubs that will keep the music bumping long after the sun has gone down. In fact, on Fridays and Saturdays, many places have live music or a DJ that will keep the energy levels up.  

Anchors aweigh!

a couple standing in the ocean in front of their boat near Clearwater Beach Florida

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you will take our advice and spend your next getaway at Clearwater Beach because it is truly one of the top vacation spots in the United States!

If you are interested in one of our private boat tours don’t forget to check out our different booking options here.

We also have other fun blogs related to Clearwater and boating that I’ve listed below to give you more vacation inspiration!

Fascinating facts about dolphins

Fun celebrations you can have on a boat

Why you should hire a boat captain


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reason why clearwater beach is a top vacaction destination in the us

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