Top 10 Things to See and Do In Clearwater, FL – Family Edition
Photo Cred: A Boat Day
It’s that wonderful time of year where you and your family have finally chosen your next vacation spot. Lucky for you, if you’re reading this, you have chosen or are planning to choose beautiful Clearwater, FL as your next destination. Not only will you enjoy some fun in the sun soaking up Clearwater memories with your family, but you will visit the best beachside restaurants, enjoy the most popular attractions, and check off some of the must-see destinations in the area.
Whether you wish to take a Private Boat Tour, check out the Local Aquarium, or wear the kids out at the Trampoline Park, we have the perfect list to ensure you have the most unforgettable Clearwater Family Vacation! You will find below something for everyone in your brood to enjoy during their much needed Florida vacation.
1. Catch some Waves on Clearwater Beach
Ready for a little beachside fun catching some rays, building sandcastles, and splashing around in the ocean? Then Clearwater Beach is the perfect first stop on your family vacation list. It has been listed in Tripadvisor’s “Top 25 Beaches in the United States” for multiple years and has even taken the #1 spot in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Not only has it been a trusted destination for travelers and families in the past 10 years, it was also ranked #6 on Tripadvisor’s “Top Trending Destinations in the United States” for 2022.
If you’re looking for beautiful, pristine white sands that lead you to a stunning view of glistening waters, then you’ve come to the right place. Clearwater Beach is a great family friendly place to relax and unwind for you and your loved ones. Beach activities range from building sandcastles by the water, relaxing under a private cabana, or even boogie boarding in water.
Pro Tip – Check out the Hilton where the Boucher Brothers will set up your perfect beach oasis of plush lounge chairs, a luxury beach bed, umbrella and/or cabana.
Photo Cred: Artiom Photo
2. Hire a Private Boat and Captain from A Boat Day
A Boat Day is the premier Florida Boat Tour experience serving the Clearwater, Dunedin, and Indian Rocks beach areas in Florida and was voted TripAdvisor’s #1 Tour in Clearwater and Indian Rocks Beach. They also received the prestigious Traveler’s Choice Award, making them a top destination activity in the area for you and your family. Plus, with various boats to choose from, they can tailor your boat tour based on your desired Clearwater experience and needs. A Boat Day caters to all ages, babies to seniors.
Who doesn’t love waterslides? Well how about a waterslide on a boat! A Boat Day offers just that with their fleet of Funship slide boats. These pontoon funships are 2-stories with a waterslide attached so you can slide right into the cooling waters. If you prefer a boating adventure, they also offer several Sporty Deck Boats, cozy and fast.
Grab a mask from the local store to do some snorkeling, or some rakes to help you scoop up the plentiful shells from the sandbars and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture amazing dolphin interactions. These Clearwater rental boats can seat anywhere from 1-10 family members and come with a Captain for your safety and relaxation. Get away from the beach crowds with a 4, 6, or 8 hour private boat tour your family is guaranteed to love.
Pro tip: Book your A Boat Day excursion on a weekday if you can, the islands and sandbars may be all yours to explore on these less busy days!
Photo Cred: A Boat Day
3. Easy Beachfront Dining at Palm Pavillion
This original beachfront establishment first started back in 1926 and has been a local favorite since. Its rich history is what makes it so special and is often overlooked by many. It was recently voted the “2021 Best Beach Bar” by Visit St Pete Clearwater, making it a top choice for a quick bite while you’re in between beach activities.
Not only is it laid back and casual, but it is fun for families and large groups. Whether you are walking up from the beach to grab lunch on the patio or catching the sunset and enjoying some live entertainment, it is a great spot for delicious food and cold drinks. Choose from one of their famous beach burgers or try the delicious local seafood like the shrimp and crab chowder. While you’re there, why not talk the whole family into trying some gator bites! The kids will love telling their friends they tried gator during their vacation to Florida.
Check out their Live Entertainment schedule here.
Photo Cred: Jay Wright
4. Visit the Interactive Exhibits at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
This Famous Aquarium and popular attraction is a great spot for all ages, especially if you are traveling with kids. During your visit you can meet rescued animals like dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and more. Plus, you and your family can interact and participate in various exhibits like the Rough-Toothed and Bottlenose Dolphin Experiences, the Shark Cave Experience, various Photo Ops, and you can even Feed a Stingray.
This amazing establishment is also celebrating 50 Years of dedication to saving marine life. In celebration of this wonderful anniversary, they will be offering special offers and programs throughout the year. To set your expectations, this is an operational marine rescue center with an important function in Clearwater vs a large scale traditional aquarium. You can expect to be here about 1-3 hours.
Be on the lookout for upcoming events and shows as you prep for your family Clearwater vacation. Plan your Interactive Day here.
Pro Tip: Visiting on your birthday? In celebration of their 50th anniversary, guests will receive free admission on their birthday.
Photo Cred: Clearwater Marine Aquarium
5. Plan a Fun Sunset at Pier 60
Catch a Clearwater Beach 27 year old tradition every night by exploring the “Sunsets at Pier 60”. Depending on the time of year and weather permitting, you can catch nightly sunset celebrations from two hours before, up to two hours after sunset. On the Pier you will find local vendors, artists, and musicians providing amazing entertainment for the perfect backdrop to your sunset experience.
For only $1, you can explore the remaining 1,080 feet of the piet used for recreational fishing which boasts beautiful views of the surrounding beach, making it the perfect place for all your family sunset photos. In front of the pier, landside is also a restroom, snackbar / souvenir shop, more entertainment and a large playground to wear those kids out!
Plan in advance and find the nightly Sunset Time here.
Photo Cred: Pier 60
6. Enjoy Fresh Caught Seafood at Island Way Grill
If you’re looking for a memorable family dinner that everyone will enjoy, then Island Way Grill is the place to be. You will enjoy a stunning sunset dinner at this beautiful dockside restaurant while savoring fresh caught fish, hand cut steaks, the world’s finest oysters, and an assortment of daily specials. Kids can even eat like kings with an amazing kids menu filled with sirloin steak, chicken fingers, noodles, and even a surf and turf of steak and shrimp!
Whether you sit outside under the beautiful lights or inside their expansive dining room, you will not be disappointed with their outstanding selection of fresh entrees, specials, sushi, steaks and delectable desserts. Island Way is a little more formal, but is a great place for a warm family friendly atmosphere, celebrations, and other special occasions and events.
Book your Reservation in Advance with Opentable.
Photo Cred: Island Way Grill
7. Get Active at Sky Zone Trampoline Park
This first ever original indoor trampoline park is a top destination for fun and fitness for you and your family. Voted the #1 “Out of the Box” workout and “Best Party Ever”, it is a great place to beat the heat, escape the cold, or even pass the time on a rainy Clearwater afternoon.
They offer everything from freestyle jump, ultimate dodgeball, foam zone, zipline, and more. Twist and turn your way through different activities and obstacles while exploring new heights with your little ones. These new ways to play are great for challenging one another, practicing skills, and allowing everyone to be themselves and have fun. Trust us when we say, everyone will sleep good after a fun day at Sky Zone!
Check out their Events Calendar and pick the perfect activity for you and your crew!
Photo Cred: Sky Zone
8. Play a Round of Mini Golf at Congo River Golf
This award winning miniature golf course is fun for the whole family. Voted the Best Miniature Golf in Clearwater, FL, it is the perfect place to challenge your crew for a little family fun day or night. They have lots of family fun activities that will allow kids and adults to interact on and off the putting course.
What sets this course apart from others is you will putt your way through waterfalls, caves, and other tropical settings. Plus, you can search for artifacts and gemstones, play a game or two in the arcade, and even feed live alligators. With so much to offer, it is great for all ages and provides adventure around every corner.
Book in advance and save!
Photo Cred: Congo River
9. Explore Sand Key Park
This expansive park offers the best of both worlds, a beach and a park. The park offers an array of amenities including picnic shelters to enjoy a nice lunch, a playground for kids to have a little fun, a dog park, and more. It is a nice spot for an easy family outing and also provides wheelchair access, restrooms, and water fountains.
Not only does the pristine beach provide a beautiful backdrop for your family gathering, but it is the perfect place to enjoy multiple family friendly activities. It is also a great place to bird watch and see other wildlife in the rare salt marsh.
Pro Tip: If visiting between May – October, you may witness endangered sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach at Sand Key.
Photo Cred: Visit St. Pete Clearwater
10. Catch a Game at BayCare Ballpark
This ballpark opened in 2004 and is the spring training facility for the Philadelphia Phillies and home to the Single-A Clearwater Threshers. It includes group picnic areas and party suites for large groups, a tiki hut pavilion, state of the art scoreboard, and even a kid’s play area.
If visiting March you can plan ahead to see your favorite MLB teams go head to head or from April – September you can see some of our local Florida baseball teams take the mound. Grab the whole family for some peanuts, cracker jacks, and a hot dog or two for a day or evening of family fun.
Pro Tip: Check their event schedule for a weekly list of promotions including 50 cent hotdogs, Kid’s Night, and post game Fireworks!
Photo Cred: MLB