Y’all know I have a blue crush with Florida’s beaches right? So here I was again, discovering more of their beaches before I move back to the islands! For one, if you are familiar with the Dallas area you know that it takes several hours to get to a beach and they are not impressive to say the least (please don’t take it personal Texans, it is what it is). So I came to the realization that I’d rather fly 2-1/2 hours to a beach in Florida then drive 6-9 hours to Galveston or South Padre Island. This time the destination was Clearwater Beach.
I was a beach sloth! We didn’t make it to St Pete because when I looked up more things to do aside from the beach, there was not much so we decided to stay in Clearwater. We spent nearly eight hours each day as beach bums and proud of it!
To be honest with you, the beach was nothing like the pictures online. The water was not clear, more of a murky green/brown. Even more surprising were the territorial pelicans in the water that traveled and touched down in flocks. They were harmless but if you’re not used to seeing flocks of them you will be paranoid at first. I was wondering why no one was as ‘bothered’ by the birds like I was. I decided to read up on it to see if this was normal and sure enough these birds are apparently part of the Florida coast beaches. I remember seeing only one pelican in Destin sitting in the water, but Clearwater had many, in addition to sea gulls flocking everywhere. It takes some getting used to but after the first hour you’ll learn to tune it out.
Here are some of the things I did in Clearwater:
The Tropics Boat Tours– slow start but ended up being extremely relaxing and the vibe was great. The staff was extremely friendly and tried their best to entertain us with jokes. Drinks were good, music was good but could have been more tailored to island music and not classic rock or the 80’s. We rode with people from all over the country and I knew this because we wore name tags! Name tags included the person’s name and where they were from. Check this out! We enjoyed it a lot.
Pier 60 Park– When we visited the pier there was an arts and crafts fair where local artisans sold their handmade goods or extraordinary items. We also visited the pier which cost $1 per person. If you cannot stomach seeing fish guts, try to avoid looking at the chop blocks they had on the pier that fishermen used to cut their fish. There were remnants of blood and guts from the fish they caught on the block. I don’t know how often they were cleaned but all of them looked like this…
Clearwater Beach– Beach rental: $22 beach umbrella with two chairs for the day. Umbrellas are taken down at 5pm daily. Relaxing for the most part once you’ve tuned out the pelicans and hungry birds.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill– This restaurant had a great view of the beach. We walked there for dinner after a night stroll at the Pier. You have to try the Coco Shrimp and Shrimp Cervice! Also, get a caricature drawing from Bill. He visits patrons to ask if they’d like a drawing. I loved mine! You can see it on my instagram post.
Palm Pavillion Beachside Grill & Bar– Nice restaurant with a patio option with beach views. Try the Gulf Grill Combo, Hurricane Shrimp and their OMG fries with cheese sauce. Highly recommended!
Frenchy’s and Palm Pavillion were next to each other but had different vibes. Frenchy’s had a live band and much more casual. Palm Pavillion’s price point was higher and included band entertainment as well. Both good food options and had great views of the beach.
Crabby’s Dockside– Their food was delicious, not to mention the gorgeous view from the third floor. We overlooked the the dock area where our boat cruise left out of and could see all the tourists walking to and from Pier 60.
I suggest you try the Cajun Chicken Pasta and/or No Worries Combo. Delicious!
The beauty came in the sunset peaking through the clouds and the majestic skies. I caught only one good picture of a sunset while on the sunset cruise. Rain came through just before sunset every day that we were there.Still on my list of Florida beaches to visit is Key West. Destin was lovely but I found that I prefer the coastal beaches in Florida over the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater was ranked by Tripadvisor as a top beach in the U.S. but personally, Destin was a lot more impressive. Other than that, my stay was good and very, very relaxing!
Which Florida beach is your fave and which one would you suggest I should check out next? Please share your thoughts below.
Haze- Blue Crush Travel