Who doesn’t love a beach day? We sure do! Imagine the wind in your hair, the sun shining on the water, and the soft sandy shores that bring back wonderful childhood memories.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect spot on the West Coast to plan an unforgettable beach adventure with the kids, look no further than the breathtaking Clearwater coastline.
With an array of family-friendly and exciting beach destinations, it can be a bit overwhelming to narrow down the best beach Clearwater, Florida has to offer.
Fret not! We’ve taken on the task of sifting through the sand to bring you our top pick of Clearwater Florida beaches that are brimming with kid-friendly attractions, safety amenities, and the grooviest beachy vibes, all for an unforgettable holiday with the fam!
So, grab your beach gear, slather on some sunscreen, and let’s dive into the fun! Here’s our list of the best family beaches in Clearwater, Florida.
Best Family Beaches in Clearwater
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Clearwater Beach is known as the “Best Beach, Clearwater, Florida,” and it’s easy to see why! With its soft, white sands, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of attractions, this beach is a sensory delight.
Take off your shoes, let your kids splash in the water, and enjoy the laughter-filled atmosphere at Pier 60.
There’s always something happening at Clearwater Beach. You can try thrilling activities like parasailing or join in a game of volleyball on the courts.
Don’t miss the stunning sunset shows each night at the 1,080-foot fishing pier. But if you’re in the mood for relaxation, the calm waters are perfect for sunbathing or building sandcastles with your little ones.
In the evenings, Pier 60 comes alive with artist booths and live entertainers, creating a vibrant atmosphere. You’ll also find convenient shower and restroom facilities, as well as a playground where your kids can let loose.
Here’s a bonus: you can go fishing at the end of the pier for just $10, even without a license.
Getting to Clearwater Beach is affordable if you rent a car, but finding parking can be a challenge. To avoid the hassle, you can try alternative options like the Florida Free Rides, the Clearwater Jolley Trolley, or simply hail a taxi or Uber.
Once you’re there, everything you need is within walking distance from the shoreline.
Pro tip: Arrive early to snag a great spot on the beach, and remember to bring a car shade to keep your vehicle cool under the sun. Get ready for an unforgettable beach adventure at Clearwater Beach!
Sand Key Park
Open from 7 a.m. until sunset, Sand Key Park Beach is an absolute gem for family-friendly fun in Clearwater. This beach has it all – cleanliness, tranquility, and plenty of shallow areas for kids to splash around in.
Lifeguards are on duty, so parents can relax and let their worries drift away. Oh, and guess what? Your furry family members are welcome too, thanks to the beach park’s dog park and nature trail where you can spot nesting birds and sea turtles.
While parents kick back in rented cabana chairs, teenagers can dive into exciting activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, or kayaking. Beach wheelchairs are available for those who need them, and there are convenient restrooms and outdoor showers to freshen up after a fun-filled day in the sun.
Head to the food trucks when hunger strikes, and satiate those hunger pangs with hot dogs, ice creams, chicken strips, and more. You can also pack a delicious homemade meal and enjoy a picnic at the pavilion for some quality downtime.
Don’t worry about the little ones. There’s a fantastic playground where they can burn off all that energy.
Parking is also a non-issue at Sand Key Park Beach! The parking lot is huge and costs just $5 for the entire day. There’s even space for RV parking for those who are on the move.
Caladesi Island State Park
If your dream beach vacation with the family involves a secluded tropical paradise with pristine blue waters and white sand, Caladesi Island State Park should be your next destination. This island getaway is pure bliss. It’s uninhabited, except for a simple café and clean restrooms.
The beach is open from 8 am to sundown, welcoming you 365 days a year.
Now, here’s where the adventure begins! To reach Caladesi Island, you can paddle over on a kayak (only $2 per kayaker) or hop on a ferry or boat from the Dunedin Causeway (just $6 per boat), which is a more kid-friendly option.
Let me tell you, the journey is just as exciting as the destination. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and playful dolphins as you make your way there.
Kayak through mangroves, collect beautiful seashells on the soft sand, take a dip in the gentle waves, or go hiking with your binoculars to spot wildlife. Nature lovers will adore the trail walk to the Scharrer Homestead.
Want to have a fantastic family picnic? Rent the picnic pavilion for only $30 a day and fire up the barbecue grill.
Or if you’re not in the mood to cook, swing by the concession stands for a quick bite. For a truly unique experience, consider staying overnight on the camping boat docked at the marina. Your kids will absolutely love this outdoor adventure!
And of course, if all you want is a relaxing day at the beach, no worries! Just rent beach chairs and umbrellas, let your kids frolic in the sea and sand, and soak up the sun.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Imagine yourself relaxing under the shade of palm trees, comfortably settled in a rental beach chair with an umbrella, while you listen to the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore. Welcome to Honeymoon Island State Park, a haven for families and beach lovers alike.
Honeymoon Island may sound like a paradise for child-free couples. But it is in fact one of the best family beaches in Clearwater.
Keep a lookout for playful dolphins and graceful manatees in the ocean, and admire the majestic ospreys, great horned owls, eagles, gopher tortoises, and armadillos that roam the area.
This 4-mile-long beach is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, every single day of the year. Let your little ones embark on exciting adventures like shell hunting or casting their fishing lines, while teenagers can grab their snorkeling gear and explore the underwater wonders.
For those seeking even more thrills, biking, and kayaking opportunities await. And for our furry friends, rejoice! There’s a dedicated dog beach area where they can join in the fun.
Reaching Honeymoon Island State Park is a breeze. Just hop in your car and pay the entrance fee, ranging from $4 to $8. Convenient public restrooms and showers are available for a quick freshen-up, and a delightful beachside café awaits to satisfy your little ones’ hunger pangs.
Be sure to visit the visitor center, a treasure trove of information, fun souvenirs, and activities for children. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails, immersing yourself in the beauty of the local flora, or let the little ones release their energy at the playground. Then, gather at the covered picnic areas for a quick snack and recharge.
When discussing the best beach Clearwater, Florida has to offer, we must shine the spotlight on the delightful treasure known as Belleair Beach. Just a short 15-minute drive from Clearwater, this beach paradise awaits you with its pristine white sands, creating the perfect setting for enchanting sunset walks.
Stretching over 2 miles and embraced by glistening crystalline waters, Belleair Beach is not only a residential beach neighborhood but also a playground of attractions and thrilling activities for you and your little ones to revel in.
Dive into the refreshing waves, bask in the glorious sun, and set off on a thrilling quest for seashells before retreating to the inviting pavilion for a delightful picnic lunch, complete with a sizzling BBQ. Keep a keen gaze for sea turtles and seabirds as you explore this natural haven, providing endless excitement for the nature enthusiasts in your family.
Restrooms and showers are readily available and don’t forget to explore nearby Morgan Park, welcoming visitors from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Note: Worry not about parking! Metered public parking is conveniently accessible, allowing you to set out on an unforgettable beach adventure combined with an exciting road trip.
Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach is a haven for those seeking the simple pleasures of a beach vacation. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic crash of waves against pristine sandy dunes, making it the perfect setting for sunbathing with your partner or relaxing under the shade of a cozy rental cabana.
Watch your kids delight in splashing about in the gentle waters or constructing magnificent sandcastles, while the teenagers embark on thrilling parasailing adventures under the guidance of experienced instructors. For more excitement, take your older kids deep-sea fishing or venture out on a boat to spot playful dolphins and graceful manatees, creating magical moments with your little ones.
Parking is available at this beach, but please note that it’s limited and requires a modest fee. Clean restrooms and showers are provided for your convenience, while the other amenities are minimal.
So, pack your favorite beverages and delicious picnic treats for a joyful feast under the warm sun.
If you’re in the mood for a unique experience, take a stroll to the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary and Indian Rocks Nature Preserve, where you can witness the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of local wild birds. And if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss the nearby Splash Harbour Water Park, open from 10 am to 6 pm, for a day filled with thrilling water-based activities.
Redington Shores Beach
Indulge in some much-needed rest and relaxation at this beloved local beach, a simple stretch of soft sand that beckons you and your family to unwind and enjoy your vacation. The best time to visit this Clearwater beach is at sunset as the burst of hues over the Gulf waters makes it a spectacular sight to witness.
The gentle waves of Redington Shores Beach provide the perfect setting for your little one’s first swimming lesson, while older kids can have a blast zooming around on jet skis and other water activities. With vigilant lifeguards on duty, parents can breathe a sigh of relief as their children have a blast in the water.
Thanks to its secluded nature, this beach is a dream destination for dolphin enthusiasts who want to witness these magnificent creatures frolicking in the water without the crowds of other tourists. Additionally, it’s conveniently located near the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, as well as other exciting attractions, shopping malls, cozy cafes, and recreational spots.
While public parking is available, it tends to fill up quickly, especially during peak season. It’s advisable to arrive early to secure a spot. Alternatively, you can opt for the parking lot near 181st Avenue, which requires a small fee but offers the convenience of restrooms nearby.
Madeira Beach is undeniably one of the best beaches Clearwater Florida has to offer. Affectionately called “Mad Beach,” this stunning stretch of soft sand guarantees a fantastic time for the whole family.
Step into a world of adventure as you explore the legendary home of pirate John LeVique, a must-visit spot for fans of Pirates of the Caribbean. And don’t miss the iconic landmark, John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk, where you can savor mouthwatering seafood at incredible eateries and embark on unforgettable sunset cruises, capturing the essence of Florida’s charming beach towns.
Switch up your regular beach day by setting sail on a thrilling pirate adventure cruise with your little ones. While they enjoy water gun battles, face painting, and tales of legendary pirates, you can relax with a drink in hand.
Teens and tweens will be thrilled to go parasailing, snorkeling, or even book fishing trips and dolphin cruises for an extra dose of excitement at Madeira Beach.
When you’ve had your fill of beachside fun, don your adventurer’s hat and head to the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center. Get up close and personal with Florida’s favorite reptiles for an unforgettable encounter.
Be sure to make a pit stop at the Candy Kitchen, where homemade ice creams, candies, and chocolates will satisfy your sweet cravings.
Mark your calendar for January when the annual John’s Pass Seafood Fest takes place. It’s a seafood lover’s paradise, offering a range of delectable treats, live music, and family-friendly activities.
Get ready for an exceptional day at Madeira Beach, one of the best beaches Clearwater boasts. Its pirate history, exciting cruises, wildlife encounters, and delightful culinary experiences promise an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.
Treasure Island Beach
Visiting Treasure Island is like stepping into a living storybook. Its charming mid-century modern decor takes you back to the era of mom-and-pop stores, making it the absolute best beach in Clearwater.
But what truly sets it apart are the hidden treasures, including a giant slide and a thrilling pirate ship, making it a star attraction for all visitors. Plus, the beach goes above and beyond to ensure accessibility for everyone, including guests with disabilities.
Nature enthusiasts will be in paradise at Treasure Island, as it is home to majestic pelicans, playful dolphins, and picturesque mangroves. The coves along the shoreline boast some of the clearest waters, perfect for snorkeling and getting an up-close look at the unique marine life dwelling in these enchanting inlets.
Have a blast playing beach ball on the soft white sands, flying kites, or joining the lively drum circle every Sunday at sunset. Teens and adults can indulge in exhilarating jet skiing and parasailing adventures, while the little ones can go on a thrilling shell-hunting expedition, splash in the shallow waters, or burn off energy at the playground. Don’t forget to rinse off in the outdoor showers afterward.
For an extra dose of excitement, plan your visit during festive occasions like the sandcastle festival Sanding Ovations held in November or the captivating kite festival that draws large crowds. And if you’re up for a leisurely ride, take advantage of the sidewalks perfect for biking or rollerblading along the picturesque shore.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with so many incredible spots to explore? Don’t worry! Just follow the comprehensive signage along the beach. It not only lists convenient amenities but also points out beach access with its bright blue and orange seagull signs, ensuring you never miss out on any adventure.
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