Travel Diaries: Clearwater, Florida

Travel Diaries: Clearwater, Florida
A couple of weeks ago I went on a short but much needed mini vacation to Clearwater, Florida. Clearwater is a city in the Tampa Bay area that includes a long stretch of white sandy beaches and clean blue water. For several years in a row Clearwater Beach has been named one of the best beaches in the U.S. by Trip Advisor! Living in New York has made Florida a fast getaway somewhere warm but after going to Miami several times I wanted to try something new and instead decided to visit Clearwater.

Never being there I was in for a nice surprise. My parents from Seattle also tagged along, making it a nice little family trip! Tampa is definitely very different than the east side of the Florida coast, especially Miami. It’s much more quite, low-key, and definitely has an older crowd. With that being said it’s a great place to visit for several days and get away from the big city life, but I could never personally live there. I need crowds, noise, and an over abundance of healthy food spots, coffee shops, and clothing stores.

Clearwater does however have amazing stretches of beaches however. Clearwater beach itself is very crowded but that does have its perks as there are unlimited rentable beach huts, paid public parking, and quick food and drink restaurants right on the beach. Everything you need is within feet so it’s a great place to spend the whole day without having to leave to get something. Con… super crowded. We spent a couple of days at Clearwater beach and for the next several days went to Belleair Beach and Anna Marie Island.

Belleair is right by St. Pete and absolutely gorgeous. It’s mostly residential and filled with luxurious beach mansions surrounded by amazing sand and palm trees. Can I have a summer beach house there pleaseeee?? There are only several public beach areas in Belleair so you can definitely visit one of those for the day, just make sure to buy a parking pass before to be able to park in the designated lots.

Anna Marie Island was my favorite beach we visited by far. It was about an hour drive from Clearwater but so worth it. Again, the area is very residential so the beach isn’t going to be too packed which I love. The water is very clean, warm, and a gorgeous shade of blue and green. Just remember to bring a beach umbrella as the sun gets extremely hot during peak hours and there are no public beach chairs or umbrellas there. The sand on Anna Marie Island is also very different than the one at Clearwater Beach as it has a lot more seashells and small rocks. The sand at Clearwater Beach is silky smooth and clean!

Overall, the beaches around the Tampa Bay area are very pretty because they are a part of the gulf coast. However, if you want to only spend a portion of your day at the beach and then have the option of spending some time shopping, eating tasty local food, and sight-seeing I would suggest Miami as there is simply more things to do there. Me personally, I lounged on the beach all day and drank cocktails so I fit right in. Both places are great so it just depends on your mood and needs!

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