Clearwater is central to a large metropolitan area that spans from
New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs to the north and St. Petersburg
to the south. To the east across Tampa Bay is the city of Tampa. This
west-central Florida region spans 90 miles north-south and about 75
miles east-west occupying an area of several thousand square miles!
South of Clearwater is a parade of beach towns located on the barrier islands. These beach communities include Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Belleair Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, North Redington Beach, Madeira Beach and Treasure Island. Inland in this same area includes Belleair, Largo, Seminole, South Pasadena, Pinellas Park, Kenneth City, Gulfport and St. Pete Beach.
Just north and northwest of Clearwater are the cities of Dunedin,
Safety Harbor and Oldsmar.
These municipalities range from very small towns to regionally significant cities. Collectively they offer an amazing range of diversity in lifestyle, cultural offerings, activities and events.
Apart from the Clearwater beach and all its attractions, the area of Clearwater has got lot more to offer for an exciting vacation. Within 100 mile-circumference of Clearwater city, there are hundreds of other places to visit. The diverse interests of these locations provide a variety of options to choose from. A broad overview of the area of Clearwater can give a comprehensive idea to customize your vacation experience.
Adjacent to Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg are two other cities offering an assortment of entertainments and excitements. The glorious waterfront of Tampa houses the most popular Florida Aquarium. In addition, Carnival Cruise Lines operates a phenomenal 2,500-passenger ship from this location on a weeklong itinerary including the Caribbean. Tampa, St. Pete and in Ybor City offer a wide variety of dining and entertainment ranging into 60 bars, music spots, and restaurants. At about 25 miles to the west, the Gulf of Mexico beach provides a lively and robust nightlife, where the three causeways cross Tampa Bay.
The Florida Aquarium is among the world's top aquariums with more than 10,000 aquatic plants and animals. This attraction offers 200,00 square feet of air-conditioned fun and fascination. A wide shark collection, shark tank dives, exhibits of spineless wonders and ocean predators, Australian sea dragons, river otters, flying birds, giant pacific octopus, and American alligators add a real thrill for the visitors. The aquarium gift shop, casual waterfront café, and eco-tour in a 64-feet catamaran are an enjoyable activity for individuals and families.
One can see some of the world's finest museums at the Tampa Bay. The Salvador Dali Museum exhibits the largest collection of the best accomplishments by surrealist painters. A guided tour is also available at the museum with the help of volunteer docents. The Florida International Museum offers world-class, rotating exhibits that have included themes and artifacts from the Titanic, Incas, America's baseball history, historical Russia, Princess Diana, and many more - check current schedules for latest exhibits. Tampa's Museum of African American Art is yet another wonderful site to visit.
The most exciting MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) at the north of Tampa Bay presents a range of innovations like hurricane wind room and a doomed omnimax theater to thrill kids and adults, besides a lot of exhibits and a science works theater. In addition, kids can also have a memorable time at St. Pete's The Great Explorations kid's museum with a variety of mazes, live animals, and fun learning adventures for children. Besides this, Big Cat Rescue, Henry B. Plant Museum, and Ybor City State Museum are worth noting.
The city of St. Petersburg proudly offers seven miles of publicly maintained parks and open space along the Tampa Bay with Olympic-sized pool and a small beach for swimming.
The Pier at St. Petersburg is permanently closed. It is shaped like an inverted pyramid with five stories and housed an aquarium, and places to eat and drink like the most reputed Tampa's Columbia restaurant.
Fort DeSoto Park, an old historic park presents an excellent site for overnight camping with snack bars, boat ramps, picnic areas, and bike rentals. Besides this, the national historic district called Pass-a-Grille is worth visiting too.
Busch Garden's is a perfect family adventure park with more than 2,700 wild animals, thrilling rides, live shows, shops, games and restaurants. Located at the western edge of Pinellas County, Caladesi Island is a 3-mile long barrier island reached by pontoon ferry. This is rated among the finest of beaches. In addition, Sank Key is a tropical paradise and yet another wonderful place for a memorable holiday.
Adjacent to the Busch gardens, the Adventure Island set in a 30 acre area is filled with a lot of fun and sun activities for a perfect family vacation. The tropical surroundings, soothing atmosphere, high-speed thrills, corkscrews, waterfalls, slides, wave pool, outdoor cafes, children's water playground, picnic and sunbathing areas, gift shops, and volleyball complex.
The oldest botanical gardens named Sunken Gardens presents a typical replica of a rainforest with its plant and animals collection. The daily features of Alligator and Parrot shows are a real feast to animal lovers.
At just about 22 miles from the Clearwater, Lowry Park Zoo offers a wide collection of 2,000 animals amidst lush landscapes. Open from 9.30 am to 5 pm daily, the zoo presents a variety of rides, water sports, shows and restaurants.
Sarasota is yet another tourist destination at about 70 miles south of Clearwater. The place is famous for its sports activities, scenic sunsets, museums, ballets, operas, and boat races. Some of the wonderful attractions in and around Sarasota are the theme parks sited in the Sarasota Jungle Gardens; Paddlers Trips and kayaking down rivers and bays at Kayaking adventures; touch tank, Immersion Cinema and Mollusks exhibit at the Mote Marine Aquarium; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens at the South Palm Avenue; Oscar Scherer State Recreation Area; Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary at the City Island; John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; Bellm's Cars & Music of Yesterday; Gulf Coast World of Science; Marina Jack; and Historic Spanish Point.
The Bradenton Area presents De Soto National Memorial, Manatee Village Historical Park, and Gamble Plantation State Historic Site. Dade City to the northeast has the wonderful Pioneer Florida Museum. North of Clearwater in the Springhill area, the theme parks like Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, Weeki Wachee Springs, and West Pasco Historical Society Museum are remarkable.
The Ruth Eckerd Hall located at about 5 miles is rated as one of the top five concert halls in the U.S., with over 200 annual events. Within 90 miles from Clearwater, are the incomparable Disney world, Sea World, Discovery Cove and Universal Studio and other theme parks of Orlando. With all this, the Clearwater area can provide unending fun for more than a week, or even many weeks!