With so many beaches in Florida, it’s hard to figure out which ones are the best for family vacations. We’ve visited many of the Florida beaches and have found that Clearwater Beach is perfect for your next family vacation.

Max and I recently visited Clearwater, FL for a family travel conference and had so much fun that I couldn’t wait to put together this post. Clearwater is known for it’s clear waters (of course) and sugar sand, by far the most beautiful sand I’ve ever seen in Florida.

Located only 22 miles away from Tampa, Clearwater is fun for families of all ages because there is so much to do. While I didn’t have time to do everything, I did get enough time to find 4 reasons why you should consider Clearwater Beach for your next family vacation.

4 Reasons to Make Clearwater Beach, FL your Next Family Vacation


My favorite thing about Clearwater is that there is truly something for every budget. Unlike many of the other family friendly beach towns in Florida, the wealthy would be just as happy here are someone on a budget. I’ve visited most of the popular beach towns in Florida and have noticed that most tend to cater to either the very wealthy or the family on a budget. It’s pretty awesome that Clearwater offers 5 star accommodations, resorts, condos, and beach houses as well as family owned motels that will make you nostalgic for the simpler days of family travel.

Free Fun

There is a lot of fun to be had in Clearwater beach for free but the best place to find free fun in Clearwater beach is Pier 60. Max and I posed in front of it during a morning walk.

pier 60 in Clearwater, FL

You can find a sunset celebration at Pier 60 364 days of the year. The nightly sunset celebration not only includes the world famous sunset, but also showcases artists, crafters, and street performers. Festival hours change throughout the year. Head here to find the current hours.

Pro tip: Check the calendar to see what other free events are going on at Pier 60 such as free movies

See Winter

Winter the dolphin, from Dolphin Tale, lives at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter’s story about losing her tail is so amazing, and while Dolphin Tale does a great job of recounting the story, it’s even more inspiring to visit Winter in person. I’m not one of those over-the-top animal lovers, and even I got chills learning about the obstacles she faced and overcame.

Winter the dolphin Clearwater Marine Aquarium -1

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. The mission of CMA is to rescue marine life, rehab them and then release them. The animals that can’t return to the wild are cared for at the aquarium.

Tickets to Clearwater Marine start at $17.95 for children 3-12 and go up to $22.95 for adults. Consider buying an annual pass at only $35-45 if you want to visit a few times on your visit. They do honor reciprocity- learn more about saving money with membership reciprocity here.

Sugar Sand Festival

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival takes place every year in the spring. Dates vary to accommodate sea turtle nesting season. The 2018 dates are April 13th-22nd.

World class sand sculptors gather to compete in a 10 day festival and competition. We attempted to learn a little bit about sand sculpting while we were there. Check out this video to see how we did.

If you watched the video, you know that our sculpture didn’t look anything like the one below, made by a professional sand sculptor. I can only imagine the amount of time that goes into a creation like this!

After only a few days in Clearwater, it’s now one of my favorite beaches in Florida. If you haven’t visited, you should make plans to go on your next family vacation. Heck, even if you already have visited, you should go back!

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Reasons to make Clearwater, FL your next family vacation