8 Delightful and Unique Things to Do in Clearwater, FL
April 16th 2021
Clearwater, Florida, is a charming coastal city, known far and wide for its gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches. Travelers visit year-round to enjoy the area’s soft, white sand, crystal-clear water, and breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see! As a bustling beach town, this picturesque slice of paradise comes equipped with the essentials, offering watersports, tasty fresh seafood, and luxurious waterfront lodging.
There is so much more to Clearwater than meets the eye, however, as this city also offers tons of unique tours, attractions, and things to do, as well. From searching for decorated dolphins scattered throughout the city, to hitting the high seas aboard a family-fun pirate cruise, there are plenty of ways to make this beach vacation stand out from the rest. Check out these 8 Delightful and Unique Things to Do in Clearwater, FL, and make this next trip to the Sunshine State the best one yet!
Table of Contents
- Illuminated Kayak Tours
- Clearwater Beach
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Pirate Cruises
- Dolphin Trail
- Helicopter Tours
- Caladesi Island State Park
Illuminated Kayak Tours
Couple takes in the mystery and magic on an incredible illuminated kayak tour
Kayak tours and rentals may sound like a standard practice when visiting a coastal city, but this is actually one of the most unique things to do in Clearwater, FL! Located roughly 15 miles away from Clearwater in Treasure Island, FL, Glass Bottom Tours offers an incredible illuminated kayak tour that’s sure to shed some light, and allow you to see this beautiful area from a whole new perspective. This one-of-a-kind tour is sure to be the highlight of any Central Florida vacation!
Illuminated kayak tours take place in the evening aboard a glass-bottom kayak that is lit up by LED lights, which means you can see the extraordinary ecosystem that lies just beneath the surface. This unique excursion takes you paddling over grass flats and sandbars in search of magnificent marine life, and more! Not only that, paddling under the moon and the stars is truly magical, and creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere that’s definitely worth experiencing. This is the perfect way to have a fun and safe time on the water, even after the sun goes down!
The picture-perfect beaches of Clearwater Beach, FL
Clearwater Beach consistently ranks among the top beaches in the country, and with its gorgeous crystalline water and sugar-white sand, it’s easy to see why! With that being said, you may be asking yourself how is this one of the most unique things to do in Clearwater, FL? Well, there’s more to the area’s beautiful beaches than meets the eye.
Clearwater Beach is actually a world record holder! The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area holds the Guinness Book World Record for the most consecutive sunny days at 768 days, which occurred between 1967 and 1969. So, if you want to witness this record holder for yourself, stroll down the beach with your sweetie on a romantic getaway to Clearwater, FL, or simply soak up the sun, then a trip to the beach should definitely be added to your vacation itinerary!
Museum of Science and Industry
Kids of all ages will love a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry
Combine learning and fun at the Museum of Science and Industry, and let your imagination run wild! Kids, including kids at heart, will love this marvelous museum, as it boasts over 100 hands-on exhibits, and plenty of opportunities to make memories and have a blast. Some of the top attractions at the Museum of Science and Industry include the following:
- The Saunders Planetarium
- Dinovations Lab
- Mission: Moonbase
- Idea Zone
- Sky Trail Ropes Course
- Virtual Reality Simulator
- And MORE!
The Museum of Science and Industry is located in neighboring Tampa, FL, which is about 30 miles away, but it is definitely worth the trek. This amazing scientific playground is sure to provide hours of fun for all ages and interests in your group!
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Pictured above is Nicholas, a happy dolphin who calls the Clearwater Marine Aquarium home! Image from Wikimedia
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a local landmark, and offers so much more than your average aquarium experience. This non-profit organization is also a working animal hospital, and combines fun and education by offering presentations and tours that discuss animal conservation, rescue, rehabilitation, and release. There are tons of amazing animals that call this aquarium home, as well, including the following:
- Sea Turtles
- And MORE!
Not only is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium one of the top things to do in Clearwater, FL, but it’s also home to a few Hollywood stars! Winter, and her best friend, Hope, are both dolphin celebrities from the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2 starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Morgan Freeman. When visiting Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure, you’ll feel as if you’re in the movie, too, with recreated movie scenes, exhibits, and more!
Both films tell a story of survival, and follow Winter’s healing journey after being caught in a crab trap line, and losing her tail at just two months old. Winter is now thriving, and can be seen anytime through the aquarium’s Winter & Friends Cam swimming and playing with her prosthetic tail. One of the most unique things to do in Clearwater, FL, a trip to this awesome aquarium is sure to entertain, educate, and inspire.
Pictured above is a Clearwater pirate cruise sailing off into the sunset
Calling all hearties, buccaneers, scallywags, and those searching for the most fun and unique things to do in Clearwater, FL! Clearwater pirate cruises are sure to make for a swashbuckling adventure, and are entertaining for children and adults alike. Little ones especially love searching for treasure and Peg Leg Pete, while adults enjoy the delicious beverages available onboard, as well as the stunning scenic views! Other activities you may experience on the ship include the following:
- Wildlife sightings
- Cannon firings
- Face painting
- Pirate stories and shenanigans
- And MORE!
As you sail through the wonderful waters of Clearwater Beach, with the Jolly Roger flying high overhead, be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins and other marvelous marine life, as well. From sea turtles to sea birds, you never know what you’ll see on a Clearwater pirate cruise. With that being said, don’t forget to bring a camera, and be sure to snag a selfie with your favorite pirate crew!
Colorful dolphins found along Clearwater’s Dolphin Trail. Image courtesy of https://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/
One of the most unique things to do in Clearwater, FL, and the surrounding areas, is to check out the beloved Dolphin Trail! The Dolphin Trail is a public art project that consists of over 100 6-foot-tall fiberglass dolphins that are scattered throughout the city. Each one is designed by a local artist, and every dolphin is different. If you don’t have time to check out the whole pod, be sure to at least check out one, or all, of the following:
Breathtaking view of the area’s beautiful beaches from a Clearwater, FL, helicopter tour
When it comes to unique things to do in Clearwater, FL, it doesn’t get better than a high-flying helicopter tour! Helicopter tours are a great way to enjoy spectacular views that can only be seen by air or by boat, and allow you to experience this charming coastal city in a whole new way. Just be sure to bring your camera, and keep an eye out for these amazing sights:
- Snell Island
- Sunshine Skyway
- Clearwater Beach
- And MORE!
Caladesi Island State Park
Stunning view of the remote Caladesi Island State Park. Image from Flickr
A day trip to Caladesi Island State Park is one of the most unique things to do in Clearwater, FL, and is something you don’t want to miss! Caladesi Island is one of Florida’s few remaining undeveloped barrier islands, and is located just off the scenic shores of Clearwater Beach. The beaches here are breathtaking, and have been voted one of the best beaches in the U.S. Some of the top things to do on this beautiful island include the following:
- And MORE!
Caladesi Island is more than just a pretty beach, too. Paddling through the magical mangrove forest will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to a natural and whimsical wonderland. The island also has a 2.5-mile-long nature trail that winds through slash-pine forests and other ecosystems, which is perfect for checking out the local flora and fauna. However you spend your time on this incredible island, you’re in for a treat! Please be aware that Caladesi Island is accessible by boat or ferry, and it takes about 15 minutes or so to get there from Clearwater Beach, depending on your location.
As you can see, Clearwater is so much more than your average beach town! And while visiting the beach is definitely a must during your trip, there are plenty of unique things to do in Clearwater, FL, for when you’re ready for something different. From letting your imagination run wild at the magical Museum of Science and Industry, to searching for treasure on an unforgettable pirate cruise, there are a plethora of ways to have fun in this charming coastal city. Please visit TripShock’s Clearwater Visitors Guide for more information on this area, including the best rates on the top tours, attractions, and things to do!
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