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Clearwater Holidays 2017/2018

Occupying a superb spot on Florida's Tampa Bay, Clearwater is a fantastic destination all year round – benefiting from both the warm Florida sun and the cooling Gulf Coast breezes, its bountiful beaches, lively nightlife and family-friendly attractions make it a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike.

Whether you're dolphin-spotting at the 2.5-mile stretch of Clearwater Beach, enjoying a relaxing stroll in Mocassin Lake Nature Park or working on your handicap at the many 18-hole golf courses, you'll find Clearwater easy to explore and hard to leave.

Take the kids on a pirate-themed cruise around the bay, discover the secret life of sea creatures at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, enjoy dinner and a show at the theatre and indulge in a bit of retail therapy at Westfield Countryside Mall – whatever you're visiting to Florida for, Clearwater knows how to show you a great time.

After dark, there's a great nightlife to get involved with, from bar-hopping on the beachfront to salsa dancing. And if you're interested in exploring further afield, you've got St. Petersburg, Tampa and Palm Harbor all within easy reach – so come and see what the Tampa Bay area has to offer!

Things to do in Clearwater

From family-friendly fun to sports, museums and wildlife, there's something for everybody in Clearwater. You'll almost certainly want to spend some time on Clearwater Beach, located on a barrier island away from the bustle of the main city. As well as its sugar-white sands and sparkling waters, there's a fantastic Marine Aquarium where kids and adults alike can learn about vital rescue efforts to preserve sea turtles and dolphins.

If you're looking to get even closer to marine life, there are plenty of boat tours to choose from. Whether it's a dolphin tour, a dinner cruise or a voyage on an "authentic" pirate ship, there's more than one way to ride the waves in Clearwater!

Whether you're a big fan of surrealism or a complete newcomer to the movement, the Dali Museum promises a mind-bending cultural experience. Celebrating the life and work of the Spanish-born artist and provocateur, the museum houses over 2,000 paintings, drawings and objects created by Salvador Dali, including seven of his 18 masterworks.

Golfing fanatics are well catered-for too, with Clearwater Country Club, Cove Cay Golf Course and Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Course just a few of the many courses packed into the city. Novices and seasoned golfers alike can be sure of a challenge!

Where to eat in Clearwater

As is common in coastal Florida, much of the cuisine in Clearwater revolves around the sea. Many great restaurants can be found conveniently on and around Clearwater Beach Island, which is also a fantastic spot to watch the sun go down after you've had your fill.

Island Way Grill near the aquarium offers delicious local seafood with an Asian twist – from shrimp tempura with wasabi mashed potatoes to Szechuan pepper-crusted tuna, it's a fantastic break from the norm when you need a bit of spice in your life. There's an authentic sushi bar too, and a selection of cold sake (Japanese rice wine) to wash it down with.

Enjoy fancy Italian-influenced fare fresh from the ocean at Sea-Guini, where clam linguine, shellfish stew and grilled swordfish are just a few of the picks on the menu. There's also a pizza menu if you fancy something a bit simpler, and a selection of artisanal cocktails to choose from.

Wildflower Café is a great place to drop in for breakfast, brunch or lunch in the open air, surrounded by fresh flowers. The menu is uncomplicated but seriously tasty – their bacon and egg croissants, Belgian malted waffles and breakfast burritos are sure to set you up for another day in the sun.

Where to shop in Clearwater

If you like to shop 'til you drop while on holiday, Clearwater has some great places where you can do just that. From fashion and jewellery to practical items for your holiday, you'll find plenty of choice when it comes to spending your cash.

The Westfield Countryside Mall has a great mix of chain stores, boutiques and independent shops. Pick up the latest fashions in BCBGMAXAZRIA, a favourite among the Hollywood elite; get a touch of New York style in Coach and sample delightfully decadent hand-made chocolates at Godiva. Meanwhile, kids will love a visit to Bricks & Minifigs, a specialist Lego trader with a huge collection.

Clearwater Mall offers even more shopping options, from a Skechers outlet and a Men's Wearhouse to a variety of electronics, health stores and restaurants – there's even a Golfsmith ready to kit you out for a day on the greens and fairways.

Visit Cleveland Street District for a more relaxed retail experience. This pedestrianized area is jam-packed with quirky boutiques like Joanne's Closet, which sells pre-loved vintage wear, and a variety of art galleries and specialist stores. Naturally, there are also plenty of cafés and eateries on hand to help you recharge your batteries.

Nightlife in Clearwater

Clearwater has a relaxed and easy-going nightlife – and while there aren't too many dance clubs and all-night parties here, St. Petersburg is just a short taxi ride away if that's what you're after. Most night spots in Clearwater are bars, pubs and cocktail lounges – ideal for kicking back and watching that famous Florida sunset.

If you do want a dance, Amorama Latin Nightclub might just hit the spot – with a mix of Latin and Caribbean tunes, it's the place to be for salsa, bachata and cha-cha-cha. Dance classes are held every Thursdays and Friday, so don't be shy if you or your partner don't know the steps!

Grindhaus Brew Lab is a great, quirky spot for craft beer lovers – run by homebrewers Robb and Lisa, it's a brewing shop in the front and a bar in the back, offering beer tastings, brewing classes and regular showings of bad B movies on the big screen.

For a simple night of great drinks and great food, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill comes highly recommended. With barbecue, wings and burgers on the menu and craft ales, wine and cocktails to wash them down with, this chain provides the classic American night out.

If you're planning on visiting Tampa and St. Petersburg while you're in Clearwater, don't miss our great Secret Florida Guides on what to see and do there.

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