Where to stay in Clearwater Beach, FL

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Clearwater Beach knows all about delivering a proper beach getaway. There are the beachside restaurants, the family-friendly boardwalk and the sunset celebration that makes every evening a party. A stone’s throw away, calm stretches of sugar-white shoreline where you’ll encounter more seabirds than people appeal. Whichever vibe you prefer, our ultimate guide on where to stay in Clearwater Beach takes you right there.

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Best location in Clearwater Beach

A barrier island, Clearwater Beach boasts 2.5 miles (4 km) of sugar-white beaches framed by crystal-clear Gulf of Mexico water. Wherever you base yourself, that dreamy beach will be near.

The key decision? South or north.

For the quintessential Clearwater Beach experience, we recommend staying in South Clearwater Beach, where you find most things to do, orbiting around the landmark Pier 60.

We love North Clearwater Beach as well. But keep in mind that it’s much quieter up north, some 30 minutes’ walk from the island’s buzzing epicenter.

Continue to find our favorite hotels in South Clearwater Beach and North Clearwater Beach, as well as a few extra options a bridge away.

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South Clearwater Beach

South Clearwater Beach is Clearwater Beach’s focal point, with a majority of the island’s restaurants, stores, attractions and hotels. Here, you have your entire vacation within steps.

In particular, much of what’s going on in Clearwater Beach is centered around Pier 60, gorgeously extending 1080 feet (329 m) into the Gulf of Mexico. Sunsets at Pier 60 is a nightly tradition with vendors and musicians making the already beautiful sunsets even better.

If you want Clearwater Beach’s lively atmosphere on your doorstep, then you have found your area.

Pick South Clearwater Beach for: The epicenter.

Best South Clearwater Beach hotels

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa

Hyatt Regency offers a spectacular Gulf view from its beautiful location just south of Pier 60. The hotel sits in a prime location for enjoying all that Clearwater Beach has to offer, including dining and shopping.

Sandpearl Resort at Clearwater Beach

This resort sits north of Pier 60 and is a piece of paradise with its beachfront location. And with a spectacular Gulf view and convenient location close to everything there’s to do, Sandpearl Resort is one of the best places to stay in Clearwater Beach.

White Clearwater dunes, the crashing Gulf of Mexico and Pier 60 — where you find some of the most popular Clearwater Beach hotels
Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

North Clearwater Beach

The further north you go, the more the distance between restaurants, attractions and hotels thin out. Staying in North Clearwater Beach is a quiet alternative to the busy southern area.

Without question, the beach in North Clearwater Beach is as beautiful as down south. The main differences are that you share it with fewer people and are further from the famous action around Pier 60.

So North Clearwater Beach makes an excellent base if you’re looking for serenity and don’t mind being slightly away from all the things to do at Pier 60.

Pick North Clearwater Beach for: Quietness.

Best North Clearwater Beach hotels

Hotel Cabana

Can you hear that? No, of course you can’t: North Clearwater Beach is quiet and secluded. A Key West inspired gem, Hotel Cabana makes the most of this off-the-beaten-path location.

Sun and chairs at Clearwater Beach North — a peaceful place to stay at Clearwater Beach
Relaxing Clearwater Beach, FL.

Sand Key

How about an option to the traditional Clearwater Beach stay? You can go between South Clearwater Beach and Sand Key, across Sand Key Bridge, in minutes.

The highlight here is Sand Key Park, a 95-acre oasis of white beach and park with nature trails.

Above all, Sand Key is a stunning location for tranquil beach days. However, a few beachfront restaurants allure too, so you don’t necessarily need to hop over to Clearwater Beach to refuel.

Pick Sand Key Park for: Seclusion.

Best Sand Key hotels

Sheraton Sand Key Resort

Sheraton’s Sand Key Resort is with its ultimate beach access a great place to stay at Sand Key Park. The peaceful location makes it a perfect place to stay for families and couples who look for a quiet getaway. At Sheraton’s Sand Key Resort, you stay off the beaten path but still near everything that Clearwater Beach has to offer.

Egret enjoying Clearwater Beach, Florida
A peaceful Clearwater stay, FL.

Downtown Clearwater, FL

The hotels in Clearwater Beach are popular, which drives the hotel rates up. A budget-friendly alternative is to look across the mainland bridge.

Hotels in Downtown Clearwater are generally cheaper but, of course, lack that beachy atmosphere.

On the other hand, it’s only a 15-minute drive from Downtown Clearwater to Clearwater Beach.

Pick Downtown Clearwater for: Clearwater on a budget.

Clearwater Beach life-guard station, a short drive from accommodations in Downtown Clearwater
Clearwater Beach is just a short drive away from the downtown area.

Where to stay in Clearwater Beach FAQ

Which part of Clearwater Beach is the best?

Each part of Clearwater Beach has its own charm. In South Clearwater Beach, you find more liveliness and things to do, compared to the quieter North Clearwater Beach.

What is the least crowded part of Clearwater Beach?

Much of the activity in Clearwater Beach is centered around Pier 60 in South Clearwater Beach. The further north on the island you go, the more the crowds tend to thin out.

Where is the best place to stay in Clearwater Beach for families?

Clearwater Beach is in general a very family-friendly destination with things to do for all ages. For families looking for a quiet escape, North Clearwater Beach and Sand Key Park are excellent options.

How far is Clearwater Beach from Tampa?

From Tampa to Clearwater Beach, it’s 25 miles (40 km) and about 30 minutes by car.

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