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Best place to stay in Clearwater

London, United...
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Best place to stay in Clearwater

Hi All,

I have never been to America but my partner and I are looking to go in March/April of next year. We want to do a day or two at the parks in Orlando and are happy to drive there but want our holiday to be more about the beach than the parks. Clearwater was recommended to us but having never been there we are unsure where is the best area to stay and also if we would be better off in a hotel or a rented house/apartment. Can anyone give us some advice?

Thank you

Hayley

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
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46,294 posts
22 reviews
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1. Re: Best place to stay in Clearwater

First of all, wrong forum. you want the Clearwater Beach forum where Mark B will help.

second, what do you want from the beach? A big built up city beach (ie Clearwater) where you can walk to all? Or a low rise low key more natural one? Florida has the right beach to fit pretty much all things. Make sure you pick the right one for you.

I would however suggest you do NOT commute to Disney from t he beach. Any park days you should stay int he orlando area. Because to get the most from an expensive theme park ticket, you need to get there as soon as they open to ride rides w/o lines (or very short ones). There are also late night things like fireworks you would miss out on if you leave early. And driving 2 hours in the am, driving 2 back will mean very long tiring days.

So split your trip and stay in the orlando area for your parks days, and on your chosen beach the others.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Best place to stay in Clearwater

Amanx is right about staying at the beach as a base. If you want to see Disney, spend a couple of days at a hotel near or at Disney and the rest of your time at the beach. An alternative would be to stay at the beach and visit Bush Gardens theme park in Tampa.

The Gulf coast is beautiful with lovely, soft, white sand beaches, and beautiful sunsets. Clearwater Beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beach if you want great restaurants/bars right on the beach and lots to do to keep you occupied - it was voted best Florida beach town for 2013. If you want a very quiet beach, then check out the beach towns between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach, or Anna Maria Island. Clearwater Beach is also a great location for taking day trips. There are many fun places to visit like the Greek Village and sponge docks of Tarpon Sorings, the fishing Village of Johns Pass, and Bush Gardens in Tampa.

There are a number of options for in Clearwater Beach for accommodations. If you are interested in staying in a condo, there are some that allow short term rentals. Look on VRBO, vacationrentals.com and Flip Key to rent directly from an owner. Most of the condos for March will already be booked, but you might still be able to find a condo in April. March is the busiest month of the year with snowbirds and the spring break crowd and most condos book up a year in advance.

Another option would be a suite hotel - they would have kitchens and often a private bedroom. The Sandpearl and the Hyatt are both upscale hotels. The Sandpearl is located on the quieter north end of Clearwater directly on the beach. The Hyatt is an all suite hotel with full kitchens located by the Pier and across the street from the beach. Both of these hotels have some privately owned suites directly for rent by owners on VRBO and Flip Key for considerably less than the price the hotels charge. Some of their units have wonderful views and balconies.

Coconut Cove Resort is located on the busy south end of the beach and about 2 to 3 blocks walk from the public beach. It has a lovely pool. The Pelican Pointe resort is located across the street from the beach and some of their suites have great views of the Gulf and sunsets. These are moderately priced suite hotels that have some privately owned suites available for rent on the websites.

The Eastshore Resort is an all suite hotel that gets rave reviews from one of our regular contributors. It is an older hotel that is kept in immaculate shape. It offers perks such as free laundry, and some of its units have private patios. It is located on the intracoastal about 2 blocks from the beach and has a private fishing pier. It will likely be booked for March, but might still have something for April.

There are also regular hotel rooms. High end hotels include the Hyatt and Sandpearl. They are both newer hotels and both are lovely. The Hilton is right on the beach and right beside the pier. It is older than the Hyatt and Sandpearl, but the price is cheaper.

For moderately priced hotels look at the new Pierhouse 60. It is about two blocks from the beach and right by the Pier. The Holiday Inn would also be moderately priced. It is located right on the ocean, but there is a seawall in front, and not a beach. The actual beach is about two blocks away.

For budget hotels, my favorite would be the Palm Pavilion. It is on the quiet north and right on the beach. It is an older hotel, but it is kept very clean, and upgraded. They offer free parking and internet. The only disadvantage is that the rooms are small and they do not have an elevator. They had a beachfront restaurant and are across the parking lot from Frenchy's, but other restaurants would be a few blocks away.

If you want a budget hotel right in the heart of Clearwater Beach look at the Magnusson Hotel and the Travelodge. Both are kept nice and clean.

I hope this list helps you find the perfect accommodations for your needs. Many of the condos and hotels will have a minimum stay requirement for March and April. If you have any additional questions, post on the Clearwater forum, and we'll happy to answer them.

Portskewett, United...
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3. Re: Best place to stay in Clearwater

Hi Hayley,

We did something similar to you last year but as has already been suggested stay in Orlando to do the parks first.

We had no problems booking although we went the end of April into May which was a fantastic time to go as it was quieter but the weather was fab - very warm but not humid at all. Having said that we wanted 2 full weeks on the Gulf so was able to get a condo in Sand Key (just over the bridge to Clearwater) for 14 nights but anything less will be difficult there as there are local regulations about the length of lets. If I recall Villas of Clearwater and Surfside do weekly bookings but apart from that if you want to stay in or around Clearwater for less than 2 weeks the only other option is a hotel.

We stayed in Orlando for 3 nights first (to go shopping!!) then it was a very easy drive over to Clearwater which proved to be a great base to explore.. If you have a look at previous posts for Clearwater both Mark B and Lifesabeach have done numerous posts for others about what is about to do. My personal favourite was the Clearwater Beach Aquarium and seeing all the work that goes into rescuing sea creatures.

London, United...
3 posts
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4. Re: Best place to stay in Clearwater

Wow thank you so much everyone for all of the information. This has been so helpful. I will repost my question in the clearwater forum but this is a fantastic start.

I was looking at March/April as Easter falls late in April next year so wanted to avoid all the holiday goers that are heading away for easter but maybe we will re-evaluate. May sounds like a good option also.

Thanks so much.

5. Re: Best place to stay in Clearwater

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