View Full Version : Tell me about Clearwater/St Petes

Debs Hill
10-20-2009, 08:15 AM
Hi guys! We are planning our next trip and are considering some time on the beach after WDW..............so far have only stayed at Vero and would like to venture over to the otherside! Would love to hear from anyone who has been to Clearwater/St Petes area. Where did you stay? What is the beach like? What is there to do? Is there golf(for hubby!!)? and anything that you didn't like?
Thanks so much!

10-20-2009, 08:56 AM

Haven't stayed there for a long time so couldn't recommend anywhere but the beaches are fabulous.
Probably more to do in Clearwater than St.Pete's, the Sunshine Skyway bridge is a must do.

I wouldn't want to stay there for a week personally, but a few days would provide an ideal change from Orlando.

Maybe check on the internet at the tourism websites for both?

Young Pooh
10-20-2009, 09:02 AM
Stayed at both St Petes and Clearwater and preferred Clearwater.

We stayed at the Marriott Suites on Sand Key which is just to the south of Clearwater beach. The beach here is a nature reserve so is very good and has good facilities. There are a few other hotels around here along some shops, a diner type cafe and 2 very nice restaurants. The hotel itself was brilliant, all rooms are suites so you get a seperate lounge area, but it is not too pricey.

I think the Sandpearl resort is supposed to be one of the best (and most expensive) around there and I think they have golf (??).

Debs Hill
10-20-2009, 09:17 AM
Thank you for your responses so far...........out of interest what was it that you enjoyed more about Clearwater then St Petes?

I have seen the Marriott Suites on line and they look nice...how far are they from the beach? Do they provide chairs/umbrellas etc? Is it a quiet resort or busy? Where abouts in Sand Key in relation to the main clearwater beach?

10-20-2009, 09:54 AM
You wanna have some fun? :)

go to here -

In address location or landmark put - 1201 Gulf Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33767 *the address of the Marriott at Sand Key*.

The Sand Key area of Clearwater lies just south of Clearwater Beach, across the bridge over Clearwater Pass

Click on the x, beneath 'modify search' to put the image on a bigger screen.
switch to 'birds eye' view and imagine you are there!

The Marriott doesn't have a really wide beach, but across the other side from Gulf Boulevard you will see a nice white sandy beach.

Young Pooh
10-20-2009, 11:18 AM
Like Johnny said, the Marriott doesn't have it's own stretch of beach as it is across the road from the beach. The front of the hotel looks onto the road - all the rooms are accessed from this side of the hotel via open corridors - of you get a high enough floor you can see across the road, past the hotel opposite and then the sea. The rear of the hotel backs onto the intracoastal waterway (?) so all the balconies look out onto this.

The beach is easily accessed from the hotel. You could walk across the road and access it that way, but the hotel provides a free shuttle which takes you across to the main beach entrance. They also give you beach towels and bottles of chilled water to take with you. They drop you off in the car park for the beach where there are showers, toilets etc and boardwalks onto the sand. There is also a snack bar near here on the beach. You need to hire chairs and umbrellas - just pick one you like and they will come and collect payment.

We preferred this area to St Petes as we felt the beach was much nicer and it is also fairly uncrowded. Not sure what Clearwater Beach itself is like but am guessing it is busier.

The pool bar at the Marriott is also very good - wooden tiki hut type of thing set next to the waterway. They also have an outlet doing Pizaa Hut pizzas amongst other things and a very good restaurant.

10-20-2009, 11:30 AM
I've stayed in Clearwater a couple of times - think we stayed at the Sheraton Sand Key which was right next to the beach. I remember it being really nice! Marriott is also ringing bells but it was a loooong time ago :lmao:

When we first started going to Florida regularly we'd do 5 days at Disney and a week - 10 days relaxing on the Gulf coast.

10-20-2009, 11:44 AM
We went for a day to Clearwater beach in April. It was one of the best days of our 2 week trip. The atmosphere is so different to Orlando - really chilled but vibrant at the same time - you need to experience it really!!

I would agree with some of the others that a couple of days would be enough.. unless i lived there permanently of course:rotfl::rotfl:

There is a fab restaurant - the original Crabby Bills - at Indian Rocks beach - about 15 mins drive south of Clearwater. We had a lovely day on the beach then headed down to Crabby Bills for an early dinner - it was a PERFECT day!


10-20-2009, 02:37 PM
We went 4 years ago for a week and we found that a little too long after being soooo busy in Orlando going to somewhere so quiet was a little to quiet for us!

We did have a lot of yummy food in a nearby Italian place and I would go back just to eat there alone!

10-20-2009, 02:56 PM
We had three weeks in Florida in October 2007, had a week at WDW then a week at St Pete's then another week at WDW.

to be honest I didn't really enjoy it apart from the first day. The hotel was ok but the service wasn't 'USA standard'. The view of the beach was great, we loved seeing the dolphins and the black pelicans. The food was garbage, honestly made WDW look the best food in the world (and we didn't eat at the hotel, I'm talking about the range of restaurants in the area).

Yes the beach was wonderful but it's a long way to go for a Spanish type resort. Seemed more like the Costas than somewhere exotic.

All the time we were there we were wishing we were back at WDW. Now I'm not the theme park type and I'm not the touring type, that's the rest of the family - I'm the sitting on the beach type but I love WDW and really felt let down by the beaches at ST Pete's and definitely didn't like the resort.

10-20-2009, 05:14 PM
We stayed at St petes in July, at the Don Cesar. hotel was 1st class. not a lot happening at St petes, but this was what we wanted , went to Busch Gardens for a day, and visited Tarpon Springs 1 afternoon/evening. other than that we just chilled, and the Beaches are awesome. We are going again next July for a week

10-20-2009, 05:50 PM
We stayed at the Hilton Clearwater 10 years ago, did 2 weeks in Orlando then a week here. For us it was a big mistake. We don't like Beaches or Seafood restaurants and didn't like The Hilton(I believe a lot better now)
We also made the mistake of going by Virgin transfer instead of having a car.
You live and learn, next trip we are considering a trip back to Clearwater but it will either be for the day or overnight max. A week was just far too long for us, too boring after the themeparks but 2 hours by a pool and I am bored.

10-21-2009, 02:41 AM
A week was just far too long for us, too boring after the themeparks but 2 hours by a pool and I am bored.

I know what you mean, but to be honest I would love a few days at the coast somewhere just for a change. Sometimes relaxing for a few days is a real plus especially as a contrast to Orlando. Though we are not necessarily people who like to relax by the pool or beach all day - just think it's nice to see more of Florida.
We have been lucky to travel all over , but haven't done so for quite a few years as it would just unsettle Joshua.

I would love to go back to Naples, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It just wouldn't be fair on the little chap.
I do love Orlando, but as a city I prefer other places.

10-21-2009, 02:44 AM
we did three weeks a few years back spending the first week in st petes and we were glad to get a call from virgin to say they were evacuating us back to orlando as a hurricane was on its way, this was day two. We like caribbean beach holidays where its all inclusive but got very bored in st petes

We have done day trips to clear water and st petes since and find this more than enough for us as we prefer the buzz of orlando

10-21-2009, 05:57 AM
Whenever we are in Florida we head to the Gulf Coast for about 4 days. Just enough to wind down from the bustle of Orlando and enough to build us up again for another 5 or 6 days there before flying home!

For many years now we have always stayed in Teasure Island - just to the north of St Pete's Beach and about 30 minutes south of Clearwater. Compared to these 2 resorts it is very quiet but has a long, wide beach which is never crowded.

Most of the hotels there back onto the Gulf as well as a number of smaller motels which all have access directly onto the beach. A good selection of restaurants also.

We don't spend a great deal of time on the beach but tend to do a bit of driving and TI has good access to many of the bigger places on that stretch of the coast.

Just suggesting it as a possible alternative to Clearwater and St Pete's

Debs Hill
10-21-2009, 06:39 AM
Thank you so much for all your replies, it's so helpful!
It will be myself, hubby and our 9 year old son....so need somewhere where mum can relax on the beach and get some r+r, dad can play some golf and there is something fun for son to do once he tires of the beach!
We thought of Clearwater due to it's proximity to Busch Gardens/Adventure Island and also Sandkey, which I'd heard was a lovely beach.
However, we are more then open to other suggestions (Thanks for Treasure Beach).......what other beach resorts have you guys been to and what were your thoughts? I noticed Naples mentioned!

We have only been to Vero (Disney) and stayed for 5 nights which was just about perfect as a break from Orlando. We hung out at the pool, did the turtle walk on the beach, hubby played some golf and took out a jet ski with son. However, there is nothing much to do in the area to occupy you for more time than that! We've also been to Hilton Head Island (disney) for a week and could have stayed longer!! ha! ha! Would love to go back but the drive from Orlando was a killer!


10-21-2009, 08:22 AM
Hi Debs,

Naples is really really nice, but really really quiet :) Ideal for couples, or very young children but may not be enough for your son to do, other than the beach.
It's a really classy/exclusive place, we have been twice once before Joshua was born and once when he was very young.

The problem you may have overall is many of the places I suggest, are probably not ideal for a 9 year old. I guess ultimatley that's part of the reason we haven't been back - it would feel like taking Joshua away from the fun, and with his autism he hates change also.

I think the concept of a few days is a great idea, but at your son's age it is difficult getting the balance just right. Clearwater/St Pete's may after all be your best bet, Busch Gardens is easily reached, the beaches are good and I know there is other stuff to do also - there is for example a nice Dolphin aquarium at Clearwater.

Sorry if I have moved you away from your original ideas, I have a habit of doing that! ;)

Ware Bears
10-22-2009, 04:23 AM
there is for example a nice Dolphin aquarium at Clearwater.

We spent three nights at St Pete Beach in 2007. It was just the right amount of time. We stayed at the Grand Plaza which was really lovely despite some very poor reviews on Trip Advisor. We went on a yacht trip to watch dolphins, took the tram to Clearwater to visit the Aquarium (there is a dolphin called Winter there who has had a prosthetic tail fitted), went to Fort de Soto park, spent lots of time on the beach, and visited Busch Gardens on our way back to WDW.

I loved it there :cloud9: my town is supposed to have one of the best beaches in England but give me the one at St Pete's any day!