Miles of white-sand beaches are your main reason for a visit to Clearwater, Florida, and they certainly won’t disappoint you. Many of the local beaches have been recognized for their beauty, health, sand and water quality, safety and variety of recreational offerings. Clearwater’s great outdoors also offer lots in the way of nature attractions and outdoor recreation.

Clearwater’s close location to St. Petersburg often has it paired with the city for a combination city-beach visit. See Travel Tribe’s St. Petersburg’s page to get more on city and cultural offerings to enjoy while in the area. Clearwater is also a good base for visits to Tampa, Sarasota and Orlando.

The area offers more than 28 miles of white-sand beaches and 345 miles of shoreline around the peninsula that includes the resort communities of Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Redington Beach, Belleair Beach, Madeira Beach, St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island.

Clearwater Beach has consistently been noted as one of the top beaches in the country by readers of USAToday.com, Condé Nast Traveler magazine and Tampa Bay Magazine. A big plus for families is that it has year-round lifeguards. Be sure to be at Pier 60 on the fishing pier at least one day during sunset, when a celebration of dusk includes artists, craftsmen and performers with weekend musical entertainment. Pier 60 is one of many sites for great fishing in the area as well, where you’ll find more than 300 varieties of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay’s estuaries and mangroves.

Other sites to enjoy while in the area include the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It is a hands-on experience at this non-profit facility dedicated to the rescue rehabilitation, and release of injured marine life. Pinewood Cultural Park includes the 21-acre Heritage Village, an open-air living history museum; the Florida Botanical Gardens; and the Gulf Coast Museum of Art.

Clearwater offers a variety of restaurants offering reasonably priced food in nice settings. Visitors, of course, should try to dine at the many restaurants available that offer open-air seating with views of the water. Also, enjoy a dining cruise in the intracoastal and Gulf of Mexico for views that travel with you. Local seafood is a good choice, especially gulf grouper, not readily available in other locales.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) is approximately 30 minutes from the Clearwater area, and has nonstop daily and connecting service to most U.S. destinations. Airlines serving the smaller St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) include Allegiant Air from select U.S. cities.

Rental car is the way to go for getting around, though buses are available throughout Pinellas County via the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). The Suncoast Beach Trolley, a service of the PSTA, runs along the beach communities from Clearwater Beach to Pass-A-Grille. The Jolley Trolley, a San Francisco-style trolley car, travels throughout Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater has an average temperature range of 50.3 to 70.9 degrees in winter and 73.6 to 89.9 degrees in summer. Water temperatures average 63.7 degrees in winter and 84.7 degrees in summer. Winter rainfall is just over two inches, while summer rainfall is just over eight inches on average.