“America’s Best Beach” gets all the attention and for good reason. But being on the water in Clearwater – not just beside it – is an attraction in itself with so many diverse takes. Here’s a few of our favorite, from a private floating tiki bar for you and five of your friends to a steel schooner with a sailing course that is never the same.
Dinner & Dancing on the Open Ocean
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending the first 30 minutes of your three-hour StartLite Majesty Evening Dining Yacht tour gawking at the 115-foot vessel’s stunning interior design, featuring sumptuous carpets, brass details, and mirrored ceilings. But, thanks to the boat’s large picture windows, once the sun starts to dip below the horizon, your eyes won’t want to wander anywhere else beyond those picture-perfect evening views of Clearwater Bay and the Gulf. Tours depart from Clearwater Beach Marina and feature optional dining service with a full restaurant-style menu prepared freshly onboard, while entertainment comes in the form of live music and a sanctioned dance floor.
A Frenzy of Fun All in One
Departing from Anclote Harbors Marina in Tarpon Springs (just 18 miles north of Clearwater Beach’s popular Pier 60), Dream Catcher Explorations six-person private tours is like a greatest hits album to the best of the area’s on-the-water activities. It starts with dolphin watching in the intercoastal waterway (Atlantic Bottlenose is most common here), followed by tubing in Saint Joseph Sound, before dropping anchor near a small island three miles off the coast known as Three-Rooker Bar. Here, you can shell on the sandy semicircular beach; snorkel in the shallow waters packed with spider crabs, schools of minnows, and maybe even some stingray; or simply lazily lounge out.
Your Own Floating Tiki Bar
While there’s nothing like pulling up a seat beneath the thatched roof of a tiki bar, the experience reaches a whole new level with Cruisin‘ Tikis Clearwater. Not only do you get your own private 15-foot tiki bar for yourself and five other friends, but this bar doubles as a boat – meaning it departs from the Clearwater Beach Marina and putters around the Gulf at a max speed of five miles an hour for a unique perspective of Clearwater Beach. To really make the 90 to 120-minute tours all yours, bring your own playlist to connect to the bluetooth speaker and favorite food and drink (the outfitter provides plenty of ice, coolers, and cups).
The Total Fishing Package
No matter your angling experience, desire for inshore or deep-sea fishing, or the type of seasonal species you’re looking to target, you’re bound to find it with captains John and Mark of Caladesi Fishing Charters. Not only do they offer a variety of day trips, two-day overnight trips, and custom packages that head as far as 10 to 100 miles off the coast of Clearwater, but they maximize your fishing time, thanks to their 35-foot SeaHunter outfitted with top-of-the-line electronics that get you to the fish fast. All licenses, tackle, bait, ice, even the cleaning and bagging of your catch is provided, so all you have to do is show up and get ready to cast.
No Two Sails Are Ever Alike
While she resembles the look of a classic old school vessel, the 52-foot Schooner Clearwater is a much more modern incarnation than most realize. That’s because she’s built of steel and what’s known as a “staysail schooner,” which is an easier rig to operate, especially when handled by a small crew. And you can experience this locally constructed modern marvel in your choice of a two-hour sail cruise, sunset cruise, or private cruise. As for where you’ll go? While you’ll depart from and return to Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina, Schooner Clearwater sets no specific course when she takes to the Gulf – she simply sails with that day’s wind and tides, making every cruise unique in its own way.