A girls’ getaway in Clearwater Beach balances beach time with deserted-island explorations, mural walking tours, and four-star cooking demos together.

It’s an all-too-rare treat to be able to find time for a girls’ getaway, so naturally you want to make the most of it. And that often starts, first and foremost, with a beach. Clearwater Beach’s sugar-white sands were rated the best beach in Florida by USA Today, so consider that box checked. Next comes the resort. With Opal Collection, you have two options in Clearwater Beach: the four-diamond, LEED-certified Sandpearl Resort or the chic, brand-new Opal Sands Resort on its perch on the Clearwater Beach promenade. Finally, it’s what to do in the area to turn this girls’ getaway into one you’ll all remember forever. We’ve got your full guide.

Where to Stay

Both Opal Sands Resort and Sandpearl Resort are located right on the beach and also easy walking distance from Clearwater Beach’s many shops and restaurants. Opal Sands opened in 2016 with 230 oceanfront rooms, and all Premium Queen rooms would work for a girls’ weekend together. But the two-bedroom Opal Suite with room for six would be a great option – complete with a large balcony from which you and your crew can catch both sunrise and sunset from the private Jacuzzi. At the Sandpearl, Clearwater’s four-star, full-service resort, the two-bedroom suites come equipped with their own full kitchens and laundry facilities for up to six. Rent a private pool cabana that overlooks the gulf, laugh the night away at the resort’s beach fire pit, and be treated to four-star dining for every meal that you don’t want to cook yourselves.

A Ferry Out to Paradise

If you need a little island adventure to kick off your girls’ getaway, look no further. Egmont Key is a pristine banana-shaped island off the coast of the St. Pete/Clearwater area, where you’ll find wildlife, stretches of unoccupied white sand beaches, and plenty of island to explore, including brick walkways throughout the interior and a working lighthouse. The entire island is a state park, with a large swath reserved as a wildlife refuge, so there’s a good chance you’ll get a glimpse of nesting birds or even nesting turtles while on island. Hop aboard the Egmont Key Ferry that departs from Hubbard’s Marina, a family-run business four generations deep. On the 25-minute ride out to the island, watch for dolphins, sea turtles, and manatee. There’s also an opportunity to snorkel the ruins of Fort Dade for an hour or so from the boat.

Chef’s Cooking Demo at Sandpearl’s Caretta Restaurant

What’s a girls’ getaway without a little foodie indulgence? Even better, learn some tips and tricks from a master to take home. The Sandpearl’s culinary experience starts with a tour of Caretta, the resort’s renowned restaurant, followed by a cooking demonstration by the chef. You’ll feast on a full tasting menu of organic food and wine, expertly paired and served course by course as you watch the chef work his magic.

A Zip Above

Sometimes the moments that will leave you and your girls laughing so hard you’re in tears can’t be created, but there are others that can be helped along by pushing your squad beyond the comfort zones of workaday life. That, and a helmet and a harness, can go a long way to looking and feeling ridiculous – and loving every minute of it. Imagine yourself perched atop a 50-foot wooden platform, attached to a heavy-duty cable that stretches 400 feet out in front of you over the treetops of the Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve. A little daytime zip therapy not quite adventurous for you? Book the Moonlight Zip Tour to really ratchet up the thrill factor.

Eco Tours by Kayak

Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to beautiful and pristine estuary ecosystems just waiting to be explored, so naturally, of all of Clearwater Beach’s outdoor activities, getting out on the crystal-clear green-blue waters should be at the top of any visitor’s list. From dolphins and seabirds to other marine sea life, a four-hour kayaking excursion through the Pinellas County estuary environment will showcase the area’s wildlife in their unique habitat. An expert guide will navigate you and your girlfriends through the waters, stopping every so often for a snack, a sip of water, or just to take in all of nature’s beauty.

A Sunset Celebration Every Day of the Week

Anywhere on Florida’s Gulf Coast, you can probably get a peek at a glorious sunset. But for those craving a more noteworthy sunset experience, we’d recommend Sunsets at Pier 60. Just a short walk down the beach from Opal Sands Resort, Pier 60 hosts a nightly four-hour sunset celebration, complete with artisans, crafters, and street performers. Now in its 21st year, Sunsets at Pier 60 is a chance to be delighted and awed by live entertainment and Mother Nature simultaneously.

Walking Tour of the Murals

St. Petersburg’s arts and culture scene is a diverse, thriving oasis on Florida’s Gulf Coast. But rather than spending your days cooped up in a museum, why not take in some of St. Pete’s most vibrant and large-scale artwork on a walking tour of the city’s more than 70 urban murals? Stick with a guided tour if you’re in the Sunshine City on a Saturday, or wander your own way through the colorful streets of St. Pete’s on your own. This ever-growing list of the urban murals will take you to street work in all sizes, shapes, and styles throughout downtown St. Petersburg.

A Solid Dose of Spa Pampering

Declared one of the top spas in North America by Condé Nast Traveler, the 12,000-square-foot Clearwater Spa at the Sandpearl is a soothing beach-inspired escape made for you, your best friends, and all the most relaxing spa services you can imagine. Just be sure to take a little extra time ahead of your appointment to look over the extensive spa menu – with this many luxurious services and treatments, it’s going to be tough to choose where to start.

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