Earlier this summer, the family made a trip down to Clearwater, Florida for one of our summer vacation trips. There is plenty of fun stuff to see and do in Clearwater, and the Tampa Bay area. (Clearwater is just across the bay from Tampa.) The main reason for our trip was one child’s fascination with dolphins and sea creatures, and in particular a dolphin named Winter that she discovered from a book, and later the movie about Winter called Dolphin Tale. (Although anyone with half a brain cell would have called it Dolphin TAIL since it’s about what happens when a certain dolphin loses his tail.)
Our trip was a lot of fun, and we all really enjoyed our summer trip. Along the way, I got tons of ideas for useful travel tips for parents, reviews of Clearwater area attractions and more. Over the next several days, I’ll have posts about numerous attractions, beaches and restaurants in the Clearwater and Tampa area, as well as some useful travel tips for traveling with kids, flying with kids, and staying in hotels with kids.
Clearwater Florida for Families
If you aren’t from the Florida area, chances are that Clearwater doesn’t top the list of your family vacation wishlist. It’s just a bit too far from the major theme parks like Disney World,Â and Universal Studios, it doesn’t have the name recognition of Miami beaches, and it really isn’t known as a resort or Spring Break destination. However, Clearwater and the surrounding area have tons of really great beaches. The best part is that while they can be full, they aren’t overrun, and many have really accessible parking and bathroom facilities which are critical if you are trying to go toÂ the beach with kids.
As an added bonus, hotels in Clearwater aren’t necessarily high-priced affairs, especially if you do some research. If you’re willing to take some unorthodox, or slightly off the path accommodations, your hotel on a Florida vacation can be downright cheap, relatively speaking.
During our vacation, we visited several beaches. Look for a beach review in the next few days as well as reviews of each of these attractions.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Florida Aquarium (Tampa)
- Museum of Science and Industry (Tampa)
- Homosassa Springs State Park (Mantees!)
- Honeymoon Island
- Caladesi Island
Also, I’ll be dumping out all of the best tips for traveling with kids that I’ve picked up over the years, and now updated for travel in Summer 2014 and beyond.