Which Beach is Better, St. Pete or Clearwater?

The beaches in Florida are some of the most famous in the United States for a good reason. Two of these lovely beaches sit next to each other, St. Pete and Clearwater Beach. So, which is better? Let’s find out!

We found Clearwater Beach is livelier and has lifeguards and more amenities, making it slightly better than St. Pete Beach. Both beaches have a lot to offer, golden sands, great climate, plenty of outdoor activities, great restaurants, sunny days, and warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

So, what do these two beaches have in common, and which is better? What amenities does Clearwater Beach have? Can you walk on the beach at St Pete’s at night? How crowded are these beaches? We look at both in detail to determine which is better in this article. Read on to find out!

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is known for its soft golden beaches, excellent water sports, and the famous Don CeSar resort. You can find everything you need for a great family holiday at St. Pete Beach, from fine dining restaurants and 5-star hotels to stunning beach resorts and boutique shopping.

St. Pete Beach is an excellent beach with calm water, golden quartz sand filled with seashells, and just the best place to enjoy a sunset. St. Pete beach is famous for many water sports, like windsurfing, kite surfing, parasailing, paddle boarding, and scuba diving.

St. Pete’s world-class aquarium, art museum, lovely green gardens bursting with colorful flowers, and the biggest waterfront playground in the state have something for everyone to enjoy.

St. Pete Beach has been voted the best beach in the U.S by TripAdvisor from millions of reviews from travelers, bypassing other beaches like those in Hawaii to the top spot.

The dog-friendly beach area is located on the Bay side near the end of Pass-a-Grille from 1st and 3rd streets. Here your pets can run on the beach and swim in the ocean.

Golden sand, calm waves, stunning rock jetties, restaurants, cafes, bars, fishing, volleyball, private beach cabanas, St Pete Beach has it all, and the best sunsets.

What To Do at St. Pete Beach?

St. Pete Beach has miles of coastline with plenty of seaside attractions to keep anyone happy. Situated right on Tampa Bay, at St. Pete Pier, you can spend hours at the playground, splash park, hiking trail, an open-air market, Spa Beach, nature discovery center, and numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars.

The John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is a collection of boutique shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants specializing in fresh seafood and fashionable beachwear. Here you can rent jet-ski’s, book a sunset cruise, dolphin watch tours, and a pirate-themed boat cruise, which kids will love.

Take a walk on the long boardwalk with its 50 shops and enjoy a scoop of homemade ice cream or a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on the boardwalk. Paradise Grill is directly on the beach and has the best wraps in town. St. Pete Beach is not as crowded as Clearwater Beach.

St. Pete has a stunning park with a lovely, covered area for BBQs and family picnics. The playground is excellently kept with lots of fun activities for the kids. The dog park at McKenney Park is a great place to take the dogs. You can watch the anglers trying their luck at the dock, the boats sailing by, or just lounge on one of the many park benches and take in the beautiful scenery.

At the historic fishing Merry Pier, you can rent bikes or angling gear from the bait and tackle shop. You can book a fishing charter or island excursion tour or buy fresh seafood at Merry Pier. St. Pete Beach offers a quieter atmosphere while walking distance from all the amenities. 

Popular activities at St. Pete Beach

With so many wonderful activities to enjoy, St. Pete Beach is perfect for a family holiday destination.

St. Pete Beach is ideal for families and offers live music and entertainment for everyone. The comprehensive selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes provides many tasty meals and unforgettable moments.

Visit famous attractions like John’s Pass Village, Boardwalk, or Tropicana Field for a great day out. Discover natural wonders, golden sunsets, and fantastic adventures at St. Pete Beach with its exciting outdoor activities, boutique shopping, fine dining, museums, art galleries, golf courses, and lush parks.

St. Pete Beach is among America’s best beaches, with unparalleled sunset views and golden sands playing host to tourists from far and wide.

Tourists looking for fun activities at St. Pete Beach will find an abundance of attractions, like, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boat charters, dolphin tours, water parks, botanical gardens, theme parks, and helicopter tours.

The natural wonders of St. Pete Beach draw thrill-seekers and persons who want to chill and relax each year to its splendor. There is no end of ways to entertain the family at St. Pete Beach.

  • Best Pro Kiteboarding 
  • Calypso Breeze Tropical Party Cruise 
  • Clear Kayak Tour in Shell Key
  • Corey Avenue Sunday Market
  • Dolphin Tour on a Private Boat
  • Dolphin Racer Cruise by Speedboat
  • Egan Park
  • Floating Water Park 
  • Gulf Beaches Historical Museum
  • Glass Bottom Kayaks Sharkey’s LED Illuminated Night Tour
  • Helicopter Tour – St. Pete Beach, Skyway Bridge, and Fort Desoto
  • Horan Park
  • Mastry’s Brewing Company
  • McKenney Park
  • Merry Pier
  • North Beach Windsurfing
  • Private Boat Rental with Paddleboards   
  • Sunset 6 hours Yacht Cruise over the Gulf of Mexico 
  • Sunset and Skyway Lights Boat Tour 
  • The Toy Barn
  • The Skyway – Electric Bike Tours
  • Two-Hour Dolphin Watch Cruise with Snorkeling to Shell Key 
  • Vincent William Gallery

Popular St. Pete Hotels and Resorts

St. Pete Beach, the United States’ favorite beach, has many hotels to stay in. There are several more choices available than the hotels on this list. However, these are some of our favorite hotels and resorts in St. Pete Beach, where you can have a comfortable and relaxing stay.

You can enjoy easy access to all the best restaurants, boutique shops, and outdoor activities St. Pete Beach features at these hotels while making yourself home in any of these upscale hotels.

  • Bay Palms Waterfront Resort and Hotel
  • Dolphin Beach Resort
  • Postcard Inn on the Beach
  • Sirata Beach Resort
  • RumFish Beach Resort by TradeWinds
  • Alden Suites – A Beachfront Resort
  • St. Pete Beach Suites
  • Bellwether Beach Resort
  • Beach House Suites by the Don Cesar
  • Plaza Beach Hotel – Beachfront Resort
  • Miramar Resort
  • Bayview Plaza Waterfront Resort
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Clearwater Beach

For a lovely beach experience, head over to Clearwater Beach. This excellent beach with miles of undeveloped beachfront is famous for its clear turquoise waters and golden white sand and draws visitors year-round who enjoy its splendor. Clearwater Beach conveniently just steps away from cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Enjoy fun-filled outdoor activities like scuba diving, parasailing, jet-skiing, kayaking, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, cycling, fishing, swimming, and rollerblading at Clearwater Beach.

When someone mentions Clearwater Beach, the song “Walking on Sunshine.” springs to mind. The friendly, vibrant beach town is always busy, with good vibes and fun-filled family activities.
Take a stroll along the beachfront promenade and grab a bite to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants, cafes, and eateries. At sunset, Pier 60 becomes a vibrant festival filled with street performers and craft vendors providing entertainment late into the night.

What To Do at Clearwater Beach?

Clearwater Beach offers plenty of exciting activities and is typically more crowded than St. Pete Beach. Clearwater Beach is the best holiday destination with plenty of family-friendly activities, outdoor water sports, boat rides, great restaurants, cafes, and eateries.

Private cabanas are available on the beach if you prefer. The Hilton hotel is within walking distance of the beach and has shops, restaurants, and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or sip on a tropical cocktail.

While Clearwater Beach is what draws the crowds, there are lots more to do there. Book a dolphin tour, a sightseeing cruise, or visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you can see dolphins, sea turtles, dolphins, and other rescued marine animals.

The kids will love a day on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise, an exciting adventure aboard a replica pirate ship full of adventure. For the older generation, a sunset dinner cruise on one of the beautiful yachts or a Tiki boat cruise is just what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, parasailing, scuba diving, swimming, surfing, biking, hiking, and much more at Clearwater Beach.

Popular Activities at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach has a lot of fun-filled activities on its menu. Clearwater Beach is perfect for a family vacation. Explore Clearwater Beach’s golden beach, a long boardwalk, unique shops, scenic sunset views, adrenaline-filled adventures and thrilling water-sport activities, great restaurants, art galleries, beautiful natural parks, and picnic spots.

Clearwater Beach is one of the best beaches in Florida, with excellent tourist attractions. If you are looking for a great beach holiday destination, the vibrant Clearwater Beach is the best place, with plenty of exciting activities to choose from.

  • Boeing 737 Flight Simulator Experience 
  • Calypso Queen Tropical Party Buffet Cruise
  • City Scavenger Hunt Excursion by 3Quest Challenge
  • Deep Sea Fishing Day Tour in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Dolphin Boat Tour with complimentary Ice Cream 
  • Evening Yacht Cruise with Dining 
  • Happy Hour Dolphin Exploration Tour 
  • Half-Day Private Boating on the Tahoe Fun ship 
  • Half-Day Private Boating on the Buccaneer Fun ship
  • Half-Day Private Boating on the Avalon Fun ship 
  • Helicopter Tour of Clearwater Beaches, Belleair Country Club, and Sand Key
  • Little Toot Dolphin Adventure
  • Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat
  • Scavenger Hunt Experience in Clearwater Beach by Crazy Dash 
  • Schooner – Sunset Sailing Cruise
  • Six-Hour Fishing Charter  
  • Tampa Bay City PASS
  • Tampa Bay Drag Racing Experience
  • Tiki Boat Cruise with open bar
  • The Davinci Exhibit 
  • Two-Hour Guided Segway Tour
  • Two-Hour Sunset Cruise
  • Wine Tasting Experience Tour at Aspirations Winery 

Popular Clearwater Beach Hotels and Resorts 

You know you will get excellent service when you stay at any of Clearwater Beach hotels or resorts. These hotels have the best beach views, incredible comfort, excellent service, large rooms with balconies, great dining, on-site gyms, restaurants, cocktail bars, great swimming pools, and everything else the family needs to enjoy their holiday.

  • Barefoot Bay Resort and Marina Clearwater Beach
  • Cabana Hotel Clearwater Beach  
  • Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key
  • Clarion Inn and Suites Central Clearwater Beach
  • Holiday Inn and Suites Clearwater Beach 
  • Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
  • La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Clearwater Central
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Clearwater Beach 
  • Sheraton Sand Key Resort Clearwater Beach
  • The Beachview Inn Clearwater Beach
  • Woodspring Suites Clearwater Beach
  • Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach


You won’t have a problem finding exciting activities to do in St. Pete Beach or at Clearwater Beach. Both beaches are excellent family holiday destinations with lots of outdoor fun and entertainment for everyone.

St. Pete’s Beach is considered one of the best beaches in America with its lovely warm climate, temps, soft golden sand, spectacular sunset views, excellent seafood restaurants, beachfront bars, and water-sport activities. 

However, we found that Clearwater Beach is slightly better than St. Pete Beach because of its vibrant atmosphere, numerous exciting outdoor activities, and lifeguards on duty seven days a week, from 9:30 to 5 in the afternoon. At the same time, St. Pete Beach has no lifeguards on duty.

If you are looking for a quieter beach holiday, St. Pete Beach is better because it is generally less crowded than Clearwater Beach. We think Clearwater Beach offers a little more than St. Pete Beach.

There is not much difference between St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach when considering outdoor activities. They are both excellent holiday destinations with lots on offer. It depends on what you require from your holiday to determine which is better for you.

We hope you found this article informative and choose one of these two lovely beaches for your next family beach holiday in Florida.