Clearwater, Florida, is a boater’s paradise best known for its stunning white sand beaches and scenic coastal waters. Clearwater is surrounded by various waterways in the Gulf of Mexico, making it an ideal location for boating, fishing, and water sports. We’ve put together a quick guide to water activities in Clearwater, Florida:
- Top boating locations in Clearwater
- Hot snorkeling spots in Clearwater
- Best fishing spots in Clearwater
Top 4 Boating Locations in Clearwater
From the moment you set sail, Clearwater’s emerald green waters, salty air, and warm sunshine will transport you to a world of relaxation and adventure. The waterways in Clearwater are abundant with marine life, allowing boaters to see dolphins, sea turtles, and various fish species.
Between beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and endless possibilities, boating in Clearwater is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with some beautiful Florida nature.
Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina, Clearwater Harbor Marina, and Dunedin Marina offer convenient locations for boaters to access the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Pro Tip: The Intracoastal Waterway is littered with waterfront restaurants. So, if you’re interested in dockside dining, check out our guide to the best Clearwater restaurants on the water!
2. Anclote Key Preserve State Park
Just sail north from Clearwater Beach, and you’ll find a small strip of four scenic islands with one of Florida’s famous lighthouses and beaches perfect for camping, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Since the area is undeveloped, you have a better chance of viewing some wildlife.
3. Clearwater Beach
Obviously, Clearwater Beach is a guaranteed water activity when you visit Clearwater, Florida. For boaters, the beach offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. When you anchor close to shore, you can enjoy the beach, walk across the sand for a bite to eat, and take in one of Florida’s picture-perfect sunset views.
4. Caladesi Island State Park
A few miles north of Clearwater Beach, you’ll find Caladesi Island State Park. Boaters can explore the mangroves, enjoy prime fishing and snorkeling opportunities, or cruise into the Caladesi Island State Park Boat Slips and head ashore for some hiking.
Hot Snorkeling Spots in Clearwater
Snorkeling is an unmatched water activity in Clearwater, Florida. The clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway offer a perfect vantage point to view the diverse marine life thriving in the area.
1. Caladesi Island State Park
Calm waters create a safe environment for underwater exploration. Here, you can find a variety of marine life, including sea stars, manatees, and colorful fish!
2. Honeymoon Island State Park
Honeymoon Island is best known for its pristine, secluded beaches. Just north of Caladesi Island State Park, snorkelers can find calm waters with sea urchins, starfish, and jellyfish.
3. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers snorkelers a unique opportunity to swim with rescued dolphins and sea turtles in a safe, controlled environment.
4. Three Rooker Island
Three Rooker Island is home to some colorful coral reefs, which makes it a perfect snorkeling spot. Around the reefs, you can find schools of fish, sea urchins, starfish, and even a few sting rays and sea turtles if you’re lucky!
5. Anclote Key Preserve State Park
As an undeveloped beach, Anclote Key Preserve is a great spot to view larger marine life (like sting rays, sea turtles, and various fish species). Lush, untouched vegetation turns the underwater world into a truly serene escape.
Best Fishing Spots in Clearwater
Fishing is a fantastic water activity in Clearwater. From the sheltered waters of Clearwater Harbor to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, anglers have access to various fishing opportunities.
- Clearwater Beach – Best known for redfish, trout, and snook!
- Sand Key Park – Offers pier fishing and access to deep water for catching species like grouper, cobia, and kingfish.
- Caladesi Island State Park – Inshore species include redfish, snook, sea trout, flounder, and black drum. When you fish around the island, you might find mackerel, cobia, and tarpon.
- Coachman Park – Features a pier with access to Clearwater Bay, where anglers can catch Spanish mackerel, crevalle jack, and ladyfish!
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park – Offers remote fishing along pristine beaches. You can expect to encounter red drums, tarpon, and sharks.
Water activities in Clearwater, Florida, are unforgettable. There’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re looking to stay active or want to find a pocket of sunshine to unwind in.
Of course, the best way to experience Clearwater is by boat! Get a head start on your next visit to Clearwater, Florida, with a Boatsetter boat rental.
Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat, book a boat, or make money as a captain.