Best Vacation St. Pete Beach vs. Clearwater Beach
You have heard about the phrase “follow the yellow brick road” from the classic movie The Wizard of Oz.
In 1916 Pinellas County, Florida built a red brick road on top of a dusty one-lane road leading to a patch of beach running along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. And follow they did – straight to St. Pete Beach! Millions of tourists travel what is now the six-lane highway we now call Gulf Boulevard.
St. Pete Beach vs. Clearwater Beach Differences
St. Pete Beach and nearby Clearwater Beach compete for the attention of travelers heading to central Florida.
What are the differences between these two great beach towns? St. Pete Beach is in Pinellas County and so is Clearwater Beach – here is one resident’s opinion of the differences between the two.
Clearwater Beach is more compact. Easier for families to get around.
St. Pete Beach is longer and wider in many spots.
Clearwater Beach is white powdery sand while St. Pete Beach has great sand, just a minuscule of better sand at Clearwater Beach.
Clearwater Beach has a huge marina in the middle of the beach and is easier for fishing charters and water sports activities.
In total size, St. Pete Beach is bigger. On the other hand, Clearwater Beach can easily be walked the full 3-mile stretch. St. Pete Beach is spread out a little more and makes for more difficult walking.
If you are flying into Tampa, Clearwater Beach is more accessible. St. Pete Beach is a little further away from Tampa International Airport.
In the final analysis, you are considering two of the top ten beaches in Florida. It is spitting hairs.
St. Pete Beach To Do
Several miles of white St. Pete Beach sandy beaches are loaded with hotels, restaurants, t-shirt retailers and trendy shops. St. Pete Beach is known for its wide variety of family-based water sports.
Few days go by when there aren’t a few people gliding over the waters on a parasail being towed by a boat out of one of the many marinas.
In addition, St. Pete Beach has great charter boat fishing, numerous sailing adventures, jet ski rentals and obligatory eco tours looking primarily for dolphins.
St. Pete Beach Has Plenty of Entertainment
The real draw is the beach. You can walk to dozens of beach bars, restaurants and shops catering to beachgoers. Some of the most famous beach bars offering daily entertainment are along the shore at St. Pete Beach. Some of our favorite stops include:
- Jimmy B’s Beach Bar is located in the Beachcomber Beach Resort Hotel.
- Spinners Restaurant for the best view in 15 miles. Located atop the Grand Plaza Hotel.
- Woody’s Waterfront is a quaint and quirky waterfront bar a mile or so north on Blind Pass.
- Tradewinds Hotel complex has a paved beach walk along the middle part of the beach.
- A local favorite is The Undertow Beach Bar just south of the Tradewinds but before the Don CeSar Hotel. If you like bikinis and beer you will love this place and the mini-river built into the bar.
We can’t forget the “Pink Lady”. In 1928 the grand dame of St. Pete Beach hotels opened with great fanfare under the name of the Don CeSar Hotel. This hotel is a trip back in history when elegance, luxury and location. The hotel was the playground of the rich and famous.
Today the Don CeSar remains a beacon for boaters who can spot her from far offshore and tourists who flock there for rooms and a view unmatched on the beach.
St. Pete Beach vs. Clearwater Beach? Visit Them Both!
St. Pete Beach is popular because of its proximity to Tampa International Airport (30 miles), the superb Florida freeway system, shopping at John’s Pass (5 miles) and nearby Clearwater Beach (20 miles). The average year-round temperature is about 80 degrees which makes this a great destination for tourists and locals.
Don’t miss one of Florida’s most popular beaches, St. Pete Beach! See more at The Beaches of Florida.