Best Time to Go
This depends on whether you want to get a bargain or keep cool. Summer is the best time for inexpensive beach vacations. The humidity is high in the summer, making it seem even hotter than it actually is. The heat should be no problem, though, if spending time in the ocean or staying close to air-conditioning. The best weather is the January through March period and September through November. It is also the most crowded time to visit.
Generally, the winters in Clearwater, Florida are dry and the summers are wet. There is plenty of sunshine all year long. During the summer, the rains don't usually last long. Every once in awhile it will rain all day, but not very often.
The average low in January through March is 50 degrees, while the high averages 76. It starts warming up April through June when the low averages 62 degrees and the high averages 90. July through September is the hottest period, when the averages are 73 for the low and 90s for the high.
Temperatures come down in October through December when the average low drops to 51 degrees and the high is a comfortable 84. The gulf water temperature is in the 80s most of the year, dropping to 60s-70s in January through March. This is higher than normal for most of other central Florida, because the water keeps the temperature swings at bay.
Driving is the main mode of transportation because public transit is scant in Florida.
There are plenty of places to rent a car, including the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport. It's easy to rent a taxi or limo. Your hotel can help you get a car or taxi. Clearwater has a Greyhound station for those who prefer to arrive by bus.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides bus service throughout the county and to Tampa, but stops can be a bit difficult to figure out. The Clearwater terminal is at Park Street and Gordon Avenue.
Within Clearwater you can hop on The Jolley Trolley for a nominal fee. It serves downtown Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, and Memorial Causeway. If you are driving, most metered parking on the street or in a lot is 75 cents to $1 per hour. Beach meters are enforced every day with varying hours. Read the meters for the hours of enforcement. An expired meter fine is $15.
Overnight parking is allowed at the Clearwater Municipal Marina, 25 Causeway Boulevard.
November through April is the peak tourist season. The humidity is low and temperatures are comfortable, but finding an available hotel room in a convenient location can be more challenging than at other times of the year. This may be a great reason to buy a home or condo in Clearwater -- especially if you want to visit frequently.
Clearwater is known for its value, so even during the in-season prices don't rise as dramatically as they may in other areas. For instance, lodging that cost $69 during the low season may increase to $119 during the high season. A hotel that charges $99 a night during the slow season may see a rate increase to $129 during the peak tourist season. Even during the high season, you can still get comfortable lodging under $100 a night.
Other costs, including restaurants and attractions, remain relatively steady throughout the year. Book your lodging early during the in-season because the hotels fill up very quickly.
Two popular areas to explore from Clearwater are the artsy resort community of Sarasota and the theme parks in and around Orlando. Sarasota is 65 miles from Clearwater and Orlando is 106 miles away.