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Choose Fun in Clearwater Beach

A one-place-fits-all vacation destination



The setting sun turns white sand gold on Clearwater Beach.

 


Never buy one-size-fits-all clothes – they usually don’t. It is, however, possible to find a one-place-fits-all vacation destination. My pick? Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Define your style and you’ll find your place of enjoyment.
 

 


You go first class, leave planning hassles to others, love great service and don’t mind paying for the extras.
 

Start with sugar-fine white sand, a gentle blue ocean and a balcony overlooking the Gulf. I stayed at the AAA Four-Diamond-rated Sandpearl Resort. I loved my room – but if you want more space, suites with more amenities are available.

From my balcony, I could see dozens of yellow and white beach chairs with umbrellas, perfect for sunning, reading or just watching the waves come in. Cabanas are available around the climate-controlled, year-round swimming pool.

The Spa offers pampering and then some, with a full menu of massage, skin treatments, body treatments, mani-pedis and waxing. If you can’t decide what you want, choose the La Petite package – a tapas-style selection of three treatments.

Several in-house tours are available, from learning about the hotel’s environmentally sensitive LEED certification to a cooking demonstration or tours of the art collection.

Of the several eateries on the property, Caretta’s is the fine dining option – Clearwater Beach’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. I was hooked from the first taste of their king crab and corn chowder; rich and wonderful with big chunks of crab, roasted corn and scallions drowned in decadent, thick soup.

For other excursions, the concierge can arrange anything and everything, on or off-property. Whether it’s making a spa appointment for you, arranging a trip to St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum (take your credit card – the gift shop is amazing) or chartering a deep-sea fishing outing, just ask and you will receive. Even a thoroughly unusual request – a guest wanted a helicopter to fly his party to Sarasota for lunch – was accomplished on short notice.

 

Among many surprises at the Dali Museum is this painting of a nude – which, when viewed from a distance, becomes a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.


 


You love finding vintage places – and saving a buck or two. You loved “Happy Days,” and a burger and chocolate malt sounds gourmet to you.
 

Sure, you can find burgers on Clearwater Beach, but grouper’s the big thing here. You can get it fried, grilled, blackened or broiled, on a sandwich or not, in tacos … you can even order fried grouper cheeks. Who knew that was a thing? Lots of other seafood delights to choose from await, too: For an extra-special treat, stone crab season runs from mid-October to mid-May.

For a throwback accommodation, check out the Blue Wave Motel Suites. It’s just a short walk from Pier 60 and the beach. Built in 1948, the facility has been completely remodeled but retains its Art Deco roots with porthole windows in the doors. Suites accommodate two to seven people, and feature full kitchens. Check out a bike for exploring or join the evening party on the rooftop deck.

Another cool choice is the sunny yellow Barefoot Beach Resort and Marina. The closest I could get to finding out the original date on the facility was, “It’s been here a long, long, long time. It’s real Old Florida.”

Like Blue Wave, you’ll find up-to-date amenities. This pleasant little place has a pool, and is located right on the Bay, just a quick jaunt from the Gulf. And you can rent paddleboards, kayaks and jet skis right here at their marina.

 


You want a place where the kids will have a great time, and one that doesn’t involve long lines and short rides. You’d also like them to give their thumbs a rest and take a break from electronics.
 

The beach is the biggest attraction in Clearwater Beach. The city’s planned for visitors – lots of public beach, convenient restrooms and spots for showering off the sand – just look for the happy turtles.

Don’t worry if you didn’t bring beach toys, as there are plenty of shops where you can rent or buy anything from buckets to bikes. For older children (48 inches and up), Surf Style has a FlowRider indoor wave machine where they can safely learn to surf.

 

Rain or shine, the surf’s always up at Surf Style.


 

A definite “must do” is a visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This facility specializes in marine rescue and rehabilitation and is the home of Winter, the star of the film Dolphin Tale. In case you missed the movie, it’s the story of an injured dolphin and how she was fitted with a prosthetic tail.

In addition to seeing the animal hospital, there are also tanks of small marine animals such as starfish and sea urchins, stingrays and sharks – and, of course, dolphins. The aquarium also offers tours including the Sea Life Safari, with a net pull for an up-close look at some of the bay’s inhabitants, and a stop on a small island covered with seashells.

Many more tour options are available at the marina, with vessels ranging from Little Toot, a replica tugboat, to a pirate ship and a shark boat.

Some accommodations, including the Sandpearl, have extensive planned activities for children. Captain Bligh’s miniature golf offers picturesque holes. Pier 60 is a hub of activity with a bungee jump and a giant inflatable slide. And there’s a covered playground – offering fun and shade.

 


You just get going when the sun goes down. You’re up for live music, great drinks and a good time.
 

True confession: I’m a morning person. But reliable friends who stay up past 10 p.m. tell me that Shephard’s Resort is a real hot spot. Their tiki bar and concert stage overlooks the beach and Gulf. For dancing and great DJs, visit their WAVE Nightclub, and go for Margaritas at SALT – they offer more than 100 different tequilas and a number of craft beers in their open-air bar.

You can’t beat the view from the 10th floor rooftop of Jimmy’s at the Edge Hotel, which features a 24-foot fire pit and 300-square-inch projection TV. Toucan’s Bar and Grill is another spot for a late night adult beverage, and stays open until 3 a.m.

If you’re not a real night owl, you can find live music at Palm Pavilion afternoons and early evening. Caretta’s has easy listening music on weekends from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.  The Watercolour Lounge at the Marriott is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

The biggest bargain on the beach is the Sunset Festival at Pier 60, where all sorts of entertainment can be found two hours before until two hours after sunset, and the day’s last rays always get a round of applause. - Elaine Warner

 

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Calendar

December 2019

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
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Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

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The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
399 N.W. 10th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

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Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

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Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

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Sleigh Bells Market returns to the OKC Farmers Market building, and this year we are taking over BOTH FLOORS - more vendors, more shopping, more fun! The Farmers Market bar will again come up...

Cost: Free

Where:
OKC Farmers Market Venue
311 S Klein Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
View map »


Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405-810-6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

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In Shakespeare’s great drama of loss and reconciliation, a long-deposed ruler uses magical arts to bring within her power the enemies who robbed her of her throne and marooned her on a remote...

Cost: $15.00

Where:
Oklahoma City Community College Visual and Perform
7777 South May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73159
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Eat, drink and give thanks for good friends! Start a new Friendsgiving tradition with us! Let the Melting Pot be your host this Friendsgiving as you relax with your friends and you enjoy a...

Cost: 29.95

Where:
The Melting Pot
4 E Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot
Telephone: 405-235-1000
Contact Name: Donna Jackson
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Join fellow Villagers at an exercise class at the CUBE on Council Road! The CUBE at Council Road and VillagesOKC want to help you grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. *Cost is $5...

Cost: $1

Where:
The Cube at Council Road
7903 NW 30th St.
Bethany , OK
View map »


Sponsor: Villages OKC
Telephone: 405-990-6637
Contact Name: Villages OKC
Website »

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
399 N.W. 10th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Carma Branscum, VillagesOKC member, said, “VillagesOKC is all about keeping our brains strong and our minds sharp.  Pickleball is the perfect combination of  healthy...

Cost: Free

Where:
Yukon Community Center
2200 S. Holly Ave.
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Sponsor: VillagesOKC
Telephone: 405-990-6637
Contact Name: VillagesOKC
Website »

More information

The American Spirit Dance Company, under the direction of Jo Rowan, presents Home for the Holidays, which has become a yearly tradition for families across the state and beyond, as the vision of...

Cost: 29

Where:
Kirkpatrick Aud.
2501 N. Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73016
View map »


Sponsor: The Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Entertainment
Telephone: 405-208-4955
Contact Name: Danielle Shipley

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
399 N.W. 10th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

The American Spirit Dance Company, under the direction of Jo Rowan, presents Home for the Holidays, which has become a yearly tradition for families across the state and beyond, as the vision of...

Cost: 29

Where:
Kirkpatrick Aud.
2501 N. Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73016
View map »


Sponsor: The Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Entertainment
Telephone: 405-208-4955
Contact Name: Danielle Shipley

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
399 N.W. 10th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

We're poppin' champagne on the patio this Saturday and raffling off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet valued at $300! Come pre-party with us and DJ Catherine Ouellette from 6pm-10pm -...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
1, N Broadway Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

The American Spirit Dance Company, under the direction of Jo Rowan, presents Home for the Holidays, which has become a yearly tradition for families across the state and beyond, as the vision of...

Cost: 29

Where:
Kirkpatrick Aud.
2501 N. Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73016
View map »


Sponsor: The Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Entertainment
Telephone: 405-208-4955
Contact Name: Danielle Shipley

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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