Breakfast at Sandpearl (9am – 10:15am)
Wake up, get your tribe dressed and a large tote bag packed with all the beach necessities. (See our packing list of beach must-haves.) Haul everyone into the car (if you are driving) and head over to the Sandpearl Resort for breakfast. Valet park your car and make sure to get the ticket comped by your server once seated. Grab a table on the patio facing the ocean and feel the warm salty breeze on your face. Ahhhh… The breakfast buffet is free for kids under 12 on weekdays and Saturdays. Yep, free.
Beach Chill (10:30am – 12pm)
After breakfast, head straight to the beach. (As you’ve already got your car parked your only worry is to find the perfect spot.) See those rows of yellow chaise loungers? That is the target. They are usually reserved for hotel guests, but if it’s slower season you may just be in luck. Ask one of the attendants if you can sit at one of the yellow chaise lounges, and mention that you will tip well. If so, they will serve you food and drinks here all day long, including alcohol, which is a HUGE bonus as no alcohol is allowed elsewhere on the beach. You have a 50/50 chance at landing these so ask nicely. It is totally worth it.
If you didn’t manage to land a chaise lounge… that’s also OK. Go and set up camp out at the beach. You can still easily access Tate’s Grill (at the Sandpearl) for a refreshment when needed. (Just be aware that you cannot legally drink alcohol on the beach.)
Lunch (12pm – 1:15pm)
If you happen to luck out in securing a coveted yellow chaise lounge, then by all means stick around for lunch. Tate’s have a totally decent lunch menu comparable to any of the best restaurants on the beach. Enjoy a beachside pick-me-up while the kids continue to play. Don’t forget to order a Miami Vice cocktail. And if you are feeling jiggy, ask for a rum floater.
Alternatively, head over to Frenchy’s Rockaway and have lunch on their open-air beachfront patio. (They are especially known for their tasty super grouper sandwich.) It is an easy walk. And don’t worry about your gear. You can leave your beach set up in place – at your own risk, of course – just don’t leave behind anything valuable. Most people won’t touch blankets, shovels, buckets, those type of things.
Afternoon Beach Chill (1:30pm – 3pm)
Catch-up on a good read, or even a mini-snooze whilst digesting your lunch on the beach. Or get involved with some sand sculpting, the beach is perfect for it. Who knows, you might turn even out to be a real Gaudí of the dunes.
Return to hotel (3:15pm – 4:30pm)
Head back to your hotel, chill and change. Now you have a choice of two fantastic excursions to choose from.
Option 1 – Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise (5pm) 6pm from Sept 11th to October 31st
This cruise is ideal for kids under 12, although it is a blast for pirates of ages. Your kids will love it, and you’ll love the free beer and wine to sail the Seven Seas. WINNING.
Option 2 – Little Toot Dolphin Adventure (5pm) Spring and Summer only
If your kids are a bit older, then we recommend the Little Toot where you are almost guaranteed dolphin encounters. This excursion never disappoints and is SO worth it.
*****Either option is equally good and really depends on family preference.
Dinner at Badfins (7pm)
After your excursion it will be time for dinner, and one of the best casual places to eat on Clearwater Beach (especially on the weekend) is Badfins Food + Brew. It is located within easy walking distance from the marina. They’ve got a tasty seafood and Mexican menu that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds, coupled with an impressive variety of local beers (so you can get in on the buzzy craft brew action).
They also have a comfy outdoor patio featuring electric shades, along with heaters for the rare cold spell (December – January) and provide a great ambience, with some of the best live music in the area.
Return to hotel (8:15pm)
Head back to the hotel as this has been a long day. Put on the world-famous Winter the Dolphin movie and get ready to visit to Clearwater Aquarium and meet Winter in person. Already seen it? Watch it again!