Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Clearwater Beach: Where to Stay, Where to Eat, Where to Go Out


The most popular question that ends up in my Instagram DMs is “what are your Clearwater Beach recommendations for [blank]?” You can swap out “blank” with any of the following: brunch, bar, hotels, dinner, etc. As a Clearwater, Florida local I kind of love it. I always happily answer a quick list of places I can think of. Living 15 minutes away from Clearwater Beach has its perks. I’ve seen restaurants come and go. I’ve spent many’a birthday bar crawling up and down the Clearwater Beach strip. Heck, I’ve even done staycations on Clearwater Beach because I love it there so much.

Today on Keeping Up with Kahla I’m sharing my go-to picks and places when it comes to Travel Advisor’s number one rated beach in the US. I’ll break it down by a few categories: hotels to stay at, the restaurants you can’t miss, and the brunch you’ll need on Sunday after partying too hard on Saturday. Think of it as your selectively loose itinerary for the next time you choose to visit Clearwater Beach. If you visit and see me (which TBH is pretty likely at one of these spots), make sure you say HEY GIRL.

Hotels to Vacation/Staycation At

  • Opal Sands Resort - I wrote all about Ben and I’s staycation at the Opal in this blog post here
  • Wyndham Grand - I haven’t stayed at the Wyndham, but their pool area is GORGEOUS. Ocean Hai is their onsite restaurant and has an incredible menu of food. I’ve written about that restaurant in this blog post here.
  • Shepards - Ben swears we’ve stayed here - but my memory is a little blurry. Must’ve been the amazing rum buckets we had poolside. 
  • Sandpearl - I haven’t personally stayed here, but the resort is just gorgeous. The company I work for has had company meetings here. Ben and I dined at their onsite restaurant, Caretta’s, for Valentine’s Day one year. It was truly the most romantic setting. Anytime I walk into the Sandpearl’s lobby I’m in awe. I’m dying to hang poolside at their resort because there’s an egg chair that I absolutely need to sit in to get a pic for the ‘gram. 

Brunch/Breakfast

  • Clearsky Beachside Cafe
  • Another Broken Egg Cafe
  • Shepard’s Ocean Flame Sunday Brunch 
  • The Donut Experiment - I tried some of their donuts at Uncorked last year and they were so sweet and tasty. It's still on my to do list to visit The Donut Experiment's actual store.

Lunch/Dinner

  • Frenchy’s (any of the locations on Clearwater Beach really) - Frenchy's is known for their grouper sandwiches so make sure you order one of them (cajun and jerk style are my faves). The beach side Frenchy's usually has the longest wait. Rightfully so because it's literally smack dab on Clearwater Beach. It has the perfect view of the sunset.
  • Badfins 
  • Jimmy Hula’s 
  • Pearly’s Beach Eats
  • Beachcomber - Fancy, fancy and so worth it for an upscale date night or special dinner.
  • Post Corner Pizza
  • Ocean Hai - I wrote a review of Ocean Hai in this blog post here.

Bars/Nightlife

  • Tropix - You HAVE to try their rum runners. You're welcome.
  • The Brown Boxer (North Beach) - Crowd fave. Everyone knows and loves Brown Boxer around here. They have live music on Thursday night - Saturday night which is always a bonus. 
  • Silverking Tap House - Cheap beers and bar games.
  • Jamminz - Be ready to dance.
  • Toucans - Be ready to dance some more (depending on the time you arrive). Toucan’s is actually a restaurant that converts into a bar at night. 
  • Jimmy's Crow’s Nest - In the mood for a rooftop? This is your spot. A lot of people will gather here to watch the sunset before perusing the Clearwater Beach bar strip.
  • Opal Sand’s Sandbar - Ben and I have ordered drinks here and sat on their lounge chairs that face the beach. It’s incredibly relaxing if you’re looking for a chill night.
  • Shepards - Sunday Funday is popular at Shepard's! They also have The Wave nightclub (fun fact: I had my sweet sixteen there). While the nightclub is fun, I love dancing out on their giant outdoor patio. Sometimes there's a live band, but even if there's not the music is always great. 

Dessert

  • Mint Fox Ice Cream
  • Ciao Ice Cream Bar - YOU GUYS. They have champagne ice cream floats. I repeat: CHAMPAGNE ICE CREAM FLOATS.

Late Night Drunk Pizza (bc it truly deserves its own category)

  • Captain’s Pizza - LOL. Ben and I have lots of interesting stories here, but the most consistent one is that we somehow almost always end up here after a night of drinking.
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