Family friendly fun in Clearwater Beach

Sep 23, 2011 at 8:45 p.m. ET

Exploring the Gulf Coast with kids? Head to these family-friendly, educational beach attractions and play where the locals play!

Sunset Pier

1Sunsets at Pier 60

Seven days a week, families gather in the beautiful Florida weather for spectacular sunsets at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. Buskers, crafters and local bands entertain the crowd as the sunset lights the sky up in vivid colors. Watch as the sun sinks to try and catch the mysterious green flash of light that locals swear you can see if you look hard enough. Kids and teens will love the festive atmosphere and fun activities like giant trampolines and arcade games.

Address: 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, Florida 33767

Phone: 727.449.1036



2Clearwater Marine Aquarium

At Clearwater Marine Aquarium, visitors get up close and personal with famous dolphin Winter, who received a prosthetic tail and inspired the hit film, Dolphin Tale. Kids can visit with dolphins, turtles, otters, sharks, stingrays and other ocean creatures in this active aquarium. The Aquarium makes a great afternoon activity for kids who love science and animals. Before you visit, let your kids check out the website and explore the Safe Harbor Surgical Suite, where marine animals are treated in a working animal hospital.

Address: 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, Florida 33767

Phone: 727.441.1790



3Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise

For over 32 years, Captain Memo's original pirate cruise has set sail into the peaceful waters of Clearwater Beach. These family friendly cruises are offered daily and in the evenings for spectacularly views of the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico. Captain Memo's costumed pirate crew entertains the kids on board and sells drinks for the grownups. It's campy fun, but absolutely priceless if your kids are into pirates and sailing. Book your cruise online in advance for discount prices on the tickets.

Address:  Clearwater Marina, Clearwater Beach, Florida 33767

Phone: 727.446.2587



4Honeymoon Island State Park

Get away from the bustle of waterfront hotels and visit a slice of true old Florida at Honeymoon Island. This adventurous destination features undeveloped beaches, mangrove swamps and dense pine forests full of active wildlife. Whether you're interested in sitting in the sand and relaxing or fishing for wild snook on the flats, this is the perfect tropical destination. Best of all, it's easy on the wallet. Contact the park to schedule a ranger-led trail walk or shelling walk for an insider's look at the island.

Address: #1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin, Florida 34698

Phone: 727.469.5942



5Rita's Italian Ice

After a long day in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, take your family to Rita's Italian Ice. This popular chain stands out by offering Italian Ice made fresh every day at every store. Rita's is popular with families with food allergies. When ordering, let the clerk know about any food allergies, and they'll take extra care to offer your kids safe options. Don't miss the delicious Misto shakes made of blended Italian Ice and Custard! Pick up your treats and eat outside on the shaded deck.

Address: Court Street, 1010 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727.446.3023



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