Clearwater Beach, Florida is so popular that you need to book ahead to guarantee the best Clearwater Beach family resort for your needs. Many factors make our pick of the top resorts on Clearwater Beach great for all ages. They are even better suited to families with young children.
In 2023, Clearwater Beach was named Top Beach in the South by USA Today. In 2022, it was on Travel + Leisure’s Florida Best Beaches list. The same year, TripAdvisor named Clearwater Beach to its ’25 Best Beaches in the USA’ list. Obviously, a winner.
And if you’re traveling with someone on the spectrum, swipe down for our review of the Tradewinds in nearby St. Pete Beach.
7 Reasons Clearwater Beach is a Great Family Beach Resort Destination
Why? First, it’s conveniently located halfway between St. Petersburg and Tampa with nearby airports. Next, Clearwater delivers a great family beach experience that is cheaper than Florida’s East Coast beaches. Plus, it’s on the Gulf of Mexico which is calmer, shallower and therefore, safer for swimmers than the Atlantic.
Several other factors make Clearwater Beach family resorts terrific for infants and toddlers. New parents have easy access to truly clear water, soft white sand, lifeguards and restrooms. The Nannies Who Care local childcare agency provides affordable babysitters, although the nightlife is pretty much kid-friendly anyway.
Young families appreciate that hotels come in every price range. Lastly, families with young children can access the $1 Jolly Trolley and cheap Clearwater ferry system ($4 adults, $2 kids) when little feet tire out. That mean it’s easy and cheap to get around without a rental car.
What more can you ask?
Top Clearwater Beach Family Resorts
Whether you’re interested in a luxury spa resort or a glitzy outpost of a major chain, small inns and motels or Airbnb’s, you can find it in Clearwater Beach. Exploring websites or calling each hotel directly is the best way to learn about their family packages, seasonal discounts, and children’s programs.
500 Mandalay Avenue
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Located directly on a 700-foot sandy swath of Clearwater’s beautiful beach, families feel right at home from the moment they enter. The look and feel is elegant yet inviting, with a can-do staff placing a premium on personal touches. Each of the 203 guest rooms and 50 one-and two-bedroom suites are decorated in a soothing color palette that mimics the natural hues of the seascape. All rooms and suites present Gulf front, coastal, or Bay views. Family-friendly amenities include a gigantic lagoon-style pool, Camp Ridley kid’s club for ages 5-10, poolside movies and nightly s’mores on the beach.
While the children are busy at Camp Ridley, the adults may book a spa treatment. Treatments at this tranquil oasis are inspired by the soothing qualities of the Gulf of Mexico waters. Onsite dining includes the upscale Caretta’s, casual Tate Island Grill and the grab n’ go Marketplace. One of the region’s Opal family of hotels, the Sandpearl is the first Silver LEED-certified resort in Florida. To encourage car-free explorations, your roomkey card provides free rides on the cute Jolley Trolley around town. By Allison Tibaldi
100 Coronado Drive
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, one of Clearwater’s largest hotels, boasts the upscale, well-regarded Ocean Hai, a beachview Asian fusion restaurant which attracts diners from around town. Guest families typically hang out at the pool bar and lobby Starbucks. In addition to the pool, there’s a spa and 24-hour fitness center, plus easy access to the boat rental marina and Pier 60 for sunset watching.
The 343 rooms fill two tall towers that bookend a large pool, sundeck and outdoor dining area. Bright guestrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway. Book one with a balcony that allows parents to talk, read or relax with a glass of wine while baby naps. It’s very stylish, with gentle azure colors adding a subtle marine touch. Although the double queen bedded rooms are spacious, parents will love the hotel’s 12 themed family bunk rooms that are themed to dolphins or turtles from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Alternatively, there are two- and three-bedroom rental units with full kitchens. By Kyle McCarthy
Not sure which to choose? Check out our video review of these two great resorts.
301 South Gulfview Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33767
This Hyatt Regency is one of Clearwater Beach’s better luxury values because of its central location and enormous, at-home style guestrooms. Expansive one-bedroom suites have family-welcoming facilties including an ultra-functional kitchen area with microwave and full fridge. The 10th floor suite we saw had a living room had two terraces — with comfortable furniture — overlooking the beach and Intracoastal Waterway. Made for families, it boasts a pullout queen sofabed, flat screen TV for family viewing, dining table for four, closets and a full bathroom. The bedroom with two queen beds had a spa-like bathroom and its own full terrace. This Hyatt understands families; even the double rooms have pullout sofabeds.
Families enroll kids ages 3-12 in the supervised Camp Hyatt playroom, in 3, 4 or 7-hour sessions for a fee, with reservations. The 8th floor pool deck has plenty of playspace, a hot tub and fenced in play area, rental cabanas and a large sundeck. There’s a good spa, fitness room and bike rentals. During school holidays, the staff runs regularly scheduled family activities such as tie-dye T-shirt making. And don’t miss the views from the top floor Roof Bar. By Kyle McCarthy
400 Mandalay Avenue
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Located on 10 acres of sugary white beach, this Hilton is known for having the only tiki bar right on the sand (a legacy of another era), and for being closest to where Winter the dolphin sleeps. This location is also close to the bustling Pier 60 Sunset celebrations. The Hilton is a comfortable place with two outdoor beachside pools, a Jacuzzi and access to wave runners, standup paddleboards, parasailing and deep-sea fishing gear. The resort has a children’s program called Kids Fun Factory. Staff trained in the arts of “funology” delight children with educating and entertaining activities such as arts n’ crafts and beach soccer. Private babysitting is available upon request for newborns through 3-year-olds, with a four-hour minimum. By Kyle McCarthy
430 S Gulfview Blvd
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
The luxurious Opal Sands is a whole other experience in a contemporary oval white tower. Ogle the views from blue tinted windows that look more Miami’s South Beach than Clearwater. This resort was built on a bend in the beach and is known for “million dollar views.” We love the posh touches: complimentary Butler Pantry on every floor stocked with fresh fruit, cookies and bottled water. Cozy up in warm comfy robes in each room. USB charging stations are everywhere you turn. Decor includes mint and aquamarine glass tiles and art photography. Spacious rooms have balconies with seating, a pullout double sofabed and cozy seating area, coffeemaker and ironing setup.
I enjoyed a soothing re-energizing massage at the pretty spa. The large heated, zero entry pool and big, family-welcoming hot tub overlooking the beach are usable on cooler or overcast days. One level down, there’s a fun beach bar with seating on wooden Adirondack chairs on a “sand” floor. The quality of our breakfast at the oceanfront Sea-Guini made it worth a visit, even if you’re not a guest. By Kyle McCarthy
Clearwater Beach Family Resorts Off the Beaten Path
No one stays right on Clearwater Beach if they want a tranquil and secluded beachfront experience. It’s a busy town with dozens of family attractions in both St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach. However, we found a few fun alternatives for you quiet-seekers.
25 Belleview Boulevard
Belleair, FL 33756
For decades, the Belleview was a vacation haven for Gilded Age tycoons, celebrities, athletes and U.S. Presidents. Originally built by railroad tycoon Henry Plant in 1897, the hotel closed in 2009 and reopened, refreshed, a decade later. The 35-room property is meticulously restored. The vibe is old-school Florida meets 21st century. Authentic features have been lovingly maintained, including the original grand staircase, hardwood floors, fireplaces, guest room doors and Tiffany stained glass panels. The large pool is a stunner. The shady veranda is the perfect spot to relax with a cool drink. Kids find the spacious lawn just right for a sporty afternoon game of catch. Each morning, a complimentary Continental breakfast is delivered to your room in an adorable basket.
Located in Clearwater’s upscale Belleair neighborhood, it’s not a beachfront property, but guests have beach privileges at the nearby Sandpearl. For guests who enjoy swinging a golf club, there’s access to the Belleview Country Club next door. It’s the oldest golf course in Florida and playing the historic course is on many golfers’ bucket lists. By Allison Tibaldi
1160 Gulf Boulevard
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
The Sheraton Sand Key is in a quieter part of Clearwater Beach, away from the souvenir shops of Gulfview Boulevard, adjacent to Sand Key Park and Preserve and the wild Pinellas Trail. This Mediterranean-style resort boasts water sports, tennis, beach volleyball and a fitness center with sauna, making it a perfect homebase for your family vacation. The 390-room resort offers large and comfortable rooms (all with balconies or patios), several restaurants, a lovely pool, whirlpool and kiddie pool. Kids love the playground, kid’s camp for 5 to 12-year-olds (from mid-June to mid-August) and perusing the on-site convenience store. Babysitting services are available upon request. However, the most impressive aspects of a stay here are the very helpful staff, exclusive beach on the Gulf of Mexico and the fact that they don’t charge resort fees. By Fran Falkin
Two Special Hotels With Amenities for Travelers on the Spectrum on St. Pete Beach
We want to highlight the TradeWinds Resorts nearby on the island of St. Pete Beach, because both adjacent resorts are rated as “Autism-Friendly.” The staff have been trained by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and provide “Safety Kits” with outlet covers, corner cushions for tables, and a hanging door alarm at check in. Additionally, the Activities Center and Concierge can arrange adaptive activities for families in need. For special supervised care, make arrangements at the kids club (727/363-2294.) Both properties have been upgraded by new owners.
5500 Gulf Boulevard and 6000 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
727/360-5551 and 727/367-6461
Stay at TradeWinds Island Grand, a modern, Gulfcoast-facing room block on 25 acres of tropical landscaping. There are 246 bright and airy hotel rooms, some with parlors, plus family-style suites with kitchenettes. The Island Grand has five swimming pools and a good Mexican restaurant. Splurge by booking the the Aqua-Bana, a 10-person covered floating cabana complete with a table and a cooler of ice. The kids club is fun for children 4-12 years and also offers organized activities that teens may join. Family entertainment programs include the Pirate Show, volleyball and ping-pong tournaments.
The more contemporary RumFish Beach Resort was expanded in 2022 by adding another 141 all-suite guestrooms and a zip line on the beach. The expansion brings the RumFish Beach Resort room count to 353 in a variety of styles — all with refreshed kitchens and appliances. There are two more pools to make a total of nine (five of them heated) for pool-lovers. Shuttle around the 40 acres between 15 dining and entertainment locations. Spend time at the three-story waterslide, in the water park, visiting the touch tank or aquarium. There’s miniature golf, fitness centers with spa and massage facilities, tennis, watersports and children’s recreation programs located at each property. By Kyle McCarthy
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