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The Best Time to Visit Clearwater, Florida in 2024

The Best Time to Visit Clearwater, Florida in 2024

What's the best time to visit Clearwater, Florida?

The months of March, April, and May are the best time to visit Clearwater for spectacular beach weather. Highs reach the mid-70s and mid-80s with little rain. Tons of festivals and events happen this time of year, like Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Reggae Rise Up Festival, Dunedin Highland Games & Festival, and a Ukulele Festival downtown.

Clearwater, Florida is one of those cities you visit and instantly consider your new vacation “home.” With miles of sugar-sand beaches, tons of activities on and off the shore, ample restaurants and bars, and beachy bakeries and sweet shops galore, you’ll find everything you need for an awesome beach vacation here. 

Clearwater Beach is one of my favorite places to visit in the U.S. and one of the best beaches in Florida. I’ve been visiting every chance I get since the early 90’s to engage in water sports, relax on the beach, eat delicious seafood, and hunt down secluded beaches and secret spots that feel totally unspoiled. 

While it’s a nice destination year-round, there is a best time to visit Clearwater Florida — and certain months of the year you should avoid. Pinpointing the right time to visit means taking an honest look at your priorities for the trip. 

Are you hoping for spectacular weather and prime beach conditions? Is sticking to a tight budget your top priority? Are you trying to avoid the peak season crowds?

Knowing your goals for the trip is essential to pick out the best time to visit Clearwater Florida. I’ll show you my favorite time to go, the cheapest months for a visit, the least busy time of year, and which months are the worst for a visit below. 

Overall Best Time to Visit Clearwater

Beach in Clearwater pictured during the best time to go with nobody on it and recently-cleaned sand with palm trees above and a concrete boardwalk next to it


The overall best time to visit Clearwater Florida is between March and May, when beach conditions are ideal with dry, sunny days and warm temperatures. The Gulf of Mexico is refreshing this time of year, ranging from 70 to 80°F. 

Peak season runs from March to July in Clearwater, but you’ll find March, April, and May the overall best months to visit if you’re coming to enjoy the beaches and water activities on and off the shore. 

The weather in Clearwater is warm year-round, but conditions are pretty perfect for beach days between March and May. There’s very little rainfall and comfortable highs from the mid-70s to the mid-80s this time of year:

  • March: 62–75°F; 7 rainy days
  • April: 67–80°F; 5-6 rainy days
  • May: 72–85°F; 7 rainy days

If you want cool breezes blowing while you sunbathe and swim, March is a great month to go. If you love to get toasty on the beach with warmer Gulf waters, wait until May with highs around 85°F. April is a nice sweet spot in between. 

Since this is the start of the peak season, you’re going to see bigger crowds in Clearwater this time of year (especially in March). By April and May, crowds are smaller and hotel room prices drop as a result. Check out the Google Hotels data for 2–5 star hotels in Clearwater below:

  • March: $306/night
  • April: $232/night
  • May: $204/night

Visit Clearwater Beach for sugar-white sand and emerald Gulf of Mexico waters with amenities up and down the shoreline. Further down the beach (across from Dunedin), you’ll find unspoiled shoreline with no high-rises or vendors for a relaxing beach day. 

Honeymoon Island State Park is a more natural and scenic beach with hiking trails that wind through the tropical forest in the park. There’s a ferry terminal, so take a 20-minute ferry over to the to the secluded Caladesi Island State Park for a totally natural beach with wildlife, 3 miles of sand, and some of the best shelling around Clearwater. 

Head to Pier 60, the 1,080′ hub of entertainment and dining on Clearwater Beach, for a nightly celebration at sunset with live music and tons of stores, eateries, and sweet shops to pique your interest. 

Visit the Clearwater Beach Pool (a public pool with a water slide and spray fountains) if your hotel doesn’t have a pool. It’s always packed with families enjoying warm, sunny days. There’s also a library, courts for tennis, basketball, and pickleball, fitness center, and great ocean views. 

Some of the biggest events of the year take place between March and May in Clearwater and nearby cities on the beach. Here’s what you should check out while you’re in town during the best time to visit:

  • Reggae Rise Up Florida Festival (mid-Mar) in nearby St. Pete Beach’s Vinoy Park brings big-name reggae artists, like Damian Marley, to perform classic and original reggae songs on multiple stages
  • Dunedin Highland Games & Festival (early Apr) in nearby Dunedin brings Scottish heritage to downtown Dunedin and Highlander Park with traditional games, competitions, music, and food
  • Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival (mid-Apr) is a sand-sculpting competition where you can see 14 amazing sculptures, from sand houses to realistic animals, along with concerts and pier celebrations
  • Ukulele Festival (mid-Apr) in Downtown Clearwater brings amateur and professional ukulele musicians to Cleveland Street to jam together with craft and food vendors up and down the street
  • Clearwater Library Comic Con (late Apr) sees locals and tourists dressing up as their favorite characters to mingle with a cosplay contest, panel discussions, and comic vendors at the public library

While hotels cost more this time of year, you can still find great deals on 2- and 3-star accommodations, there are lots of festivities going on, and the weather is prime for spending time on the beach. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Clearwater

Young mother next to her son feeding seagulls during the cheapest time to visit Clearwater


The cheapest time to visit Clearwater is during the months of July, August, and December. We’ve found the lowest average hotel prices during these warm late summer and winter months. 

Take your pick from hot July and August, when short thunderstorms and showers are common, or mild December with drier conditions and cooler ocean temperatures that may not be as pleasant for swimming. 

  • July: 78–89°F; 20-21 rainy days
  • August: 78–90°F; 20-21 rainy days
  • December: 59–72°F; 5 rainy days

Don’t let the number of rainy days in July and August scare you off. These months are my favorite time to visit, and in my experience, the storms tend to brew up in the afternoon and pass quickly. You won’t have to make indoor plans just because rain is forecasted for the day — give it a few minutes, and it’ll pass! 

In December, conditions are really nice for enjoying the views from the beaches, visiting Honeymoon Island State Park for hiking, checking out the many attractions on Pier 60, or enjoying the shops and restaurants along the beachfront promenade. But you’ll find the Gulf of Mexico a little cooler than you’re used to (66–70°F on average). 

We averaged data from Google Hotels to find out how much you can expect to pay for a hotel room during these months. While August is the cheapest month to visit Clearwater overall, July and December also offer great bargains on accommodations: 

  • July: $172/night
  • August: $160/night
  • December: $170/night

Crowds can be pretty big in July, especially around the 4th when Independence Day celebrations bring thousands to the beach and Clearwater’s Coachman Park for a huge fireworks display (it’s awesome). 

Stroll the promenade along the beachfront to pop into cool shops and eateries with great views of the ocean during these months. Check out the marine animal hospital (great for a rainy day) at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Dolphin Tale “stars” Winter and Hope live along with sea turtles, sting rays, nurse sharks, river otters, and Great White Pelicans. 

Eat at one of the most popular beachfront restaurants serving tasty seafood and American classics with views overlooking the Gulf, like Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill (I dream of the Garlic Crab Fries daily), Palm Pavilion Beachside Bar & Grill, or Salty’s Island Bar & Grill. 

You can play mini golf at Captain Bligh’s Landing for a tropical, pirate-themed course the whole family can enjoy. Check out Mandalay Park near Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill for groves of shady palms, beach access, and a sandbar just offshore that’s great for fishing or relaxing in the sunshine. 

What’s on in July, August, and December? Tons of events and festivals happen across Clearwater and surrounding towns during these months: 

  • Clearwater Celebrates America (Jul 4) is the annual Independence Day celebration in Clearwater at Coachman Park with a dazzling fireworks display, concerts, and food vendors
  • Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival (mid-Jul) in the nearby Greek town of Tarpon Springs hosts vendors in the historic town where manatees and sponge harvests made a name for Tarpon Springs
  • Tampa Bay Ice Cream Festival (late Jul) a half-hour away on the St. Pete Pier celebrates National Ice Cream day with sweet treats and ice cream vendors that give free samples 
  • Minor League Baseball Games @ BayCare Ballpark (Apr–Sept) gives you the chance to watch the MiLB Clearwater Threshers or Dunedin Blue Jays at the local stadium 
  • Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival (early Dec) features tons of bluegrass bands and musicians performing at Honeymoon Island State Park in nearby Dunedin with 6 hours of music, food, and craft vendors
  • The Market Marie Christmas @ Coachman (mid-Dec) is the biggest Christmas market in Clearwater with 125+ vendors, Christmas decorations, photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, carols, and more

With the cheapest hotel rates during these months and chances to enjoy the beach without crowds (August and December), these months are excellent if you’re planning a more affordable beach trip. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Clearwater

Hyatt Regency pictured with nobody on the street with palm trees on either side during the least busy time to visit Clearwater Florida

Nick Fox/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Clearwater is between November and January, when cooler air and water temperatures may make the beaches less enticing for a swim, but much more quiet and peaceful. 

If you hate stepping over a patchwork of tourist towels and umbrellas on your way to the shore, November, December, and January are great times to visit Clearwater. There’s very little rain and sunshine is the general rule this time of year:

  • November: 64–77°F; 4-5 rainy days
  • December: 59–72°F; 5 rainy days
  • January: 55–69°F; 6-7 rainy days

November is still an excellent month to swim with highs in the upper 70s and water temperatures averaging 72–77°F. By December, things cool to a comfortable 72°F, but the water can be as chilly as 66°F. January is even cooler with water temperatures as low as 61°F, so only the most resolute swimmers will take to the Gulf this time of year. 

You’ll notice the low season carrying through to the prices on hotel rooms between November and January, too. Here’s what Google Hotels data shows about per-night pricing during these less-busy months:

  • November: $176/night
  • December: $170/night
  • January: $228/night

Take full advantage of the less-crowded beaches and attractions when you visit from November to January. Clearwater Beach will be peaceful and it’s a great time of year for a stroll down the shore, fishing, or shelling.

Hit Caffeinated Bakery for breakfast and coffee with blueberry croissants, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. Ryan’s Island Cafe is a local favorite for diner-style breakfast and unique offerings, like pineapple mimosas and breakfast quesadillas. 

Bay Park on Sand Key is serene beach on the Clearwater Bay side (not the Gulf), and all the amenities are there — white sand, calm water, lifeguards, a dog park, chair rentals, and convenient free parking right off the pass.

Go up to the 10th floor of the Pier 60 Hotel (directly across from the pier) to Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest bar for the most incredible view of the sunset anywhere in Clearwater. Trust me on this. They might even give you a free shot if you’re there for the sunset celebration! 

Take a dolphin cruise — even better at sunset or in a glass-bottomed boat — to track down pods of playful dolphins with the ocean breeze in your hair. Some cruises stop so you can swim with dolphins or take a short detour to Compass Island for shell collecting. 

You’ll find some events taking place around Clearwater and towns nearby between November and January, like: 

  • Sanding Ovations Masters Cup (late Nov) in nearby Treasure Island brings masterful sand sculptors to display their works of art on the beach with crafts, artwork, a beer garden, and fireworks lighting up the skies
  • Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival (early Dec) features tons of bluegrass bands and musicians performing at Honeymoon Island State Park in nearby Dunedin with 6 hours of music, food, and craft vendors
  • The Market Marie Christmas @ Coachman (mid-Dec) is the biggest Christmas market in Clearwater with 125+ vendors, Christmas decorations, photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, carols, and more

While December and January are chilly for swimming, November still offers summer-like air and water temperatures and you’ll experience Clearwater without peak season crowds for a truly serene trip to the beach. 

Worst Time to Visit Clearwater

Rain cloud with fog rolling over Clearwater during the worst time to visit with water and sand below

Artiom Photo/Shutterstock

The worst times to visit Clearwater are in August and September. It’s peak hurricane season, the city receives a lot of rain, and there’s the potential for red tide algae blooms. 

While hurricanes rarely make landfall around Clearwater and nearby Tampa Bay, the June to November hurricane season reaches its peak in August and September, increasing chances of powerful tropical storms and hurricanes affecting this side of the Florida coast. 

Even without a major storm, Clearwater does see a lot of rain in August and September — up to 21 rainy days each month with hot temperatures around 90°F. 

  • August: 78–90°F; 20-21 rainy days
  • September: 77–88°F; 14 rainy days

But we’ve listed August as one of our favorite times to visit Clearwater for cheap hotel rooms, and we stand by that. Even though August sees a lot of rainy days, storms tend to pass quickly and result in cloud coverage that can help you feel a little cooler on a hot beach day. 

September is slightly less wet than August and temperatures begin to cool off a bit, but there’s no way around it: these months are hot, humid, and only enjoyable if you’ll be spending a lot of time in the ocean, pool, or indoors. Thankfully, there are lots of indoor attractions, shops, and restaurants to entertain you while you’re here. 

As far as hotel pricing goes, you’ll be able to sniff out some great deals during the “worst” time to visit, paying average per-night prices as low as $160 in August. Here’s what Google Hotels data has to say about August and September prices: 

  • August: $160/night
  • September: $188/night

From late summer to early fall, red tide (algae blooms) can be an issue for Clearwater Beach and the surrounding towns. We recommend checking the live beach cameras before your visit to make sure the area isn’t experiencing red tide.

The algae that causes red ride can irritate your skin, eyes, and nasal passages — and sometimes, dead fish wash ashore, which can easily ruin a nice beach day. 

We’ve listed some cool August events above under the Cheapest Time to Visit Clearwater, but here’s a look at September events you may want to check out:

  • Clearwater Offshore Nationals (Sept) is a powerboat race that fans can join with a 2-mile flotilla and celebrations, food, and music on the beach
  • Rumba en Clearwater (late Sept) features rumba music concerts and dancing, authentic cuisine, and the chance to watch the famous Clearwater sunset from Coachman Park

Overall, August and September have the worst weather conditions for a beach trip. But if these are your planned travel dates, don’t worry — there will be clouds, a little rain, and the possibility of a storm or red tide, but it can still be a nice time to visit. 

Clearwater By Month: What to Expect

View of Pier 60 in the distance at dusk with clouds in the skies as waves lap the shores during the best time to visit Clearwater Florida

Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock

Weather, hotel prices, festivals and events — you want to know what you can expect when you visit Clearwater. We’ve laid out what’s happening on the beach by month below! 

January (Low Season)

Sunny and mild with highs around 69°F, January is a dry month with 6-7 rainy days. It’s a bit chilly for swimming in the ocean, but you’ll find it an awesome time for quiet beaches, no waiting at popular restaurants, and dolphin cruises. Hotels cost around $228/night on average. 

February (Low Season)

February begins to heat up with highs around 71°F and 6-7 rainy days, so it’s mild and dry with slowly-warming ocean temperatures. You’ll enjoy fewer crowds this time of year, perfect for visiting Honeymoon Island State Park, Clearwater Beach, or Pier 60. Hotels charge $245/night on average this month. 

March (Peak Season)

The peak season begins in March, making it a very busy and costly month to visit with hotels around $306/night on average. It’s warm and sunny with highs around 75°F and 7 rainy days. Check out the Reggae Rise Up Florida Festival in mid-March in nearby St. Pete Beach. 

April (Peak Season)

April is slightly less busy than February with even warmer highs around 80°F, 5-6 rainy days, and prime conditions for swimming and lounging at the beach. The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Ukelele Festival, local Comic Con, and Dunedin Highland Games & Festival happen this month. Hotels cost $232/night on average. 

May (Peak Season)

A sunny and warm month with highs around 85°F and 7 rainy days, May is great for beach days and exploring more secluded spots, like taking a ferry to nearby Caladesi Island Beach. Check out beachfront restaurants and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium this month! Hotels charge about $204/night on average in May. 

June (Peak Season)

Peak season continues with June, the official start of the hurricane season when rainfall increases and afternoon storms become common. There are 16 rainy days on average this month with highs reaching a hot 88°F, but the price of hotels drops to around $183/night on average. 

July (Cheapest/Peak Season)

July is one of the most affordable months to visit with hotels costing just $172/night on average. While afternoon rain showers and storms are frequent (20–21 rainy days), they help make the scorching temperatures up to 89°F more bearable. The Clearwater Celebrates America fireworks show and concerts happen in Coachman Park on the 4th. 

August (Cheapest/Shoulder Season)

Even cheaper than July, August brings rock-bottom hotel prices with rooms around $160/night on average. Highs reach their annual peak at 90°F this month in Clearwater, while the rain hangs around with 20-21 wet days on the calendar. Red tide may be an issue. 

September (Shoulder Season)

The shoulder season hits its stride in September as kids are back in school. Hotel prices show the reduced tourism levels with average rates around $188/night, but highs start to drop to 88°F and rainfall subsides to about 14 days out of the month. Watch out for red tide, but check out the Clearwater Offshore Nationals and Rumba en Clearwater festival this month. 

October (Shoulder Season)

October sees highs drop to a balmy 83°F with about 7 rainy days, making it a nice month for a visit that’s not too crowded, wet, or hot. Hotels are below peak season prices at around $175/night on average, and you can check out the Clearwater Jazz Holiday festival at Coachman Park this month. 

November (Low Season)

Crowds hit their annual low in Clearwater in November, leaving the beaches quiet and peaceful while the water’s still warm enough to swim. Highs hover around a pleasant 77°F and it rains 4-5 days of the month. Hotels cost around $176/night this month. Check out the Sanding Ovations Masters Cup in nearby Treasure Island! 

December (Cheapest/Low Season)

As one of the cheapest months of the year to visit, December is nice for a less-crowded beach trip as long as you’re not planning on doing a lot of swimming (it’s chilly). Highs average around 72°F with 5 rainy days, hotels are about $170/night, and the Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival and Christmas Market at Coachman Park are worth checking out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Sunset over the brown sand and lifeguard stand pictured during the best time to go to Clearwater

Susanne Pommer/Shutterstock

Make the most of your trip to Clearwater by reading through some of the most frequently asked questions from other travelers. Here’s what’s on the mind of people thinking about planning a trip to Clearwater. 

What is the rainy season in Clearwater Florida?

June through September is the rainy season in Clearwater Florida, coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season. Rain occurs anywhere from 14 to 21 days of the month this time of year, but showers are brief and tend to pass quickly. The rainy season is still a good time to visit Clearwater.

What is hurricane season in Clearwater Florida?

Hurricane season in Clearwater Florida technically runs from June to November, but August and September are considered the peak months of the hurricane season here. Clearwater’s location near Tampa Bay means hurricanes rarely make landfall here, but storm surge and rain may be noticeable this time of year.

What months can you swim at Clearwater Beach?

You can swim at Clearwater Beach year-round, but December through February may be too chilly for an enjoyable swim with ocean temperatures as low as 61°F, according to From March to November, the Gulf of Mexico reaches higher temperatures from the upper 60s (refreshing) to the mid-80s (warm).

What is the hottest month in Clearwater Florida?

August is the hottest month in Clearwater Florida with average daily highs around 90°F and daily lows around 78°F. Rainfall is very common this month with anywhere from 20 to 21 days with rain in the forecast, and it’s a cheap month to visit with the lowest average hotel prices of the year (around $160/night).

What is the busiest time of year at Clearwater Beach?

March through July is the busiest time of year at Clearwater Beach. These peak season months offer some of the best weather with warm Gulf waters, lots of events and festivals taking place, and great opportunities for water sports. While hotels are more expensive in March, April, May, and June offer slight price breaks and July is one of the cheapest months of the year to visit.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Clearwater Florida?

There’s no better time to visit Clearwater than between March and May — this is the sweet spot that combines excellent, dry weather, cool festivals and events, and a lively atmosphere along the promenade and Pier 60 as the beach peak season hits. 

You’ll save money by coming in July, August, or December, but July and August see more afternoon thunderstorms and are part of the hurricane season. December’s lower temperatures make swimming a bit chilly. 

November through January are nice months to visit to avoid crowds, but November is the only month with comfortable swimming temperatures in the Gulf. You might want to avoid August and September, peak hurricane season months with lots of rain. 

Clearwater has a special place in my heart as a childhood vacation destination that’s now my own family’s favorite beach getaway spot.  With gorgeous stretches of white sand, warm emerald Gulf waters, and an endless array of things to do (and eat, and drink), I think it’ll become one of your favorites, too.