What's the best time to visit Clearwater Florida?
The best time to visit Clearwater, Florida, is October to March, offering warm weather and manageable crowds for beach activities and events like the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. This period includes the calm of autumn for swimming and the vibrancy of winter’s festivities, with December to March being peak season for enjoying pleasant temperatures and special attractions such as spring training baseball.
Clearwater, Florida, near Tampa Bay, has some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, and that is saying something. If you like swimming, you should go there at least once in your life!
Clearwater is a popular resort town whose main attraction is the miles of pristine white sandy beach and beautiful Gulf waters, perfect for beach bums of all ages.
The town has plenty of other activities to keep you occupied while you are on vacation, such as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and its wildlife rehabilitation program, baseball spring training, golf, and so much more.
Since the main attraction here is the beach, you obviously want to time your trip so that you catch perfect beach weather. Here is a quick guide to the best time to visit.
The Overall Best Time to Visit Clearwater Florida
The best time to visit Clearwater Florida is between October and March, when the weather is at its best and you can enjoy all that the town has to offer.
October and November may be autumn in the rest of the country, but you wouldn’t know it from the temperatures in Clearwater. In October, you can still expect temperatures in the high 80s, and in November they dip to “only” the high 70s, according to U.S. Climate Data.
The water temperature in the gulf rarely dips below 72 degrees in the autumn, so you can swim well into November. October and November are technically part of hurricane season, which lasts from June to November in the Gulf, but by the end of September storms tend to peter out this far north.
In fact, these two months have some of the lowest precipitation in Clearwater’s year-round weather. Despite the good weather, fall is the shoulder season in Clearwater, so you’ll get to have a lot of the best attractions to yourself.
You won’t have to get up early to get the best spot on the beach or the best tee time at the many golf courses. Enjoy the unhurried pace of life and special cultural events such as the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.
December to March is Clearwater’s high season, and prices and crowds are at their highest during this time. There are many benefits to visiting during this time, because Clearwater is at its most beautiful.
Even in the winter, the weather is pleasant. Temperatures are usually in the low-mid 70s during the day, and water temperatures are only slightly lower.
Those who aren’t hardy may not want to take a dip in the Gulf, but you can enjoy a stroll along the beach or golfing. This is a great time to visit Clearwater to escape cold weather wherever you are back home.
Clearwater is particularly popular around the holidays. The town hosts special events and decorates to the nines—even the aquarium gets into the act, with the Winter’s Wonderland at Clearwater Aquarium, which usually runs from mid-November until early January.
Towards the end of winter is the best time to visit for sports fans. February is spring training time for MLB baseball teams, many of which use Clearwater as their training base.
You can catch practices and games by top teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies until early March, for a much lower price than you would pay to enter during the regular season.
Cheapest Time to Visit Clearwater Florida
The cheapest time to visit Clearwater Florida is in the spring, especially in May and June, when most of the snowbirds head home. Winter is Clearwater’s high season because it attracts visitors from colder climates that come to warm up.
Since many of these people are retired and stay for the entire season, they are called snowbirds. The snowbirds tend to drive up hotel prices and more.
By April, temperatures have warmed up in the northern United States enough that demand for warm weather vacation has decreased, and hotel prices also drop. The least expensive time for hotels is towards the end of spring, late May and June.
While the high humidity levels are off-putting to many tourists, the savings of up to 20% on your hotel stay will make the weather more bearable. If you are visiting from further away from Florida, the least expensive way to get to Clearwater may be to fly into Tampa airport and then drive down to Clearwater.
April is the least expensive month to fly to Tampa, but you can also get deals during other spring months. If your goal is to save money, just make sure to avoid holiday weekends. Memorial Day and other holidays drive up prices for hotels.
Least Busy Time to Visit Clearwater Florida
The least busy time to visit Clearwater Florida is in the spring, and by June you can have a lot of the popular attractions to yourself. Spring also has good weather, with temperatures often in the 80s.
It is more humid than autumn, with a higher chance of rain, but the humidity is worth it to be able to enjoy all that Clearwater has to offer. Spring is the best time to visit if you want to view wildlife.
At Honeymoon Island State Park, you can see manatees and spoonbills. By spring, migrating bird species such as herons are passing through Florida. The most special show that the animal kingdom puts on is sea turtle nesting season.
Starting in late April or May, sea turtles come ashore around Clearwater to bury their eggs in the sand until they hatch in the summer.
You’ll see volunteers fencing off turtle nests, so visitors don’t disturb them. You can join a ranger or volunteers to walk on the beach and spot these majestic creatures looking for nests, doing your part to give back to nature by protecting the turtle’s nests.
There are also several quirky events that happen in the spring, such as the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, a sand sculpting competition held in April. Beating the crowds allows you to attend events that are local favorites.
Worst Time to Visit Clearwater Florida
The worst time to visit Clearwater Florida is during the summer, when the weather is unstable and not pleasant for swimming. Summers anywhere in Florida, including in Clearwater, are hard to bear.
Temperatures are usually in the 90s, and the high humidity level can make it feel as if you are walking through soup. Water temperatures are not much better, often in the mid-80s, so you can’t exactly jump into the ocean to cool off.
Worse than the heat are the storms. July and August are the rainiest months of the year in Clearwater, averaging eight or nine inches of rain per month.
Rain tends to come in sudden, thick downpours that make it impossible to leave your hotel room. Although Clearwater isn’t as much at risk of hurricanes as some other locations in Florida, it has been hit hard by storms such as Hurricane Idalia in August 2023.
You would think that the wild weather would at least mean fewer crowds in the summer, but it remains one of the more popular times to visit Clearwater.
Many families can only go on vacation in the summer, so expect plenty of people around and higher hotel prices as business owners try to capitalize on the demand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the best questions people have asked about picking the best time to visit Clearwater, Florida:
What are the best months to go to Clearwater Florida?
The best months to go to Clearwater Florida are October and November, when the weather is hot but not humid.
When is the rainy season in Clearwater Florida?
The rainy season in Clearwater is from June to September, and the worst of the rain happens in July and August.
When is the hurricane season in Clearwater Florida?
Hurricane season in Clearwater Florida is from June to November, but most storms occur in August and September.
Is Clearwater Florida worth visiting?
If you like beaches and want a good beach resort, then Clearwater is absolutely worth visiting. If you prefer more exciting vacations, you may want to go somewhere else.
Can you swim in Clearwater in the winter?
If you don’t mind slightly chilly water, you can swim in Clearwater in the winter as well, as water temperatures are just below 70 degrees.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Clearwater Florida?
For the best weather while avoiding Clearwater’s crowds and rain, visit in October and November, which are still perfect for swimming.