Family-Friendly Hotels in the Clearwater Area

by Tricia Chaves
The peninsula-type Clearwater Beach is the city's top tourist attraction.

The peninsula-type Clearwater Beach is the city's top tourist attraction.

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Clearwater is located just 30 minutes west of Tampa and 30 minutes northwest of St. Petersburg, offering all the kid-friendly attractions you can imagine, including dolphin excursions, pirate ship adventures, aquariums and amusement parks. The pristine Clearwater Beach is a three-mile stretch along the Gulf Coast’s Pinellas Peninsula with on-duty lifeguards. Food, rides and a playground near Pier 60 make the area a destination kids of all ages can enjoy.

Don CeSar Beach Resort

The AAA four-diamond-rated Don CeSar Beach Resort sits on 7.5 acres of beachfront in St. Pete Beach, 25 miles south of Clearwater. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers 275 guest rooms and 70 family-sized condominiums in the adjacent Don CeSar Beach House. The hotel’s kid’s program offers a game lending library, welcome gifts from Fisher-Price, poolside events, supervised activities and etiquette classes. After enjoying one of four restaurants, surprise the kids with dessert at Uncle Andy's Ice Cream Parlor.

Holiday Inn and Suites

The smoke-free Holiday Inn and Suites hotel, located one mile from Pier 60, promises spectacular sunset views and frequent dolphin sightings. Choose from single-room guest quarters with one or two beds and suites that can accommodate a family of up to eight guests. Amenities include an arcade as well as full-size and kid’s swimming pools. Jimmy's Fish House and Iguana Bar offers indoor and patio dining with beach views.

Clearwater Beach Hyatt

The 250 rooms at the Clearwater Beach Hyatt include one- and two-bedroom suites. For a fee, enroll your kids ages 4 to 12 in Camp Hyatt, a supervised activity program offered daily for four or eight hours, and from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Full-day and night participants receive meals. Highlights for grown-up guests include climate-controlled poolside cabanas and a full-service spa. The hotel has two restaurants, a poolside snack bar and coffee shop. You can purchase Busch Gardens tickets in the hotel’s lobby.

Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort

The AAA three-diamond-rated Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort is just steps from Pier 60. The hotel offers a customized Kids' Club program that includes supervised educational and play activities. The large, kidney-shaped pool looks out to the 10-acre private beach. Enjoy city, harbor or gulf views from the private balcony, available in most of the 416 guest rooms and suites. Three casual dining options on-site are appropriate for all ages.

Sheraton Sand Key Resort

The 390 guest rooms and suites at the 10-acre Sheraton Sand Key Resort offer views of the gulf and bay in Clearwater Beach. Play games with your kids with the in-room Nintendo Wii console. The resort has five casual dining options and a seasonal snack cart on the private beach. In the summer, an activities coordinator plans activities and games with prizes for the whole family. The pool hut offers pool and beach toys for rent, based on availability.

About the Author

I was editor of the newspaper in college & on the yearbook staff in high school. I'm learning to speak Brazilian Portuguese.

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