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Clearwater Beach includes a resort area and a residential area on the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County on the west central coast of Florida. Just west over the intercoastal waterway by way of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway from the City of Clearwater, Florida, of which it is part, Clearwater Beach is located at a geographic latitude is 27.57 N and longitude 82.48 W. The average local temperature is 73 °F (23 °C), with fall and spring being the most comfortable seasons. In January 2013, Clearwater Beach was awarded the designation of Florida's Best Beach Town by a reader poll from USA Today readers. It competed against nine other Florida beach destinations entered in the poll.
Clearwater Beach is characterized by white sand beaches stretching for 2.5 miles (4 km) along the Gulf and sits on a barrier island. It has a full marina on the Intracoastal Waterway side and is linked on the south by a short bridge to another barrier island called Sand Key, where Sand Key Park is located.
Clearwater Beach is approximately 20 miles (30 km) from Tampa International Airport and 25 miles (40 km) from Downtown Tampa. It offers shopping, restaurants, and activities such as parasailing, jet ski rentals, boat tours (with a common sighting of dolphins in the Gulf waters), miniature golf, fishing charters, and "pirate ship" cruises.
Pier 60, named for State Road 60 which terminates in Clearwater Beach, is a central spot for beachgoers and has a playground, a snack bar with attached souvenir shop, and a long fishing pier. It's the site of a daily event called Sunsets at Pier 60, which includes street performers and musical acts. On the pier itself is a nightly display of goods sold by local artisans such as jewelry, candles, and other gift items.
The Clearwater Jolley Trolley has provided transportation up and down the beach since 1982. It currently runs to North Clearwater Beach and down to Sand Key, including Island Estates. Mandalay Avenue is the main drag on the north end of the beach with Gulfview Boulevard being so on the south. Both areas feature a variety of businesses.
Clearwater has been ranked one of the best beaches in the U.S. frequently. and its Sandpearl resort was named one of the best beach resorts in the U.S. In 2009 an episode of Brooke Knows Best was shot on the beach.
Numerous restaurants and shops can be found adjacent to the beach, whose attractiveness was greatly improved in recent years with a beautification project called Beach Walk. The Beach Walk is located just south of Pier 60. There are drinking fountains, shower nozzles for beachcombers to rinse the sand off, and bicycle racks, as part of the upgrade. It also is a great spot for fishing. Beach "renourishment" efforts such as dune restoration enhance the area's natural beauty along a wide curving sidewalk. A paved bicycle trail lined by mangrove trees is available nearby which parallels the Clearwater Memorial Causeway to the city.
In July 2008 the long-anticipated Beach Walk project was completed, featuring a compact pedestrian zone with high-end hotels and condos. The beach is also known for its nightlife scene.
Shepphards and the Palm Pavilion are two of the areas popular night spots. There are also several Frenchy's locations and retail stores including Surf Style stores and Ron Jon Surf Shop.
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