Clearwater attracts plenty of tourists because of its absolutely stunning beaches. However, if you are living in an apartment in Clearwater, you may want to find some off-the-beaten-track areas that have less tourists and more locals. The areas I'm going to talk about are primarily places to visit, not to live in, as they have few rental opportunities. That said, there is a lot for someone living in a Clearwater apartment to experience close to where they live!
Clearwater beach is situated on the northern part of a barrier island on the Gulf coast. The area north of Clearwater is mostly national state park land. This barrier has beaches all the way down to the St. Pete area beaches. Clearwater and St. Pete are fairly well-known, but the areas in between are not so highly visited. If you live in a Clearwater apartment, visiting some of the other beach areas is a great way to spend a Saturday.
If you drive south on Gulf Blvd, you will find several small beach communities. First will be Sand Key, then Belleair Beach, followed by Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and Sunset Beach. All of these communities lie between Clearwater and St. Pete on the barrier island, which is in most places, less than a mile wide. This should tip you off to the tiny size of these communities!
All of these areas are similar, but most have unique quirks. One such community, Indian Rocks Beach, is a curiously named place with an interesting history. It offers lots of free public parking that leads directly to the beach. On the beach, you'll find lots of shells (whole and broken) and calm, warm, shallow water. The sand is very different from Clearwater – not soft and white, but full of tiny broken shells, so you may want to bring a chair! This beach is generally quiet and unpopulated. There are lots of residential homes right on the beach, and not many beachfront cafes. If you're interested in a more nature-oriented beach experience, Indian Rocks Beach may be just what you are looking for.
Madeira Beach is further south and is a bit more developed than Indian Rocks. Here you can find rentals for umbrellas and water sports. It is also close to several shops, restaurants, and bars. The sand here is soft and white, much like you will find in Clearwater.
Sand Key Park is immediately south of Clearwater. To experience the beach, parking is a flat $5.00 fee, but that is better than what you would end up paying for a day of hourly metered parking. If you end up loving this beach, you can get an annual park pass. The sand here is not as perfectly soft as Clearwater. But, if you are living in a Clearwater apartment, you may be pleased by the less crowded nature of Sand Key. There are public restrooms and vending machines, so you can stay on the beach all day if you want.
Living in an apartment in Clearwater places you close to a lot of beautiful beaches. I've described a few, but during your time living here, you should definitely consider checking out all of them! Each place has its own unique feel, and living so close to great beach communities is one reason living in an apartment in Clearwater is so amazing!