Monday, April 7, 2014

Travel :: Clearwater Beach, Florida


The first stop on our recent trip to Florida was Clearwater Beach.  Ryan's family rented a house near the ocean and we spent five days reading, laying by the beach, drinking tropical cocktails, and eating loads of seafood.  Unfortunately the weather was not the best, alternating between sunny but chilly and very, very rainy.  But, we made the best of it and took the opportunity to plan an impromptu trip to Disney World {more on that later} and catch up with Ryan's extended family.  If you ever find yourself in clearwater, a few of my favorite things to do, see, & eat are:

THE BEACH {obviously}: I have been to quite a few beaches in my lifetime, and while most certainly not the most scenic {I'd have to say the Amalfi Coast wins the prize for that one} I have never, ever felt softer sand.  Seriously, the only way I could describe it would be like laying in fluffy baby powder.

BOB HEILMAN'S BEACHCOMBER: Out of all the restaurants we visited this was by far my favorite.  It has a decidedly upscale, old-school vibe with wool paneling, big windows, and an extensive menu of fresh seafood and steaks {the mussels and oysters were unbelievable}.  That paired with music by all the classic crooners, makes for a perfect night out on the town.  

THE BAIT HOUSE: The definition of "a hole in the wall," The Bait House is a great place to go for a super relaxed beer by the marina.  

CLEAR SKY CAFE: I wish would have discovered this breakfast joint on our first day, because I would have eaten there everyday.  The menu is huge and the food was simple but delicious.  I ordered a Lobster and Brie Benedict which was as delicious as it sounds :)

EXPLORING: I felt like Clearwater Beach had a very 1980's 'Miami Vice' vibe.  There are dozens of kitschy motels {Note: I didn't stay in any so I can't tell you if they were funky or just plain seedy on the inside} that make for some amusing exploration and photos.

PALM PAVILION: The food here was only average, but it has a great vibe and is a fun place to listen to music and grab a drink by the beach.

WATCH THE SUNSET: Thanks to Clearwater Beach's westward-facing location, if the sky is clear you will be treated to some absolutely unbelievable sunsets.  Sadly, the inclement weather meant I was only able to see one...but you bet I took advantage of it!  Watching the sky, surf, and sand change from blue to gold to red to the faintest pink was a memory I will always remember.

38 comments:

  1. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

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  2. These photos are amazing!! We took a trip to Clearwater and stayed at the Hyatt (in your pics!) and it was one of my favorite vacations ever! :)


    Maggie
    www.PolishedClosets.com

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous photos Molly- I'm definitely craving a beach vacation after looking at these. The sunsets in particular look breathtaking, especially with that lovely purple tinge.

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  4. Those photos are amazing! Wow Molly - gorgeous! Now all I can do is think of soft fluffy sandy

    whatsarahknows

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  5. I love these photos, so dreamy with the pink skies!

    http://liveitinerantly.com/

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  6. is clearwater on the atlantic or gulf of mexico side? i went to florida for my first time last month and i loved the beached, much better than CA beaches

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  7. Such dreamy photos! That happened to us on our trip to Sydney but we made the most of it1

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  8. Christine DinsmoreApril 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    oh my gosh molly! i can picture so many of these images blown up and placed on my walls. i love them. i especially love the lifeguard post and the pink hotel. really, really wonderful shots.

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  9. I absolutely love your photos! I'll be going to Florida when I head over to the US soon and your photos are making me so excited!


    Charlie x
    http://impulsory.net

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  10. I love how the beach houses are painted... Looks like a beautiful trip!

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  11. You're such an amazing photographer! I always admire your travel photos. They could easily be turned into art for your walls. Have you ever thought about selling them on Etsy?

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  12. I've been to Clearwater a few times now and I have to say, there's something refreshing about the laid back vibe the west coast offers versus the east coast. Next time you go, be sure to check out Amelia Island and St. Armand's Key....both lovely little gems we discovered while exploring :)


    www.taffetaandtulips.com

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  13. How in the world have I never been to Florida?! It's baffling. I need to get there someday, and now I have a handy guide, thanks to you. I always love your travel photos Molly! xo

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  14. i feel the same thing about seattle! seriously, i am dying to get out to your side of the country...it looks soooo beautiful :) and thank you for the sweet comment shannon!

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  15. i agree, it was the most relaxing vacation i have been on in ages! just googled amelia island and st. armand's key...they both look beautiful. thanks for the recommendations kate :)

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  16. thank you so much for the sweet comment kristina! and yes, i am actually planning on opening an etsy shop later this year :)

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  17. thank you so much! i agree, those beach houses were just so colorful and airy. wish i had gotten the opportunity to stay in one :)

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  18. i can only imagine how difficult it must have been to leave. it is still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that some people actually get to enjoy warm weather and the beach year-round :)

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  19. thank you so much charlie!
    when will you be visiting the US?

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  20. jackie, thank you so much for the beyond sweet comment! i sincerely appreciate it :)

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  21. thank you kirby! love that you made the best of the weather and still had a great trip to sydney :)

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  22. hi meg! clearwater is on the gulf of mexico side so it had absolutely stunning sunsets. i agree, the beaches in florida are just amazing...definitely some of the best i have been to in the world!

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  23. thank you so much sarah!
    i miss that sand already :)

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  24. thank you so much nnenna! because clearwater faces directly westward, it had some of the most beautiful sunsets i have ever seen :)

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  25. awe how fun! the hyatt was a beautiful hotel...if there hadn't been so many of us we probably would have stayed there too. we did sneak in for a bit though and i can definitely understand why it was one of your favorite vacations maggie :)

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  26. Molly, these photos are stunning!!! Even the trash cans in the top pick make interesting shadows. You have the Masters eye.

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  27. I'm going over at the end of this week! California first then making my way across to NY via the south. I can't wait!

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  28. Amazing! The pictures are just perfect! And I know, when you are on the beach you also want sun, but sometimes cloudy and rainy days on the beach can be even more relaxing.

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  29. Gorgeous photos Molly! I love seeing that blue sky and pastel sunsets. (And those colorful beach houses!) So glad you guys had a good trip!

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  30. Just out of curiosity, did you use your DSLR or your iPhone for these photos?

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