Fun in the Clearwater Sun


There’s something to interest everyone in the family at the 220-slip Clearwater Municipal Marina, one of the best-equipped and most versatile marinas in Florida and the single most important component of the area’s recreational industry.

In addition to berthing the largest commercial fishing fleet on Florida’s west coast, the Marina offers access to every conceivable recreational boating activity, including fishing and sailing charters, dive boats, sight-seeing boats and dolphin tours, speed boat, jet ski and parasailing rentals, dinner cruises and fishing party boats. The Marina is also home to restaurants, convenience and gift shops, laundry facilities, a post office and more.

Below are just a few of the attractions of note. The Clearwater Municipal Marina ideally – and centrally – located at 25 Causeway Blvd. on Clearwater Beach, is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, call 727-462-6954 or visit the City of Clearwater’s web site, www.myclearwater.com; look for the “Marine and Aviation” section in the City Departments menu.

For visitors looking to get up close and personal with some of the Clearwater area’s nature and marine life, Bay Ride, Inc. provides “one-stop shopping” for the whole family: dolphin encounter cruises, the Caladesi Island Adventure and customized or chartered boat tours.

The Original Dolphin Encounter boat tour offers passengers not only a chance to observe the beautiful marine mammals but also the thrill of feeding the array of wild birds that make the Clearwater area their natural habitat, all while aboard the luxurious double deck, 125-passenger Clearwater Express. Unlimited complimentary wine, beer and soda are provided, and a snack bar is also available. The cruises last approximately 1-½ hours. With multiple departures daily, the Dolphin Encounter cruises also provide breathtaking views of the beaches and shorelines of Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island.

Bay Ride also makes the Clearwater Express available for private charters and can accommodate groups celebrating birthdays, family reunions, weddings and more.

Bay Ride offers a chance for further sightseeing with the Caladesi Island Adventure. Departing hourly every day (weather permitting) from Honeymoon Island (just north of Clearwater in Dunedin), passengers are taken on a thirty minute boat ride to Caladesi Island, home to three miles of unspoiled white sand beach, nature trails and shady picnic areas. Caladesi Island is currently ranked the second best beach in the United States.

The Caladesi Island Adventure departs from the west end of the Dunedin Causeway. For pricing and departure times, call 727-442-7433 or log on to www.dolphinencounter.org.

Enjoy two boat rides in one with the Sea Screamer, a unique boating experience sure to please riders of all ages. The first half of the experience is a scenic and serene sightseeing tour of Clearwater Harbor and Pass, Clearwater Beach and Sand Key Park, narrated by a friendly and knowledgeable captain. The second half of the tour is a “sea screaming” speedboat ride in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico guaranteed to thrill and exhilarate. Dolphins often jump in the boat’s wake.

The Sea Screamer offers four departures daily; cruises last approximately one hour. Schedule and departures are variable based upon weather conditions.

For further information, call 727-447-7200 or log onto www.seascreamer.com.

There’s more for thrill-seekers aboard the Sky Screamer. The Sky Screamer takes passengers out into the Gulf of Mexico – and up to 1,000 thrilling feet above Clearwater – for a bird’s eye view of breathtaking scenery, fresh air and sunshine!

Daily departures begin hourly at 10:00 a.m. The experience lasts almost one hour and can accommodate 12 passengers at a time, perfect for families who wish to enjoy this incredible experience together. For further information, call 727-442-7600 or log onto www.skyscreamerparasail.com (Online discounts available).

The Queen Fleet offers half and full day deep sea fishing excursions seven days a week. Passengers venture out into prime fishing spots in the Gulf of Mexico on either a 75’ or a 90’ Catamaran with sundeck and need only bring their sunscreen; fishing poles can be rented, and bait and fishing licenses are provided. Snacks and drinks are also available.

Private charters can be booked for large groups, and reservations in advance are recommended. For further information, call 727-446-7666 or log onto www.queenfleet.com.

In addition to the Queen fleet, nearly two-dozen other fishing boats are available for charters at the Municipal Marina.

Other fun and family-friendly attractions at the Marina worth checking out include Captain Memo’s Pirate’s Ransom, the “original pirate cruise,” and Xtreme Watersports, the “ultimate outfitter for excursions” of all kinds, including eco-tours, dolphin watching, shelling excursions, fishing trips, kayaking adventures, snorkeling and more.

· Captain Memo’s Pirate’s Ransom: 727-446-2587 or www.captainmemo.com.
· Xtreme Watersports: 727-461-9181 or www.xtreme-watersports.com.

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