7 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Clearwater, FL

November 21st, 2022

7 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Clearwater, FL

Living in Clearwater

Are you moving to Clearwater, FL? Make sure you know these seven things about living in Clearwater!

Famous for its sugar white sand and clear blue water on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater is a beautiful city in Florida's Tampa Bay area. Experiencing frequent sunny weather, this sought-after waterfront city has been named one of the best places to live in Florida and is considered a great family-friendly beach destination.

Located 27 miles from Tampa and 23 miles from St. Petersburg, Clearwater is part of Pinellas County. With a walkable downtown, numerous waterfront parks, tons of delicious restaurants, and no shortage of outdoor activities, Clearwater is worth visiting and moving to. From swimming and boating to fishing and kayaking, the three-mile barrier Island of Clearwater Beach is a sunseeker paradise.

While moving to Clearwater can be exciting, ensuring you know what living here is like is essential. That is why with the help of this moving guide, our team hopes that your move to Clearwater is easy and stress-free. Keep reading to learn about the seven things you should know before moving to Clearwater!

Clearwater, FL cityscape on the water with palm trees

Here are the seven things to know about life in Clearwater, FL!

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Clearwater is 2% lower than the national average. Considered to be one of the most affordable cities in Florida, housing expenses are 10% lower than the national average, and utility prices are 0% lower than the national average. Meanwhile, transportation expenses are 1% higher than the national average, while grocery prices are 7% higher than the national average. With area prices up by 1.1% compared to last year, the most significant increases can be found in food and housing.

With an average household income of $50,355, it is estimated that an individual spends approximately $2,291 per month, including rent, and a family of four spends roughly $5,033 per month, including rent. An excellent annual salary in Clearwater is $42,000, and an hourly wage of $20.19. For those visiting Clearwater for vacation, individuals should plan to spend up to $241 per day. The average hotel price in Clearwater is $208 a night.

Cost of Living Item Average Price
Median Home Price $356,723
Median Rent $1,090
Loaf of Bread $3.72
Gallon of Milk $2.38
Doctors Visit $112.37
Veterinary Visit $53.73

Data sourced from Payscale.

Weather

Known for having a warm and temperate climate, the summers in Clearwater are long, hot, and humid, while winters are short, cool, and windy. Experiencing wet and rainy weather year-round, Clearwater receives about 51 inches of rain, 13 inches more than the national rainfall average.

With an average of 240 sunny days per year, temperatures throughout the year in Clearwater typically vary between 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It rarely drops below 44 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest month is July, with an average summer high of 90 degrees, and the coldest month is January, with an average winter low of 52 degrees. The months of March, April, and November are considered the most pleasant due to temperature and weather conditions.

Attracting many snowbirds to the area, Clearwater receives zero inches of snow per year, below the United States average of 28 inches of snow per year. For those moving from a cold climate, winter jackets, snow boots, and other winter gear are not needed to live here.

Orange sunset on Clearwater Beach with palm trees and lifeguard stand

Education

As part of the Pinellas County School District, the seventh-largest school district in Florida, Clearwater has plenty of options for education. Considered to have one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Florida, there are a total of 31 public schools in Clearwater that serve a total of 16,105 students and a total of 24 private schools that serve 5,454 students. Some of the best schools in Clearwater are Plato Academy Charter School, Leila Davis Elementary School, Clearwater Fundamental Middle School, Countryside High School, and Clearwater High School.

For those searching for higher education opportunities, residents can commute to plenty of highly-rated colleges and universities nearby. The University of Tampa, for example, is located 23 miles away and within a 34-minute drive. This private, residential university is known for its academic excellence and offers more than 200 programs, including 22 master's degrees.

Check out these top colleges and universities near Clearwater, FL:

Name Location Price
The University of Tampa Tampa, FL $32,000 a year
St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus St. Petersburg, FL $2,668 a year
Eckerd College St. Petersburg, FL $37,000 a year
University of South Florida Tampa, FL $8,346 a year
Florida College Temple Terrace, FL $21,000 a year
Ultimate Medical Academy Clearwater, FL $18,000 a year

Employment Opportunities

Clearwater has a strong economy that employs over 53,000 people. Clearwater's most significant economic industries are health care and social assistance, retail trade, and food service. The highest-paid sectors include utilities, management, and professional, scientific, and technical services. With a job market increase of 2.3% over the last year, the economy in Clearwater is growing and changing. Future job growth is predicted to increase 41.1% over the next ten years, higher than the United States average of 33.5%.

If you are moving to Clearwater for a job, you will not be looking for long. Whether you are looking to advance your career or explore new career options, plenty of employment opportunities are available, whether you are searching for a part-time or full-time position. Some of the best companies to work for in Clearwater include BayCare Health System, Lincare Holdings, Tech Data Corporation, The Moorings, Vela, Cash Management Solutions, and Apg Electric.

Beaches

Clearwater Beach is constantly ranked one of the best beaches in America for its dazzling emerald waters and sugary white sands. Recognized as a centerpiece in the city, this laid-back beach is a go-to for sunbathers, kayakers, paddleboarders, jet skiers, parasailers, boaters, and fishermen. Beloved for its gorgeous sunsets and home to Pier 60, Clearwater Beach is located just steps away from some of the best hotels and restaurants in the area.

With lifeguards on duty 365 days a year, this family-friendly beach is a must-visit if you are moving to Clearwater or just visiting. Offering the perfect Island getaway, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy fun in the sun in Clearwater. Even though the beaches in Clearwater are open all year long, the best time to visit is between October and December for its low humidity and lack of tourists.

View of Clearwater Beach with palm trees, sand, blue umbrellas, and a pier

Visit these top-rated local favorite beaches in Clearwater, FL:

  • Clearwater Beach: Best known for its soft, white sand and clear blue water, this namesake beach is a must-visit for paddleboarders, parasailers, and jet skiers for its calm waters. Pier 60 is located here and is a popular spot for sunset viewing.
  • Sand Key Beach: This beautiful sandy beach features seasonal lifeguards and is a popular spot for kayakers and sunbathers. Endangered sea turtles are known to lay eggs on the beach frequently.
  • Caladesi Island State Park: This is one of the few untouched islands in the Gulf of Mexico located North of Clearwater Beach. This three-mile stretch of unspoiled beach is only accessible by boat and has tons of large seashells everywhere.
  • Abu Seba Beach: Drive your car on this easily accessible Clearwater beach that features frequent public workout and yoga classes on the beach.

Things to Do

While Clearwater might best be known for its beaches, plenty of other activities available do not require spending time in the sun near the ocean. Offering plenty of family-friendly activities, there are many ways to make fond memories with your loved ones that are worth paying for. Known as an active community, there are multiple parks to explore, retail stores to shop at, and local sports teams to watch. Providing accessible and affordable options, Clearwater has no shortage of fun and unique things that all ages will enjoy.

Check out these popular things to do in Clearwater, FL:

  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium: This 501 non-profit organization and aquarium is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine animals. This is a must-do for the whole family to learn about preserving and restoring the marine environment through education, research, rescue, and rehabilitation.
  • Clearwater Threshers: The Clearwater Threshers are a minor league baseball team that plays at the BayCare Ballpark with a maximum seating capacity of 8,500 people.
  • Moccasin Lake Nature Park: This 51-acre nature preserve is known for its serene oak-lined walking paths, educational walking tours, natural exhibits, and kids camps. Keep in mind that dogs are not permitted.
  • Countryside Mall: Nine million customers visit this shopping mall every year since it is home to five anchor stores, plenty of restaurants, a full-size skating rink, and a movie theatre on the Gulf coast.
  • Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise: Enjoy scenic views of Clearwater with the whole family on this two-hour pirate adventure cruise. Custom-designed and built-in 1993, this ship is fun for all ages and features a treasure hunt, face painting, stories, dancing, and water gun games.
  • Cliff Stephens Park: This scenic, tranquil park is a famous 44-acre oasis in Clearwater that is a go-to spot for recreation. Featuring paved trails that are used for biking, hiking, running, and skating, this park is one of the top places to visit in the city for outdoor fun.
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall: Visit this performing arts center that provides world-class entertainment and educational programs in the area. Providing 73,000 square feet of entertainment space, visitors can enjoy musical performances, arts education, and comedy and Broadway shows.

aquarium with colorful fish swimming and coral

Restaurants

Best known for its delicious seafood and unique American southern cuisines, Clearwater is home to some of the most iconic restaurants on the coast of the central Florida Gulf of Mexico. Serving freshly caught seafood, fresh local produce, and cold beverages with live entertainment and unmatched waterfront views, dining out in Clearwater is an experience unlike any other. No matter what food you may be craving, there is always a new creative dish and a top-rated restaurant in Clearwater.

Dine at these highly-rated favorite local restaurants in Clearwater, FL:

  • Caretta on the Gulf: Offering dine-in and takeout options, this luxurious beachside restaurant serves New American cuisine and is the only AAA Four-Diamond Awarded restaurant in Clearwater.
  • Sea-Guini: Located at the Opal Sands resort, this fine dining experience is known for its Italian cuisine, seafood, and picturesque waterfront views.
  • Frenchy's Rockaway Grill: Enjoy grouper sandwiches and seafood dishes in a colorful and laid-back atmosphere on the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Clear Sky Cafe: Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this tasty seafood-focused cafe features live music and is located in The Residences at Sandpearl in Clearwater.
  • Rumba Island Bar and Grill: This seafood-forward restaurant is beloved for its Jamaican recipes and tasty drink specials with a tiki bar, live music, and a large outdoor patio.

red and blue tiki bar sign on palm tree trunk

Pros and Cons of living in Clearwater, FL

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Delicious food scene
  • Warm weather
  • Beautiful sunsets
  • Excellent beaches
  • Popular nightlife
  • Proximity to other cities
  • Good education
  • Abundance of outdoor activities

Cons:

  • Possible pest invasions
  • Prone to severe weather and hurricanes
  • Heavy traffic
  • Lack of public transportation

Moving to Clearwater, FL - Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a great place to retire or want to live near the beach and its turquoise-blue waters, Clearwater is a lovely area full of class and beauty. With an affordable cost of living and a high safety rating, it is no wonder many people want to call Clearwater, Florida, home.

If you or anyone you know is moving to Florida and is interested in making Clearwater, FL, home, make sure to contact us here so that we can connect you with one of our Realty Specialists and help you find your dream home in Clearwater.

Make sure to refer to our other local area guides for more information, including moving to Tampa, the best neighborhoods in Tampa, moving to St. Petersburg, and the best neighborhoods in St. Petersburg.

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