Clearwater Beach is the closest beach on the Gulf of Mexico, about two hours from Orlando. It’s touristy, with a “pirate ship,” parasailing and the like. It features a wide, award-winning, white-sand beach snuggled up against very calm, clear, emerald-colored waters. It also features a big pier and nightly sunset celebrations complete with street performers.
You have other choices, too. Here’s an article of beaches in the Clearwater and St. Pete Beach area to help you choose the ones that sound most like ‘you.’ My personal favorite by St. Pete Beach is just south of town – little Pass A Grille Beach. The Don Cesar Hotel in St. Pete Beach is definitely worth seeing.