If you’re not a fan of the cold, crisp autumn air in New York, plan a warm-weather getaway to Clearwater Beach Florida, the number one beach in America according to TripAdvisor. Clearwater Beach is the perfect place for couples to plan a romantic retreat since it’s a short, direct flight from NY to the Sunshine State. Below are a list of the best accommodations, restaurants, and activities to explore at this warm-weather wonderland.
If you’re looking for the best waterfront resort in Clearwater Beach Florida, The Opal Sands Resort is the most modern and luxurious hotel on the beach where all 230 rooms have a gorgeous panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico. The Opal Suite includes a king bed and queen sleeper sofa, a dining room, living room, one-and-a-half bathrooms (including a shower stall and jacuzzi), a kitchen, a bar, and a 500-square-foot-balcony. Order in room service and watch the sunrise with a cup-of-joe or unwind with a glass of wine as the sunsets.
Fun & Sun
Go for a swim at the zero-entry gulf-front pool at Opal Sands Resort where guest have access to free towels, refreshing fruit-infused water, and poolside snacks and cocktails from Reflections Poolside Bar.
If you want to hit the beach, grab a towel by the pool deck, walk down the dune, and charge a cabana to your room. Bring an inflatable tube to float in the crystal clear, shallow water and achieve a sun kissed glow. Beach chairs and cabanas are available for rent daily until 5 pm on Clearwater Beach. Stick your toes in the white fine-grained sand which looks and feels just like powdered sugar. If fact, Clearwater Beach even holds a Sugar Sand Festival in April where world-renowned artists showcase their sand creations.
Put on a coverup and walk over to right over to Sandbar at the Opal Sands Resort for beachside bites and cocktails before or after fun in the sun. Looking for a figure-friendly meal to keep that beach body? Go green and order a Sandbar Wedge salad with baby iceberg lettuce, baby heirloom tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, smoked bacon, blue cheese crumbles, and avocado ranch dressing. Sandbar also has Watermelon Shrimp Ceviche (baby shrimp marinated in citrus and watermelon juices, fresh cilantro, red onion and peppers, served with warm tortilla chips), a light a refreshing choice sure to beat the heat. Other beach bites include fish tacos, wings, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more. Wash down your meal with a tiki cocktail, frozen drink, craft beer, wine or a signature handcrafted drink. Craft beer lovers will want to try Opal Tangerine Wheat, a locally made wheat beer with at touch of tangerine and Opal IPA, a Florida inspired IPA with hints of citrus from Deep Blue Brewing.
Sea-Guini is a coastal inspired restaurant inside the Opal Sands Resort that serves up sea-to-table cuisine. Celebrate National Seafood Month at this fabulous Florida seafood restaurant. For starters, try the crispy calamari which is lightly battered and served with crispy zucchini, sweet tomato chips and a house pomodoro sauce and a Calabria pepper aioli dipping sauce. For a main dish, order the regional speciality, a parmesan-crusted gulf grouper with a creamy artichoke and mushroom risotto, sautéed baby spinach, and lemon burro. If seafood isn’t your thing, indulge with Italian dishes including housemade pasta and brick oven pizza.
Caretta on the Gulf is located inside the SandPearl Resort and is Clearwater’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, they even has an organic menu and wine pairing. Kick off a romantic dinner with a bottle of wine and oysters on the half shell or an artisanal cheese plate for two. For a sensational starter, try the clam chowder, with lightly beer battered Littleneck clams, Nueske bacon, roasted corn, chives, and finished with a warm creamy broth that is poured tableside by the server. If you love fall flavors, order the Duroc pork chops with a bourbon cider glaze, organic vegetables from Albert’s Farm, and a Havarti potato soufflé, a twice baked potato in the shape of a cupcake that oozes melted cheese like a savory lava cake. Leave room for dessert and order the light and airy sweet potato cheesecake with a gingerbread crust, maple bourbon reduction, and toasted meringue and the vanilla bean crème brûlée topped with crunchy caramel popcorn and an apple chip.
Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Fl is family owned and operated for over 114 years and has a large menu packed with Spanish-Cuban cuisine. For starters, try the Empanadas de Picadillo, these pillows of pastry are stuffed with spiced ground beef, garlic, tomato, onions, raisins, and olives. Next, try the legendary 1905 salad that is made tableside with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and Parmesan cheese. A pitcher of sangria is also made tableside with wine, brandy and fresh citrus juices. For the main course, order the chicken and yellow rice “Valenciana”, Casimiro Hernandez, Sr.’s original recipe that made Columbia Restaurant famous.
Plan a romantic sunset cruise and book a Clearwater Catamaran Private Charter with Sail the Moon, a beautifully refurbished, British built 1976 Sail Craft Iroquois. Sail the Moon is named after Captain Derek Patterson’s daughters, Anna, Adrienne, and Ava. This local business provides excellent service and has a friendly staff ensuring guests are comfortable and safe. Each trip is customized to your needs and boating conditions of the day. Be sure to book a sunset sail and break out on the bubbly as you cruise through Clearwater Beach.
Relax and rejuvenate before your trip home at the Opal Sands Clearwater Beach Spa. If you can’t decide on which service you want, The Petite Spa Package offers a “tapas” style of mini treatments. Guests can select three of their favorite 25-minute services including express massage, express facial, warm oil scalp massage, foot massage, body scrub, back pack, express manicure, and express pedicure. Enter a state of pure bliss with a hot stone massage. The basalt stones increase circulation, give relief to achy muscles, and melt the stress away.
Plan a romantic retreat to Clearwater Beach Florida and enjoy coastlines, cuisine and good company.