The locals in the Tampa area were adamant when I recently visited: Clearwater Beach was the best beach of them all.
"It's noted for its beautiful white sands," said Stacey Watson, who runs the local Barefoot Bay motel. "The sand is really soft and the water is so pretty."
As someone living in a SoCal beach town, I found her comment to be of great interest and set out to ask other locals if they agreed with her.
As I walked on the indeed soft sands, which has a different, lighter hue than ours, It didn't take very long to find people agreeing. Clearwater was the place to be, attracting beach lovers from nearby Tampa, as well as spring breakers and snowbirds looking for warm weather during the winter months.
Clearwater, a town of about 100,000, is a 45 minutes drive from Tampa, and equal distance from St. Petersburg to the south.
I set out with my iPhone 14 Pro Max to capture the charm of Clearwater, which is centered in one central location: Pier 60, a long pier with vendors who sell knick knacks and art. It also happen to afford a great view of the ocean and Clearwater oceanfront, which is dotted with colorful Florida high-rises.
The town reminded me of a small Honolulu, crowded with people, but on the sand, there was plenty of room to enjoy yourself.
Please check out the video above--as well as my other Florida videos, below.