Senior Living in Clearwater:
Everything You Need to Know
Clearwater, Florida is a picturesque city in Pinellas County based on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast near Tampa and St. Petersburg. With its gorgeous white sand beaches, it’s a perfect place to retire and enjoy sunny weather, nature and a vibrant economy.
What to know about retirement living in Clearwater
History of the Clearwater area
The history of the area dates to the indigenous Tocobaga people in the 16th century and around 1835 Fort Harrison was constructed as an outpost during the Seminole Wars. In 1842 more settlers arrived, spurred by the Federal Armed Occupation Act and farming took off thanks in part to the many freshwater springs in the area.
The first road between Clearwater and Tampa was built in 1849 and the town of Clearwater was incorporated in 1891. Clearwater was an important training base during World War II and has continued to grow into the 21st century.
With a humid subtropical climate, Clearwater is a vacation destination year-round but especially during the winter months. Residents and visitors enjoy excellent shopping, as well as arts and cultural venues, beautiful parks and nature areas, and of course baseball, with the nearby Tampa Bay Rays.
The freedom gained during retirement means more time to relax and reconnect with favorite pastimes. It’s also a time to explore new destinations and discover new passions. Clearwater offers many opportunities to do just that:
No visit to Clearwater is complete without a day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with everything from rescued sharks, sting rays and pelicans to exhibits featuring dolphins, sea turtles and many more marine creatures. While there enjoy the boat rides and tours, educational programs and a range of events that are both beautiful and awe inspiring.
Another fun destination is Pier 60 Park for everything from amusement park rides to the famous Sunsets at Pier 60 celebrations to the street performers and the wonderful Gulf of Mexico beaches.
Load up on sponges at Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, home to some of the nation’s finest Greek restaurants and markets as well as tours, sponge diving and plenty of unique souvenirs.
Festivals are part of life in Clearwater and one not-to-be missed festival is the Sugar Sand Festival in March and April at Pier 60 Park featuring amazing sand sculptures, live entertainment, great food, and fun for all ages.
Enjoy a broad range of short and feature-length films from around the World at the Dunedin Film Festival in early February.
Sample the autumn fare at Oktoberfest Indian Rocks Beach in October with contests, raffles, arts and crafts vendors, food, and live music.
For everything artistic the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is home to a large collection of art old and new in diverse media, as well as rotating art exhibitions, programs that include classes, lectures and films, a sculpture garden, and much more.
Enjoy the performing arts at the Central Park Performing Arts Center in Largo featuring musical artists in different genres, comedians, live theater and special holiday presentations.
Right in town, the historic Bilheimer Capitol Theatre offers a full calendar of live musicians, plays and other stage presentations.
While out and about in Clearwater, don’t forget to take in the outdoor art of the many wall murals, paintings and sculptures around town or spend a day at the Clearwater Historical Society Museum and Cultural Center to learn about the area, view artifacts and attend events.
For those who love transportation history The Collection on Palmetto is full to the brim with classic cars, engines and trains.
The Pinellas County African American Museum at the Curtis Museum takes a deep look at the story of Black history and culture in the area.
Clearwater has no shortage of restaurants to suit every palate. For great casual dining try Clear Sky on Cleveland featuring unique global cuisine, Angie’s Grill on Drew Street for American fare and daily specials, or enjoy the tropical flare of Rumba Island Bar & Grill for a taste of the Caribbean.
Enjoy an upscale fine-dining experience at The Black Pearl offering outstanding French and American cuisine, Island Way Grill for amazing seafood, steaks and sushi, or Forlini’s for authentic Italian in an elegant atmosphere.
Stay mentally sharp and satisfy your curiosity through lifelong learning at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. OLLI offers members a range of online and in-person non-credit courses and lectures, diverse interest groups, social opportunities, and educational travel to places around the globe.
Local farmers markets
The best way to add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet is to frequent local farmers markets like the Dunedin Downtown Market open year-round with a variety of produce, meats, eggs, and cheese as well as soaps, candles, baked goods, and live music.
Another excellent choice is the Corey Avenue Sunday Market on St. Pete Beach featuring dozens of vendors offering local fresh-grown produce, gourmet foods, arts and crafts, and live music.
For a look at the future of farming check out Brick Street Farms where indoor vertical farming practices produce tasty chemical-free greens, microgreens and fruit in a fraction of the space required outdoors.
For a fun day try the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg is open October to May with organic and sustainably grown produce and meat, foods from around the world, diverse artisans, and live entertainment.
Walking trails and nature
Clearwater weather makes it easy to get out for a brisk (or leisurely) walk on the many beautiful trails. Among the best are Eagle Lake Park with a 2.5-mile scenic loop in Largo, the Lake Chautauqua Park Recreational Trail in Clearwater with different length trails and lakeside views or the 1-mile Moccasin Lake Nature Park Trail featuring plenty of wildlife and shade.
Florida is synonymous with nature and a great place to enjoy it is the Gladys E. Douglas Preserve in Dunedin where native species flourish and roam free and trail markers provide information along the way. Another option is the Largo Central Park Nature Preserve featuring hundreds of wildlife species, great birdwatching, an observation tower and more than 40 interpretive displays.
Also amazing is the Florida Botanical Gardens with 100 acres of breathtaking plants as well as educational programs and events.
For those who enjoy nature on the links the semi-private Clearwater Country Club, an 18-hole course with a driving range, and the Largo Golf Course, a par 62, 18-hole executive course are both excellent choices.
Fitness and swimming
Find the perfect fitness niche at one of the local gyms like Rift Fitness with coaches, private sessions and state-of-the-art equipment or Cheek-Powell Fitness Center featuring a variety of exercise options including Zumba®, Pilates and yoga, as well as support from fitness professionals.
Another alternative is Studio 3 offering yoga, Pilates, and barre to help restore balance, strength and flexibility.
Swimming is a great way to stay fit and Clearwater offers plenty of choices including the North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex, the Long Center, the Morningside leRecreation Complex and the Ross Norton Recreation and Aquatic Complex.
Research has shown that older adults who volunteer live longer, healthier lives with lower mortality rates, less risk of depression, and better functional abilities. For those who love kids, join the Clearwater Community Volunteers, an organization dedicated to helping children thrive.
Check out all the volunteer opportunities in Pinellas County ranging from desk jobs to special projects to caring for animals and more.
Another option is to try volunteermatch.org, or contact local hospitals, organizations like the Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity, or other local charities.
Places of worship are also plentiful in greater Clearwater and include:
- Albanian Islamic Cultural Center of Clearwater Mosque
- Ambaji Mandir Hindu Temple
- Brandie Hindu Temple
- Chabad of Clearwater Synagogue
- Christ Community Presbyterian Church
- Christ the King Lutheran Church
- Christ the Lord Lutheran Church
- Church of the Reconciler Presbyterian
- Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue
- Congregation Ohr Chadash Synagogue
- Grace Lutheran Church
- Gulf Coast Church (Christian)
- Masjid Al Salaam Mosque
- Masjid Hamza Mosque
- Missouri Avenue Baptist Church
- New Beginnings Baptist Church
- New Zion Missionary Baptist Church
- Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
- Real Church (Christian)
- Rogate Lutheran Church of the Deaf
- St. Brendan’s Catholic Church
- St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
- St. Cecelia Catholic Church
- St. Paul's Lutheran Church
- St. Paul United Methodist Church
- St. Patrick Catholic Church
- Skycrest United Methodist Church
- Sylvan Abbey United Methodist Church
- Tay Phuong Buddhist Temple
- Temple B'nai Israel Synagogue
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- The Point Church (Christian)
- Trinity Presbyterian Church
Staying social is key to aging well and Clearwater makes getting out with friends easy to do at the Aging Well Center @ Long Center with monthly programs designed for seniors as well as online programs that are available 24/7 year-round.
Another option is the Largo Community Center offering fitness, education, and much more for seniors. Enjoy the activities, events and camaraderie of friends while staying fit and healthy.
Clearwater, Florida has so much to offer residents and visitors alike. Ready to learn more and see our communities for yourself? We invite you to schedule a time for a private tour today to get to know us and picture yourself at Seasons Largo or Seasons Belleaire.
At Seasons Senior Living, we empower older adults to advance their own health and well-being by creating engaged lifestyles that inspire creativity, support independence, protect dignity, and celebrate experience. Our team members are dedicated to creating an environment that empowers each resident to live their very best life.