Moving to Clearwater

Welcome aboard! You're on the precipice of a grand adventure, ready to dive into the sparkling waters of Clearwater, FL, a sun-kissed city that's so much more than just stunning beaches. Our comprehensive relocation guide will prove an indispensable ally as you navigate the ins and outs of Clearwater living. We'll explore neighborhoods, schools, recreation, and employment opportunities to set you up for a smooth landing. So kick off your shoes, imagine the sand between your toes, and let's get you all set for your exciting move to Clearwater, FL!

Moving to Clearwater, FL landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Clearwater

1. It's More Than Just a Beach Town

While Clearwater, Florida is iconic for its miles of pristine white sandy beaches and sparkling blue ocean waters, there's more to this coastal gem than meets the eye. Beyond its beachy allure, Clearwater boasts a bustling downtown area, complete with chic boutiques, art festivals, culinary treasures, and an active nightlife. If you're not sunbathing on Clearwater Beach, you'll likely be wandering through the colorful streets on the hunt for your next big adventure!

2. Get Ready For An Active Lifestyle

One thing's for sure: living in Clearwater is not for the idle. With year-round sunshine and easy access to outdoor recreational opportunities, an active lifestyle is almost a pre-requisite for Clearwater living. From water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking, to land-based activities such as golfing, hiking and biking, there's always something to do to get your heart pumping and your body moving.

3. The Weather is (Almost) Always Perfect

There's a reason why the Sunshine State got its name - and Clearwater is no exception. Boasting an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, it is quite the contender for an endless summer destination. While you might need to contend with the occasional afternoon thunderstorm in the summer, the rest of the year will have you basking in the consistently warm, sunny, and humidity-free climate.

4. Connect With Nature At Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Decidedly one of Clearwater's best kept secrets, Moccasin Lake Nature Park offers a unique chance to connect with Florida's wildlife in their natural habitats. Wander the trails and you could come face-to-face with roaming deer, busy squirrels, and a plethora of bird species. With environmental educational programs running constantly, it's a great place for kids (big and small) to learn about nature and conservation.

5. The Dolphin Tales Are True!

Yes, it's true! Clearwater is home to Winter, the famous bottlenose dolphin known for her tale of survival in the movie "Dolphin Tale". Winter can be seen at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a rescue center dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life. It's not just Winter calling the aquarium home though, there are all sorts of fascinating sea creatures to meet as you explore this exceptional attraction.

6. Be Prepared to Share Your Space with Spring Breakers

If peace and tranquility are high on your priority list, you might want to avoid Clearwater during March and April. As a popular Spring Break destination, the area can be overrun with exuberant youngsters looking to let loose during their school holidays. However, the lively atmosphere can also be a lot of fun, and the town returns to its peaceful state as soon as Spring Break is over.

So, if you are considering making a move to Clearwater, you are in for a treat. The city offers the best of beach life and city living, and guarantees an active, outdoor lifestyle. Whether you're swimming with dolphins, learning about nature, or testing out your waterproof sunscreen during the long, sunny days, each week in Clearwater feels like a vacation. See you at the beach!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Clearwater

Pros of Living in Clearwater

Abundant Natural Beauty

Clearwater, Florida, is known for its stunning coastline, offering a beautiful natural setting. Residents can enjoy the stunning Clearwater Beach, acknowledged as one of the country's finest beaches, as well as various parks and nature preserves for outdoor recreation.

Balmy Climate

Clearwater enjoys a tropical climate, meaning warm temperatures all year round. For those who prefer to avoid the cold, Clearwater could be an excellent choice, with mild winters and hot, sun-filled summers.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other coastal cities in Florida, Clearwater has a relatively lower cost of living. While prices fluctuate, overall, residents can expect everything from housing to groceries to be reasonably priced, making it an affordable place to live.

Leisure and Culture

Clearwater offers a wide range of leisure activities and cultural attractions. From boating and fishing to museums and art galleries, all interspersed with a variety of dining options, the city ensures there's never a dull moment.

Great Educational Institutions

Clearwater is home to some excellent schools and higher education institutions, making it a great place for families and students. The strong emphasis on education provides ample opportunities for academic growth and achievement.

Cons of Living in Clearwater

The Risk of Hurricanes

Being a coastal city, Clearwater is at a higher risk of hurricanes. Residents should be aware of this natural hazard and prepared for potential evacuations or weather-related damage during hurricane season.

Heat and Humidity

Although the tropical weather is a delight for many, the heat and humidity during the summer can be intense. This may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who are more acclimated to cooler climates.

Potential for Traffic Congestion

Just like many popular vacation spots, traffic congestion can be an issue in Clearwater, especially during the peak tourism season. This could lead to longer commute times and inconvenience for residents.

Higher Insurance Rates

Due to the risk of hurricanes and other natural disasters, home insurance rates tend to be higher in Clearwater compared to other areas. This additional cost is something future residents should factor into their budgets.

Tourist Crowds

Clearwater's popularity with tourists means that the beaches, restaurants, and attractions can be crowded, particularly during peak holiday seasons. This increase in visitor numbers can sometimes impact the quality of life for locals.

Modern day picture of Clearwater, FL highlighting pros and cons of living in Clearwater, FL

Is Clearwater a Good Place to Live?

Clearwater, FL is a great place to live because of its stunning beaches, crystal clear water, abundance of outdoor activities, and year-round warm weather. Aside from the inviting subtropical climate, it also boasts an array of dining and entertainment options, as well as a diverse art scene. With a strong sense of community and a laid-back lifestyle, Clearwater offers a charming blend of small-town feel and big city amenities.

What Is Clearwater Famous For?

Clearwater's Gorgeous Beaches

One of the city's main draws is its impeccable white sand beaches, with Clearwater Beach being a consistent winner of both national and international awards for its beauty and cleanliness. From its crystalline waters to its stunning sunsets, it's a paradise for beach lovers offering an array of activities such as fishing, sailing, and jet-skiing.

The Annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday

For over 40 years, the city has hosted the famous Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a four-day and four-night, world-class, live, music festival, enjoyed by over 35,000 people the third weekend in October. Legends such as BB King and Dizzy Gillespie have graced the stage, making it a must-see for any music enthusiast.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Home to the movie star dolphin, Winter, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a unique marine life rescue center dedicated to rehabilitation and release of marine animals. This not-for-profit attraction isn't just a place to observe sea creatures, but also acts as a hospital for injured marine life, inspiring visitors with a mission of rescue, rehab and release.

Pier 60

A central landmark on Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 offers 1,080 feet of fishing space and fantastic Gulf of Mexico views. During the evening, the area near the pier transforms into a hub for street performers, craft vendors, and artists as part of the city's daily sunset festival, providing a touch of local colorful culture to the coastal experience.

Capital building of Clearwater, FL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Clearwater, FL, the property tax rate for 2023 is around 1.06%, significantly lower than the national average which stands at about 1.07%. This suggests that property owners in Clearwater, on average, pay a lower percentage of their property's value each year in taxes compared to property owners in other parts of the US.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Clearwater, FL, as of 2023, is 7%, which includes 6% Florida state sales tax and an additional 1% Pinellas county sales tax. This is fairly average compared to other parts of the United States, as the average sales tax rate across the US is around 7.12%.

Income Tax

Florida has no state income tax, including in Clearwater. This is a significant difference compared to many other states in the US where income tax is often a significant part of state revenue, with the average state income tax rate being approximately 4.6%.

Housing Market

Clearwater, FL boasts a dynamic real estate market that caters to both renters and buyers. The median home value is estimated to be $278,000, relatively lower than the national median, offering affordable homeownership opportunities. For renters, the median monthly rental is approximately $1,200. There's a relatively balanced mix of buyers and renters, with a homeownership rate of about 56.4%. Compared to more densely populated areas, Clearwater offers an appealing blend of affordability, great weather and entertaining outdoor activities. However, it's worth mentioning that Florida has no state income tax, which might offset some housing costs.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Clearwater, FL is relatively moderate when compared to other cities. Housing is notably cheaper than national averages, which greatly influences its affordability. Additionally, costs for groceries, healthcare, utilities, and transportation are generally lower, contributing to a more cost-efficient lifestyle. However, it's still slightly above the average for Florida. In comparison to larger cities, living in Clearwater proves financially advantageous, making it an appealing choice for those looking for a balance between a vibrant, beach city life and affordability.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Clearwater, Florida, enjoys a subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s in January to the low 90s in August, while low temperatures typically hover between the 50s and 70s. Frequent afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence in the summer months--part of the weather conditions attributed to Florida's title as the "lightning capital" of the U.S. Clearwater is also susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes, the hurricane season spanning from June to November. Despite these challenges, the region's abundant sunshine--Clearwater is one of the sunniest cities in the U.S.--and scenic beach vistas keep it an appealing destination throughout the year.

Typical weather in Clearwater, FL

Economy & Job Market

* Tourism and Hospitality Industry

* Healthcare Industry

* Retail Trade

* Educational Services

* Construction Industry

A quaint city tucked away in the heartland of Florida, Clearwater boasts an economic tapestry woven from a diversely robust set of industries. History hums a tune of flourishing fishing and harboring industries owing to its surfeit of scenic shimmers on the Gulf of Mexico's coastline, but time turned the city into a vibrant labyrinth of modern industries. Today, though the sea still tickles the economy with a robust tourism scene that leaves hotels teeming with out-of-towners eager to soak up the sun and shore, a new tide has arrived. Modern Clearwater has seen a sea change, diversifying towards the healthcare sector, educational services, retail trade and a sprouting construction industry, thereby keeping the city's economic engine churning.

If you're ready to be a part of Clearwater's cocktail of careers, you won't find a city more eager to welcome fresh talent and ambition. There's no need to twiddle your thumbs as scope and opportunity abound here. The city's employment rate is on an upwards curve, currently sitting pretty at 95.3%, higher than the U.S. average. Healthcare jobs are in high demand owing to a host of health facilities in the city - just so you know, scrubs may be your new wardrobe staple! Retail and educational services have also carved a niche in the city with numerous stores and schools springing up like freshly bloomed flowers. Ultimately, it's all about finding a vibrant, exciting job market that marries well with your professional expectations and Clearwater, FL seems more than ready to say 'I do'!

Traffic and Transportation

Oh, the bustling city of Clearwater, FL! If you're itching to dip your toes in the sand, you'll have to navigate our roads first. On average, you're looking at commute times of about 23 minutes, not too shabby, right? You'll find that Floridians are surprisingly patient when it comes to traffic, perhaps it's the constant sunshine keeping our spirits high!

As for public transportation, Clearwater offers a darling system known as the PSTA, which serves Pinellas County and connects to nearby Tampa, too. It's an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for getting around. Plus, there's something rather exciting about hopping on a bus with places to go and people to see!

If you're channeling your inner jetsetter, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport are ready to welcome you. Be it for business or pleasure, our airports offer an easy, breezy, Clearwater-easy travel experience. Get ready for takeoff in the Sunshine City!

What is the traffic like in Clearwater, FL?

Best Neighborhoods in Clearwater

1. Island Estates

Tucked away on its own little island in Clearwater Harbor, Island Estates radiates charm and tranquility. An aquatic paradise with dolphins as your neighbors, and a strong community vibe, it's perfect for those seeking a peaceful yet vibrant lifestyle. Offering a mix of condos, single-family homes and waterfront properties, it's got a little something for everyone. Residents have easy access to the amenities of Clearwater Beach, just a hop, skip, and a jump away over the Memorial Causeway. Plus, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium--a favorite with youngsters and sea-life enthusiasts--is right on the island!

2. Clearwater Beach

For beach lovers, it doesn't get much better than Clearwater Beach. Consistently named one of the top beaches in the country, this neighborhood is a hub of activity, filled with lively beach bars, fantastic seafood restaurants, and numerous outdoor activities. The Pier 60 Daily Festival -- a nightly sunset celebration featuring artisans, crafters, and street performers -- offers endless entertainment. This is the perfect spot for someone who loves the buzz and excitement of a tourist hotspot but also appreciates the relaxation offered by life by the sea.

3. Countryside

Are you seeking suburban bliss in Clearwater? Behold Countryside! This family-friendly neighborhood offers a serene, spacious atmosphere with plenty of parks, premier golf courses, and reputable schools. Countryside Mall serves as a shopping hot spot, while the neighborhood also boasts an exciting array of restaurants and entertainment options. Whether you're cycling along the trail or enjoying a picnic in the park, Countryside offers a balanced lifestyle that effortlessly melds activity and relaxation.

4. Sand Key

If luxury living with panoramic water views is more your style, Sand Key might just be your dream neighborhood. Nestled on a barrier island just south of Clearwater Beach, Sand Key is a paradise of high-rise condominiums and upscale restaurants, with a penchant for quiet and relaxation. The peaceful Sand Key Park offers a break from the crowds, with its lovely boardwalk and bird watching opportunities. While it has the amenities of Clearwater close by, Sand Key is all about the unspoiled beauty of the coast.

5. Downtown Clearwater

Say hello to the vibrant heart of the city. Downtown Clearwater has experienced a recent revitalization and boasts burgeoning arts and cultural scenes that give it a unique charm. The area is peppered with hip lofts and quality apartments, appealing to young professionals and artists. The Capitol Theatre and the Clearwater Jazz Festival offer plenty of entertainment opportunities, and the local food scene tantalizes taste buds with its wide-ranging offers from gourmet to food truck bites.

In conclusion, whether you're looking for quiet relaxation, beachfront living, suburban tranquility, or urban excitement, Clearwater's diverse neighborhoods have something to satisfy everyone's taste. Each of these five neighborhoods offers its unique blend of lifestyle, amenities, and Floridian charm. Welcome home, to your very own paradise in Clearwater, Florida!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Clearwater, Florida, where the blue waves meet white sandy beaches and the sun shines almost 360 days a year! If you're moving to Clearwater, get ready to enjoy a world of great outdoor activities, stunning wildlife, and fantastic food and drink. Pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore. Here are seven top-rated things to do in Clearwater, FL.

1. Visit Clearwater Beach

When most people think of Clearwater, the award-winning Clearwater Beach often comes to mind, and for good reason! This three-mile stretch of sugar-white sand and sparkling blue waters is nothing short of paradise. Try your hand at paddleboarding, parasailing, or simply soak up the sun. Don't forget to stick around for some of the best sunsets Florida has to offer.

2. Explore the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

If you're a fan of the movie Dolphin Tale, you'll love visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium - home of Winter the dolphin! But that's not all, you can meet a host of marine creatures, attend educational programs, and get a behind-the-scenes look at marine rescue operations. This is an adventure for the whole family.

3. Discover Sand Key Park

Escape the crowds of Clearwater Beach and head to the tranquil confines of Sand Key Park. This barrier island park boasts gorgeous beach vistas, family-friendly amenities, and a park that is home to rare bird species. Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in this hidden gem.

4. Embark on a Kai Lani Catamaran

For a bit of adventure, hop aboard the Kai Lani Catamaran and sail into the Gulf of Mexico. You can spot dolphins, snorkel in the clear waters, or just enjoy the wind in your hair. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, providing breath-taking views and an unbeatable romantic atmosphere.

5. Savor the Downtown Dining Scene

Clearwater boasts an impressive dining scene, with everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine. Downtown, you can find signature Clearwater dishes like Grouper Sandwich at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill or enjoy the hip vibe at Clear Sky on Cleveland.

6. Get Artistic at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center

This eccentric art center, located in nearby Safety Harbor, is a bit off the beaten path but well worth a visit. The Safety Harbor Art and Music Center often hosts events and concerts and offers classes to those interested in developing their artistic talents. It's a great place to appreciate local talent and immerse yourself in the local creative scene.

7. Tour Big Cat Rescue

Did you know that Clearwater is home to a big cat sanctuary? At Big Cat Rescue, located a short drive north of Clearwater, you can see lions, tigers, bobcats, and more, all while learning about the conservation efforts made to protect these magnificent animals. Tour reservations are required and often book up in advance, so plan ahead!

Just like that, you are ready to make the most out of your fresh start in Clearwater, Florida. Between the gorgeous beaches, outdoor adventures, and wonderful dining options, we guarantee you're in for an exciting adventure. Welcome to your new coastal paradise!

Things to do in Clearwater, FL?

Find Movers for Your Clearwater Relocation

Clearwater's sunny skies, sandy beaches, and upbeat atmosphere are awaiting your arrival. Transitioning to a new city should be exciting, not stressful. Let Great Guys Moving shoulder some of that burden, connecting you with reputable, top-notch moving companies that can navigate your move with care. Discover how effortless relocations can be by submitting basic move details and waiting for the affordable quotes to roll in. All movers in our network are licensed and insured to ensure a hassle-free experience. Make your dream of Florida living come true with ease - request your free moving quote today.

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