Our last hotel is the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort. This resort is perfect for families – all accommodations are suites with full kitchens. The rooftop pool and hot tub have private cabanas and shopping and restaurants are within walking distance.
There’s so much to do on the Gulf coast – I think we’ve packed a lot into a few days. Our first stop was Tampa Bay Grand Prix for some indoor go-karting. They had karts for adults and children, which is really important to my 9 year old who likes to drive by himself.
Clearwater has a gorgeous beach – lots of chairs and umbrellas and the water was incredibly warm. Apparently I’m the only one in my family who likes to swim in the ocean, but I was happy to hang out on the beach with a good book. Just down the beach from the Hyatt is Pier 60 with vendors, children’s activities, and street performers. Movies are on the beach every Friday and Saturday night.
We finished our trip by driving 1.5 hours north to Crystal River, the home to a year-round population of manatees. Crystal River is the only place is Florida where you can swim with manatees. Our guide Traci with Native Vacations took us on a 4 hour tour to find manatees. The best time to find manatees in the bay is winter, but we found 8-10 that wanted to interact with us including a mother and her baby. Traci limits her trips to 6 people and really took the time to make sure we had a personal experience.