Lite Bites and Tropical Brews in Clearwater

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By Nancy Foster

While Clearwater Beach is legendary for its sugar-white sands and warm Gulf of Mexico waters, the fun doesn’t stop there. Home to an enticing array of hip tiki bars and casual watering holes for post-beach fun time, these visitor favorites are renowned for cool drinks, great eats and bonus sunset views.

JIMMY’S CROW’S NEST AT PIER HOUSE 60 MARINA HOTEL

Ride the elevator to the top floor and lay claim to a bar stool at this open-air hot spot overlooking the marina and Pier 60 Park. The atmosphere is trendy casual, the mood is fun and the panoramic views at sunset are spellbinding. Order up a towering Jimmy’s Burger and kickback with a perfect Jimmy’s Nest Colada. pierhouse60.com

TURTLE BAR AT SHERATON SAND KEY

Visually eye-popping and fabulously delicious, the frozen Sand Pail drink concoctions at this popular hotel poolside tiki bar are utterly irresistible, so ask for two straws as you sip 40 ounces of blended goodness. Choose from delectable alcohol or non-alcohol wonders such as the Tasty Turtle made with Naked Turtle Rum, Midori, pineapple juice and a float of dark rum, or try the signature Watermelon Lemonade for a true thirst-quencher. For munchies, chow down on crunchy Nachos Grande at the Poolside Café. sheratonsandkey.com

SHEPHARD’S BEACH RESORT

The in-crowd makes tracks to Shephard’s where two bars, two shaded pavilions and a concert stage line up against the sugar-soft sands of Clearwater Beach. With live afternoon and evening entertainment ranging from local and international bands to DJ’s, happy hour action from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a Salt Tequila Bar and Tap Room featuring over 100 tequilas and 25 craft beers, this is truly a visitor favorite. Sip on a Miami Vice (pina colada mix, strawberry daiquiri mix and rum) and order a burger or fresh fish tacos as you relish a glorious sunset, then join the dance crowd at Wave Nightclub for a fitting finale. shephards.com

FRENCHY’S ROCKAWAY GRILL

With live music daily, this perennial beachfront favorite beckons to your inner self—unwind, relax and be immersed in the convivial atmosphere of Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. Order up some insanely delicious Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries and kickback with a frozen Sunset Splash made with Captain Morgan Grapefruit Rum, pina colada mix and guava puree. Enjoy open-air beachfront dining right on the Gulf of Mexico!  frenchysonline.com

 

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