Along the central Gulf coast of Florida sits Clearwater, which lives up to its name. This affordable beach destination ranks consistently among Florida's top beaches, and it's easy to see why: well-maintained facilities, lifeguards during the days, excellent weather year-round, powdery sands, and clear, blue waters like a high-end beach resort. There are numerous free and cheap things to do, many of which will please kids and adults alike, from nature walks to musical performances. Beach access is free, but parking is not. Hotel stays at two-star properties around this vacation spot can be less than $100 per night. Vrbo also lists apartments, bungalows, and cottages for under $100 per night.
A final benefit for Clearwater: If you're looking for affordable beaches near Orlando and its theme park offerings, that entertainment mecca is a little over two hours' drive away — which might make worth it for a day-trip option.
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