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A family enjoys the pool at Sandpearl Resort.

Day-On, Day-Off: Sandpearl Resort & Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach’s Sandpearl Resort is the latest in our “Day On, Day Off” series, in which we spend one day exclusively on property, and the next, a full day in town.

Day On at Sandpearl Resort

Breakfast at Caretta’s

A diner enjoys an open-air breakfast at Caretta's on the Gulf.

Start your day at the resort with the best buffet you’ve ever had at Caretta’s on the Gulf. Omelets and eggs cooked to order, fresh Belgian waffles, pastries, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, hash brown casserole, and cereal are among the many options. Get there early (they open at 7 a.m.) and snag a seat on the patio, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, to watch the sun come up while you enjoy your breakfast.

Playtime by the Pool

A family enjoys the private cabanas by the pool at Sandpearl Resort.

For an experience far removed from swimming in a backyard or public pool, head to Sandpearl’s central pool and treat yourself by renting a cabana, which comes with lounge chairs, fans, couches, refrigerators, and even a TV. The sloped-entry pool is also climate controlled, making it comfortable for year-round swimming, and there are beach toys available for families.

An Afternoon at the Spa

A couple enjoys the private jacuzzi at the Spa at Sandpearl.

Keep the rest and relaxation going by spending a few hours at the Opal Spa at Sandpearl Resort. Surrounded by warm, neutral tones that honor the resort’s beachfront surroundings, the 12,000-square-foot oasis houses seven private treatment rooms and a co-ed Jacuzzi accompanied by a “vitality shower,” which helps reduce recovery time, muscle inflammation, and pain after exercise. As for what’s on the menu, you can’t go wrong with any of the body treatments, featuring Kerstin Florian products. We suggest The Replenish Journey, which replenishes your magnesium levels and puts you at ease with a head-to-toe massage, mineral-infused wrap, and acupressure rituals.

The Bell Means It’s Dinner Time

A family eats outdoors at Tate Island Grill.

If you hear a bell, it’s not in your head. The ringing of the resort’s dinner bell is a tradition that dates back to Sandpearl’s earliest days, where a guest will ring the bell to indicate the end of the beach day to signal the start of dinner time. Make your way over to Tate Island Grill, home to a relaxed, fun atmosphere, including live music, TVs with the games on, and a beachside fire pit to finish your night over some drinks and good conversation.

Day Off in Clearwater Beach

A Beautiful Breakfast of Elevated French Toast

The Amaretto French Toast is a signature breakfast staple in SeaGuini.

The marquee restaurant of neighboring Opal Sands Resort & Spa (and a sibling Opal resort), SeaGuini may be best known for its hallmark exhibition kitchen centering around an impressive mosaic-tiled pizza oven. But one thing it also does well: breakfast, which comes served on white linen tables to patrons who sink into sumptuous lime-green armchairs. As for your dish of choice? Among the menu’s ample offerings of breakfast paninis, eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, and buttermilk pancakes, the Amaretto French Toast comes served hot off the griddle, stuffed with sweet mascarpone and bananas, and topped with warm maple syrup and toasted almonds.

It’s a Beach…And a Park

People wondering what to do in Clearwater Beach frequently turn their attention to the beaches. And for good reason – they’re Clearwater’s bread and butter (After all, Sandpearl Resort does sit on what has been called “America’s Best Beach” time and time again). But if looking to stray away, Sand Key Park, just three miles south of Sandpearl, also has all the ingredients for a comfortable day at the beach: white sand, clear water, concessions, bath houses (with changing stalls), outdoor showers to shed the day’s sand and salt, and even shelters and grills for reserving.

Get Salty for Lunch

Ask locals about The Salty Crab Bar & Grill North Beach, a laid-back lunch spot located one block from the beach on Mandalay Avenue, and responses always revolve around the best waitstaff in the area, as well as some of the best seafood. Favorites include the hand-breaded coconut shrimp and the Bairdi crab (served steamed or fire-roasted).

Surf the Sky

Air Adventures caters to daredevils with aerial tours in a fleet of small seaplanes – what resemble a cross between a scooter and a hang glider. The basic 60-minute “Skyway and Beaches” tour sends you soaring through the sky with a pilot, heading south,  over Fort Desoto, Shell Key, and the famous Skyway Bridge, all while observing marine life from above.

Dinner at Cafe Ponte

You may not expect to find such fine dining wedged in a strip mall, but don’t judge Cafe Ponte by its exterior. A favorite of critics in the area, the restaurant is named after its chef and owner Christopher Ponte, who enjoyed an education and career in France and New York prior to opening the restaurant in 2002. Thanks to an open-kitchen concept, diners watch the back-of-house staff prepare their dishes, which include a delightful blend of American, French, Asian, and Italian.

Where to Stay Sandpearl Resort

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