Best Places to Live

Clearwater, FL

Population: 117,560
iStock/Morgan Somers

It’s no secret why more than 115,000 people call Clearwater home. This relaxed beach community sits along the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s western coast, not far from Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Aside from the gorgeous warm weather, Clearwater offers an incredible lifestyle centered around being outdoors — on the beach, at festivals, golfing, fishing, shopping and more. The city made our list because of its low unemployment rate and affordability, plus its first-rate infrastructure, which includes easy walkability and several public transportation options.

Local Obsession: That beach lifestyle. After all, Clearwater regularly wins accolades for being one of the best beaches in America/Florida.

Climate Described In 6 Words Or Less: Warm, humid, gorgeous.

Top Industries and Employers: Clearwater is home to quite a diverse mix of industries. Here, you’ll find employers like Honeywell Aerospace, MarineMax, PODS Enterprises and GE Instrument Transformers.

Local Dream Job: Being retired and spending all day fishing.

Quintessential Meal: Fresh seafood of any kind — no, seriously.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Playing on the water, whether that’s boating, jet-skiing, stand-up paddleboarding or just hanging on the beach.

Best Brewery: Big Storm Brewing Co., which not only serves delicious craft beer, but also fancy coffee drinks and 18 flavors of homemade ice cream.

Beloved Bookstore: The Little Shop of Wonders Books, Movies & Music, a friendly place to pick up a book, a DVD, a CD, a record or all of the above.

Free Way To Have Fun: Head to Pier 60, a fun spot with vendors, artists and buskers, plus a free outdoor movie theater. (You’ll have to fork over $1 to get all the way to the end of the pier, but it’s free until then!)

Truly Hidden Gem: Pierogi Grill and Deli, which makes authentic Polish food and has an old police cruiser out front that reads “Clearwater Pierogi Department.”

- Sarah Kuta

Read More:

Moving to Florida? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

8 Surprising Things About Living in Florida

Why You Should Move to Florida Right No

“You cannot beat the sunshine and breeze! Our beaches are also beautiful with crystal water and white sand. The city does a wonderful job keeping the beaches clean and family friendly.”

Joy Hmielewski
Portrait and wedding photographer

Clearwater, FL Ranking Data