A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Clearwater vs. Daytona Beach for Nightlife, Beaches, Food, and Resorts

Should you visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Clearwater and Daytona Beach. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Clearwater

Clearwater is a relaxing, beautiful, and outdoorsy coastal city. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a fun, party-hard, and energetic beach city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and beaches.

Clearwater and Daytona Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Daytona Beach than Clearwater. While Clearwater is larger than Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Daytona Beach is better known for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Clearwater is more popular for its museums, food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and shopping. Daytona Beach is more touristy than Clearwater and is known for its spring break culture, wild parties, and the Daytona 500 NASCAR race. Also, Daytona Beach is famous for The Daytona International Speedway. Clearwater is well known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports.

How is Clearwater different from Daytona Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Daytona Beach and Clearwater. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Daytona Beach does not have museums and landmarks.

Clearwater offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Perhaps most well known is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but there are also a surprising number of museums nearby such as the Dalí Museum, the impressive Chihuly Glass Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Daytona Beach does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Clearwater or Daytona Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its restaurants.

Dining out in Clearwater is an experience not to be missed. Head to the waterfront for some of the best seafood. Unfortunately this is also where you'll find the highest prices. Shrimp, crab, and a fresh catch of the day are common on many menus.

Daytona Beach offers some easy restaurants to choose from. This beach is more about the parties and drinks than it is about the food.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a world-class destination for nightlife. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for nightlife and partying.

People head to Daytona Beach just to party. Spring break is when the parties are at their peak. For the most active nightlife head to A1A from Ormond-by-the-Sea to Ponce Inlet, Main and Beach Streets, and Seabreeze Boulevard, ONE DAYTONA and International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, and Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Clearwater. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Music?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a good destination for live music. However, Clearwater is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Daytona Beach. You can see live music at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Bandshell and The Roof.

Clearwater is not a live music destination.


Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a well-known place for its resorts. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its luxury resorts.

Clearwater is known as a popular and fun resort destination. You'll find a number of nice resorts along the coastline. Some of the most popular are the Sandpearl Resort, the Opal Sands Resort, and the Clearwater Beach Marriott.

Daytona Beach has a few resort options worth checking out. Many resorts in the area focus more on affordability than luxury. The oceanfront hotels usually have nice beachfront pools and rooms with balconies and oceanfront views. You'll pay a bit more for the waterfront rooms.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Daytona Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Clearwater has a few good snorkeling spots. There's both snorkeling and diving nearby. Some of the best dive spots are within and hour of the shore and you'll find diving shops that offer trips.

Daytona Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a must-visit destination for the beach. Also, Daytona Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach city to visit for its beaches.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Clearwater. Clearwater Beach is on many lists as one of the best beaches in America. It's the most popular beach in the area and it spreads out over 2.5 miles. Sand Key Beach is another popular destination as is the pristine Caladesi Island State Park.

Many people head to Daytona Beach to enjoy the beach. The city's beaches are lively and festive, so if you're looking for a beach with music, drinking, and partying, then this is your place. In the surrounding areas you'll find some quieter, more family-friendly beaches. It's also best to avoid the Spring Break crowds if you're hoping for a quieter and more family-friendly vacation.


Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for shopping.

Many visitors go to Clearwater to go shopping. You'll find all of the standard shopping options in the area such as malls, shopping centers, and outlets. Westfield Countryside Mall is a popular destination as is the Cleveland Street District.

Daytona Beach is a good destination for shopping. Souvenir shops and t-shirt shops are the main shopping you'll find in this area. The boardwalk is lined with gimmicky shops where you can pick up magnets or beach paraphernalia.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Families?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its kid-friendly activities.

Clearwater is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the playground and activities around Pier 60. Less crowded and family-friendly Sand Key Park is another favorite spot and the playgrounds at New Coachman Park and Crest Lake Park are also fun. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is another popular attraction for visitors with kids.

Daytona Beach is not always a place people visit with their families. Although it's best avoided during spring break, Daytona with kids can be fun when the crowds aren't too bad. There are water parks, surfing lessons, and of course the beach. The restaurants are usually family-friendly as well with many offering kid's menus and early opening hours.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a well-known place for couples. Also, Daytona Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach city to visit for romance.

Clearwater is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are beautiful parks and beaches as well as romantic activities like sunset cruises and dolphin spotting tours. Couples will also enjoy dining on local seafood and shopping at the local venues.

Daytona Beach is a nice destination for couples. While romance isn't exactly what comes to mind when you first think of Daytona, couples who like to party and be out and about will enjoy a visit to Daytona Beach. There's plenty to do and some very great seafood restaurants in the area, so it's not hard to turn it into a couple's destination.


Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Students?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a world-class destination for students. However, Clearwater is not popular with students.

Daytona Beach is a very popular place to visit for students. It's one of the original Spring Break destinations, and the trend continues. If you're a student looking to cut loose, you'll find plenty of likeminded vacationers in the area, with many bars and hotels catering specifically to the younger crowd.

Clearwater is not popular with students.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a moderate coastal city for its public transit. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Clearwater. The Clearwater Jolley Trolley connects some of the area's highlights. There are also public buses that run several routes through town.

Public transit is quite limited in Daytona Beach. There's limited transportation options around town so you really must have a private vehicle. If you've been out drinking, you can call a taxi or an Uber.

Is Clearwater or Daytona Beach a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Daytona Beach

Clearwater is a popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its walkability.

Clearwater is a somewhat walkable coastal city. The waterfront and downtown areas are surprisingly walkable.

Daytona Beach is not a very walkable coastal city. This area requires a car if you want to access restaurants, nightlife, or anything away from your hotel.


For even more information, also check out Is Clearwater Worth Visiting? and Is Daytona Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Daytona Beach or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Both Clearwater and Daytona Beach have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Daytona Beach than in Clearwater. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 7 days is enough time in Daytona Beach.

Families should spend more time in Clearwater than Daytona Beach. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Clearwater, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Clearwater than Daytona Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Clearwater that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Clearwater than Daytona Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Clearwater.


  • How many days in Clearwater or Daytona Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Daytona Beach 7

One day in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Clearwater. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

With live music and nightlife around the lively beach city of Daytona Beach, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Clearwater. Most people come for the beaches. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With nightlife and live music around the destination of Daytona Beach, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Clearwater. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Daytona Beach, a popular beach city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this beach city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the coastal city of Clearwater. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Daytona Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this beach city makes for a great vacation. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this beach city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Daytona Beach or Clearwater?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Clearwater is $309, while the average daily cost in Daytona Beach is $211. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Clearwater and Daytona Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Daytona Beach $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Daytona Beach $168
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Daytona Beach

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater or Daytona Beach? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Clearwater


Hotels in Daytona Beach


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Clearwater Hotel Prices and Daytona Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Daytona Beach $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $75
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $128

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Daytona Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Daytona Beach:

  • Private Transfer from Daytona to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $202

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Prices for flights to both Daytona Beach and Clearwater change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Clearwater $46
    Daytona Beach $80

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Daytona Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Daytona Beach.

  • Polynesian Fire and Dinner Show Ticket in Daytona Beach: $53

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Daytona Beach $28

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Clearwater are as follows:

  • St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour: $14
  • Clearwater; Aspirations Winery Tour and Tasting Experience: $21
  • The Coastal Sip 'n Roll: Jolley Trolley Beer Adventure: $25
  • Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Clearwater Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Clearwater Beach: Dolphins & Donuts Morning Cruise: $28
  • Two-hour Clearwater Area Trolley Sightseeing Tour: $28
  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat in Clearwater Beach: $28
  • Clearwater Beach: Dolphin and Sandbar Boat Cruise: $28
  • Clearwater Beach: Sunset and Harbor Lights Cruise: $28
  • Tour with Dolphins and Sight Seeing: $29

Tours and Activities in Daytona Beach

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Daytona Beach are as follows:

  • St. Johns River Nature Cruise at Blue Spring State Park : $23
  • Wildlife Tour of Indian River Lagoon with Experienced Captain: $32
  • The Great Daytona Wine Bar Tour: $38
  • The Great Daytona Wine Bar Tour: $40
  • Guided Wildlife Eco Kayak Tour in New Smyrna Beach: $45
  • Ormond Beach Manatee and Nature Tour Kayaking or Paddle Boarding: $59
  • Zipline Adventure through Tuscawilla Park: $59
  • Dolphin and Manatee Stand Up Paddleboard Tour in Daytona Beach: $65
  • New Smyrna Dolphin and Manatee Kayak and SUP Adventure Tour: $65
  • Orlando Manatee and Natural Spring Adventure Tour at Blue Springs: $65
  • Dolphin and Manatee Kayak Tour of Daytona Beach: $65
  • Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour: $65

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Daytona Beach $43

Sample the Local Flavors in Clearwater

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Clearwater:

  • The Tour and Wine Tasting Experience at Aspirations Winery: $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Daytona Beach

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Daytona Beach:

  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl: $38
  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl from Daytona Beach: $40


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Clearwater and Daytona Beach, we can see that Clearwater is more expensive. And not only is Daytona Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Daytona Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Daytona Beach and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Clearwater would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Clearwater than you might in Daytona Beach.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Clearwater Expensive? and Is Daytona Beach Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Clearwater has a larger population, and is about 67% larger than the population of Daytona Beach. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater and Daytona Beach, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach in the Summer?

Both Daytona Beach and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Daytona Beach for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Daytona Beach. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 82°F (28°C), and Daytona Beach fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Daytona Beach. It's quite rainy in Clearwater. In July, Clearwater usually receives more rain than Daytona Beach. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Daytona Beach receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Daytona Beach 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach in the Autumn?

Both Daytona Beach and Clearwater during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Daytona Beach in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

Clearwater is around the same temperature as Daytona Beach in the autumn. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 75°F (24°C) in October, and Daytona Beach fluctuates around 74°F (23°C).

Daytona Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Clearwater usually gets less rain in October than Daytona Beach. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Daytona Beach receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Clearwater.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Daytona Beach 74°F (23°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Daytona Beach. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Daytona Beach for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Clearwater is around the same temperature as Daytona Beach. Typically, the winter temperatures in Clearwater in January average around 60°F (15°C), and Daytona Beach averages at about 58°F (14°C).

In January, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Daytona Beach. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Daytona Beach receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Daytona Beach 58°F (14°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Daytona Beach in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Daytona Beach. Most visitors come to Clearwater for the beaches during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Daytona Beach because of the beaches and the activities around the city.

In April, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Daytona Beach. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 71°F (22°C), and Daytona Beach fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

Clearwater usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Daytona Beach. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Daytona Beach receives 2.2 inches (57 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Clearwater is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Daytona Beach 69°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Daytona Beach and Clearwater

Clearwater Daytona Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 65°F (18°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 69°F (21°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 80°F (26°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.2 inches (157 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 80°F (26°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 66°F (19°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 60°F (16°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)