A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Clearwater vs. Houston for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Clearwater or Houston?

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 Houston. 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 outdoorsy, adventure-filled, and relaxing coastal city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Houston

Houston is a sprawling, southern, and one-of-a-kind city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for live music, food, and shopping.

Clearwater and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Houston?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Houston than Clearwater. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Houston is very popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Clearwater attracts visitors for its food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. Clearwater is more touristy than Houston and is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. Houston is famous for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also well known for The Space Center Houston.

How is Clearwater different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Houston 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 Houston?

Clearwater
Houston

Both Clearwater and Houston have excellent landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Clearwater. 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.

Houston offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's Museum.


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

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is well known for its restaurant scene. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Clearwater. 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.

Houston is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Houston

Houston is notable for nightlife. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Houston has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

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 Houston Better for Music?

Clearwater
Houston

Houston 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 Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Clearwater is not a live music destination.


Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is well known for its resorts. However, Houston is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Clearwater to choose from. 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.

Houston is not a resort destination.

Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is a good destination for its diving and snorkeling. However, Houston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Clearwater. 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.

Houston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is a world-class destination for the beache. However, Houston is not a beach destination.

Clearwater offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. 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.

Houston is not a beach destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Houston?

Clearwater
Houston

Both Clearwater and Houston are nice shopping destinations.

Clearwater is a great destination for 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Families?

Clearwater
Houston

Both Clearwater and Houston are excellent family-friendly destinations.

Clearwater is 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Houston is very family-friendly. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is well known for its romantic activities. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for couples.

Couples visit Clearwater frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

Houston is a good coastal city for couples to visit. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.


Is Clearwater or Houston Better for Students?

Clearwater
Houston

Houston is a good destination for students. However, Clearwater is not popular with students.

Houston is a good city to visit for students. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

Clearwater is not popular with students.

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

Clearwater
Houston

Both Clearwater and Houston offer reasonable public transit options.

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 mostly limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.

Is Clearwater or Houston a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Houston

Clearwater is a good destination for its high level of walkability. However, Houston is not particularly known for its ease of walking around.

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

Houston is generally not a very walkable coastal city. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.


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

Should I spend more time in Houston or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Clearwater and Houston. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Clearwater than in Houston. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 2-3 days is enough time in Houston.

Families should spend more time in Clearwater than Houston. 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 Houston. 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 Houston 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 Houston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Houston 2-3

One day in Clearwater or Houston?

In Clearwater, you'll find shopping and museums. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This coastal city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Clearwater or Houston?

In Clearwater, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Clearwater or Houston?

Clearwater is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Clearwater has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Houston, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A week in Clearwater or Houston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Clearwater. Many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting Clearwater. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Houston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


Which place is cheaper, Houston 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 Houston is $262. 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 Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Houston $142
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Houston $284
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater or Houston? 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 Houston


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 Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Houston $72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Clearwater Beach to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Pete–Clearwater Airport to Clearwater Beach Round-Trip Transfer: $146
  • Private Airport Transfer to St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach : $105
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $70
  • St Petersburg to Tampa Airport (TPA) -Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $128
  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $51
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from IAH Airport to Johnson Space Center: $57
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $60
  • Private Departure Transfer from Johnson Space Center to IAH Airport : $61
  • Private One-way George Bush Airport Transfer To/From Houston: $71
  • Private Hotel Transfer in Houston: $80
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Arrival Private Transfer: $82
  • Houston to Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Arrival Private Transfer: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston 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
    Houston $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Clearwater

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

  • 2 Hours Beach Bites & Brews Food Tour in Gulfport, Florida: $69

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Seasonal Pizza From Scratch Experience in Houston: $55
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • Houston Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $88
  • Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour: $90
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Houston $14

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Clearwater by Operation City Quest: $10
  • St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour: $14
  • Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Clearwater Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Two-hour Clearwater Area Trolley Sightseeing Tour: $28
  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • Shark Teeth and Shells, Dolphin and Shelling Tour Boat Clearwater Beach : $28
  • Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat in Clearwater Beach: $28
  • Clearwater Sunset Celebration Cruise: $29
  • Tour with Dolphins and Sight Seeing: $29
  • Dolphin Quest - Sightseeing/Eco Cruise, John's Pass, Madeira Beach, FL : $29
  • St. Pete Beach Dolphin Racer Speedboat Adventure: $30

Tours and Activities in Houston

Here are a few actual costs in Houston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Sights of Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.41
  • Sights of Downtown Houston Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Houston Self-Guided Audio Tour : $9.00
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern Ticket: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Houston - Downtown: At your leisure and your pace. An audio walking tour. : $12
  • Houston Botanic Garden Entry Ticket: $13
  • Sightseeing Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • The Best of Houston Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Houston $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Clearwater

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Clearwater:

  • The Tour and Wine Tasting Experience at Aspirations Winery: $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $50
  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • Downtown Houston Brewery Bike Tour : $71
  • Private 3-in-1 Sightseeing, Brewery, and Mural Tour of Houston by Cart: $115


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Clearwater and Houston, we can see that Clearwater is more expensive. And not only is Houston much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Houston would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Houston 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 Houston.

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


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Houston?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Clearwater. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater and Houston, 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 Houston?

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 Houston in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Houston. The summer months attract visitors to Clearwater because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In the summer, Clearwater is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Clearwater in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Houston averages at about 84°F (29°C).

Houston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Clearwater gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Clearwater usually receives more rain than Houston. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Houston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Houston. The shopping scene are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Houston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In October, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 75°F (24°C), and Houston fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

It's quite rainy in Houston. Clearwater usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Clearwater is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Houston in the Winter?

Both Houston and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Houston in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Clearwater is a little warmer than Houston in the winter. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 60°F (15°C) in January, and Houston fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

In January, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Houston. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Houston in the Spring?

Both Houston and Clearwater during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the spring for the beaches. Also, most visitors come to Houston for the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Clearwater is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Clearwater in April average around 71°F (22°C), and Houston averages at about 70°F (21°C).

Clearwater usually gets less rain in April than Houston. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Clearwater is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Clearwater

Clearwater Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)