A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Clearwater vs. Islamorada for Beaches, Families, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Clearwater or Islamorada?

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 Islamorada. 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 adventure-filled, relaxing, and beautiful coastal city. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Islamorada

Islamorada is a adventurous, relaxing, and tropical village. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Clearwater and Islamorada: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Islamorada?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Clearwater. Although Clearwater and Islamorada are both popular with visitors, Clearwater has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Clearwater is more popular for its museums, resorts, and beaches, while Islamorada is known for its impressive beauty. Clearwater is popular for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. It is also home to Clearwater Beach. Islamorada is popular for its sportfishing, state parks, and local vibe.

How is Clearwater different from Islamorada?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Clearwater
Islamorada

Clearwater is a great coastal city for its historical sights. Also, Islamorada is not as popular, but is still a nice village for its sights and museums.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Clearwater can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

Islamorada offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are a variety of museums and aquariums in the area such as the History of Diving Museum, the Keys History and Discovery Center, and the famous Theater of the Sea.


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

Clearwater
Islamorada

Foodies will find both Clearwater and Islamorada both to be great destinations.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Clearwater makes for a great culinary experience. 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.

Islamorada has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Has a sports fishing destination, you'll find no shortage of seafood options in the area. There are cafes and bistros that have an old school Florida Key's atmosphere. Popular dishes include grilled fish and curry seafood.

Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Evening events are good in both Clearwater and Islamorada.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Clearwater. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Islamorada. The nightlife consists of mostly bars and restaurants that serve cocktails and frozen drinks. There are sports bars and casual eateries where you can enjoy a drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Clearwater is a great coastal city for its luxury resorts. Also, Islamorada is not as popular, but is still a nice village for its resorts.

Clearwater is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. 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.

With a selection of resorts, Islamorada makes a nice vacation spot. You'll find plenty of resorts with spas, pools or oceanfront views in the area.


Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Islamorada

You'll find good places where you can go scuba diving or snorkeling in Clearwater and Islamorada.

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.

Islamorada has a few good snorkeling spots. There are plenty of dive shops that offer snorkeling and dive trips to the surrounding areas. You could also grab a mask and head out into the water on your own. You're sure to see some beautiful marine life.

Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Clearwater is renowned for its beaches. Also, Islamorada is not as popular, but is still a nice village for the beache.

The beaches in Clearwater are among the best in 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.

The beaches at Islamorada attract visitors from all over. Blue water and white sand make the beaches a true paradise. Favorite beaches in the area include Anne's Beach, which has a boardwalk and mangroves, Library Beach, which is small and well maintained, Holiday Isle Beach, which is near the hotels and restaurants, and Long Key State Park, which has camping and picnic spots.

Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Islamorada?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Both Clearwater and Islamorada are good 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 Islamorada. You'll find a few jewelry boutiques as well as sporting goods shops and souvenir stands.


Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Families?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Islamorada is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Islamorada is very family-friendly. Theater of the Sea is a highlight for kids and adults alike. You'll have the opportunity to interact with many types of sea life including dolphins, sea lions, and even sharks. Founders Park is another great place to take the kids. You can have a picnic, hang out at the beach, or hit up the playground. There's also plenty of snorkeling and diving in the area, particularly around Alligator Reef Lighthouse.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Clearwater is very family-friendly. 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.

Is Clearwater or Islamorada Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Islamorada is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for its romantic activities.

Islamorada is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Couples will enjoy the resorts, spas, beaches, and adventures in the area. Head to Little Palm Spa for a little relaxation or hit up Florida Keys Brewing Company for some live music. There's also snorkeling, diving, and some good restaurants nearby as well.

Clearwater makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

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

Clearwater
Islamorada

Clearwater is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Islamorada is not known for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly 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 limited or non-existant in Islamorada. There's no real public transit in the area and you must have your own vehicle.


Is Clearwater or Islamorada a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Islamorada

Clearwater is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Islamorada is not known for its high level of walkability.

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

Islamorada is not a walkable coastal city. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, it's not very walkable and you'll need a car to get around.

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

Should I spend more time in Islamorada or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Islamorada?

Both Clearwater and Islamorada have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Islamorada than in Clearwater. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 4-7 days is enough time in Islamorada.

Couples should spend more time in Clearwater than Islamorada. 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 Islamorada 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 Islamorada? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Islamorada 4-7

One day in Clearwater or Islamorada?

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the relaxing coastal city of Clearwater, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the adventurous village of Islamorada, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Clearwater or Islamorada?

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the destination of Clearwater, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the destination of Islamorada, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Clearwater or Islamorada?

Clearwater, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Islamorada, a popular village, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this village. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Clearwater or Islamorada?

Clearwater is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. 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.

Islamorada is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this village makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this village 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, Islamorada 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 Islamorada is $145. 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 Islamorada in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Islamorada $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Islamorada $158
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Islamorada

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater or Islamorada? 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 Islamorada


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 Islamorada Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Islamorada $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $126
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer to St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach : $103
  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $101
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $101
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $75
  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $63
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $63

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Islamorada?

Prices for flights to both Islamorada 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
    Islamorada $47

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Islamorada $19

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

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

  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • 1.5 Hour Tiki Tour with Open Bar in Clearwater Beach: $49
  • 2 Hour Guided Kayak Tour in Boca Ciega Bay - St. Pete: $55
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour of Downtown St Pete: $59
  • 2 Hour Sunset Cruise in Clearwater, Florida: $35
  • 2 Hour Tandem Kayak Tour (Price for 2 People): $110
  • 2 Hours Kayak Eco Tour in Tarpon Springs: $54
  • 2-Hour Sunset Cruise Tour in St. Petersburg: $67
  • 4-Hour St. Pete Pier to Egmont Key Experience by Ferry: $67
  • 90 Minute Axe Throwing Guided Experience in Clearwater at Hatchet Hangout: $50
  • All Day Fishing Experience from John's Pass in Madeira Beach, FL - 10 Hours: $160
  • Amazing Helicopter Tour of Treasure Island, John's Pass, Don CeSar Resort & Bay: $126

Tours and Activities in Islamorada

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Islamorada.

  • Snorkeling Experience : $80
  • 2-Hour Snorkeling Adventure on Pontoon : $80
  • Night Tour Glass Bottom Boat in Islamorada: $80
  • Day Tour Glass Bottom Boat In Islamorada: $80
  • Islamorada Florida Keys Sunset Sightseeing Cruise Music : $86
  • Sunset Cruise in Islamorada : $90
  • Snorkeling Adventure in Islamorada : $90
  • Snorkeling and Beach Adventure from Cheeca Spa: $90
  • Snorkeling and Beach Adventure: $90
  • Islamorada Sandbar and Sunset Tour : $94
  • Guided Tour with Local Highlights: $95
  • Snorkel Adventure & Sandbar Trip: $130

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Islamorada $15

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


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

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


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Islamorada?

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

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Clearwater or Islamorada in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Islamorada. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Islamorada for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Clearwater is around the same temperature as Islamorada in the summer. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Islamorada fluctuates around 84°F (29°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Islamorada. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Clearwater this time of the year. In the summer, Clearwater often gets less sunshine than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Islamorada receives 328 hours of full sun.

Clearwater receives a lot of rain in the summer. Clearwater usually gets more rain in July than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Islamorada receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Clearwater or Islamorada in the Autumn?

Both Islamorada and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Clearwater for the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Islamorada because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Clearwater is cooler than Islamorada. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Clearwater in October average around 75°F (24°C), and Islamorada averages at about 80°F (27°C).

It's quite sunny in Islamorada. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Clearwater. Clearwater usually receives less sunshine than Islamorada during autumn. Clearwater gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Islamorada receives 258 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Islamorada. In October, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Islamorada receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November in Clearwater is the hurricane season. June to November in Islamorada is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Islamorada 80°F (27°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Islamorada in the Winter?

Both Islamorada and Clearwater during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Clearwater because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Islamorada this time of year.

In January, Clearwater is generally cooler than Islamorada. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 60°F (15°C), and Islamorada fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

In Islamorada, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Clearwater. In the winter, Clearwater often gets less sunshine than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Islamorada receives 252 hours of full sun.

Clearwater usually gets more rain in January than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Islamorada receives 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Islamorada 70°F (21°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Islamorada in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Islamorada. The beaches are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Islamorada for the beaches and the natural beauty.

Clearwater is cooler than Islamorada in the spring. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 71°F (22°C) in April, and Islamorada fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Islamorada this time of the year. In Clearwater, it's very sunny this time of the year. Clearwater usually receives less sunshine than Islamorada during spring. Clearwater gets 299 hours of sunny skies, while Islamorada receives 326 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Clearwater usually receives more rain than Islamorada. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Islamorada receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain each month for the spring. The hurricane season in Clearwater is June to November. The hurricane season in Islamorada is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Islamorada 77°F (25°C)

Typical Weather for Islamorada and Clearwater

Clearwater Islamorada
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)