A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Clearwater vs. Key Largo for Beaches, Families, Food, and Resorts

Should you visit Clearwater or Key Largo?

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 Key Largo. 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. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Key Largo

Key Largo is a beautiful, relaxed, and peaceful island. It's a quaint destination. It's also known for scuba diving and snorkeling and beaches.

Clearwater and Key Largo: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Key Largo?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Clearwater than Key Largo, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Clearwater is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Key Largo is more popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling and quaint atmosphere. Clearwater is well known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. Also, Clearwater is famous for Clearwater Beach. Key Largo is well known for its snorkeling and scuba diving including that around John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the artificial reef around the USS Spiegel Grove.

How is Clearwater different from Key Largo?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is great for its historical sights. However, Key Largo does not have museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into 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.

Key Largo does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is great for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Clearwater has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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.

Key Largo offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is known for its Key Lime pie and seafood. You'll find a great selection of restaurants that serve seafood dishes and options for the land-loving crew. There are even a few international restaurants to choose from.

Is Clearwater or Key Largo Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is a coastal city with good options for its evening party scene. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Clearwater has a few options to choose from. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

Most people don't head to Key Largo specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. This area is not known for its nightlife, so you'll need to head further south if partying is your style.

Is Clearwater or Key Largo Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Key Largo

There are very good resorts to choose from in both Clearwater and Key Largo.

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.

Key Largo is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Popular resorts in the area include Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Reefhouse Resort & Marina, and Largo Resort.


Is Clearwater or Key Largo Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Key Largo is notable for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for its diving and snorkeling.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near Key Largo. Near this island you'll find some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Florida Keys at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There are private tours that head out to the reef for either snorkeling or diving. There are also shipwrecks and other fascinating spots to explore.

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.

Is Clearwater or Key Largo Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is an unbeatable place for the beach. Also, Key Largo is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its beaches.

Clearwater is considered to be a world-class beach destination. 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.

Key Largo offers a nice beach destination. Many of the beaches around Key Largo are man-made, but they do offer nice sand and beautiful blue water. The water is turquoise, although not as striking as further south.

Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Key Largo?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is a coastal city with good options for its shopping areas. However, Key Largo is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Clearwater has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Key Largo is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Clearwater or Key Largo Better for Families?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Key Largo 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, Key Largo is very family-friendly. This area has some of the best family-friendly snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There's also several places where your kids can interact with dolphins or experience wildlife. If you want to get out on the water, there's kayaking, sunset cruises, and glass bottom boats, all of which are great for the whole family.

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 Key Largo Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is great for couples. Also, Key Largo is not as popular, but is still a nice island for romance.

Clearwater is a great coastal city if you're traveling as 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.

Key Largo is a nice destination for couples. Most couples head further down the Florida Keys, but for snorkeling and scuba diving, Key Largo is the better option. You'll also find kayaking and sunset cruises that leave from the area.

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

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Key Largo is not a good destination 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 Key Largo. There's no real public transit around the island and you must have a car to get around.


Is Clearwater or Key Largo a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Key Largo

Clearwater is a coastal city with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its walkability.

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

Key Largo is not a walkable coastal city. It is a sprawling area that spreads out along a main highway that is not pedestrian friendly.

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

Should I spend more time in Key Largo or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Key Largo?

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

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

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

One day in Clearwater or Key Largo?

You'll find nightlife and food around the coastal city of Clearwater. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

With scuba diving and snorkeling around the peaceful island of Key Largo, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Clearwater or Key Largo?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the relaxing destination of Clearwater. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

With scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Key Largo, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. 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 Key Largo?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the beautiful coastal city of Clearwater. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.

Key Largo, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this island. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Clearwater or Key Largo?

Clearwater is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Key Largo is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this island makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Key Largo 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 Key Largo is $212. 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 Key Largo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Key Largo $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Key Largo $234
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Key Largo

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater or Key Largo? 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 Key Largo


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 Key Largo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Key Largo $56

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: $127
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • 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: $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key Largo

Also for Key Largo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Key Largo Private Transfers (up to 14 passengers): $142

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Key Largo?

Prices for flights to both Key Largo 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
    Key Largo $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Key Largo $27

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 around Clearwater Beach: $65
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour of Downtown St Pete: $59
  • 2 Hour Sunset Cruise in Clearwater, Florida: $35
  • 2 Hour Sunset Kayak Tour: War Veterans Memorial Park: $59
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Key Largo

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

  • Florida Key West Self-Driving Tour (Overseas Highway, 7 Mile Bridge): $17
  • Ultimate Florida Self Guided Driving Audio Tour Bundle: $30
  • Key Largo Coral Reef Glass Bottom Boat Adventure : $45
  • Sunset Cruise on the Florida Bay: $60
  • 1.5 Hour Bay Side Key Largo Sunset Cruise on a Spacious Catamaran: $60
  • Small Group Florida Keys Eco Tour by Boat: $60
  • Mangroves and Manatees - Guided Kayak Eco Tour: $65
  • Key Largo Boat Charter Day Tour: $65
  • Key Largo Bay Sunset Tour: $66
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure in Key Largo: $68
  • Key Largo Snorkeling Tour - rental mask, fins and vest INCLUDED: $68
  • Key Largo Two Reef Snorkel Tour - All Snorkel Equipment Included!: $78

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Key Largo $24

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 Key Largo, we can see that Clearwater is more expensive. And not only is Key Largo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Key Largo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Key Largo 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 Key Largo.

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


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Key Largo?

Clearwater has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Key Largo. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater and Key Largo, 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 Key Largo?

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 Key Largo in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Key Largo. Most visitors come to Clearwater for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Key Largo because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Key Largo. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Clearwater this time of the year. In the summer, Clearwater often gets less sunshine than Key Largo. Clearwater gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Key Largo receives 316 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Key Largo. Clearwater receives a lot of rain in the summer. Clearwater usually gets more rain in July than Key Largo. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Key Largo receives 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Key Largo 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Key Largo in the Autumn?

Both Key Largo and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Clearwater because of the shopping scene.

Clearwater is around the same temperature as Key Largo in the autumn. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 75°F (24°C) in October, and Key Largo fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Key Largo. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Clearwater. Clearwater usually receives less sunshine than Key Largo during autumn. Clearwater gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Key Largo receives 275 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Key Largo. In October, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Key Largo. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Key Largo receives 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Clearwater is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Key Largo 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Key Largo in the Winter?

Both Key Largo and Clearwater during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Key Largo for the cuisine.

In the winter, Clearwater is cooler than Key Largo. Typically, the winter temperatures in Clearwater in January average around 60°F (15°C), and Key Largo averages at about 67°F (19°C).

In Key Largo, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Clearwater. In the winter, Clearwater often gets less sunshine than Key Largo. Clearwater gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Key Largo receives 243 hours of full sun.

Clearwater usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Key Largo. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Key Largo receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Key Largo 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Key Largo in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Key Largo. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the beaches. Also, many visitors come to Key Largo in the spring for the beaches.

In April, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Key Largo. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 71°F (22°C), and Key Largo fluctuates around 74°F (24°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Key Largo this time of the year. In Clearwater, it's very sunny this time of the year. Clearwater usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Key Largo during spring. Clearwater gets 299 hours of sunny skies, while Key Largo receives 300 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Key Largo. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Key Largo receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Clearwater.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Key Largo 74°F (24°C)

Typical Weather for Key Largo and Clearwater

Clearwater Key Largo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 82°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)