Clearwater Beach is famous for their fresh caught grouper and stone crab, but visitors and residents alike also enjoy the city’s assortment of regional delicacies. The many local restaurants will entice you with everything from pizza to sumptuous buffets and fine dining experiences.
But what makes Clearwater Beach really special are the people. The beach atmosphere keeps residents happy year-round. Clearwater Beach has a three-mile stretch of award-winning, white sand beach that is lined with palm trees, luxury hotels and condominiums. All beaches are public and can be accessed from almost anywhere.
The history of Clearwater Beach dates back several centuries when it was home to the Timucuan, Calusa and Apalachee tribes who lived near the clear springs that gurgled from the banks into the bay. The springs, long since gone, were located along the high bluffs upon which City Hall and downtown Clearwater are now situated. Early settlers called it Clear Water Harbor, by which it was known until 1895 when Clearwater became one word. Harbor was dropped in 1906.
Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez came to the Pinellas peninsula in 1528. The exact place he first stepped is disputed, but may have been Clear Water Harbor. Narvaez later perished in a storm after crossing Florida on foot with a party of soldiers. In 1539, Hernando De Soto landed at Tampa Bay. He later died near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Pedro Menendez arrived in 1567 searching for a route across Florida. He brought 10 missionaries to establish missions throughout the area. One of their Jesuit missions was established at Safety Harbor. Those who remained with this mission were later massacred by the Timucuans, who had been mistreated by previous exploration parties. White settlers did not return to this area until the 1800s.
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