Are you looking for the best ways to travel from Tampa to Clearwater Florida?  If so, you’re in the right place.

In this blog, I’ll cover all the best routes, discuss transportation options if you don’t have your own vehicle, and talk about fun “road trip” style stops to make the short drive more fun.

Use this as a guide to help you set your travel plans.

Tampa Interstate Highway Road sign

Tampa To Clearwater Distance And Time

The shortest distance from Tampa to Clearwater is from Tampa International Airport (TPA).

Driving from there to Clearwater takes 32 minutes and covers 19 miles.

If you’re coming from downtown Tampa, expect to drive about 23 miles.

The total travel time will take approximately 41 minutes.

View towards the hotels of Clearwater Florida from the highway

Best Routes From Tampa To Clearwater

Looking for the best way to travel from Tampa Bay to Clearwater on the Gulf of Mexico?

You can drive via East State Road 60 or via I-275 South.

I’ve included instructions on how to travel from Tampa Airport or from downtown.

Travel tip: Consider catching flights to and from Tampa International Airport so you can explore both Tampa and Clearwater.

TPA Tampa To Clearwater Via East State Road 60 West

If your flight route takes you to Tampa International Airport, the quickest way to get to Clearwater is via E State Road 60 W.

This route usually takes about 32 minutes and involves driving 19 miles.

To start, head northeast on George J. Bean Inbound Parkway toward Airport Circulation Drive.

Continue on George J. Bean Inbound Parkway for 2.1 miles. Next, take the FL-60 W ramp to Clearwater.

Drive another 1.3 miles. Continue onto FL-60 West and drive for 15.5 miles.

Turn right onto South Fort Harrison Drive. After 0.2 miles continue onto North Fort Harrison Drive, then on to your hotel.

Downtown Tampa To Clearwater Via E State Rd 60 W

If you’re traveling from downtown Tampa, start your 23-mile drive by heading west on East Zack Street toward North Marion Street.

Next, turn right at the second cross street onto North Florida Avenue.

After half a mile, turn left on East Kay Street. Then use the right two lanes to take the ramp onto I-275 South.

After 4.2 miles, use the right two lanes to take exit 39 onto FL-60 W toward Clearwater/Tampa International Airport.

Continue driving for 1.7 miles, then take exit 2A for FL-60 West toward Clearwater.

Keep driving for 15.5 miles. Then, turn right onto South Fort Harrison Drive.

After 0.2 miles continue onto North Fort Harrison Drive, then on to your hotel.

TPA Tampa To Clearwater Via I-275 S

An alternate route from Tampa Airport to Clearwater is to go via I-275.

This route usually takes 45 minutes and involves driving 25 miles.

It is not the most direct route but could be useful in the event of an accident on East State Road 60.

First, head northeast on George J. Bean Inbound Parkway toward Airport Recirculation Drive.

Then continue to follow the Parkway for 2.3 miles. Keep left at the fork, then merge onto I-275.

Drive for 6.8 miles, then take Exit 31 for FL-688 West. Continue on this road for 3.1 miles.

Next, turn right on County Road 611. After 4.4 miles, take the second lane from the right to merge onto FL-60.

Keep left at the fork to merge onto FL-60. Continue driving for 15.5 miles, then turn right onto South Fort Harrison Drive.

After 0.2 miles continue onto North Fort Harrison Drive, then on to your hotel.

photo of an airport shuttle running

Is There A Shuttle That Takes People From Tampa To Clearwater?

Yes, shuttles are available between Tampa and Clearwater.

The Tampa Airport Shuttle (Super Shuttle Tampa) offers shared rides and private cars.

The shared ride starts at $31 and takes about 80 minutes. There are many trips a day.

Going in a private car costs $68 at the time of this writing and takes 50 minutes.

You must have a reservation if you plan to travel by private shuttle.

You can also book a private shuttle using Shuttlefare. Prices start at around $89 for a one-way trip with two passengers.

Tip: If you don’t want a shared shuttle, Uber is a more economical private option.

Going by Uber generally costs about $46 on average and takes 36 minutes.

Also, check out the 👉Private Transfer from Tampa to Clearwater tour on Viator!

Are There Any Tolls From Tampa To Clearwater?

There are no toll roads between Tampa and Clearwater, you can save the toll money for ice cream on the beautiful beaches of Pinellas County, United States

👉 Looking for the best and most affordable car rental in Tampa and Clearwater? Click Here! 🚗

Fun Stops To Make From Tampa To Clearwater!


Florida’s Gulf Coast is an amazing spot for your next vacation, and Clearwater and Clearwater Beach are two of the most popular places to visit.

Enjoy the white sands of Clearwater Beach barrier island, watch the street performers at Pier 60, and relax in beautiful parks.

If this list isn’t long enough, visit the sand dunes of North Clearwater Beach, the historic district of Tarpon Springs, and have a great time at St Pete Beach.

Taking tiny train rides at the Largo Central Railroad is another fun thing to do, especially if you have kids.


elevated walkway of Tampa Riverwalk with the view of the city skyline

Tampa Riverwalk

One of the best things to do in Tampa is to meander (on foot, by bike, or by scooter) along the Tampa Riverwalk.

This beautiful 2.6-mile stretch of riverfront connects the Hillsborough River and the Garrison Channel.

There are far too many attractions along this route to mention them all, but Sparkman Wharf is an amazing spot to enjoy delicious cuisine from a variety of cultures, plus local brews, and more.

The Tampa Bay Historic Center is a fascinating place filled with exhibits about pirates, shipwrecks, Spanish treasures, and conquistadores.

You’ll also learn about the Tocobaga Indians and how they were the first to call Tampa Bay home.

Tampa Bay tourist area and streets at night in Florida USA

Ybor City

Looking for a good time? If so, Ybor City could be the perfect spot to enjoy eclectic shopping, hand-rolled cigars, incredible architecture, and surprising history. 

And did I mention food?

Ybor City’s fabulous mix of cultures makes it a perfect place to delight your taste buds with a wide range of mouth-watering cuisine.

Be sure to walk down 7th Avenue, one of the “Great Streets in America.”

It is rich in history, culture, and strong community involvement.

Explore the best of Tampa’s Ybor City in this food tour 👉 Historic Ybor City Food Walking Tour!

rollercoaster in Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens 

If you’re looking for a safe environment for your family, Busch Gardens Theme Park is sure to get parents and kids hooting and hollering with joy.

This Africa-themed park features over 2,700 animals plus wild rides like the Scorpion, Kumba, Montu, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, and Stanley Falls.

There’s even a triple-launch roller coaster called the Cheetah.

Excellent live shows make Busch Gardens even more of a diversion hot spot.

🎟️ Book your Busch Gardens Admission Tickets HERE! 👈

aerial view of the Ben T Davis Beach Park in Florida

Ben T Davis Beach

For anyone fresh off the plane who can’t wait to bury their toes in the sand, Ben T Davis Beach is quite handy.

This narrow beach stretches beside the Courtney Campbell Causeway that links Clearwater to Tampa.

Although you will hear cars due to the proximity of the highway, it is a unique spot with beautiful views and lovely birds.

This is a favorite beach for people who like to sit and view the water, chat, exercise, or read a book.  It is the nicest during the day.

green forests and the lake at Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

Mix up your beach vacation with a trip to the Moccasin Lake Nature Park.

This 51-acre park features a large lake, small ponds, creeks, nature trails, an interpretive center, and a boardwalk.

Birding aficionados are likely to spot a large array of feathered creatures.

And even the non-birding inclined are sure to enjoy seeing the rehabilitated hawks, owls, vultures, and bald eagles cared for at the center.

race cars at Tampa Bay Grand Prix

Tampa Bay Grand Prix

Ready, set… go! It’s time for go-kart racing!

The Tampa Bay Grand Prix is going to bring out the competitive spirit in your family or friend group.

Hit the gas in the electric karts and you could reach speeds of 50 mph!

All skill levels can enjoy themselves on various tracks and races.

You can also see your personal lap times so you can race yourself for your best time.

Horse Power For Kids & Animal Sanctuary 

Another great place to spend time with children is HorsePower For Kids.

This outdoor animal sanctuary also has a petting zoo and a playground.

Pony rides, playground fun, swings, and a tree house are sure to keep your little ones entertained.

HorsePower for Kids is open for fun Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 9 am to 5 pm on the weekend.

Tip: Go on the first Thursday of the month for a special admission fee (only $5 per person instead of $14).

Clearwater Marine Aquarium dolphins

Clearwater Aquarium 

Rescued dolphins, a marine animal hospital, and beautiful underwater exhibits make the Clearwater Marine Aquarium another top spot to hit on your Tampa to Clearwater trip.

Learning the backstory of the rescued animals is a big highlight for many visitors.

You can see lemon sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and more.

Sunset at Pier 60

Pier 60

Congrats!  You’ve made it to Clearwater Beach!  Now it’s time to celebrate by heading to Pier 60.

This 1,080-foot-long fishing pier is an outstanding place to fish and enjoy the views.

But the real attraction happens 2 hours before sunset until 2 hours after.

Go to Pier 60 any night of the year for the city’s famed “Sunset Celebrations.”

Fireworks, fire breathers, musicians, and dancers put on an incredible show.

You can also shop the local wares on offer from tons of vendors.

Seeing the artisans at work creating paintings, glass sculptures, and more is also really cool.

Violinists, acrobats, actors dressed up as your favorite characters (like Captain Jack Sparrow) and tasty food add to the festival atmosphere.

Of course, watching all of this while an enormous golden sun sinks into the ocean makes it even more spectacular.

Looking for the best sunset cruise in Clearwater Beach? Book this 2-Hour Sunset Cruise In Clearwater Florida! 🐬

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better To Stay In Tampa Or Clearwater?

It depends!  If you want to stay on a barrier island within walking distance of great spots to go swimming and suntanning.

Clearwater is the way to go. Some of the best hotels are all-inclusive.

However, if you are budget-conscious, you can save a lot by staying in Tampa rather than Clearwater.

On average, the daily cost per person in Tampa is $171 vs $309 in Clearwater.

Keep in mind that average prices are just that, average, and you can find ways to save in either destination.

How Much Is An Uber From Tampa Airport To Clearwater?

The average cost of an Uber from Tampa International to Clearwater is $46.

This route usually takes 36 minutes and involves driving 20 miles.

How Do I Get From Tampa To Clearwater Without A Car?

If you don’t have a car you can get to Clearwater via shuttle, Uber, or bus.

A shared shuttle from TPA costs $31 on average, while an Uber costs $46 on average.

The bus will cost approximately $5 but will take five times longer.

However, if you don’t mind taking the bus, you can board the line 300 bus from Marion Transit Parking Lot to Ulmerton Park North Ride Lot.

Next, take the line 73 bus from Starkey Road and Ulmerton Road to Park Street Terminal.

Are There Shuttles From Tampa Airport To Clearwater?

Yes, both shared and private shuttles are available from the Tampa Airport to Clearwater. 

Super Shuttle Tampa offers shared rides starting at $31 per person, while private cars cost $68.

Another alternative is Shuttlefare, which offers private shuttle services starting at $89 one-way.

Interstate traffic going to Clearwater Florida

Final Thoughts: Tampa To Clearwater

Traveling from Tampa to Clearwater is fairly straightforward whether you have your own vehicle or not.

Shuttles, Ubers, and even a long bus route are available for those without wheels.

Anyone who has a car has the option to make lots of entertaining stops along the way.

Clearwater is one of the best places to visit on Florida’s gulf coast, after all.

Sunshine, beaches, and plenty of fun await.  But don’t miss out on Tampa’s attractions either.



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Tampa to Clearwater Florida Travel Guide



Booking a last-minute trip to Tampa or Clearwater?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and hotels!

Top Tours on Tampa & Clearwater FL

Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise From Tampa – (1.5 Hour Dolphin Watching Cruise)

Tampa Bay City PASS (Experience Tampa’s Attractions)

Little Toot Dolphin Adventure (Clearwater’s Best Dolphin Tour)

Clearwater Dolphin-Watching Tour (Affordable Dolphin Tour Option)

Top Hotels & Accommodations in Tampa & Clearwater FL

Courtyard By Marriott Tampa – (Budget To Mid-Range Stay In Tampa)

AC Hotel By Marriott Tampa Airport – (Top Rated Hotel Near Tampa International Airport)

Sandpearl Resort Private Beach(4-star luxury beach resort in Clearwater)

Pelican Pointe Hotel – (Top-rated budget hotel – Clearwater Beach)

 Looking To Get Around In Tampa and Clearwater FL

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗