Clearwater Beach Rules & Information

Lifeguards on tower

No Alcohol

No alcohol is permitted on Clearwater's public beaches.

No Smoking

No Dogs, Cats or Other Animals

No animals are allowed on public bathing beaches. This means no pets, dogs or cats in the public bathing area of Clearwater Beach, with exception of service animals. The U.S. Department of Justice defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. To view a map of where pets are allowed on Clearwater Beach, visit the "Pets on Clearwater Beach" page.

Always Swim Near a Lifeguard

Head the advice, instructions and warnings of lifeguards. Don't overestimate your swimming abilities, and never swim alone. Swim within the "Safe Bathing Limit" at all times. This area extends 300 feet west of the high water line and is clearly marked by buoys or pilings.

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

Weather can change quickly, causing conditions to deteriorate fast. Stay out of the water and stay off the beach when lighting is present. 

Rip Current Safety

Break the grip of the rip. Don't fight the current. Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle - away from the current - toward the shore. Wave for a lifeguard. Most importantly - don't panic. 

Surfing, Paddleboarding, Windsurfing, Skimboarding 

Surfboards, sailboats, motorboats, personal watercraft or singular hard-surfaced objects are not permitted to be beached on the public bathing beach area of Clearwater Beach. If you'd like to participate in any of these activities, they must be done outside the swim zone or on North Beach past Somerset Street.

Do the Stingray Shuffle

Stingrays are generally not aggressive fish, but they will defend themselves if they feel that they are threatened, such as being stepped on. To avoid stings, shuffle or slide your feet slowly through the sand to warn the stingrays of your presence, and they will move out of your way. Do the "stingray shuffle" from the time you get in the water until the time you get out. If you get stung, see a lifeguard or go to a nearby fire station for an assessment of your injury.

Beach Warning Flags


Flags posted on the beach and flying from lifeguard towers represent ocean hazards and surf conditions. Please remember that water conditions can change quickly. Check with the lifeguard on duty if you are unsure of safe conditions. Click here to find the most recently reported status of the beach.

Swim Sober

Alcohol is a major factor in drowning. Alcohol impairs swimming ability and good judgment. Alcohol is NOT allowed on Clearwater Beach.

Don't Float Where You Can't Swim

Often, non-swimmers dangerously use flotation devices to go offshore. If they fall off, they can quickly drown. The only exception is a person wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

No Diving

Don't dive headfirst. Protect your neck.

Diving headfirst into unknown water and striking the bottom can lead to serious, lifelong injuries, including paraplegia. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, and then go in feet first the first time. Use caution while body surfing, always extending a hand ahead of you.

Boating & Jet Skis Safety

  • Eighty percent of fatalities associated with boating accidents are from drowning. Most involve people who never expected to end up in the water. Children are in the greatest danger. Use a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Boaters and jet skiers are not allowed inside the "Safe Bathing Limit" area.

Beach Wheelchairs are Available

The city provides manual and motorized beach wheelchairs for our visitors with special needs and who wish to access the beach. Find out more about beach wheelchairs.

Stay Hydrated and Wear Sunscreen

Florida sunshine is intense. Please be careful when sunbathing and use sunscreen with a high SPF.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are allowed by permit-only.
Get a permit.