Florida > Clearwater

Brief History:

When this area was known only to the native Indians, mostly Timucuan, Calusa and Apalachee tribes, clear springs 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.
More history below..

Arrival Date
Departure Date
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites
11333 US Highway 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33764
Nightly Rates (89.99 - 169.99)   1 Star
Centrally located in Pinellas County between Clearwater and St. Petersburg, with easy access to the cities, beaches, airports and Central Florida attractions. Start with our Complimentary Continental Breakfast, then enjoy the beautifully landscaped g
Quality Inn Clearwater
20162 US 19 N.
Clearwater, FL 33764-5008
Nightly Rates (125.99 - 139.99)   3 Star
Our beautiful hotel is centrally located at US-19 and Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., close to major attractions in the Tampa Bay area. All spacious rooms feature refrigerators and coffee makers with efficiency rooms available. Non-smoking Business Class Floor fe
Ramada Limited
2061 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33765
Nightly Rates (115.00 - 115.00)   3 Star
5 minutes to beautiful Clearwater Beach Efficiencies and Suites available Free Continental Breakfast Complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet REFRIGERATOR & MICROWAVE IN ALL ROOMS Coffeemaker, Iron Hair Dryer, Alarm Clock Heated outdoor
Clearwater Days Inn St. Petersburg-Airport
3910 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (94.93 - 105.60)   3 Star
Conveniently located to serve the needs of business, leisure and group travelers. The hotel is within a five-mile radius of several major business parks and three regional shopping malls. Just 10 miles from the beautiful white sand beaches of the G
Sleep Inn Clearwater
3939 Ulmerton Rd
Clearwater, FL 33764
Nightly Rates (86.99 - 96.99)   2 Star
A small corporate facility located in the center of the Tampa Bay area, the perfect location for business and pleasure. The gateway regions is home to many of the area's largest corporations, a vast array of excellent restaurants, shopping, golf and
Clearwater-Days Inn
28596 US Hwy 19N
Clearwater, FL 34621
Nightly Rates (74.70 - 83.00)   3 Star
The Days Inn of Clearwater North offers a unique blend of a suburban location that is just minutes from either the beach or downtown Tampa. All of our rooms are completely new and view the pool area. Your stay includes a free deluxe continental brea
Wingate Inn - Clearwater
5000 Lake Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33760
Nightly Rates (119.00 - 119.00)   3 Star
Whether you are visiting Floridas west coast for business or pleasure, we know how to make your stay the best possible at Wingate Inn ? Clearwater. Conveniently located near Tampa and St. Petersburg. Located just 20 minutes from Gulf Boulevard and
La Quinta Clearwater
3301 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 34622
Nightly Rates (93.60 - 111.00)   3 Star
The La Quinta Inn-Tampa Bay Clearwater-Airport is just across the fairways of Airco Flite 18 Golf Course from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport. In just a short drive, reach Clearwater Beach and Tampa, Pinellas Park, Busch Gardens,
St. Petersburg/Clearwater Super 8 Motel
13260 34th St.
Clearwater, FL 34622
Nightly Rates (73.99 - 79.99)   3 Star
Free Parking Free Local Calls Free Wireless Internet Access Super Start Breakfast Large Seasonally Heated Pool Interior Corridor 3 Floors with Elevator Single Queen Bed Rooms 2 Double Bed Rooms Single King Bed Room Designated Pet Friendly R
Howard Johnson Inn And Suites Clearwater Fl
27988 US 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
Nightly Rates (74.95 - 74.95)   2 Star
GOLD MEDAL AWARD 73 Rooms and Suite, all with microfridges Complimentary Continental Breakfast Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool and Spa Refrigerator and Microwaves in most Rooms Suites and Deluxe Rooms Available Meeting Space on Site In-R
Super 8 Motel - Clearwater/U.S. Hwy 19 N
22950 US Hwy 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33765
Nightly Rates (58.39 - 64.88)   2 Star
100 clean, well-appointed rooms Complimentary coffee Remote control cable TV Free HBO, ESPN, CNN In room safes Swimming pool King rooms available Free local calls and incoming fax service IHOP restaurant open 24 hours Two o
Clearwater-Days Inn Central
2940 Gulf to Bay Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33759
Nightly Rates (49.50 - 61.00)   3 Star
At the Days Inn Clearwater Central we've reshaped and refurbished, so come and discover our new comfortable rooms, friendly staff and the remarkable value which you've come to know us by. We are conveniently located within walking distance of shoppi
Comfort Inn Executive Center
3580 Ulmerton Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (98.99 - 119.99)   2 Star
Ideally located central to Tampa, Clearwater and the Gulf Beaches. Three-story hotel with interior corridors with heated pool and whirlpool in a landscaped courtyard, and an on site restaurant.
Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Clearwater Beach, Fl
715 S. Gulfview Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33767
Nightly Rates (264.60 - 299.00)   3 Star
To <B>Clearwater Beach</B>...<BR>We're not steps to the beach... We are <B>on</B> the beach!! <BR> <B>At the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Hotel, Clearwater Beach</B>...<BR>You do not have to walk t
Courtyard By Marriott St Petersburg
3131 Executive Drive
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (189.00 - 189.00)   3 Star
Located one mile from Carillon Business Park and halfway between Fort De Soto Park and Caladesi Island State Park, the Courtyard by Marriott St Petersburg Clearwater is ideal for both business and leisure travelers. Relax and get ready for the day ah
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites CLEARWATER/US 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33765
Nightly Rates (133.00 - 159.00)   3 Star
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel Clearwater/Gulf to Bay is the newest hotel, with all the latest features and technology and is conveniently located where you can explore the Tampa Bay Area®s best attractions, including watching a breathtaking sunset
Towneplace Suites By Marriott Clearwater
13200 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (134.00 - 159.00)  
TownePlace Suites by Marriott are designed to make you feel at home for a day, a week, a month or more. Our office suites give you thirty percent more space than a traditional hotel room. The TownePlace Suites Clearwater is located ten miles northwes
Residence Inn By Marriott St Petersburg Clearwater
5050 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 33760
Nightly Rates (159.00 - 159.00)   3 Star
Residence Inn by Marriott is designed to make you feel at home for a day, a week, a month or more. Our suites give you fifty percent more space than most traditional hotel rooms. The Residence Inn St Petersburg Clearwater is located fourteen miles s
Candlewood Suites Clearwater, Fl
13231 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (150.00 - 150.00)   3 Star
At the Candlewood Suites Clearwater Hotel, we put the amenities where they really count: in your room. Big, built for comfort or extended stays, it is the ultimate suite for the business traveler. Each suite has a full kitchen complete with microwave
Holiday Inn Select Clearwtr-St Petersburg/Clearwt
3535 Ulmerton Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (129.00 - 139.00)   3 Star
The Holiday Inn Select St. Petersburg/Clearwater Intl. Airport is the perfect combination of quality and comfort for the business traveler. Located in the heart of the Pinellas County Business District, while only minutes away from Tampa Internationa
Holiday Inn Express Clearwater-Gateway Area, Fl
13625 ICOT Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33760
Nightly Rates (110.95 - 129.95)   3 Star
The Holiday Inn Express - ICOT Center is conveniently located where you can explore the Tampa Bay/Clearwater Area. The 126 room hotel provides the traveler a retreat for business or leisure with relaxing atmosphere and abundant amenities located with
Radisson Hotel Clearwater Central
Clearwater, FL 33765
Nightly Rates (76.00 - 76.00)   3 Star
The newly renovated Radisson Clearwater Central provides 148 guestrooms including Efficiencies and Suites, along with a prime location, convenient to a variety of businesses and attractions. With over 6,000 sq.ft. of meeting space, groups up to 150
Fairfield Inn And Suites By Marriott Clearwater/Bayside
3070 Gulf To Bay Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33759
Nightly Rates (135.00 - 209.00)   3 Star
Marriott's award winning economy lodging chain features clean, convenient, quality accommodations - all for a great value. The Fairfield Inn and Suites Clearwater Bayside is located five miles east of the Gulf of Mexico beaches and six miles west of
Fairfield Inn By Marriott St Petersburg/Clearwater
3211 Executive Drive
Clearwater, FL 33762
Nightly Rates (119.00 - 129.00)   3 Star
Marriott's award winning economy hotel lodging chain features clean, convenient, quality accommodations and the peace of mind you get from Marriott consistency - all for a great value. The Fairfield St Petersburg/Clearwater is seven miles from Bardmo
Comfort Suites Clearwater
1941 Edgewater Dr
Clearwater, FL 33755
Nightly Rates (143.99 - 279.99)   2 Star
Located across the street from the tropical waters of Clearwater Bay. Short drive to beaches, shops, restaurants, recreational and historical areas. NEW HOTEL SEPTEMBER 2002
Comfort Inn North
26508 US Highway 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
Nightly Rates (107.99 - 189.99)   2 Star
A short 15 minute drive to the Gulf of Mexico and some of the world's best beaches. Surrounded by great shopping and world class restaurants. Minutes from Busch Gardens, historical Ybor City and all other major attractions in the Tampa Bay area. Walk
Nearby Cities:

Clearwater Hotel Chains

  • Candlewood Suites
  • Comfort Inns
  • Comfort Suites
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Days Inn
  • Econo Lodge
  • Fairfield Inn by Marriott
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Howard Johnson Plazas, Hotels, Inns, and Express Inns
  • La Quinta
  • Quality Inns
  • Radisson Hotels & Resorts
  • Ramada Inn
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Sleep Inns
  • Super 8 Motels
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Wingate Inns

  • Clearwater POI

    Continued from above:
    Florida became a territory in 1822. During the Seminole Indian Wars of 1835, the government built the original Fort Harrison as a recuperation Center for soldiers, and not as a defensive fort. It was located on the bluffs where Harbor Oaks is now. The fort was abandoned in 1841, and is commemorated by a plaque on Druid Road in downtown Clearwater.

    The first blacks came to the area with Narvaez's exploration party. The first white settler was French Dr. Odet Philippe, who had served under Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte. He established St. Helena Plantation in what is now Safety Harbor, and raised citrus. His daughter married Richard Booth, and these pioneering families' names are still well known in Clearwater.

    The Federal Armed Occupation Act of 1842 gave 160 acres to any head of family or single man over 18 who would bear arms and cultivate the land. The "father of Clearwater," James Stevens, and Samuel Stevenson were among the first settlers. After a visit in 1841, James Parramore McMullen and his six brothers settled in the Clearwater area. They and their descendants held many important governmental positions throughout the early years.

    Most settlers farmed vegetables and cotton. Fish were plentiful. A hurricane in 1846 and a vicious storm in 1848 were among the hardships. The first paper, "The Clear Water Times," was established by Rev. C.S. Reynolds.

    When the first narrow gauge railroad was built in 1888, the Clear Water Harbor community had about 18 families. Henry Plant, the foremost Central and West Florida developer of the time, later built a standard gauge railroad through Pinellas County. To boost his passenger business, he built several grand resort hotels, including the Belleview Biltmore in 1897.

    Clearwater grew steadily throughout the early part of the century. Tourists and settlers were drawn to the area because of the climate and toutings of early developers and speculators. The Florida real estate boom began in earnest in 1921 and peaked in 1925. The bottom fell out in the bust of 1927, foreshadowing the 1929 market crash and nationwide depression.

    When the "Pinellas Point" was first settled, it was Western Hillsborough County. As Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg and other communities grew, so did the clamor for independence. It was a day-long trip to travel to the courthouse in Tampa. By act of the Legislature, Pinellas County was created on Jan. 1, 1912. Clearwater was the county seat.

    The city of Clearwater was incorporated on May 27, 1915. The library was built in 1916 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. In the same year, the city built the first wooden bridge to Clearwater Beach, opening it up for development. Morton F. Plant, the son of the illustrious Henry Plant, donated and raised money for the first hospital in 1914.

    The population continued to steadily climb. After World War II, a number of soldiers who had trained here returned to live. The Philadelphia Phillies professional baseball team began spring training in the 1940s. From 1950, with 15,000 citizens, the population burgeoned. The population today is around 102,000, with another 20,000 winter residents.


    This document was excerpted from the pamphlet "Population and Early History" produced by the City of Clearwater Public Information Office.