At the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, concierge Jason Bowers guides visitors on the best ways to mix business and pleasure in this resort town on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Here he offers advice for business travelers.
What should business travelers pack?
Sunscreen is essential year round. You can walk to many activities and restaurants, so it’s wise to bring comfortable shoes. During the summer, bring an umbrella because it rains for about an hour almost every afternoon.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Frenchy’s South Beach Cafe (351 S. Gulfview Blvd.; Ph: 727-441-9991) has a casual beach bistro atmosphere with open-air dining and an unbeatable view of the water. If you want a little more formality, Island Way Grill (20 Island Way; Ph: 727-461-6617) is a good choice. It’s a local favorite for fresh seafood right off the docks. Enjoy sushi or a steak as you look over the harbor. The view is especially lovely at sunset. Go upscale at our own Ocean Hai (100 Coronado Drive; Ph:727-281-9500), serving Asian-fusion cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including seafood and farm-raised meats and poultry.
What’s one thing that always surprises guests about your city?
First-time visitors are always amazed at just how clear the water is in Clearwater—and how sugary white the sand is on our beaches.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see in your city?
Check out the nightly festival at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, from two hours before until two hours after sunset, weather permitting. The festival features artisans, crafters, street performers—and an unparalleled view of the sun sinking into the gulf. Explore the world of marine life rescue at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you’ll find rescued dolphins, sea turtles, otters and see an animal hospital in action. You’ll be inspired and informed.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise in your city?
Jog or stroll on the beach. Or get in the water for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Lots of outfitters around town offer lessons and rent the equipment.
Concierge Jason Bowers’ top tips for getting business right in Clearwater:
Tip 1: Most restaurants are “resort casual” meaning you can wear sandals, nice shorts and sundresses.
Tip 2: Factor beach traffic into your meeting plans; allow extra time to get where you’re going.
Tip 3: Before renting a car, map distances between your hotel and meeting locations. Clearwater is compact and walkable, so you may not need a car.