Clearwater Beach vs. Honeymoon Island

Which beach do people prefer for relaxing and having fun in the sun?

Honeymoon Island wins this competition in the eyes of local Floridians because of all of its wonderful qualities including the fact that it is “much more scenic with better nature” as senior Charlotte Arndt comments.

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Honeymoon Island wins this competition in the eyes of local Floridians because of all of its wonderful qualities including the fact that it is “much more scenic with better nature” as senior Charlotte Arndt comments.

Cristina Himeloch, Staff Writer

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Florida is famous for the perfect summer weather all year round. Florida is populated with tourists at almost all times of the year. Especially over the summer, the beaches are packed with vacationing families trying to soak up the sun, enjoy the summer breeze, and splash in the water. Summer is quickly approaching as the school year is coming to a close with numerous senior events, standardized testing, and AP exams. This year has flown by extremely quickly since the year is ending earlier this year with graduation on May 17 and the last day of school on May 25. This means that summer is coming even more quickly and everyone will be headed over to the world famous beaches of Florida. The two most popular beaches for residents of the East Lake area are Clearwater Beach and Honeymoon Island.

Clearwater Beach is obviously the most popular among high school students and tourists. It is famous for the beautiful sand that is perfectly white and very soft. People from around the country come to visit this beach and spend hours baking in the sun and enjoying the salty breeze that cools them down. Senior Keri Vollenweider loves Clearwater Beach because “Honeymoon has a lot of rocks and it is hard to go for walks down the beach, but Clearwater has lots of soft sand to walk on and no rocks!” Although there are those people that are die-hard fans of Clearwater Beach, some people prefer other beaches, including Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island. Caladesi Island offers a fun boat ride to the secluded island and is a great beach to visit. Locals complain about the touristy atmosphere of Clearwater Beach and the horrendous traffic. During the summer it could take hours to get down to the beach only to spend another hour searching for a parking spot. Not to mention all of the tourists who are walking across the streets, paying for overpriced souvenirs, and the seagulls. Senior Jaime Kay offers her opinion regarding the positives and negatives of Clearwater Beach by stating that “I prefer Clearwater Beach because I like to feel the soft sand on my toes and the body surf with the big waves. Clearwater Beach also brings back really nice memories of being with my family when I was little. If there are too many tourists, I’ll go to Honeymoon because it’s a hidden secret. Although it’s more crowded with tourists, I would much rather go to Clearwater if parking is available.”

Honeymoon Island has become more and more popular over the years. The causeway is actually where most people hang out as they lie in hammocks that are situated between two trees, play sports, and tan. The best part about the causeway is that it is free. Senior Caleb Housman says that he prefers Honeymoon Island because “the causeway is free and parking and tourism are less of a mess.” One downside to Honeymoon Island is that it is a state park which has several rules and regulations. Some of these include the cost to enter the actual beach, the closing time at sunset, and the protection of the animals. The quality of the beach is not nearly as high up as Clearwater Beach. The shores are rockier and drier with less sand and more greenery. As opposed to Clearwater Beach, there is not nearly as much traffic or as many tourists. It has more of a local atmosphere with the main attraction being the beach, without any additional restaurants or shopping plazas.

So which beach is the most popular among the students of East Lake High School? Is it the touristy qualities of Clearwater Beach that motivate people to sit in traffic for hours, or is it the peaceful atmosphere of Honeymoon Island that wins the hearts of Floridians? The majority of people actually prefer Honeymoon Island. Senior Catie Tootle says that “Clearwater Beach may have a better atmosphere, which is why it’s flooded with tourists, but as a local just looking for some sand and water I would prefer Honeymoon Island.” Senior Amie Gray also agrees with Catie Tootle and adds that “Honeymoon Island is way less crowded and it’s easier to find your own space on the beach.” Senior Pamela Breda also says that “I prefer Honeymoon because it has way less tourists and I can find a parking spot in five minutes. Although I do not take any credit away from Clearwater because the beach is beautiful, there are way too many tourists and northerners there and finding a parking spot is close to impossible.”

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