Navigating Clearwater

Posted: February 12, 2013

NEVER BEEN to Clearwater? Here are a few tips to consider from regular visitors to Phillies spring training:

* Clearwater and Clearwater Beach are two separate towns and Clearwater Beach is the nicer place to stay. Bright House Field is about 20 minutes away from Clearwater Beach, but it's well worth the little hassle of a drive or cab.

* Autograph enthusiasts should simply bring a Sharpie and wander the stadium. Former Phillies are always popping up, especially in the leftfield outdoors bar. Hang out near the leftfield foul line to try to get players prior to games.

* Phillies fan John Brennan, of Philadelphia, recommends the tiki bars, nightclub and breakfast buffet at Shephard's Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach (619 S. Gulfview Blvd.).

* Check to see if your hotel offers shuttle service to the ballpark. If not, there are plenty of cabs for those who would prefer not to drive.

* The Pier House 60 (101 Coronado Drive) "has a rooftop bar on the 10th floor with a spectacular view of Clearwater Beach," said Tom Brennan, a spring-training veteran who bartends at Downey's on Front & South.

* The Palm Pavilion Hotel

(18 Bay Esplanade) is one of a thousand good spots to (ahem) check out the latest in fashionable beach attire.

* The address for

Bright House Field is

601 N. Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, Fla., 33765.

* Lenny's, which is a long Ryan Howard homer from the ballpark, is the best spot for breakfast. But be prepared to wait in line on game days.

- Ed Barkowitz

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