Your guide to the newly renovated Coachman Park in Clearwater
Have you been wondering about the new Coachman Park? We’ve got you covered!
My kids and I visited the new Coachman Park to bring you this review of all the great features of the new park.
The Coachman Park renovation is the biggest project to date for the city of Clearwater, costing $84 million dollars to revamp the 19-acre park (source). And the results are beautiful!
The parks features waterfront views, a killer playground, a splash pad, lots of green space and a soundstage. Plus, it is next to the main branch of the Clearwater library (one of our favorite libraries for kids in Pinellas).
Let’s dive into all the highlights of Coachman Park (and a few negatives you should be aware of too).
Coachman Park Overview
The new Coachman Park is a beautiful waterfront community space, including:
- Splash pad
- Green space
- Concert venue
Coachman Park is a newly redone park on the waterfront in downtown Clearwater. The park sits on the waterfront of the Clearwater Bay, overlooking the causeway to the beach (my kids loved the bridge view).
The park spans 19-acres, with lots of green space, piers and a marina. The new soundstage called “The Sound” will be used for concerts seating up to 9000 (source).
You can find a map of the park here.
The is about a 5-minute drive away from Clearwater Beach and 10-minutes away from Dunedin.
Coachman Park Features
Coachman Park is located on Clearwater Bay, with views of a marina and the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.
You get waterfront views across the whole span of the park. It really feels like Florida at its best when at the park.
There is a pier that you can walk down and marina paths for boats near the playground.
The playground at Coachman Park is top notch. It includes play equipment for big kids, little kids, and a chair-accessible set-up.
The playground is pirate themed and the ground is made of springy cork.
Along the edges are sand areas that my kids absolutely loved (they’re crazy about digging). The best part of these sand features was the lounging chairs for parents and shade covers.
The playground has built-in shade covers but they didn’t offer a ton of shade when we were there in the morning.
It is also pretty stroller-friendly. I was able to go everywhere with our double Bob, though it was a little squeeze around some parts of the playground.
Immediately adjacent to the playground is a small splash pad. The splash pad features mostly straight up fountains with a few overhead fountains in the middle.
In terms of splash pads, it’s not the best one you’ll find in the St. Pete-Clearwater area (you can find all the best ones on our splash pad list).
The photo below shows the rules for the splash pad. One highlight is that the splash pad is open from 9am all the way until 9pm.
The fountains are run-of-the-mill and they are high for small kids.
For example, all the fountains were taller than our 1-year-old and they came up to the chin on our very tall 3-year old. For cautious kids like mine, this limits the splash pad experience.
But the location next to the playground and views are great.
This splash pad definitely did the trick for us in the August heat after playing on the playground and in the sand.
The heart of the Coachman Park renovation is an outdoor concert venue called The Sound. The space seats up to 9,000 people in seats and lawn space.
It already has a full line-up of big names coming to play the venue, like the Beach Boys and Ringo Starr.
The venue space does not appear to be open during non-event times. When we visited in the morning there were signs saying ‘no entry beyond this point’ around the space.
Pros of Coachman Park
Here are some other things I loved about visiting Coachman Park
We visited on an oppressively hot day. As I was loading my kids in the car before 9am, it already felt like it was going to be unbearably hot.
Thankfully, there was a nice waterfront breeze at the park given it’s location. This made it much more bearable than it felt at our house.
The breeze definitely will be a consideration next time we are deciding on a playground on a hot day.
Near a great library
The main branch of the Clearwater libraries is located right next to the park. This branch is a great one for kids, with lots of toys and a cool boat-themed play space.
In fact, it is one of our favorite libraries for kids in Pinellas.
We stopped by the library to play for a little while after exploring the park and it was a great way to cool down on a hot day.
Shout out to the person designing the playground who put in comfortable lounge chairs for parents!
The park had a lot of available places to sit spread throughout the park. The playground chairs are definitely nicer than the benches you find at most parks.
Shower at the splash pad
I appreciated the shower by the splash pad so we could get cleaned up after playing.
Even if you only play in the sand at the playground and skip the splash pad, the shower is located right outside the playground so you can easily rinse off after your visit.
Cons of Coachman Park
There were a few things I didn’t love about Coachman Park.
The main lot parking at Coachman park isn’t free. It costs $2 per hour.
The main lot also has 153 parking spots, which may not be enough at peak times or events.
There are free lots nearby the park but these are much smaller. There is a lot adjacent to the library with 20 spots and a lot across the street with 25 spots.
For example, we parked at the public parking next to the library and there were only a few spots available even though it was early morning and the park was empty.
No fence along the waterfront
Don’t get me wrong, the lack of fencing along the waterfront border makes for beautiful views.
But it is terrifying when you are there with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old with no fear.
The open edge to the water is likely doing to be a lowlight for any families with young children. You can see the fence-less edge in the picture below.
There is very little shade at the park currently. They have built shade structure which help but there is no natural tree shade.
Not many picnic tables
While there is lots of nice seating scattered throughout the park, picnic tables are scarce.
When it was time for us to eat lunch, we had to hike the hill up towards the library to find some picnic tables to eat at.
Our Experience at Coachman Park
We had a great time visiting Coachman Park. Our visit itinerary with a 1-year-old and 3-year-old looked like this:
- Played in the green space, running up and down the hill
- Walked the waterfront and checked out the pier
- Dug in the sand at the playground
- Slide too many times (I appreciated how one of the big slides had an easy path up to it. So many playgrounds only have climbing features to the fun slides that my kids are either scare of or too small for).
- Cool off at the splash pad
- Clean up at the much appreciated splash pad showers
- Picnic at the picnic tables up by the library
- Visit the children’s area in the library to cool off
All told, we managed to do all of that in a little under three hours. Though my kids would have definitely liked to stay longer, especially at the slide and the library.
Coachman Park Alternatives
Can’t make it to Coachman Park but want something with similar features? Here are a few alternative parks that we like:
CREST LAKE PARK: Crest Lake park is a great park option if you’re looking for a splash pad next to a playground like you’ll find at Coachman. It is about 6-minutes away from Coachman Park on a lake.
EDGEWATER PARK: Dunedin’s Edgewater Park is another waterfront park that will give you similar gulf breezes like Coachman. It also features a playground near a marina. It is also 6-minutes away from Coachman.
FAQs About Coachman Park
Here are some questions you may have before your visit to Coachman Park.
Is Coachman Park stroller-friendly?
Coachman Park is definitely stroller friendly. The paths are wide and there are ramps throughout the park. I even managed to get our double stroller around the playground without issue.
How long should you plan to visit?
I’d plan for at least an hour to explore a little and hit the playground. If you’d like to do more like the splash pad or library, you’ll need at least 2-3 hours.
Final Thoughts: Is Coachman Park Worth a Visit?
Coachman Park is definitely worth a visit. The playground is great and the splash pad next to it is a great combo.
The waterfront location makes is a little cooler with a bay breeze, which helps in the Florida heat.
Plus, Coachman Park is an easy activity to pair with a trip to the Clearwater library. Together, you could easily fill a whole morning with kids in Clearwater.
If you’re in downtown Clearwater, you may also want to check out our guide to the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium.