Coachman Park: Clearwater’s Premier Waterfront Destination
Clearwater, Florida, has a new gem in its downtown area – the newly reimagined Coachman Park. This $84 million renovation project, known as Imagine Clearwater, has transformed the park into a stunning 19-acre public space that connects the waterfront and the Downtown Clearwater community. With its breathtaking views of Clearwater Harbor, abundance of amenities, and state-of-the-art performing arts venue, Coachman Park is set to become a premier destination for residents and visitors alike.
A Long-Awaited Dream Come True
The vision for Coachman Park’s transformation began over two decades ago, with city officials envisioning a complete makeover for the park and the surrounding bluff area. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that the project gained momentum with the development of the Imagine Clearwater concept. This ambitious plan aimed to create a vibrant gathering place that would take advantage of the park’s unique elevated bluff, offering panoramic views of the waterfront.
After seven years of meticulous planning, design, and construction, the grand opening of the reimagined Coachman Park is finally here. The city of Clearwater, along with Ruth Eckerd Hall, is hosting a weeklong celebration to mark this significant milestone. The festivities include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a series of concerts featuring renowned artists, and the return of the beloved “Clearwater Celebrates America” Independence Day fireworks display.
The Sound: A World-Class Amphitheater
One of the most notable additions to Coachman Park is The Sound, a state-of-the-art outdoor amphitheater with a covered canopy that can accommodate up to 9,000 people. This impressive venue is set to become the heart of the park, hosting a diverse range of live performances throughout the year. From concerts by world-famous artists to local talent showcases, The Sound promises to offer unforgettable entertainment experiences for music lovers of all genres.
The inaugural concert at The Sound featured the legendary rock band Cheap Trick, setting the stage for a series of exciting performances to come. Ruth Eckerd Hall, a renowned performing arts organization, will oversee the shows at The Sound, ensuring that the lineup is filled with top-notch talent that appeals to a wide audience.
An Oasis of Recreation and Relaxation
Coachman Park offers a plethora of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. The park boasts a fenced-in pirate-themed playground, complete with multiple climbing structures, a wooden bridge, and giant enclosed slides. Children can also beat the heat by frolicking in the ocean-themed splash pad, which features interactive pop-jet water features.
For those looking to unwind and enjoy the outdoors, the park offers 19 acres of beautifully landscaped green space. The lush grassy areas provide the perfect setting for picnics, sunbathing, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll. The park’s walking trails meander around a serene lake, offering picturesque views and several covered picnic areas where visitors can rest and take in the scenery.
A Gateway to Downtown Clearwater
Coachman Park serves as a gateway to Downtown Clearwater, seamlessly connecting the waterfront with the bustling city center. A tree-lined gateway plaza and bluff walk provide a scenic path for pedestrians to transition from the park to the downtown area. Along the way, visitors can admire public art installations and enjoy a shaded promenade overlooking the intracoastal waterway.
The upper plaza area offers additional amenities, including a public art wall that showcases local talent and a marina amenity building in the dockmaster area. These features further enhance the connection between Coachman Park and the surrounding community, creating a vibrant and cohesive downtown experience.
A Weeklong Celebration of Community
To commemorate the grand opening of Coachman Park, the city of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall have organized a weeklong celebration packed with events and concerts. Each day of the celebration has a unique theme, highlighting different aspects of the community and offering a variety of entertainment options.
The week kicks off with “Clearwater Celebrates Coachman Park,” featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a concert at The Sound. The following days include themes such as “Clearwater Celebrates Diversity & Culture,” “Clearwater Celebrates Music,” “Clearwater Celebrates Community,” and “Clearwater Celebrates Hispanic Culture.” Each day offers a range of activities, including multicultural markets, live performances, craft beer gardens, and more.
The grand finale of the weeklong celebration is “Clearwater Celebrates America,” a patriotic extravaganza that includes a classic car show, street entertainment, and the largest fireworks display in Clearwater’s history. The fireworks will be accompanied by a performance from The Florida Orchestra, providing a fitting conclusion to an unforgettable week of festivities.
Plan Your Visit to Coachman Park
If you’re planning a visit to Coachman Park, here’s some essential information to help you make the most of your experience:
- Location: Coachman Park is located in downtown Clearwater, just a stone’s throw away from the waterfront.
- Parking: Ample parking options are available near the park, including public parking lots and street parking.
- Amenities: The park offers various amenities, including restrooms, picnic areas, and walking trails.
- Events and Activities: Check the official Coachman Park website or the Ruth Eckerd Hall website for a schedule of upcoming events and activities.
- Food and Drink: Food and beverage options are available at The Sound during concerts and events. Please note that cashless payments are required.
- Admission: General admission to the park is free, but some concerts and events may require tickets. Check the event details for specific information.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in nature, an evening of live entertainment, or a vibrant community celebration, Coachman Park has something for everyone. Its transformation into a world-class waterfront destination is a testament to the vision, dedication, and collaboration of city officials, residents, and organizations like Ruth Eckerd Hall. Come and experience the magic of Coachman Park for yourself.
All photo credit goes to Visit St. Pete/ Clearwater