Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL

249 Windward PassageClearwater Beach, FL 33767
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Overview

Home to “Dolphin Tale” movie star, Winter—a rescued dolphin that uses a prosthetic tail—Clearwater Marine Aquarium is the perfect family-friendly attraction to visit in sunny Clearwater, Florida. The marine life rescue center is dedicated to the rescue, rehab and release of dolphins, sea turtles, river otters and more. Guests will be inspired and educated by their work through up-close and interactive educational and fun activities and presentations.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Clearwater Beach Travel Experts
  • Home to Winter the dolphin, star and inspiration of the hit movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, both filmed on location.
  • Tickets include general admission to Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
  • Hands-on experiences available for all ages.
  • In 2017, Clearwater Marine Aquarium released 73 sea turtles and 10 hatchlings back to the wild.

Description

from Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Home to “Dolphin Tale” movie star, Winter—a rescued dolphin that uses a prosthetic tail–Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a perfect family-friendly attraction to visit in sunny Clearwater, Florida. The marine life rescue center is dedicated to rescue, rehab and release of dolphins, sea turtles, river otters and more. Guests will be inspired and educated by their work through up close and interactive educational and fun activities and presentations.

Tripster Customer Reviews

9 Reviews
Victoria Champion
Hogansville , GA
5 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great for a beach day..."
April 2019
We were staying Orlando, but drove 2 hours to have a beach day at Clearwater. We stopped here because my daughters really wanted to see Winter and Hope. The whole tour of the facility literally took 20 minutes...it would have been longer if I could get the kids interested in the lectures and tours. No luck...but all in all, it was a clean facility with a great message.
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Tip: Parking is kinda weird, but that will probably be rectified once the new construction is complete. Do not expect an usual aquarium experience...you will be disappointed. CMA is strictly for rehabilitation and release, if possible. Fans of the Dolphon Tales movies should go!

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Amanda M.
Elkhorn, NE
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wow!!! Not easily impressed but was delighted!"
May 2018
My kids and I went to the aquarium and loved it. Everyone there was awesome...except for an incredibly rude and harsh older lady that was managing lines at the entrance. Buying tickets in advance online was the way to go! Seeing Nicholas do his routine was the highlight of the experience. Wonderful place.
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Susan R.
Ocala, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"good"
April 2018
I thought we would see more interaction with winter but it was good.
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Tip: Very small with not too much to see

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Tamara Iskhakova
1 Review
"Utter dissapointment"
May 2017
We were looking foward to seeing a wide variety of animals, (and maybe a show or two) but instead saw only 2 dolphins, 5 otters, 5 turtles, and some stingtrays. The place's main claim to fame was the movie that was shot here, and winter and hope. It was also immensly overpriced, and there were more donation boxes than animals. The gift shop could have been another exibit. It was an utter dissapointment. Would not go.
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Kerry Thormeier
1 Review
"Inspirational!!"
December 2016
What a great place to visit! We had a wonderful time! My daughter absolutely loved Winter, Hope, and Nicholas! Her favorite part was getting her picture with Hope! Such a great and inspirational place to visit! Thank you CMA
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Donna Williams
South Bend, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"What a rip off!"
September 2016
This was an awful experience! For what we paid and seen 3 dolphins and 4 turtles. The tanks were cloudy and dirty. Wouldn't waste my money if I were you! We was there about an hr.
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judith smith
lake worth, FL
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Clearwater Aquarium"
July 2016
I have been to this aquarium twice and would highly recommend it for all ages. Great hands on for kids. I especially like the fact that all of their animals are rescues and not just captured for people to see.
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Tip: Especially with children in your group allow plenty of time.

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BARBARA FORAY
PALM HARBOR, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Grandkids - so much fun!"
February 2015
While the kids were amazed, the adults had just as much fun! What a real hands-on experience. We will definitely return.
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Tip: It is hot!

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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tymetraveler222
Bay City, Michigan
"Not sure how I feel..."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed September 08, 2019 NEW
This aquarium is very popular. I felt the exhibits were outdated and expansion is needed for proper care of their animals. I felt it was quite dark and chaotic and closed in. Crowds were medium in size on the day we visited. Parking is ok. You do pay to park. Gift shop not impressive. Food vendors and merchandise vendors are set up outside of the entrance. These are good alternatives. Winter the Dolphin is here. We watched a show with dolphins, but Winter was not participating. The show was pretty good. I feel their pool is way too small. It is "inside" but it is dark and dreary, IMHO. Other "pools" or "aquariums" feel the same. Not all have you. You'll enjoy a decent variety of sea life. A few exhibits are outside. There is an elevator and restrooms on each floor. Narrow indoor hallways, not easy with a Walker or stroller or wheelchair. We did not take the boat ride. It looked like a fun activity. If you have a choice, go to the Tampa Aquarium!
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sumellor
New Jersey
"Winter is amazing"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 08, 2019 NEW
Seeing Winter play with Hope is inspirational for us all. She looks so happy despite her disability. It was interesting to hear the story of her rescue. This aquarium committs to conservation and is well worth your support.
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GoHaveAnAdventure
"Educational, interesting, informative and captivating"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 08, 2019 NEW
We visited the Aquarium this summer and really enjoyed it. 2 adults and 1 teen in our party. We ended up staying over 5 hours! We signed up for the Behind the Scenes tour which was ok. We learned some things that we wouldn't have if we had not taken the tour but the guide was young and just ok. We then saw everything we could once and went back to some places twice. We saw a couple of demonstrations and what we really liked about it was that the dolphins weren't just performing for the crowd but the trainers would teach the crowd while working with them so we could learn as well. Our teen who enjoys science and biology, asked a number of questions and who knows - maybe the visit there has left a mark that will impact the rest of her life. I recommend this aquarium if you're interested in learning and not just being entertained. But remember, learning is fun too if presented in the right way, which these folks do.
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Polly282
Woodlesford, United Kingdom
"Perfect in every way! "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 05, 2019 NEW
Cannot explain how much I love Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It’s my favourite place on earth. It’s a non-profit organisation and aquarium in Clearwater, Florida. They follow the three R’s.. Rescue, Rehab and Release of sick/injured marine animals as well as doing research/conservation work. The staff are always so lovely and welcoming and you really learn so much on your tour. We did the Sea Life Safari Boat Tour which takes you out to One Tree Island. It’s around 2 hours which takes you around the estuary/Clearwater Bay. It gives you the opportunity to observe the staff collect their data for research purposes. They allow you to see them put out their net and conduct a show and tell experience of all the different creatures they found, we even managed to see a puffer fish up close and a cow fish along with other varieties of species such as a horseshoe crab we located near One Tree Island. You were able to get off and pick some shells / take photos and just enjoy the area. At the aquarium, it’s not like your typical places, it has so much more character and has been around since 1972. You’ll find animals that are in rehab and others that are life long residents and unable to be released but they are in the perfect place to be looked after and kept safe. The animals you’ll find are Dolphins, Sharks, Sea Turtles, River Otters, Pelicans, Rays as well as the smaller marine life. You’ll also notice a lot of building work, but don’t be put off, it’s going to be an expansion to the aquarium to enhance the habitat of all the animals and it will be amazing to see this when it’s completed. I cannot thanks all the staff & volunteers that help make the planet a little safer each day and help all the animals enough. It’s amazing work that they do and you really get to see this at this aquarium - which makes CMA unique. Special thanks to Captain Brian, Isabella and Terri on board our boat tour, really lovely and had such fun whilst learning about all the work they do. Definitely worth a visit!
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16jstv
Clearwater, Florida
"Interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 05, 2019 NEW
There doing a lot of construction so be patient. Very informative. The staff tells you about the dolphins while they are feeding them so you can get a closer look. There aquatic life is of all ages. The ones we saw were not able to go back out to see from the injures the had got but they were all quit fun to watch. They are a rehab facility also so you might get to so different animals depending on what is going on. They are quit informative. I must on your list if you enjoy see life.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Clearwater Marine Aquarium

When is the aquarium open?
The aquarium hours of operation are 9:00AM - 6:00PM Monday through Sunday. Seasonal hours do apply. To see current hours of operation, please visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium website.

In addition to admission, does my ticket grant me access to anything else?
Guests enjoy a free trolley and/or boat ride to and from Winter’s Dolphin Adventure as part of their admission.

Can I bring my bag into Clearwater Marine Aquarium?
Yes, however, all bags, purses, backpacks, etc. are subject to inspection prior to aquarium entry.

Is the aquarium ideal for children?
Absolutely. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has plenty for young children to enjoy. All children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

Can I interact with the animals?
Animal interaction is available at specific exhibits and programs. Our animal encounter exhibits and programs include:

  • Dolphin Encounter
  • Trainer for a Day
  • Shark Encounter
  • Feed Rufus (pelican)
  • Feed a Stingray
  • Feed a Puffer Fish
It is recommended that guests reserve their spot at an encounter program early, as they fill up quickly.

Animal interactions are not allowed outside of these specific programs and encounters.

Can I bring food to the aquarium?
Our Shark Bites Cafe has food and beverages available for purchase within the aquarium, but guests may also bring their own snacks.

Is parking available?
Yes. Free parking is available for all guests.