Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL

249 Windward PassageClearwater Beach, FL 33767
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Overview

Clearwater Marine Aquarium received the Tampa Bay Times’ Best of the Best People’s Choice Silver Award for Best Local Tourist Attraction in 2020! 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

Description

from Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Universally loved, rescued dolphins are our best-known animals. These large mammals are intelligent, playful, and full of their own individual personalities! Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s most famous dolphins, Winter and Hope, were featured in the major motion pictures Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2!

Visit Winter & friends in their brand new habitat! This extraordinary Ruth & J.O Stone Dolphin complex has five pools and holds 1.5 million gallons of filtered water from Clearwater Bay. With numerous floor to ceiling windows, including the Kate Tiedemann & Ellen Cotton Main Pool and Window of Wonder, guests have the opportunity to view and engage with our rescued residents in a whole new way. Explore Winter’s Rescue Walk Exhibits and discover incredible new underwater views.

Once you arrive add on great selection of interactive activities including behind the scenes tours, Clearwater Bay boat & kayak excursions, and animal interactions*. Don’t forget to bring a photo memory home to remember your day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium!

*Limited availability

Exhibits:
Continue your day learning about the mission of rescue, rehab and release while exploring our marine life hospital where you can meet the rest of the rescued animals, including turtles, otters, a nurse shark and brand new residents- rare rough toothed dolphins!

Among the many changes, Clearwater Marine Aquarium:
Limit attendance to 25% of normal capacity
Use touchless transactions
Add advanced reservations where guests are required to select an arrival date and time and purchase admission online prior to visiting
Place signs and floor decals to promote social distancing
Install barriers at transaction areas
Require all guest-facing staff to wear face masks
Implement daily temperature checks for all staff
CMA does recommend that guests wear masks, as well.

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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Clcline83
McCordsville, Indiana
"Once is enough"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 11, 2020 NEW
We're fans of the movie Dolphin Tale and that's probably the biggest draw for most families. If you are wanting a true aquarium experience I'd look elsewhere. It took very little time to get through and see everything. Unless you're dying to see Winter you'd be better off to save your money. Also, ticketing was confusing. Everyone must stop and get tickets at Will Call in the parking garage. (We had gotten the Groupon and still needed to stop.) There is a decent little walk from parking to the entrance of the aquarium, so don't make our mistake, stop there first!
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smleonard123
Clearwater, Florida
"Not up to my expectations "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 09, 2020 NEW
I really enjoyed the aquarium and especially loved seeing the dolphins from Dolphin Tale! However, I was not prepared for the aquarium to be as small as it was and mainly outdoors!!
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peterg685
Palm Bay, Florida
"Very nice "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2020
Had a very nice time at the aquarium. the staff is very friendly and will answer anything you ask. Lots to see for adults and kids. They do wildlife rescue so the money raised there goes to the animals. Definitely worth a visit,3 hours is plenty of time to see it all
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MelissaTravels2
Orlando, Florida
"Confusing "
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed September 15, 2020
They are undergoing renovation and it was very confusing finding all the exhibits. When you park in the parking garage you have to actually walk outside about a block around the corner to enter. Once you are in, it is very confusing where to go. We almost missed quite a few exhibits. We had to really walk around and find everything. They should have a better path for guests to where to go. The staff were super friendly and always asked if we had any questions about the animals. That was nice. I think during the construction they should lower the price. It didn’t feel worth the ticket price.
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Honey1721
Goreville, Illinois
"Fun facts but not a lot to see"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed September 14, 2020
There were a lot of informative and interesting displays about some of the animals that they've rescued and nursed back to health. There were stories about things that fishermen and others do that cause great harm to different sea animals sometimes resulting in their death. The aquarium isn't real large so there wasn't an abundance of animals to see but we noticed that there is a lot of construction going on to make it quite a bit larger. All of the staff was very friendly and informative. We got a pretty good deal buying tickets off of Groupon. It was an additional $10 to park in the garage. If you pass up the garage and turn on the street by the aquarium entrance you can park there for free if there is an empty space. You do, however, have to walk back a block or two to the garage to purchase tickets or, in our case, redeem our tickets from Groupon. The aquarium does have a gift shop and a place to get something to eat or drink.
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Clearwater Marine Aquarium is located at 249 Windward PassageClearwater Beach, FL 33767
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Frequently Asked Questions about Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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.