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“If in a Clearwater visit Hope & Winter”

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Ranked #20 of 94 things to do in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Clearwater Marine Aquarium's mission is to restore and preserve our marine environment. We accomplish our mission through leadership in education, research, and the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I’ve been to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium several years ago and it continues to evolve. We visited during Spring Break and it was packed!

They are undergoing renovations so getting there involved parking in a garage and walking on the sidewalk to the aquarium. This would be ok for people not in a wheelchair or walker but having a limitation it made it a little tricky.

Once inside it was busy. We toured some areas where they rescue the animals and went through a few animal exhibits on the first floor - like seeing sharks and turtles.

The elevator is small but despite the crowd we got on fine. We toured around and then took a 90 minute dolphin adventure tour. It was great! We saw lots of dolphins. The captain let all of the kids on board steer the ship for a little bit. They loved it. The catamaran rocked but it was. If enough not to cause illness for our family. My son did get wet when the boat hit a wave. He was sitting up front where they had a glass door and the water came up and over and soaked his bum.

The food area was limited but at least they had something. Pizza (by the slice (cheese or pepperoni) from Domino’s. They had Dippin’ Dots and Snow Cones, salads and wraps were limited quantities.

The gift shop had neat things. Toys, shirts, books, games and videos.

The dolphin cruise was worth it. We did the 3:15 tour. Good time to plan. We arrived close to 1pm and that gave sufficient time to tour the aquarium.

Thank Christa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clearwater M, Guest Relations Manager at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Thank you for taking the time to write in about your experience, Christa! We're so pleased to see that you enjoyed your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, from learning about our resident animals to experiencing the local wildlife on the Dolphin Adventure Tour.

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"dolphin tale"
in 985 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 389 reviews
"sea turtles"
in 350 reviews
"non profit"
in 140 reviews
"prosthetic tail"
in 135 reviews
"movie props"
in 128 reviews
"winter hope"
in 127 reviews
"sea world"
in 248 reviews
"movie set"
in 121 reviews
"rehab facility"
in 109 reviews
"animal hospital"
in 99 reviews
"injured animals"
in 110 reviews
"boat ride"
in 427 reviews
"nurse sharks"
in 64 reviews
"gift shop"
in 268 reviews
"dolphin show"
in 135 reviews
"general admission"
in 69 reviews
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372 - 376 of 6,763 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

The aquarium is located in a prime Clearwater are. It is easy to find. The place has sufficient parking space, but I highly recommend going there before noon. There were plenty of staff members to direct you to the right place, along with adequate signs. The staff is friendly and informative. The place is very well kept and it has a lot of memorabilia from the Dolphin Tale movie. The areas for the animals are accessible and quite easy to get around. The gift shop has quite a nice selection. Be prepared to spend at least $100 or more for just an hour of entertainment and souveniers. It doesn't seem worth it, but the aquarium does perform a noble cause for our aquatic wildlife.

Thank Jose H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clearwater M, Guest Relations Manager at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Thank you for visiting us at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Jose! We appreciate your support of our work and mission very much!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We are on Spring Break in the area, and decided to visit based on our kids’ love of the Dolphin Tale movies. We knew going in this is more of a rehabilitation facility than a flashy aquarium. We really enjoyed the aquarium. Our kids were so excited to see the dolphins and all of the other animals that are there. We did the behind the scenes tour, which we found interesting. It was worth the visit for us.

Thank Midwest0909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clearwater M, Guest Relations Manager at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

We are so pleased to see that you and your family enjoyed your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium! Thank you so much for your kind words, and for your support of our work and mission!

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Reviewed 6 April 2018

Took our three girls (9, 11, and 13), and we love the Dolphin Tale movies. This was a great connection to that, with seeing the aquarium just as it is in the movie. They have Winter and Hope, and in the tanks up top they have a newer arrival, Nicholas.

You park in the parking deck and then walk about a block around to where the entrance is. Parking cost about $6, which you pay when you park, and they give you a scan card for when you exit.

Just before the entrance, there is a green screen, where they take several pictures of the family against different backgrounds. You have the option to review these and purchase them. One print = $25, Three prints = $35, Four prints = $40, or all photos with the rights to print = $65.

You enter through the gift shop and enter up a set of stairs to where the main tanks are with Winter and Hope. Outside are the tanks where they keep Nicholas and others that arrive, and there are a couple well-covered bleacher sections, where they do presentations and talks about the dolphins.

Inside, near Winter and Hope, are areas where they keep sharks, turtles, and otters. Another area has a touch tank with stingrays, adjacent to a room for young children to learn more about animals.

Downstairs are windows for viewing the lower parts of the dolphin tanks, where you can see Winter and Hope swim around.

If you don't do any other options, like the Behind the Scenes Tour or the Boat Ride, it would be a shorter visit. We did the boat ride, which was into Clearwater Bay, where they cast a net for fish, etc, to log what they find in the Bay, and it made a stop at a sand bar, where kids could look for shelf, etc. The Behind the Scenes Tour was booked for the day we went, and we would have liked to have done that. That, plus the Boat Tour, really make the trip worthwhile.

We spent about 6 hours there. I would recommend getting there when they open, to beat the larger crowds that showed up later.

The prices aren't out of the ordinary, considering this is a non-profit medical facility that receives no income from the movies' revenues.

Our kids loved it.

Thank SongMan67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clearwater M, Guest Relations Manager at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Thank you so much for visiting us at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and for taking the time to write in about your experience! We're so pleased to see that you enjoyed your day at our facility!

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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We really enjoyed this but I thought it was a little overpriced for what you do and by noon it was so crowded. I would go early if you visit.

Thank Courtney S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clearwater M, Guest Relations Manager at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Thank you for visiting us at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Courtney! Without guests like you coming through our doors, we wouldn't be able to continue our work and mission; we appreciate your support more than we can say!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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