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“Home of A Dolphin Tale”

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
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Clearwater Marine Aquarium General Admission
Ranked #7 of 80 things to do in Clearwater
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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 older children, Activities for young children
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Home of A Dolphin Tale”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

This is not one of the largest aquariums in the country, but it is home to Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic tail, and the place where the movie about her was filmed....

If you are expecting something along the lines of the Georgia Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, or the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, you will be disappointed. The tanks are not as large or as numerous, but the main attraction here is Winter. She performs several "shows" a day...showing off the prosthetic tail and her ability to adapt to her amputation.

After seeing Winter and her friends at the Aquarium, you can take a trolley or boat to the building that houses the memorabilia from the making of the movie "A Dolphin Tale", starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd. There are film clips that repeat all day long. Each area retells part of the story of how Winter was found and helped back to health...with a little help from the Hollywood set.

If you do not like walking uphill (or downhill) take the trolley. It is quicker (about 15 min.) and drops you off at the front door of the building, If you enjoy the water, and walking, take the boat. It is a couple block walk uphill to the building (or downhill to the marina) and the journey takes about a half hour in total. There is also a 30 person limit on the boat, so you might have to wait more than a half hour for the next boat.

The kids really liked seeing Winter and learning about how she uses her "tail", and about the special "Winter's Gel" that is now being used by many of the amputees to make wearing their prosthetic devices easier and more comfortable. The older children (8 and over) were the most interested in these items, while the younger children enjoyed playing the carnival games and drawing a picture for Winter.

This is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Kids love it, but small for the price”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

If your kid has ever watched Dolphin Tale, this is a mandatory visit. Winter didn't disappoint, but the size of the facility for the price of the tickets did. I understand the cost helps pay for the animals rehab, I just wouldn't like to feed them so well! The price did include admission to a separate facility in downtown Clearwater. This facility was focused on the making of the movie and didn't really exhibit any animals. Finally, the touch tanks were too high for small kids, could be made more kid friendly.

Visited June 2014
Thank CLTarheel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Long Branch
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Winter's Home”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Can get crowded if its not a beach day. Cleared out when it started to storm-that was great. The second location all about the Dolphin's tail is great for older kids and if you have a love for dolphins or rehab.

Visited April 2014
Thank ewallace100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erie, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I recently visited Clearwater Marine Aquarium with my family. We evaluated various programs based on pricing and overall experience for both "swim with dolphins" and "training dolphins". I am so glad that I choose the "trainer for the day" program for my daughter. This was a once in a lifetime experience for her to train, feed, and entertain several animals, including river otters and two of the dolphins (Nicholas and Winter) at the aquarium in front of crowds. I would strongly recommend this program based on the educational aspects of the program and the 3 hour experience. She still has the smile on her face. A commemorative t-shirt , towel and bag was included in the package as well.

Visited June 2014
5 Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Staff made experience great!”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

From the minute we arrived we were greeted with smiles and very nice staff. I love our time learning about the purpose of the aquarium. We chose to pay for more than the basic tour. However we loved our time spent learning and watching the staff with the animals. We did the boat tour. We had a blast! We saw wild dolphins. Our net had lots of fish that I didn't expect. Just knowing the money we spent helps the rehab program was well worth it. The knowledgeable staff on our boat made the experience amazing. I fell in love with two of the otters. I thought winter would be the highlight but the turtles and otters wow!

Visited June 2014
Thank Happyflgirlocala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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