3 In travel

clearwater marine aquarium :: see winter from dolphin tale on a great vacation day trip

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clearwaterlogoWe just got back from a week long trip to Florida. While most of our time was spent in Marco Island, we decided to take a trip to the Clearwater area to spend a day with dolphins and other amazing marine animals at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The aquarium is home to many rescued animals–some of whom are rehabilitated and released back into the wild and some who aren’t able to be released and live at the aquarium.

The Clearwater Aquarium is home of Winter, the dolphin made famous in the movie Dolphin Tale. My kids loved watching her story and were excited to “meet” her at the aquarium. We were able to watch Winter during a physical therapy session when she was working a bit without her prosthetic tail. We could hear her “talking” and watched her trainers work with her. We also watched a dolphin, Nicholas, jump, splash and swim in a fun, family-friendly presentation. The Clearwater Aquarium is also home to Hope, of Dolphin Tale 2 fame. One thing I love about the Clearwater Aquarium is that their goal is to release the animals back into the wild. The only animals who reside at the aquarium are those who are unable to manage on their own.

Other than the dolphins, there are so many great animals at the Clearwater Aquarium. All of my kids had a blast petting the stingray (and, admittedly, I thought it was pretty cool, too). We watched a fun otter presentation, saw some cool sea turtles, and even got to feed some puffer fish!  There are also opportunities to sign up for personal interactions with the animals.  The aquarium has two buildings–one is geared more toward animal rehabilitation and the other is more like a movie museum–there is a documentary from the Dolphin Tale cast about the making of the movie, lots of the movie set and a touch tank.  And a fun bonus is the free trolley or boat that takes you between the two facilities. Overall, the Clearwater Aquarium was a great day trip from Tampa and a perfect activity in Clearwater when you need a day away from the beach.  What would your family love best about the Clearwater Aquarium?

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  • MaddiesMom
    February 12, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Looks like fun! We want to go to Florida someday!

  • Sarah Hayes
    February 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    this would be such an amazing trip! my daughter would love to see the dolphins

  • Janet W.
    February 12, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Looks like a wonderful attraction to visit! We’ll have to go here next time we go down to Florida. My grandsons would love it!