Bring your kids for a behind-the-scenes look at the Dolphin Tale movies and marvel at the marine creatures who played the parts.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a spectacular center for sea life, with a focus on rescue and rehabilitation. It contains a range of exhibits for marine creatures, many of which have injuries preventing their return to the wild. Learn about the ecosystems and threats to these majestic animals at this fun and educational institute.
Access the famous Winter Zone to see the bottlenose dolphins Winter and Hope. Winter starred in the Dolphin Tale movies, which were filmed here. Learn how Winter inspires people who have life-changing injuries. She was caught in a crab trap line and lost her tail, but today flourishes with a prosthetic replacement.
Stroll down Shipwreck Alley with your kids for the underwater dolphin viewing tunnel. Watch rehabilitated sea turtles swimming in the Mavis’ Rescue Hideaway, which also has red fish, tarpon and hogfish. The star turtle from Dolphin Tale 2 resides here. Visit Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure for the props and images that reveal behind-the-scenes information on the making of the movie.
The exhibits are constantly changing, as new animals are rescued and others move on. Make your way to the Stranding Deck to see animals that are quarantined from the rest. Watch presentations about the current creatures residing here. Let your children caress the stingrays in the touch pool.
Go to the Sea Cavern for the tanks full of regional marine animals, such as sea urchins, crabs and sea stars. Marvel at the nurse sharks, Thelma and Louise. Other animals in the aquarium include otters, pelicans and turtles.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is on the Island Estates landmass off the western coast of Clearwater, in western Florida. Take the Jolley Trolley or the Clearwater Ferry or drive to the site. Pay a fee to leave your car in the parking garage. There is a fee to access the aquarium, which is open daily from morning until late afternoon. Visit nearby attractions, such as Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island State Park and Honeymoon Island State Park.