Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Hours, Address, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Reviews: 4/5

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
4
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Write a review
About
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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Clearwater Marine Aquarium and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
7,920 reviews
Excellent
3,730
Very good
2,026
Average
1,190
Poor
550
Terrible
424

Mom2Twins2
Round Lake, IL29 contributions
Family
We had been here years before the remodel just to see Winter and learn more about her rescue. It was a much smaller place then, but very friendly and easy to get around. It was worth the money back then. Now that it has expanded, it is $10 for parking and a family of 3 just to get in was over $100. It isn’t worth it. Very confusing layout and not much to do if you have littles. I had teens, which they were able to read all the info boards and interact when there was something to interact with. Their craft station has coloring pages. At the dolphin tanks, and hen they are doing a presentation you cannot hear clearly what the presenter is saying. There are demonstrations, but not enough to do in between to warrant staying for later demonstrations. I would have even loved places to sit around the dolphin tanks just to watch them swim around. Supposedly there is a VR experience according to online, but we never found it or saw a sign for it. Overall, I think this could be so much more and cost much less. I know they have lost Winter, which I’m sure has decreased their profits. But, if they decreased the cost and made it more affordable, then maybe more people would come and spend more time there. Plus, they pay someone to work the parking garage entry/exit. I’m pretty sure we all can grab a ticket upon entry and pay when we leave. We don’t need a person to push the buttons for us.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Abed M
Memphis, TN21 contributions
This is a marine-life rescue center, which which might mislead the public what they can offer. We went to this aquarium to enjoy watching sea animals, especially dolphins. After going through the ticketing and then through restaurant that was there to go through to get to dolphins show, we stood up (outside) to watch dolphin show for 15-20 minutes but very disappointing. The young lady talked about the 4 dolphins they rescued for 15-20 minutes, no dolphins showed up to watch. It was a boring speech (which you can learn about dolphins online and no need to stand under heat of sun and listen to speeches. One dolphins jumped few times in air to get food, that's it. Very frustrating.
Then we went down to watch dolphins underwater. We had to go through paths to learn about other animals they had such as sea turtles, otters, pelicans, few sharks, stingrays. My son and other guests were able to touch stingrays as instructed which was nice. Parking in garage was nice and organized by staff. We spend about 2 hours. Fair experience.
Written August 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Redden
Charlotte,NC6 contributions
We visited Clearwater Marine Hospital on our way home from a week in Indian Rocks Beach. We were hesitant due to cost and value reviews however decided to go based on the mission of the program and our girl's love for dolphins and marine rescue. While it can be costly, we agree with the positive reviews that you can't go into this expecting a typical zoo or aquarium. This is a hospital, rehabilitation, and long term care facility that you are supporting with your attendance. Yes, there are not that many animals however the educatuional value provided on what is there is exceptional. Everywhere you went there was staff ready and willing to teach about the animals and answer questions. We probably interacted with at least 20 staff members during our visit. We even watched the end of a sea turtle surgery from a viewing window and had a staff member explain what we were seeing. We planned on a few hours here based on reviews but ended up staying nearly 5 hours with lunch at Shark Bites (great food!) and watching one of the short documentaries in the theater. We still did not see and do everything we could have.
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tallgrl
Saint Louis, MO27 contributions
Family
At the suggestion of their website, we took the water taxi over here. But even though this is the suggested mode of transportation, you get off the ferry, and there’s NO direction at all as to which way to go to get to the entrance! We wandered around for 10 minutes in the summer heat on the backside of the building looking for the entrance. Asked a girl wearing an Intern shirt how to get to the entrance, she was no help at all and didn’t even know there was a ferry service. Seriously, you hire Interns but don’t train them in the most BASIC of customer service?! Finally found a side door in the parking garage which took us to the frontside of the building….but nope, you’re not there yet! Have to climb another 3 flights of stairs (or wait for the one working elevator) to get to the main entrance. We then wait in line to get our tix…and then you’re told all the animals are on the first floor. Can’t go back out the way you came in and No stairs in sight…so we must wait in line AGAIN for the ONE working elevator!! Finally make it to the first floor and we are greeted by someone speaking into a mic….space is cavernous and there’s tons of people so we can’t understand her at all. Make our way around the viewing tanks….if you are looking for Winter just look for the most crowded tank and lots of girls taking selfies.

As other reviews have said rest of aquarium doesn’t have much…just a few other animals. And blow-up whales. The whole experience felt like they were working to maximize the $$$ they took from each guest with the numerous add-on purchases and massive gift shop that you are forced to traverse if you want to leave.

Major updates needed as far as crowd logistics and directional signage.

The positives:
—Cafeteria was SUPER clean and food was good
—AC was great on the third and fourth floor….not so much on first.
—Admission included in the CityPass tickets so effectively free…were I to get a City Pass on a cooler day I would come back again, otherwise would skip it.

Go if someone in your group is a fan of the Dolphin Tale movies, or if you have the City Pass.
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Josh Tovar
Sachse, TX1,226 contributions
Family
Our July the 4th vacation continued and had a choice of going to Tampa or staying and visiting the local aquarium. Due to the cost, we stayed local and purchased the tickets on Groupon for $152 and $10 fee for parking in the parking garage. As you enter on the third floor, you pay for your tickets then take family pictures behind the green screen. If you want to purchase the pictures you can get them on your way out of the building. You can start viewing the dolphins in their tank from the top where the caretakers are friendly and willing to answer questions. You can also go down the elevator and view the dolphins in the water. After you had your fill of dolphins, you can move on to the area with different tanks that hold turtles, shark, otters, manta rays, and other fish. If you'd like more one to one events with the different fish you can purchase additional tickets. You can next move to another section of the building where there is a movie theater that has scheduled movies for the family to learn. You can also have a hands on experience for the kids related to different related subjects. If merchandise and food is on the agenda, you can spend to your hearts content. This is a nice place with positive employees yet when our family sees Aquarium we expect different. If you have a choice, go to the Tampa Aquarium but if funds are an issue this is a good substitute
Written July 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

useramanda5
Pittsburgh, PA11 contributions
Family
It’s really hard to give a bad review of a marine rehabilitation center, but here goes. I really like the “idea” of this center, but for the amount that they are charging for parking and admission, it is 100% not worth it. We walked through the whole thing and were left wondering “is that it?” I even stopped a staff person to ask, just to make sure.
The whole thing is centered on the Dolphin Tale movie and a dolphin named Winter, who unfortunately had passed away recently. If there had been more staff workers around to talk about the dolphins or explain the rehab work that they do, I may have rated this more stars. The only time anyone interacted with us was when they wanted to take our picture (to sell to us at the end) and to do the always hokey “gem mining.”
They insist they’re a rehab place and not a zoo, but it all felt very gimmicky. The “extras” really took away from any sort of authentic experience.

I don’t even feel glad that I went. I would not go back and I would not recommend this adventure.
Written February 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike S
1 contribution
If a portion of our admission fee didn't go towards the animal's care, we would have asked for a refund. We called the morning of our visit and were told there were plenty of RESERVATIONS that day so we booked 12:00pm, gave our credit card info and was given a confirmation code to use to claim our tickets. When we got there we were shocked to discover there is NO will-call area and we had to stand in line with the hundreds of other people in the parking garage waiting to get in! After 41 minutes we finally reached the entrance. We asked an employee what the purpose of a reservation was and they told us "we really don't have reservations". It is just a way for us to get a headcount on the day's visitors. Very limited attractions to see while squeezed in like sardines with too many other visitors. We were ready to leave after 20 minutes when we overhead another visitor mention additional attractions in the "old building". We found a sign that simply said "Old CMA" No idea what that was because you don't get a map! Waste of $$ and time!!
Written March 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kimberly H
Springfield, MO42 contributions
Family
We visited CMA as part of my kids doing their weeklong Clearwater Marine Aquarium summer camp. (If you get to do the kids camp, I highly recommend it. This is the second time we’ve driven from Missouri to do the camp. It’s inexpensive and LOTS of fun!)
Winter the dolphin’s story is incredibly inspirational and helps kids actually see the consequences of what pollution does to ocean animals. The aquarium only houses rescued animals that are unable to be released back into the wild.
The aquarium offers all sorts of dolphin spotting boat tours as well as opportunities to actually meet the animals up close through purchased experiences. (NOTE: All animal experiences sell out months in advance! If you want a picture with one of their resident dolphins, sea otters, etc, book it ASAP!)
You can spend half a day or an entire day at the aquarium. There is a cafe and the food is delicious…but pricey. Most of the proceeds from admission and sales go towards caring for the animals since CMA is a not-for-profit.
Written June 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth A
35 contributions
Solo
For the price of a ticket, I think I was expecting more. Live animal shows take the focus — especially the dolphins — and displays were less prominent. Complicated to navigate, but widely available information and helpful staff. Going later in the day even with summer hours missed a lot of presentations, I wouldn’t recommend.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karla J
1 contribution
Couples
Very overpriced for the limited aquariums and sea life they have. Absolutely no flow to the building and people are walking aimlessly to find exhibits that are poorly done. Aquariums for the dolphins are incredibly small.

I appreciate they are a not for profit rehab center for marine life, however, marketing as an aquarium is poor and false advertising.
Written February 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 7,446
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Clearwater Marine Aquarium tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Clearwater Marine Aquarium tours on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near Clearwater Marine Aquarium: View all restaurants near Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Tripadvisor