Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Rodney K
    Port Orange, Florida15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Another great visit!
    CMA staff is very informative and make sure to attend the feedings and experiences. Boat ride was nice and relaxing and informative. Food was great (try the shrimp burger) Take time to just sit and watch the dolphins and other animal residents. Remember this is a working marine hospital and not a normal aquarium. 100 percent of profits go back to running the facilities and taking care of the animals
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written July 3, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 29, 2023
  • JP
    Dunedin, Florida30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Private Tour
    Meagan took me and my 8 year old Labrador, Gracie, on a tour of the facility. I was really shocked at the technology and science they employ every day to save underwater life. She also told me about plans for a manatee rehab addition planned for later this year. The dolphin tank was our favorite spot. Gracie was face to face with two dolphins. I should of taken a picture.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We're glad to hear that you had a great visit and that our staff member Meagan played a role in that! We look forward to welcoming you back in the future!
    Written July 24, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 29, 2023
  • Manderj
    Nuneaton, United Kingdom673 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Venue
    Visited this venue for the first time and it was an amazing experience. Good to be able to visit a venue which is there for the benefit of such beautiful creatures. The dolphins are my favourite and it was so lovely to watch them play. The work that is done here is absolutely brilliant. Overall an amazing experience .
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written July 11, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 11, 2023
  • OliviaS
    43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely time here
    Just spent a lovely 2.5hrs here - had to rush off to the airport but have to say it was lovely. Well worth it, was sorry we didn’t have longer. It is so much better than a traditional aquarium as the animals are there as they have been rescued etc, so the back stories really add to the experience. It was lovely. The restaurant also serves decent food, we had lunch before we left and it was v reasonable. All in all a very enjoyable morning
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written August 11, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 26, 2023
  • djangied
    Lima, Peru18 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lame.
    The best thing about this experience was they had AC in the building. We enjoyed seeing the dolphin, lemon shark and the rescued turtles. However, they did keep their animal chats and presentation schedule. Moreover, they did not even notify attendees they canceled the presentations. Last, for the cost per ticket ($$$) plus parking, only 10% goes to the cost of rescuing the animals. Really don't need to visit more than once.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 29, 2023
  • Morganre
    72 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So fun
    It’s expensive but my kids had a great time seeing Winter. We also took the boat tour which was great as well. So sorry since we’ve gone she has passed- but the place is still great
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter has encouraged millions around the world through her remarkable rescue story. Her enduring spirit will live on in our hearts forever and her legacy will continue to inspire. We're glad to hear that you enjoyed your day with us! We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back in the future!
    Written August 18, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Michaelene2013
    Dunedin, Florida941 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The film clips!
    Haven't been here in a few yrs & one of the best things was the 2 theatres w/these live action rescues & releases. So much to learn & very interesting to see. Nice seats & air conditioning was reeeal great. Nice snacks & service from Nathan at Shark Bites, nice racerback shirt & service from Selena at gift shop. Be sure to ask for AAA & senior discount if u qualify, parking is $12 too, so it ain't cheap, lol, but nice to support them!
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written August 18, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Beachcomb_33
    Eaton, Ohio810 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not Impressed
    I'm not impressed and probably wouldn't go back. For the cost of admission, I expected more. I didn't find it had enough animals. I found the layout to be more confusing than anything. I understand it is probably more of a rehabilitation center than anything. I just have been to better aquariums.
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. While we appreciate your feedback, it's unfortunate to hear that we were unable to provide you with a more satisfactory experience. Many of our resident animals are those who have been rescued and deemed non-releasable by the government, as they lack the skills necessary to survive on their own in the wild. We are known for the inspiring stories of our resident animals who are given a second chance at life. Your comments will be used to improve our customer service and aquarium offerings. We hope to have the opportunity to better serve you in the future.
    Written September 8, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 17, 2023
  • belliwa
    Maidstone, United Kingdom19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit!
    This was a wonderful opportunity to see some of the work the Clearwater Marine Aquarium are doing to help marine animals. The ethos is that of rescue, rehabilitation and release. It was amazing to see how they are helping and providing long term care for animals not suitable for release and adapting their environments to help them manage with the challenges that they face. The team and volunteers were engaging and enthusiastic and willing to take time to answer questions, etc.
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written October 3, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 1, 2023
  • Rodney K
    Port Orange, Florida15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great opportunity to see a working Marine Animal Hospital and support a great cause
    Family enjoyed our visit back to CMA and were delighted to see the new exhibits that were added. Although small to learn the stories from the staff of the animals in them was great. love sitting and watching the dolphins in the windows and be able to interact at times with them. Love the events they do, the food in the Cafe, the boat trip and some of the behind the scene experiences, and the gift shop. We understand this is a working marine hospital and what we special goes back to the rescue, rehab and release of these precious animals. it is sad others don't understand this is not a normal aquarium. Always find the staff very attentive, professional and really care about the animals. Anytime we are in the Clearwater area we visit and support CMA!
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We could not continue our amazing work without visitors like you coming through our door. We are so glad to see you enjoyed your day with us; we hope to see you again in the future!
    Written October 16, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles8,043 reviews
Excellent
3,794
Very good
2,043
Average
1,205
Poor
566
Terrible
435

tallgrl
Saint Louis, MO25 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike S
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abed M
Memphis, TN22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cassy
Pawhuska, OK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
I had wanted to go to this aquarium since seeing Dolphin Tale several years ago. I finally got my chance. It is amazing the things they are doing at this aquarium to rescue and release as many creatures as possible. And the ones that live there as their forever home are beautiful. To watch the animals play was so fun for us! We pet the sting rays. The volunteers and employees have named all animals and they can tell each apart! They spend a ton of time with them to know those details!! They are in process of growing for bigger tanks for the dolphins which will be amazing also.
If you have a chance go to this aquarium!
If money is what holds you back, go on a day they offer evening hours after 4:00. The tickets are cheaper then.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your kind words, and your support of our work and mission!
Written March 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kimberly H
Springfield, MO40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

V3920PKalexandrag
New York City, NY35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
I wanted to publicly acknowledge your love, dedication, and efforts that you put into Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Your Rescue, Rehab & Release project has reached worldwide. The haters that put you down and didnt believe in you have been surprised. Fans of different ages, lifestyles, countries and beyond are inspired by CMA and the wonderful work that you continue to do. As a Mom of a special child, I wanted to personally bow to you, your amazing inspire team, staff, interns, trainers and volunteers. David, you give these kids a reason, a purpose and support. To my child you are a hero. CMA is my childs happy place and she looks forward to the several trips a year vacations. She chooses CMA over any trip offered to her. This recent Christmas trip topped the charts for my child. Dorothe and Thomas made her feel special from the moment she stepped into her hotel room. The room was decorated with lights, gifts and christmas trees. My childs disability doesnt allow her to play sports, however she is a huge fan of hockey. They made sure that my child got her wish to visit the Tampa Bay Lightning game as well as the morning practice. Where she got to meet the players and sign autographs. The team gifted her a hockey stick and puck. CMA, also involved her in all the activites with the actors from the Dolphin Tale Movies The actors danced with her, spoke to her, ate lunch with her and offered inspiring words. David and Team, you put my child on a pedastil and told her that she is special and CMA backs her up all the way in any endeavor she chooses. Her dream is to volunteer at CMA and eventually become a Dolphin Trainer. The struggles that she faces on a daily basis are null because she has CMA on her side. I hope that you and your Team continue to inspire everyone especially special kids to infinity. You all are their Hero’s.

Sincerely,

Alexandra
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so pleased that you had such a phenomenal visit with us! Thank you so much for supporting our work and mission!
Written January 14, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Solara
Cloudland, GA172 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Family
I felt the same as the prior 1 star reviews. It was pretty expensive, more than we pay to go to a large zoo that includes aquariums, but the worst aquarium we have been to, by far. There are no maps or instructions on where to go, and it's kind of a maze with small stairs and areas to get through that didn't make any logistical sense. They are monopolizing on the "Winter story" everywhere there, but you never see Winter or Hope. The only reason we didn't give a 1 star review was just because I do appreciate that they are helping rehab hurt animals, and I'm all for that cause. It just isn't worth the cost. There were tons of people coming in when we were there, so unfortunately they probably won't lower prices to more realistic costs or change anything since they have the demand. I wish I would have read these reviews before we spent $120 to be confused and crowded.
Written February 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We visited the Aquarium several years again and enjoyed it so went back for a visit today. We were there less than an hour. The entire facility is under construction and there are few marine animals to view, no interactive activities and overall very disappointed in our visit. I would recommend waiting until their construction is done and COVID doesn’t limit shows/presentations.
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken R
Springfield, IL252 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were skeptical from what we had heard from other people and we should have listened.

First of all, add $10.00 to the cost for a place to park at what appears to a tourist as the only place to park. You should know it isn't and there are free places to park if you ignore the signage and look around. The walk will not be any farther than the walk from the paid parking.

Second, there wasn't much to see for the money. Add to that the evangelistic approach to environmentalism and the reliance on a tear jerking kids movie.

If you have young kids who saw the movie and were moved by it, it might be worth the money.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're sorry to see that your visit wasn't quite what you hoped for, Ken. We are a non-profit marine animal hospital, focusing on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; thus, all of the proceeds from admission, parking, the gift shop, and our programs go back towards our work and mission. Without visitors like you coming through our doors, we wouldn't be able to continue providing care for our resident animals. We hope that during your visit you were able to speak with our team members to learn more about what we do!
Written March 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

spartangirl1717
Saint Joseph, MI19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We travelled from Michigan to Florida specifically to go to this aquarium. Our children are big fans of the Dolphin Tale movies. If you haven't seen them, make sure to watch them before you visit. They will give you a nice background on the actual mission of the aquarium. We visited the aquarium on four days during our vacation and spent between 1-4 hours each time. If was fabulous! This aquarium is a working marine animal hospital. It is not going to be like a traditional aquarium, so make sure to keep that in mind. Everyone who works here is very friendly and knowledgeable. The staff, volunteers, and interns were all eager to answer our questions. There are plenty of viewing spaces for the dolphins. We also enjoyed watching the turtle and otter demonstrations. Our daughter was particularly thrilled to see the turtles being fed. The stingray touch pool was another popular place for us. As other have mentioned, things can add up here, but remember that this is a non-profit. We wound up buying a membership and it included our tickets for each day, discounts for parking, food, and the gift shop. It was worth it for us. The food at the café is delicious!

We did two "excursions" at CMA. We did a behind the scenes tour and a photo with Winter. The tour was very interesting, but not at all geared toward kids. We likely wouldn't have done it if we had realized, but the adults had a good time. The photo with Winter was a wonderful opportunity. Our kids were thrilled to be able to hold her prosthetic tail. I wish we would've signed up for other excursions, but our visit was great regardless.

Our kids are already asking to go back. They would like to do one of the summer camps that are offered. After visiting, our oldest declared that they would like to work at CMA. Highly recommend a visit, especially if you have children interested in marine life.
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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