Whether you have a whole day to spend or only a couple of hours, if you want to enjoy Florida’s beautiful wildlife, learn something new and do your part to help protect Florida’s marine life, there is no better place than the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). Tampa Bay’s most economical attraction – kids get in for only $9.95, adults for 14.95 and seniors for $10.95 – CMA is not only interesting, fun for all ages and educational, it is also saving lives.
The money that you spend at CMA is well worth it. Not only will you have a great time, but you are helping to rescue, rehabilitate, and, when possible, release injured marine animals back to their natural habitat. You’ll meet the CMA family of dolphins, otters, turtles and fish. The gift shop has souvenirs for all ages, informational DVDs, jewelry, stuffed animals and other keepsakes and toys.
Resident dolphins – Winter, Panama, Hope and Nicholas – will inspire you with their individual tales of rescue, their remarkable recoveries and their joy for living and playing in the spacious aquarium. Here, you can meet Winter, CMA’s most famous dolphin, before she becomes known to the whole world in the upcoming 3-D movie Dolphin Tale, scheduled to be released September 23rd with a star-studded cast including Winter, as herself, and her costars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick, Jr. and Nathan Gamble, who plays Sawyer, the young boy who befriends Winter. Sure to make a huge splash worldwide, the movie shares the story of the amazing rescue of three-month-old Winter in December 2005, how she adapted to the loss of her tail and a dedicated team effort to develop a prosthetic tail that helps her swim.
Kids and adults alike will love seeing Dolphin Tale in theaters even more after they have really met Winter. When she isn’t using her prosthetic tail, she stays close to her float and splashes and plays with her surrogate mom Panama, who developed a deep affection for the orphan and “adopted” her. Panama, in her mid 30s and rescued off of Panama City Beach, also has a disability – she is deaf. Hope, the baby of the group, has a lot in common with Winter – both dolphins were rescued at only a few months old in the wintertime from the Indian River Lagoon System in East Florida by the same rescuer. Nicholas, rescued at six months old and now six years old, required nine months of daily treatment for the third-degree sunburn that covered 30 percent of his body, but you’d never know it now when the playful and energetic Nicholas wows you with his personality.
There are tons of fun activities at CMA, including presentations every 15-30 minutes including Dolphin Calf Training with Hope, Shark and Fish of the Gulf, River Otters, Stingray Feeding and much more, including tours offered daily with reservations. Register for one or combine several for a full day of fun in the sun!
CMA’s most popular tour, the Sea Life Safari, will take you for a two-hour trip into the beautiful intracoastal waters. Kids of all ages love the Sea Life Safari, the only cruise licensed to pull a trawl net, which gathers small fish, seahorses, and other fascinating sea life, offering a hands-on experience unlike any other cruise. You are likely to see dolphins, sea birds and other marine life, as CMA staff narrates the scenic ride to a shell island perfect for shelling and exploring, where you’ll experience the team’s data collection in action as they pass around sea critters before releasing them back to the bay. See, touch and learn about the marine creatures native to the Florida Gulf Coast! Bring cameras and binoculars; the tour also includes an up-close viewing of a protected bird sanctuary nestled in the mangroves.
During the Behind the Scenes Tour, you will explore our working animal hospital and have a hands-on experience as you explore behind the scenes of the rescue, rehab, and release facility.
Young and young-at-heart love Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the most economical, unique and heartwarming attraction in Tampa Bay.