Clearwater Marine Aquarium Exterior Image: Colin Miller/Imagine Communications (flickr)
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the top attractions in Clearwater Florida, thanks largely in part to a special dolphin named Winter. When she was just two months old, Winter got entangled in a crab trap. Though she was saved, she would eventually lose her tail due to the severity of the injuries. At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter learned how to swim without a tail, though specialists thought that her new swimming style would result in future spinal problems. As such, Winter was outfitted with a prosthetic tail, which she took to rather quickly. Today, Winter is an inspiration to many, especially those who use prosthetic limbs themselves. Her story underlines what the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is all about, and that's the conservation and protection of marine life. This excellent aquarium in Clearwater, which is a non-profit organization, also specializes in marine-based environmental education.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
If you're interested in visiting the Clearwater Aquarium during your Clearwater vacation, there are some other area aquariums worth considering as well. They include the small aquarium that can be found at the St Petersburg Pier and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. If you only have time for one aquarium visit during your visit to the area, then you should arguably head to the aquarium in Clearwater. You can find the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Clearwater Harbor, which is a short drive away from the heart of the city. Once you arrive at this top-rated attraction, there will be a lot of interesting exhibits to take in. They include Turtle Bayou and Stingray Beach. The former is a large tank that is home to both permanent resident turtles and rescued turtles that are being prepared for a return to the wild. As for Stingray Beach, it allows visitors to get up close and personal with some fascinating stingrays. You can actually touch the rays if you want to, and you won't have to worry about the dangerous barbs, which are clipped off for visitor safety. The animals at the Clearwater Aquarium don't have to worry about predators, so the stingrays are fine without their barbs.
In addition to Turtle Bayou, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also boasts Westside Turtles and Turtles Yet Again. Both of these exhibits revolve around turtles, which are among the most commonly rehabbed creatures at this fantastic aquarium in Clearwater. When you're not checking out great exhibits like these during your visit to the Clearwater Aquarium, you can watch a dolphin show. The resident bottlenose dolphins here can no longer reside in the wild for various reasons, though they have hardly gotten bad lots in life. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium goes to great lengths to keep their animals healthy and happy, and this includes checking water quality on a daily basis. The dolphin shows here are ideal for visitors of all ages, and if they pique your interest, you might also add a dolphin watching cruise to your Clearwater vacation itinerary. There are Clearwater cruises to fit a range of tastes and preferences, and you can bet that the dolphin watching excursions are among the most popular.
The Clearwater Aquarium helps to make Clearwater Florida a great family destination, and any and all visitors should keep it in mind when looking for fun things to do. When you're not hanging out at this gem of an aquarium in Clearwater during your visit to the area, you can always kick back on an idyllic beach, explore the nearby cities of St Petersburg and Tampa, or even enjoy a side trip to Orlando. If you don't want to stray too far from your vacation rental or hotel room in Clearwater, there will be plenty to keep you busy. You could easily spend a few hours at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium alone, and chances are good that you might even fancy a return visit. Save for major holidays, the Clearwater Aquarium is open daily, and the admission prices are more than fair. You can book special tours at the aquarium in Clearwater if you are interested, and they can include things like cruising the local waterways and getting a behind the scenes look at the aquarium's operations. As a side note, those who like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium are also likely to find favor with the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.