A Day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

See dolphins, sea turtles and other marine creatures at this landmark family attraction in Clearwater.

visitors look at exhibits about dolphins at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium's Dolphintopia exhibit is part of its celebration of peace, love and dolphins! Expect special activities, displays and more.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium's inspiring story began 50 years ago with a group of passionate marine biologists and volunteers who wanted to educate people about marine animals and conservation. Today, CMA is an internationally renowned research and rehabilitation facility, providing a home for marine animals that otherwise wouldn’t survive in the wild due to injury or illness. 


What's New at CMA

This March and April, it’s time for a Spring Shellebration! From March 11-18 and April 1-15, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is open until 8 p.m. so you can spend extra time with rescued dolphins and all of the other marine animals you love, plus enjoy tropical sunset cruises, boardwalk games, live entertainment, music and fun family activities for all ages throughout the aquarium. If you visit after 4 p.m., you’ll save $3 off admission when you book ahead.

On April 1, celebrate the start of sea turtle nesting season with Sea Turtle Awareness Day! Spend the day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where the sea turtle nesting team will be hosting engaging activities – or you can take part from home. Participate in a local cleanup, protect a nest with a personalized plaque, or show your sea turtle love with a Sea Turtle Awareness Day shirt.

Meet Izzy, the aquarium’s newest resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. She was rescued near North Padre Island, Texas, in June 2022 after years of illegal human interaction in the wild caused her health to decline. She required intervention, and after CMA was selected as her forever home, she arrived here in November 2022, ready to join the CMA pod and enjoy lots of love and care.

Discover the Ultimate Virtual Reality Experience in CMA’s VR Theater, which includes “Remembering Winter: A Musical 360-Degree VR Tribute to Winter’s Legacy.” Separate VR tickets can be purchased at Ticketing, Guest Services or the VR Theater Counter.

Get up-close to life-size dinosaurs – some as big as 35 feet tall and 65 feet long – at the aquarium’s largest rescue mission ever! They’re all part of Dino Rescue: Rescue, Rehab and Recover From Extinction. As you walk around the aquarium, you’ll meet the dinosaurs, which move and roar, as they rehabilitate from ailments today’s animals face – like habitat loss and entanglement. Rescued dinosaurs will be rehabilitated throughout CMA, where you can learn about these formerly extinct species and help find ways to keep all animals safe in the wild.

CMA is celebrating Peace, Love and Dolphins at their Dolphintopia exhibition. Through art, activities and interactive displays, this immersive experience highlights fascinating scientific facts about dolphins as well as their connection with humans throughout the ages. Dolphintopia is included with general admission.

From Humble Beginnings to a Worldwide Sensation

Dolphins have always been part of CMA’s story, from its first rescued dolphin, Sunset Sam, in 1972, to its best-known resident, Winter the dolphin, who was rescued as a baby in 2005 after becoming entangled in a crab trap. 

Winter lost her tail but overcame the enormous challenge and was eventually fitted with a groundbreaking innovation, a prosthetic tail. Her amazing story was told in the 2011 hit movie, Dolphin Tale and the 2014 sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, starring Winter, Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd, and filmed on location at the aquarium. The movies brought worldwide attention to CMA, with visitors from around the globe coming to see Winter and her friends. 

Although Winter passed away in November 2021, CMA continues to celebrate her unique spirit and her story of resilience and healing that inspired people from all over the world, many of whom had their own health challenges. 

a small Black girl about age 3 in a colorful dress raises her arms to greet the dolphin Nicholas at the window of his tank at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Children love meeting the dolphins at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Giant viewing windows make the experience memorable.

A family stands in front of a giant vertical window to watch at dolphin at the dolphin habitat at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Visitors to CMA get an up-close view of the aquarium's dolphins through massive windows.

Animals You Can See at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

On your visit, you may see several species of dolphins – bottlenose dolphins Hope and Nicholas, as well as Rudolph, the rough-toothed dolphin, a deep-water species rarely seen by humans. The dolphins live at the beautiful new Ruth and J.O. Stone Dolphin Complex – here, a massive 16-foot-tall and 40-foot wide window provides awesome views of the dolphins. At CMA, you’ll also see North American river otters, loggerhead, green and Kemp's ridley sea turtles (the rarest sea turtle species in the world), stingrays, sharks, pelicans and other marine animals. Meet new residents Boba, the green sea turtle, and Speckles, the spotted moray eel! Check out CMA's live Dolphin Cam 1 and Dolphin Cam 2 now!

At CMA, a massive 16-foot-tall and 40-foot-wide window provides amazing views of the dolphins.

Animal Care Programs

Guests to CMA can book one of several animal care experiences, such as feeding a stingray, caring for a nurse shark, or gaining VIP access to see one of the aquarium’s bottlenose or rough-toothed dolphins up close. Remember that this is a working animal hospital as well as a visitor attraction, so there’s a true emphasis on animal and environmental education. Don’t be surprised if your little one leaves with dreams of becoming a marine biologist!

Ultimate Virtual Reality Experience

Experience CMA's immersive VR theater on your next visit! You can "dive right in" with humpback whales and other underwater wildlife guided by marine biologists and wildlife experts. This 360-degree stereoscopic VR adventure with dynamic motion seating is free with admission.

Boat Tours

CMA’s naturalist-guided Dolphin and Wildlife Boat Tours will teach you about the local dolphin population as well as other Florida wildlife. Guided tours on the water include a Sea Life Safari Tour, Tropical Cruise Boat Tour, Dolphin & Wildlife Tour and a Guided Kayak Tour.


Behind the Scenes Tour

To get a closer look at the aquarium in action, schedule a Behind the Scenes Walking Tour. You’ll gain access to special areas of the aquarium, including the critical care facility and the area where the animals’ food is prepped every day.


Tickets, Parking & Other Helpful Information

General admission (not including special tours or programs) is $26.95 for children ages 3 – 12, $33.95 for seniors and $35.95 for adults. Parking is available at the onsite garage for $12 and you can pre-pay when you buy your tickets online. Admission is free on your birthday!

Masks are recommended, but not required inside the aquarium. However, if you book a special animal interaction program, you will be required to wear a mask.

Share Your Memories!

Send any stories or photos from past visits or any vintage CMA souvenirs you might want to share for CMA’s 50th anniversary at [email protected]. And, of course, it’s fun to share your experience on social channels with @cmaquarium.