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Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Editor's pick

Categories: Attraction, Aquarium

Features: Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Play area, Private room

Parking: Lot

Admission: $21.95, $19.95 ages 60-older, $16.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free.

The modest-sized aquarium near Clearwater Beach offers a unique spin on the conventional aquatic experience because CMA doubles as a working animal hospital that rescues and rehabs sea creatures deemed unfit to survive on their own in the wild.

It's home to perhaps one of the world's most famous dolphins, Winter, who's story was told in the movie, Dolphin Tale, starring Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.

The tailless young dolphin barely escaped death after being entangled in a crab trap on the east coast. Typically, dolphins cannot survive without their tails, but Winter has beat the odds and now uses a specially made prosthetic tail to swim.

We have an entire special report page about Winter.

Read about a new dolphin, now named Hope, that was brought to the aquarium five years after Winter arrived.

There are several rehabilitation centers within the aquarium where staffers and volunteers work to help various sea animals regain their health. There are also several new areas of the aquarium that were built for Dolphin Tale that are now being used for animal rehabilitation.

And Winter is available for one-on-one sessions for a special fee.

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