Located in Clearwater Harbor, just off the causeway connecting downtown Clearwater to the beach, is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (249 Windward Passage, 727/441-1790, www.seewinter.com , 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sun. $19.95 adults, $17.95 seniors, $14.95 children 3–12).
Less a traditional public aquarium than a marine animal rehabilitation center, guests shouldn’t arrive expecting slick displays and floor-to-ceiling tanks filled with scores of exotic fish. What they will find is a working facility that seeks to educate visitors on the unwitting impact humans have on underwater life.
The staff’s friendly and informative attitude keeps the Clearwater Marine Aquarium from being a drag; they are clearly enthusiastic about their work, and the animals, despite being a bit banged up, are obviously treated extraordinarily well.