Family-Friendly Clearwater


By Heather Turk

While families visiting Clearwater could easily spend their entire vacation soaking up some sun on its white sand beaches and splashing in its turquoise waters, this picturesque destination boasts a multitude of kid-friendly attractions that guests of all ages will enjoy.


Photo by Skip Milos

Enjoy a swashbuckling family adventure onboard Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, this popular pirate-themed sightseeing cruise invites families to step aboard its custom-built ship, the Pirate’s Ransom, and embark on a 2-hour odyssey with a spirited crew of pirates. Offering multiple excursions daily, guests will sail the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and comb the horizon for dolphins while enjoying a variety of activities together as a family—including a water gun battle! Kids can also partake in fun treasure hunts and listen to pirate stories while under the crew’s watchful eye. All guests receive complimentary beverages throughout the cruise, including beer and wine for the adults, and each child receives a keepsake certificate stating they’ve become an official pirate once the experience comes to an end.


Photo courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Winter and Hope, stars of Dolphin Tale movies and residents of Clearwater Marine Aquarium

That rare attraction that’s both educational and entertaining, visitors never know what they might see at this working marine animal hospital. The aquarium is home to more than 30 resident animals that, sadly, could not be released back into the wild—including Winter and Hope, the stars of Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ Dolphin Tale movies. There’s also a state-of-the-art surgical suite where guests can watch medical procedures through large viewing windows. A variety of interactive experiences are available as well, like the 90-minute Sea Life Safari Boat Tour. Passengers can witness data collection in action as the staff performs a net pull out in intracoastal waters and pass around the sea creatures caught before releasing them back into the water.

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