My other half planned a short getaway for our nine year anniversary. I wasn’t exactly sure where we were headed, but knew it was somewhere around Clearwater Beach.
Marriott Sand Key
As we drove over the bridge to Clearwater, I kept expecting a turn off at one of the many beach hotels.
To my surprise we headed over a bridge away from Clearwater Beach and turned into the Marriott Sand Key.
We only had Saturday and Sunday to spend in the area, but I can tell you this was pure paradise. Close enough to Clearwater tourist area to enjoy the pier and shops if you wanted, but far enough that you are amongst residential condos and free to enjoy a beach undergoing a nourishment project that welcomes a plethora of amazing shells.
Sand Key Beach
The Marriott Sand Key has an amazing pool area, kids club (We’ll be back withthe kids), restaurants (on location and nearby), fun water sports, tiki bar, great room views and friendly staff.
We will definitely be back!
Be sure to follow more of our family travel & adventures on Instagram!
Most of the world has seen (or at least heard of) the movie Dolphin Tale. The story highlights the rescue of a wounded dolphin who ends up losing one very important important thing… a tale! The Clearwater Marine Aquarium works hard in the movie to create a prosthetic tail just like you would for a human. All the while the characters are in the process of saving the aging Aquarium, which they do with Winter’s help.
That's Winter behind Mia's big smile!
We decided this summer would be a great time to meet Winter in person. Only about 1.5 hours from Orlando is beautiful Clearwater Beach and the somewhat small Aquarium. Staff at the Aquarium give you the feeling they are family and all have a vested interest in the success of the facility. Mia likes to talk and the staff there took the time to answer EVERY SINGLE question she had with no sign of annoyance. There are no bells and whistles here, but in a good way. Just fish, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, turtles, otters, local shell and geography exhibits and daily educational shows that incorporate the marine life.
Mia & Charli checking out the prosthetic tail
After the success of Dolphin Tale, the Aquarium now has a new facility located just a trolleyride away that is dedicated to the making of the movie – Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure. We weren’t able to get to this facility, but it was included in our entrance price and the trolleyride is free! Winter calls the main Aquarium home.
I highly recommend visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for an authentic marine life experience. Prices are reasonable. $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. Teachers and active military get in free! There are often coupons available like this one on TampaBay360 for $2 off each ticket purchased.
If you can’t make it to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium just yet, you can follow Winter on Twitter or even view Winter through the online webcam!
The operating room from the movie