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2013 BEST Florida Attraction

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is pleased to announce that we have been awarded USA today's 2013 Best Florida Attraction. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a truly unique experience offering visitors the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a marine life rescue facility.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) was announced as the winner of the "Best Florida Attraction" in Friday, December 27th 2013's edition of USA TODAY. Nominated by's Local Experts and Editors and promoted by USA TODAY and as one of 20 attractions across the state of Florida vying for a top 10 spot. CMA grabbed the lead and never relinquished it from the first day of voting. Other attractions included The Ringling Museum, Dolphin Cove, The Magic Kingdom and Miami's South Beach. The list included locations that have been drawing vacationers to the Sunshine State for many years. You can see and share the full list of winners at

The success of the movie Dolphin Tale, released in September 2011, catapulted CMA into becoming a major player as an attraction with worldwide recognition. The "Best Florida Attraction" award comes in as the filming of the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 is close to wrapping up later in January. The Aquarium's executives and board members are anticipating the number of guests visiting CMA will continue to grow over the next few years, which has provided the motivation to consider building a new location in downtown Clearwater.

This announcement is a third #1 for the Clearwater area in 2013. With distinguishing awards such as "Best Beach Town in Florida," "Best Place to Watch the Sunset" and now "Best Florida Attraction," Clearwater has established itself as a premier destination.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium extends its most sincere "Thank you" to the residents and officials of the City of Clearwater, as well as the residents of the State of Florida and the many guests who have shown their support for our mission.

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium:
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Clearwater Marine Aquarium's mission is to preserve marine life and the environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. CMA is home to dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter the dolphin's story of survival and inspiration has touched millions of people around the world. A movie, Dolphin Tale, about her life story was a #1 box office hit in theaters, and is now available in DVD. Produced by Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment, Dolphin Tale stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr., and Ashley Judd. Her documentary, "Winter: The Dolphin that Could," is available at The documentary takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through her rescue, fight to stay alive and extensive rehabilitation. Scholastic published Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again in October 2009.