Trip to Clearwater from UOR/PBH

Our 11-year-old son has been asking to visit Winter the dolphin since he first saw the Dolphin Tale movie several years ago. We are going to UOR this summer and will have 6 days/5 nights at PBH. We are flying to Orlando and don’t plan to rent a car for the entire trip. We would like to rent a car for one day, drive to Clearwater, visit the CMA, and hopefully have a little time at the beach before driving back. I could use some advice on several questions:

  1. What is the best way to rent a car from PBH?
  2. How long should we plan to stay at CMA? Are the boat tours at CMA worth doing?
  3. Can we see Winter even if we don’t pay to get a photo with her?
    ($140 for a photo with Winter seems CRAZY!)
  4. Where is the best place to park for beach access?
  5. Would love some dining recommendations near the beach (seafood is the preference)!
  6. Any other advice from others who have done this day trip from UOR?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can share!

car hire should be really easy. Think its Hertz and they have a desk in the reception area. Book in advance for onsite pick up drop off. Details should be on the Hotel web page. Online booking gets best price. We are picking up car at airport and dropping off on site at the start of the uni part of our next trip.

We are considering making a day-trip to the aquarium in February. Would you recommend it?