Wildlife’s been fascinating the human for a long time, that’s why we love watching documentaries and going to ZOOs. If you are into sea life, visit a special aquarium that is something like a marine ZOO, where you’ll be able to see all of the oceanic species such as stingrays and sea turtles. Some of them even offer you to wear a snorkel and become a part of marine life yourself. In the United States, Florida is famous for such places, but which aquarium is the best? Each of them is unique and worth visiting, but of course, you couldn’t go to all of them at once. That’s why we want to describe ten of the most fascinating aquariums in Florida to make this choice easier for you.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium team consists of passionate people who do their best to preserve the environment. Not only do they rescue, rehabilitate and release marine life, but they also promote im-portant environmental education, conduct profound research and specialize in conservation. This non-profit organization also hosts many happenings and events that target increasing environmental awareness, especially concerning marine life. Have you ever heard about the movies “Dolphin tale” and “Dolphin tale 2”? If so, now you have the opportunity to meet the stars of those moving pictures. Once you visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium make sure to say hi to the two most popular dolphins in the world. CMA even organized a special celebration of their rescue known as “Rescue Days”.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
This marine park features a wide variety of sea life species that can’t wait to meet you and spend some time with you and your family. Do you want to feed a real African penguin? Now you have a chance. You can also visit charming seals and majestic sea lions. From a stable submerged platform, you can observe the behavior of agile bottlenose dolphins. Make sure to say hi to stingrays and take your family to the Kids Reptile Safari. This offer includes a close insight into the life of such reptiles as alligators, lizards, snakes and turtles.
Gulf World Marine Park
Have you ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins in one pool? Now it’s possible with Gulf World Ma-rine Park that offers you their Royal Swim program. You can hug, touch and initiate other interactions with those sea mammals and you can be sure that they are very friendly and cooperative. Pack your favorite swimwear and plan a visit to this unusual marine park. Dolphins like humans and they are eager to play with you all the time. If you decide to choose Royal Swim, you may take kids with you, but there are some requirements. Everyone who enters the pool must be at least 48 inches tall (about 1 m). Kids shorter than 53 inches (about 1.3 m) must be accompanied by an adult. The staff is responsible for do-ing the measurements before the session starts, so no tricks will work. Don’t forget about the necessity of wearing a life vest.
Key West Aquarium
The Key West Aquarium is located in Mallory Square and it’s one of the best places for a family week-end. Just take your kids with you and spend a wonderful day there. Why is it so great? What makes it family-friendly is the educational aspect of this place. After some time spent there, you’ll see that you know a lot about marine life, conservation and coral reefs. Why do we mention coral reefs? Because the Key West Aquarium holds small pieces of it in special tanks, making it look like they do in their natu-ral environment. It will blow you away when you realize how colorful and diverse marine life is. You’ll find there live sea urchins, sea stars, conches, giant hermit crabs and horseshoe crabs. If you are into really big fish, you will definitely feel excited when you see the shark exhibit. Actually, seeing is not the only attraction. The staff will let you even touch one of their sharks. Isn’t it exciting? Of course, it’s not everything that this place offers to you. It would take the whole day to talk about all attractions.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
If you plan your Florida trip, don’t forget to visit Sarasota. There, you’ll find Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, which will offer you a glimpse into the life of an array of sea animals. You’ll surely love the Shark Zone exhibit, especially if giant carnivores fascinate you. Have you ever dreamt of touching a ray or some reef animal? Maybe you didn’t have the opportunity to make this dream come true when you were a child. But now you can do it! Bring your children and friends with you and experience it togeth-er. Touch tanks and shark habitat are undoubtedly the biggest attractions of this aquarium, but there’s much more. Mote Marine also carries out research into sea animals, but the scientists are not closed in some mysterious cells. Feel free to observe their work and learn about marine life as much as you can.
Miami isn’t just a place where you can relax by the beach and watch the sunset. There, you’ll be able also to gain first-hand experience of exploring marine life. Make sure to take your whole family with you, including kids. The splash zones are dedicated especially to the youngest ones who dream of touching a real sea animal. Say hi to dolphins and African penguins. They are extremely friendly and will put a smile on your kid’s face. If you order the VIP tour, you’ll be allowed to feed sea turtles, stingrays and manatees. Close contacts with iguanas are also included in the VIP option.
Sea Life Orlando Aquarium
How many animals do live in the ocean? No one knows, but in Sea Life Orlando Aquarium there are as many as 5,000 of them. Once you visit this unique place, you’ll encounter more sea animals than you did in your whole life. This aquarium holds more than 2 million gallons of water, thanks to which it is possible to keep so many sea animals even big ones. As far as the big size is concerned, you can be sure you’ll see beautiful sharks that inspire awe with their look and behavior. Let’s not discriminate against smaller fish. In Sea Life Orlando Aquarium you can count on a friendly encounter with clownfish, which you must recognize from the famous movie „Finding Nemo”. We should also appreciate the staff of this aquarium for rescuing many endangered species. Some of them are truly on the verge of extinction and good people from Orlando do their best to save them. Make sure to see the impressive 360-degree underwater tunnel, which will let you feel like a part of sea life yourself.
Florida Aquarium in Tampa
If you are in Florida and feel like visiting an aquarium, then you can’t think about a better place than the one called „Florida Aquarium”. This simple name doesn’t imply boredom and emptiness. Instead, this 150,000 square feet place offers you encounters with over 7,000 real animals and plants. Feel the thrill of exploring the marine life that you know only from television and school books. Go to this amazing institution and meet such animals as sea turtles, stingrays and moray eels. Watch their behavior and notice how complex and unique each species is. There, you’ll have a chance to see also some animals that you would never associate with the ocean. They include colorful chameleons and ring-tailed le-murs that will astonish you with their uniqueness.
Marine Science Center
Do you want to learn something new about aquatic life? It would be the best idea to learn from those who have academic knowledge and know how to pass it in a fun way. That’s what you can count on at Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet. Check how hermit crabs and cownose stingrays behave in their natural environment. Natural is not an exaggeration here because the animals from this science center have a 1,400-gallon pool for themselves so they can truly feel at home. What you’ll see will exceed all of your expectations and you’ll permanently change the way you imagine marine life. Ponce Inlet hosts not only exhibitions but also hospitals that specialize in helping sick animals, such as sea turtles and in-jured birds that require profound rehabilitation.
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
This amazing aquarium hosts a rich selection of fish species that live in the area of Florida Keys and in the Caribbean Sea. Choose a guided tour, during which a real marine biologist will give you a fascinat-ing lecture about sea life. Let the colorful fish schools, kept in coral reef tanks, amaze you with their beauty and color. What species can you observe there? You’ll be given the opportunity to encounter blacktips, sand tigers and bonnethead sharks to name a few. Don’t forget to take a snorkel and get wet. Thanks to this, you’ll experience a new level of contact with marine life.