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Aquariums & Marine Life in Florida
If you're not snorkeling or diving below, Florida aquariums offer a great way to see what’s going on down under. Whether you’re looking to swim with dolphins, learn about different fish species, or just wanting to have fun, visit some of Florida's best aquariums for marine viewing on land.
A tropical paradise with spectacular skyline views, Miami Seaquarium, is a favorite South Florida attraction where families are inspired and have fun. The Seaquarium is filled with engaging wildlife exhibits and exciting marine animal shows. Be amazed as killer whales show off their natural grace and fly through the air and laugh at the adventures of the playful sea lions.
Panama City Beach's Gulf World Marine Park is a perfect place to explore sea creatures, swim with dolphins, and see a reptile show. The park has a stingray touch tank and walking trails featuring beautiful birds, penguins, alligators and flamingos on display.
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa features Bays and Beaches exhibits with over 20,000 plants and animals native to Florida. Make sure to bring your bathing suit, as Florida Aquarium has a large splash pad to cool off in.
The Florida Aquarium
Spanning over 250,000 square feet, the Florida Aquarium entertains downtown Tampa visitors.
Home to over 20,000 aquatic plants and animals, the aquarium is a one of west central Florida's world-class attractions, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Don't miss key exhibits on Florida and ocean wildlife, including the Wetlands Trail, which journeys through alligator swamps and bird nesting sites.
Other exhibits include in-depth glimpses of life in Florida's bays and beaches, a stimulating recreation of a coral reef, and a gallery of interesting and unusual ocean creatures.
Gulf World Marine Park
Featuring a collection of native aquatic wildlife, Gulf World Marine Park is a family-friendly wildlife park in Panama City Beach. The park offers daily presentations and live shows featuring Florida Panhandle native species, like dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, and more.
Specific daily attractions at the park include the Bottlenose Dolphin Show, the Feathers & Friends Show, and the Underwater Scuba Demonstration. For a more up-close-and-personal experience, guests are invited to 'Swim with a Dolphin.'
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Established in the 1950s, the Gulfarium has been a popular stop in the area for decades. Visitors can enjoy close-ups and interaction with a variety of marine life: dolphins, sea turtles, otters, sea lions, African penguins, alligators, sharks, and much more.
As you plan your next excursion across the Florida panhandle, make sure you visit Fort Walton Beach, home to an array of top marine life attractions. Tour the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Designed by Hollywood filmmakers, Marineland opened in 1938 and originally allowed St. Augustine visitors to swim with dolphins. It has developed over the years into today’s Marineland, and was even named to the National Reigster of Historic Places in 1986.
With assistance from the University of Florida and Georgia Aquarium, the attraction has been reborn. Today, there are plenty of exhibits and opportunities for you and the family to interact with and learn about dolphins and other marine life living off the northeast Florida coast.
Located in Biscayne Bay, the Miami Seaquarium is a 38-acre aquarium and oceanarium set in downtown Miami. The park was established in 1955 – main in the nation’s oldest oceanarium.
Drawing over 500,000 annual visitors to the Virginia Key, the Seaquarium features the dolphins, orcas, seals, manatee, sharks, turtles, crocodiles, stingray, tropical fish, and much more.
Former film site of the television show “Flipper,” the park also offers Sharky's Sky Trail, Salty’s Pirate Playground, the Seal Swim, and more.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Founded in 1955, the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an independent marine research institution. Sitting on over 10 acres, the institution conducts research on sharks, marine mammals, coral reefs, and the ecology of the west central Florida coast and ocean floor.
Operating as a public display for visitors of Sarasota, the Mote Aquarium displays more than 100 marine species, including local marine life. Marvel at sharks, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and more. Visitors can also sneak a peak into working laboratories and research facilities and even reserve behind-the-scenes group tours.
Gulf Coast Discovery Center
Part of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, the Gulf Coast Discovery Center includes the Gateway to the Gulf Pavilion and the Down by the Shore Touch Tank, an interactive 1,000 gallon tank where visitors can touch and hold some of the creatures inhabiting nearby waters.
As you plan your next trip into the Panhandle of Florida, make sure you stay in Navarre and experience a wide open world of aquatic adventures. Let the Gulf Coast Discovery Center be the hub for all your marine and sea life fun.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Dating back to 1893, Alligator Farm Zoological Park has evolved from its early days as a reptile exhibit to a full-fledged zoo in St. Augustine. Exhibits include not only alligators, but exotic birds and mammals, Komodo dragons, pythons, lemurs, and even a nice collection of fossils of animals found on the northeast Florida coast.
A new zip-line even allows you to zip above Alligator Lagoon on Crocodile Crossing, if you're feeling adventurous enough. Given the park's historical significance, the St. Augustine Farm Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Guana River Environmental Center
Featuring 21,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Guana River Environmental Center works to showcase the unique ecosystems in region. Specifically, the center offers a peek into estuary system between the Jacksonville Beaches and St. Augustine.
The center is part of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve on the northeast coast. Features include interpretive exhibits, aquariums, and even an outdoor amphitheater, all providing insight on the complex habitats and systems of the sea and wildlife in the region.
Gator Country Alligator Park
Eco tours via airboat can be found at Gator Country Alligator Park. These tours offer a look at the backcountry, including bald eagles, heron, alligators, ospreys, and more. Plan out your next visit to Panama City and the Florida Panhandle and be sure to experience some real life gator experiences.
The Gator Country Alligator Park is home to BUBBA, the seven foot long, 15 year old gator. He's trained to listen to commands and watch hand signals – it's a unique experience.