Aquariums in Florida Your Family Will Love
By Carrie McLaren
Florida aquariums offer opportunities to learn about sea life and have a fun outing at the same time. Whether you’re hoping to learn about fish and fauna, swim with dolphins, or just have some hands-on fun, aquariums are a place of exploration and excitement for all ages.
See the graphic below for a listing of Florida aquariums you can explore with your family. But first, here’s a closer look at a few of them:
Gulf World Marine Park
Panama City Beach – Located across the street from the beach, Gulf World Marine Park features a sting ray touch tank, a reptile show and an indoor area with walking trails featuring beautiful birds. Within the park, you’ll also find penguins, alligators and flamingos on display at the park. The park also offers "meet the dolphin" experiences for families and there are opportunities to swim with the dolphins, too.
Tampa – The aquarium’s Bays and Beaches exhibit explores more than 20,000 plants and animals native to Florida and surrounding areas. "The Penguins: Backstage Pass" offers families a unique look at the aquarium and marine life. Led by a penguin biologist, this experience is available as an add-on to your aquarium admission. Be sure to bring your little one’s swimsuit, as the Florida Aquarium also has a large splash park.
Key West Aquarium
Key West – Located in Mallory Square, families can explore sea life, learn about conservation, coral reef tanks and animals native to Florida at the Key West Aquarium. Don’t miss putting your hands in the Touch Tank to see live conchs, sea stars, sea urchins and even giant hermit crabs.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Beach – Home to Winter the dolphin, from the hit movies "Dolphin Tale" and "Dolphin Tale 2," the Clearwater Marine Aquarium was used in the making of the movies. Families can explore the same places they saw on the big screen. Don’t miss Sawyer’s Passage, built specifically for the movie. Go underneath to see moray eels and sea turtles through the underwater windows.