Take a Dive at Tampa's Florida Aquarium
By Lauren Tjaden
I’ve always wanted to share what SCUBA diving is like with – well, everyone. I want everyone to have the chance to wonder at the fish, in all their vivid glory and shapes and sizes. I want them to see odd plants that are really animals swaying in their secrets rhythms. I want them to be transported by the experience, as I am, to what is literally another world.
But learning to dive takes time. It isn’t cheap, either – even if you just do a "Discovery Dive." Further, all kinds of restrictions exist, including age restrictions (which make very good sense).
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa has solved all that with their Swim with the Fishes adventure. This in-water reef adventure affords guests six and older the opportunity to encounter an experience like one of the Florida Keys' most beautiful coral reef dive sites without being a certified SCUBA diver. You wear a small SCUBA tank, a regulator and floatation device to keep you on the surface, which allows you to experience the thrill of SCUBA diving from the surface. And this will twirl your beach towel – it’s only $85, which includes Aquarium admission.
Other aquarium fun you can experience
- Swim with sharks (a real dive with real-live sharks)
- Stroke – and feed – stingrays
- Get up close and personal with penguins
- Behind-the-scenes tour
- Explore a shore