Tampa >Attractions > Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL | Directions 3360227.945461 -82.444148
Neighborhoods: Channel District, Northeast
Well Worth the Money – This aquarium is absolutely huge and for the money it cost for admission, I was shocked that it was so cheap. They were running a special where our kids got in for free since we paid adult admission. Plenty of exhibits are around, a little penguin made its way out to greet us in the main foyer and hands-on activities were available where the kids got to pet a sting ray. The gift shop was reasonably priced, the staff was knowledgeable and the entire place was clean. The only negative thing I have to say about the place is that the food court is way too basic.
A Can't Miss Face-to-Face Penguin Encounter! – The first thing you notice when you walk into the lobby is a floor to ceiling image of a school of stingrays against a deep blue sea. That's the background for the lobby touch tank where you can pet real stingrays and little sharks!
Upstairs we found the Penguin Promenade where two cute warm weather penguins come out twice a day and walk around in front of the guests -- with nothing between them and the guests! They called it a "no borders, no boundaries" encounter and that is exactly what it was. We even say one of the penguins play with a little boy's shoelaces!
We saw that guests could dive with their sharks in the Shark Bay exhibit, but they were already booked for the day, so we went ahead and reserved a time to go diving with the sharks in a few weeks. Can't wait for that! You have to be a certified SCUBA diver, but for those who aren't, they can Swim with the Fishes in their massive Coral Reef exhibit.
After we made our reservations we went out to the Cantina for a beverage while our nephews splashed around in their outdoor water play area.
It was a fantastic day at The Florida Aquarium and we can't wait to go back!
Get a close up look at creatures from the wetlands, coral reefs, beaches and offshore sites. – Overview
Gills and thrills fill this stunning 152,000-square-foot, glass-topped structure built in 1995. It houses many of Florida's most famous fish and other waterside wildlife. Aside from the obvious aquatic animals, river otters, roseate spoonbills and a great horned owl are right at home.
From the deep-sea dive of the Coral Reef to the top of the glass dome, the aquarium keeps current with Florida's currents. Watch divers swim with sharks at the Shark Bay exhibit, or wander through streams, marshes, rivers, swamps and mangroves in the Wetlands. Youngsters will enjoy the hands-on Explore-A-Shore coastal discovery zone. To experience Florida wildlife in its natural environment, hop on one of the aquarium's catamaran eco-tours. Adventurous visitors who want to get even closer can Swim with the Fishes--an in-water adventure that does not require SCUBA certification.
Could be better – This was an O.K. place to visit. But, the most interesting part was the WW2 battleship out by the bay and the Dolphin Exploring boat ride offered out by the bay. The actual aquarium was very dull.
nice place to take the kids – i took my two daughters here for the first time since moving to tampa and it was a great experience. the kids loved it!
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