The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa is one of the top aquariums in the U.S., and once you’ve visited you will appreciate why. It is a huge and spacious attraction with over 1600 fish, sharks, stingrays and sea turtles as well as some unexpected exhibits such as penguins, gators, waterbirds, a “no-bone zone” and a 2-acre outdoor Explore-a-Shore water play area.

Daily highlights at this world-class attraction include live animal presentations with rangers, a splendid Q&A session with a submerged diver in the vast 250,000 square-foot aquarium, otter feeding, and presentations at the panoramic viewing window.  If you want to add a special experience, perhaps as a birthday treat, there are exciting opportunities including behind-the-scenes tours, hands-on feeding activities and swimming with the fish!

What to Expect on a Visit to the Florida Aquarium

Your first impression as you walk into the Florida Aquarium is how huge this attraction is as signs and elevators lead off in various directions promising plenty of things to see and do. Pick up a guide of “What’s swimming your way today” so you don’t miss the excellent presentations that take place throughout the day at various aquarium locations.


You may want to linger at the Horseshoe Crab Observation Pool before heading up the elevator to begin your underwater adventure at the Coral Reef exhibit. This includes a huge aquarium with beautiful colored fish and mesmerizing rays that flap gently past or slide up the glass showing their amazing mouth and gills. Shoals of silver fish swim by along with more vibrant colored species such as bright blue tangs, surgeon fish, neon-colored parrot fish, angel fish, hog fish, spotted porcupine fish and the menacing open-mouthed green moray eels, among many others.

This area includes a walk-through tunnel to see the fish, sharks and eels above and beside you. With various viewing windows, it’s a great place for photos……………

If this has ‘wet’ your whistle then you may like to read the rest of the chapter and all the 14 other exciting places to visit whilst in the Clearwater and Tampa area, all of which are detailed in my book “Days Out Around Clearwater and St Pete Beach“. Enjoy!



About gillianbirch

Greetings from your international roving reporter! Based in beautiful Cornwall UK, I am a freelance travel writer and published author of several travel books. As the wife of a Master Mariner, I have travelled extensively and lived in exotic locations all over the world including the Far East, Europe, Australia and the Republic of Panama. I would describe myself as having “endless itchy feet and an insatiable wanderlust”, as I continue to explore Europe, Florida and further afield, writing about my experiences with humour and attention to detail. BTW, I have a Diploma from the British College of Journalism and am a member of the International Travel Writers’ Alliance and the Gulf Coast Writers’ Association.
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