The Florida Aquarium gives families a glimpse into the mysteries and magic of the undersea world and some of the land that surrounds it. The new Journey to Madagascar exhibit provides a look into the island's unique wildlife and diverse geography as well as the nearby Indian Ocean coral reef. The marine life exhibits spotlight the creatures that live in the bay or deeper underwater, even allowing kids to touch rays and sharks at Stingray Beach or lock eyes with sea turtles. Kids also see the sights of a 60-foot dive at the coral-reef exhibit's walk-through tunnel, whose underwater coral cave and brightly colored fish earned the aquarium a place in Parents magazine's top 10 aquariums for kids. A trip down the Wetlands Trail allows visitors to get face to face with playful otters and more circumspect Burmese pythons, while the Penguin Point opens a window into the lives of the best dressed of the flightless water birds.
Since 1955, Mote has been working to explore, understand and unlock the mysteries of the sea to ensure that ocean resources are available for generations to come. Mote Aquarium features touch pools, shark, dolphin, manatee and sea turtle exhibits and more than 100 other species of marine life.
At SeaWorld Orlando, the world of undersea wonder comes alive like no place short of the ocean itself. From the graceful might of the killer whales in the Shamu show One Ocean to the epic 3D voyage of sea turtles in the 360 TurtleTrek, the park explores the vibrant life that bustles just below the water's surface. The voyage even takes visitors to the cold shores of Antarctica, letting them see the world through the eyes of a the world's best-dressed bird in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
A sea turtle proudly displays its intricately patterned shell. A stingray safely brushes its sleek skin against a child’s hand, grazing the top of a 10,000-gallon tank. A bird splashes into mangrove swamps to snatch fish. Sensory experiences like these occur on a regular basis at the 57-acre Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center on Hutchinson Island, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. As the headquarters for the nonprofit Florida Oceanographic Society, the center strives to both educate the public and inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems.
Among the center’s many activities, visitors can high-five crustaceans at the Sea Star Touch Tank Pavilion and watch a live feeding at the 750,000-gallon Game Fish Lagoon. Educational programs throughout the day explore the lives of sea turtles and explain how to identify local fish that refuse to wear nametags. Just past a colorful butterfly garden and aquariums at the Frances Langford Visitors Center, guests can find nature trails that wend through mangrove swamps and hardwood hammocks. Here, they can see the natural state of a bio-diverse estuary, along with endangered plants and animals that the Florida Oceanographic Society is striving to save through research as well as educational and restoration initiatives.