Welcome to The Florida Aquarium, a 250,000-square-foot water wonderland located in Tampa’s Channelside District. It is chock full of aquatic plants and animals, fun exhibits, and even has a 2 acre splash-pad just for kids. So don’t forget the swimming suits!
The Florida Aquarium ranks in TripAdvisor.com’s top 10 US aquariums and is also noted in Parent’s Magazine as one of the top 5 “Kid Friendly Aquariums.” The aquarium’s architecture has even earned a spot in AIA’s (American Institute of Architects) list Florida Architecture: 100 Places. 100 Years.
There are four main exhibits: Wetlands Trail, Bays and Beaches, Coral Reef, and Ocean Commotion. Each of them are fun and unique in their own way.
My favorite by far is the Wetlands Trail because of its outdoorsy setup and active animals: sometimes it felt like I really was taking an outdoor hike. My son loved the otters which raced him (and other children) back and forth along the see-through glass exhibit in an endless game of chase. And it was great fun watching the exotic birds hopping around the indoor trees.
The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, helping in whichever way they could. They pointed out interesting tidbits to me and my family as we walked our way through the aquarium. There is way too much for me to describe concerning The Florida Aquarium in a single post. So that’s why I’ve included a thumbnail/slideshow below documenting my adventures there.
For further information on exhibits, special activities (like diving with the sharks!), directions, and ticketing information, head on over to The Florida Aquarium website.
And thanks to my lovely wife for all the fantastic pictures.