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“Annual Pass holder. Great location, lots to do at and around the aquarium. Fun & educational.”

The Florida Aquarium
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The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay
Ranked #13 of 196 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Go from tree level to sea level while being entertained and educated at The Florida Aquarium! With more than 20,000 species of animals and plants including sharks, alligators, seahorses and more, you’re sure to have an amazing aquatic experience. Begin your Aquarium adventure on our Florida Wetlands Trail. Winding through a vast mangrove forest, you’ll encounter river otters, free-flying birds and native fish. Continue to the second floor of the Wetlands gallery and enter Journey to Madagascar. Filled with Ring-tailed Lemurs, hissing cockroaches and colorful chameleons,this exhibit captures the unique Island of Madagascar and the diverse animals that call it home. The next part on your journey will take you through Bays & Beaches where you’ll discover a Goliath Grouper and other species that call Tampa Bay home. Be sure to make a stop at Stingray Beach where you can touch stingrays and sharks!As you travel onward you’ll descend deeper into aquatic environments where you’ll discover stingrays, reef fishes, sea turtles and our massive sand tiger sharks!
Level Contributor
73 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Annual Pass holder. Great location, lots to do at and around the aquarium. Fun & educational.”
Reviewed 6 April 2012

In November 2011, I purchased an annual pass for our family! Since November we have visited the aquarium 10 times!! It can't be beat! One of the perks of this pass is that you do NOT have to name the guests on your pass like you have to do at other local sites. This is so helpful because we have been able to bring guests that are in town as well as utilize our pass with play date friends! Being a stay at home I find this as the ideal destination for play dates, rainy days or simply as a great stop to spend a few hours. The aquarium is great for people of ALL ages. The accesibilty to get around inside & out at the aquarium is very user friendly.
My 18 month old son loves walking right up to the aquarium glass and looking right into the tanks. I don't have to worry about picking him up to look at everything. All the areas are well labeled & is extremely informative. Staff is always available to answer questions & they all seem very well educated about the sea life & birds!
I really appreciate the antibacterial pumps well placed throughout the aquarium which really helps to keep curious little hands clean!
There are eventsl offered throughout the year for kids and adults as well as special spring break, summer camps & misc opportunities to get kids involved in fun activites!
Cafes: There is an indoor & outdoor cafe/bar. Both offer nice options on their menus. Pass holders are offered a discount.
Outdoor Play: One of the highlights for us since we return so often. We bring all of our swim gear and towels for water play, the sandbox & outdoor play ground area.
Gift Shop: Beautiful shop offering lots of neat gift ideas! A little $$ but really quality selection.)
Parking: As an annual pass holder I am able to utilize the designated parking lot free. If you do not have a pass there is a $6 charge or you can use the public parking garage across the street.
Extra Notes:
- Channelside is an easy walking distance (across the street) from the aquarium and offers several restuarant options, a high end bowling alley (pricey), ice cream shop, candy shop, movies. http://www.channelsidebayplaza.com/
- At the port of Tampa (which is in the surrounding area of the aquarium) there is a naval ship docked that can be toured! My son is a little young for this so we haven't checked it out but it looks like a neat, quick & easy stop for kids. http://www.americanvictory.org/
- STREETCAR! The trolley ride can't be missed! The trolley starts running at noon & makes pick ups every 15 - 20 min at several different stop off locations. Pricing is reasonable & worth the experience. Well worth jumping on and riding down to the convention center or all the way to ybor! http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org/

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Dlphin3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Level Contributor
164 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

This is great for kids...touch experience and you must go on the boat to see the dolphins- too cool!

Visited July 2011
Thank Tabitha9703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

The price is a bit high for some at twenty one dollars a piece. However, these folks are doing are wonderful service to their community and for these beautiful creatures. Unlike many other places that only display animals. Here you will come to know the animals up close and personal. Hear them, smell them, even touch yes Touch them!! So cool! Where else can you go and pet a sting ray?!!! Make that a bouta hundred string ray? Very cool! And very safe. Gotta check this one out!

Visited March 2012
Thank jodycfoster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ft. Lauderdale
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Indoor Aquarium, good for kids, fair for adults”
Reviewed 4 April 2012

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa is at the seaport in Ybor City.
I'll start with the negatives:
The first thing to know...the parking is 1/4-1/2 mile walk to the front entrance, so if traveling with someone who has trouble walking or lots of little kids, best to find the front entrance, drop them off at the ticket booth with an adult and then park. There is also a parking garage across the street that seems closer but not sure about access and if you can walk directly onto the street or have to walk around the lot.
Price is around $20 per adult, discounts for children and seniors. There are also extras, such as taking a boat ride in the harbor to look for dolphins (not guaranteed you'll see any). There's also some "swim with" stuff for big bucks, but don't think it's worth it from what I've seen and heard. Price is a bit high particularly if you have a large family with kids.
Penguins - DON'T COUNT ON IT! The daily events seem to include a morning "Penguin meet and greet" around 9 or 10AM, but that's it (and we weren't there at that time to see it). There is no regular Penguin exhibit. Same for Dolphins.
This is not an aquarium like Sea World, not very big or modern (although there is a plan for a $60 million upgrade which should be nice if and when completed).
Now, for a few good points:
Most of the place is inside and air-conditioned. On a hot summer day in Tampa, this beats walking around an outdoor aquarium.
You go upstairs and walk through a series of areas with different sized tanks, from big to huge to really huge. Some have just one type of fish, while others have numerous species and even things like otters, alligators and birds. The birds, such as various duck species, appear to be free to roam through the center so you can spot all sorts of things in each area. There are some huge underwater viewing tanks with bench seating so you can sit and watch everything go by.
Of course there is a good-sized gift shop with the usual kitsch stuff but a few not-too-expensive things for the kids. There's also a "dipping-dots" ice treat stand and the gentlemen running it was helpful and quite informative about the center.
Overall, would be nice if price was lower, but for a cool (literally) way to spend an hour or so, this is not bad, just don't expect a top-of-the-line experience.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank burtpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Day Underwater!”
Reviewed 3 April 2012

My family & I loved this place!! Had all kinds of wildlife besides fish. Breathtaking views of all kinds of tropical fish in different habitats including some jelly fish that glowed with rainbow colors because of how far they lived in the ocean. Extremely Cool!

Visited August 2011
Thank NYLaverne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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