A 10-year-old boy giggled while he took a video of a playful otter turning somersaults, over and over again. The only thing that separated them was a glass panel and a few inches of air space. It was just another day of magic at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.
Designed to take visitors on a journey from Florida’s fresh water springs to the open water of the Gulf of Mexico, the aquarium is a great opportunity for young and old alike to learn about Florida and the bounty of its waters and related habitat.
There are otters and turtles, roseate spoonbills and ibis, small fish and large sharks. Ethereal jelly fish, no bigger than limes, float and dance in darkened tanks. Seahorses glide through coral curling their tails around branches and each other.
The Aquarium also provides the opportunity to get outside on Tampa Bay with dolphin cruises throughout the day in search of the 500 wild dolphins that call Tampa Bay their home.
For children who want to have an adventure of their own, there is an outdoor play area complete with shooting fountains of water, waterfalls, mist areas, and a giant sand box beach. Covered patio areas with tables provide comfortable spots for lunch. Food (hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza) and drink are available.
The Aquarium is located on Channelside near the SS American Victory Museum Ship (Station 7 on the Teco Streetcar Line). Convenient parking is adjacent to the aquarium.