4. Tampa: The Florida Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entrance
Get close to many of Florida’s aquatic and terrestrial animals and ecosystems, as well as others from around the world at the Florida Aquarium, including sea turtles and coral. Your ticket allows you to access all of the exhibits, which feature diverse creatures and habitats. The Florida Aquarium works to protect and restore our planet on many conservation fronts, including research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s sea turtle and coral populations and to ensure that sharks continue to swim the seas. Get up close and personal with unique moon jellies at the touch pool experience in the Moon Bay exhibit and learn about this hypnotically graceful ocean creature with surprising survival skills. On the Wetlands Trail, see species such as alligators, river otters, and even the invasive Burmese python. There is also a large aviary that allows birds to explore in a safe environment. Journey through a mangrove forest to see it teeming with local fish. Witness feedings of the intriguing pink spoonbill or other animals and learn more about the wildlife during scheduled presentations at the ranger station. Embark on the Journey to Madagascar, a unique exhibit featuring ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons, hissing cockroaches, and marine life found in the Indian Ocean. In the Bays to Beaches exhibit, see spiny lobsters and the strange Toadfish as well as Batfish who walk on the bottom of the seafloor. Take the opportunity to touch the gentle aquatic creatures at Stingray Beach, or bizarre creatures that have no backbone such as anemones and sea stars. In the coral tunnel, discover the intriguing sea dragons and sea horses. The Florida Aquarium journey culminates at the 500,000-gallon habitat that features sharks, rays, sea turtles, reef fish, and moray eels. Learn about the aquarium’s conservation efforts at the Waves of Wonder gallery. The highlight of this section is the Heart of the Sea where you will see bonnethead sharks, loggerhead turtle, tarpon, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays, plus a variety of reef fish. At The Splash Pad, bring swimsuits for the kids who are invited to play in the outdoor plaza at the rain-forest-themed water feature with dump buckets and waterworks, plus net climbs, slides, and more.