Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Located at the Mote Marine Laboratory, this is home to a 135,000 gallon outdoor shark tank and many other marine species.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • TheFamFive
    Waverly, Iowa75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational and fun
    This isn’t the type of aquarium that has dolphin shows (or even dolphins) but it has a sting Ray tank, shark petting (bitty sharks), a shark tank, otters, alligator, manatee, and more. It was really laid back and the volunteers there were so friendly and helpful. And knowledgeable. Two locations just across the road from each other. Two teenage girls and a tween boy—hit everyone’s interests.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 29, 2023
  • Sherry L
    Hampstead, New Hampshire6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly recommend
    Wonderful aquarium! Loved the octopus, sea horses, watching the otters do back flips into the water and swim, seeing a manatee, sharks, jellies, sea turtles, & touching sting rays. Highly recommend the ecotour boat cruise that leaves from the aquarium from Sarasota Bay Explorers as well!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 7, 2023
  • Guy S
    Puth, The Netherlands12 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice and educational zoo/acquarium for every level.
    Easy access and sufficient carparks. Exhibition was good for all ages with several interactive elements. Staff was very helpfull and available to answer questions. The acquaria/tanks were not crowded with too many species; the animals seemed to have sufficient space. I especially liked the jellyfish on display; you are able to carefully observe these beautifull creatures. One downside was that there are two buildings and they are not adjacent. It's a five minute walk, but at a 100 + degrees fahrenheit (realfeel) with no shade, the walk is not the nicest experience. Hopefully, the new building will resolve this. Very good experience. Recommended to visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 8, 2023
  • Angelika E
    Royal Palm Beach, Florida4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Family fun day
    Nice aquarium and laboratory. Not the biggest or most expansive but I think worth the visit. We found it very interesting, definitely visit both building and the bird sanctuary. Staff was so friendly and ready to tech you about what you were looking at and answer any questions. Our group was all adults but I think children would love it. We also did the eco boat tour so it was a full day for us.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Gjw76
    London, United Kingdom20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An enjoyable and informative visit
    We had a really enjoyable couple of hours here. Although it's a smaller size than many aquariums we've visited, what is here is very well presented and has the added benefit of enthusiastic and helpful staff and volunteers. Our 9 year-old really enjoyed the interactive exhibits, including areas where you could stroke rays and touch-screen exhibits with information or educational games. As we got back into our car he said, unprompted, "That was really good", which is rare praise from this particular boy!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 17, 2023
  • Guide57742776139
    Rutherford, New Jersey2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Srasota Bay Eco Boat Tour
    We took the Sarasota Bay Eco Tour on a large (40-50 ft) pontoon boat. This boat tour took us past many beautiful waterfront homes, under bridges and to uninhabited islands in Sarasota Bay. Our tour guide Molly was well informed and enthusiastic about the sea life and ecology of the Bay. We experienced hands-on sealife exhibits and had a wonderful 2 hour tour of Sarasota Bay.Well worth the price.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 2, 2023
  • bertaron
    195 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You get up close to many types of sea life
    As far as aquariums go this one is worth a visit. We went on a rainy day and mostly we were covered. They have 2 buildings a short walk in between them maybe a football field away. The place was kid friendly and they encouraged education too even I learned a few things. It was a good day
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 29, 2023
  • threeeds
    Kalamazoo, Michigan11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love supporting MOTE!
    Wonderful aquarium spread out over 2 buildings; ticket gets you into both. We enjoyed chatting with the volunteers for personality traits and info/stories of individual residents and the conservation/education...loads of exhibits about the area as well the work they do. Other highlights: the shark section has real time tracking and physical trackers with pics/videos and how the tech has evolved throughout their projects and a preserved giant squid , Molly the Mollusk! Our group: Husband, wife and college aged son. Time spent: 2-3 hours. Date: 12/25/23
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written January 8, 2024
  • Mike F
    Antigo, Wisconsin430 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Everyone loved this visit!
    This is a great activity to spend a couple hours! Went with a family of 4, two kids 5 and 7, and 2 visiting grandparents. We got there right as they opened and had front row to everything, including the manatee, otter and shark feeding! A few nice gift shops and very cool, well laid out exhibits that everyone will enjoy! They also have some nice unique things that you don't always see at aquariums! The workers and volunteers were also great, kind and helpful! We spent about 3 hours, everyone loved it! We are thinking the season pass might just be worth it and head back again!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 9, 2024
  • Malitz
    112 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    .. a wonderful time!
    We had such a great time as a family, and felt it was well worth the price of admission. There was plenty of sea life that left us in awe; sharks, sea turtles, sea horses, a manatee, a preserved sea squid, plenty of fish ... and the staff were great sources of information. Thank you Mote Aquarium!
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 12, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles4,420 reviews
Excellent
2,846
Very good
1,164
Average
320
Poor
61
Terrible
29

junederr2020
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I had not been back to the Mote Marine Laboratory in 50 years, so I decided to spurge on the 8:30AM behind the scenes tour. we deshelled and tailed shrimp and then fed them to small rays. we went behind the filtration tanks and learned how the system works, etc. For the same price we could stay and go through the museum seeing manatees, sea otters, seahorses, octopus, etc. I would recommend spending the extra bucks and doing this too.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeanDunc05
Easton, MD9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
Our 10 and 13 year old grandchildren are in town. We almost missed doing this because we visited the Boston Aquarium when traveling there with them and have all been to the Baltimore Aquarium. I thought this would be just another aquarium. It's not. First of all they only sell so many tickets for a time slot, and it limits the crowds - which made it perfect. We paid an extra $5 each to do a 5 minute virtual reality chair with goggles. I highly recommend this! There are four choices for the virtual reality: sharks, humpback whales, a roller coaster and coastal life.

The exhibits are Florida marine life, and they are so well done. We spent about 2-2 1/2 hours there. My kids loved the manatee, turtles, alligators and otters. But the whole experience was good. And I have to say that every single person who works for the Mote treated us kindly and was so well-informed. They check on the turtles (in the separate building with the manatees) a few times a day. It was fascinating to ask questions and they fed the turtles while we were there. That was a special treat. You will be amazed by seeing how big the manatees are. I loved our day. And it's not just "another" aquarium!
Written March 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina
Toronto, Canada7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The best part of the Mote is seeing my little one (4) talking to the marine biologists. The staff are really great at fielding weird questions for kids! My daughter loved it too - especially the ghostly jellyfish. There’s a huge shark tank and shark feeding to watch. The Mote also does nature marine tours which I highly recommend for any age (1-80). If you have kids over 12, book early and try the kayaking tours. It was really interesting and they take you to places you can’t otherwise get to.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lenora G
12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
Nice but smaller aquarium. All of the hands on exhibits & interactive activities were closed and there wasn’t any drink options or souvenirs available in the manatee and turtle building because the shop was closed and the soda machine was empty. I think with all of the interactive and hands on exhibits closed they should’ve offered discounted tickets; it cost us $84 for 2 kids and 2 adults. It was a good way to spend some time out of the sun but it’s not an aquarium that we will go back to.
Written June 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doris C
Nokomis, FL166 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Went on the Marine Life Cruise on Friday, February 21st and almost froze! Given the weather. The Aquarium should have cancelled the boat ride. It was so windy and cold, you couldn't enjoy it. Unfortunately, if we had canceled when we realized how cold it was going to be, we would have been penalized $10 per ticket and with 7 people, that was too much. It could have been a lovely tour. The young Marine Biologist who did the talking was excellent. Unfortunately, Maggie, the lady who did the introduction and island tour. Was very difficult to understand. Her voice is very soft. She did have great knowledge. All in all, we were disappointed because of the extremely cold weather and feel we should have been given the option of a mist cost cancellation
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marie N
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
We have a family membership that we renew yearly. I enjoy watching the manatees- checking in on the beautiful logger head turtles-and the jellyfish are delightful! The have a beautiful shark tank and stingray pool. My grandkids come every year and they enjoy the baby seahorses and the otters - Pippi is such a show off!
I suggest a visit with the Mote aquarium for anyone who comes to Sarasota😊
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

podrozniczka60
New Jersey16,130 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
The adult entrance fee is somewhat expensive but the aquarium complex is well organized and clean. The Mote Laboratory and Aquarium is medium size and focused mostly on regional marine life. Good explanatory notes, some interactive displays, helpful volunteers. Two souvenir shops in two different buildings with tempting offer including books, T-shirts, stuffed animal toys, mementoes. The place provides an opportunity to see many species of sharks, turtles also otters, manatees and more unique fish. Impressive little collection of paleontological specimen - huge skeletons of extinct species. For kids there are hands-on exhibits and programs.
Children younger than two enter for free.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicole B
Seabrook, TX257 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Family
The Mote aquarium is a nice, smaller aquarium. There are touch tanks with crabs and sea cucumbers as well as one for rays and one for sharks.

There are many small tanks of fish and jellyfish to view and the information on the walls is very informative. There is also a couple tanks with sharks. Our 9 yo loved the touch tanks and the sharks.

Across the street on another building was some turtles, alligators, manatees and more fish. We loved learning about the turtles and the manatees. They have one manatee that is 1845 lbs! We never knew they got that big. It was fun to watch the two playing together.

There are a few quiz station games that our family had fun playing and learning together as well that were very informative.

It’s a bit expensive but since it does conservation and also houses some animals that cannot be rereleased to the wild it is worth it. Just seeing the huge turtles, and manatees made it worth it for us.

Written February 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LKK
Grand Rapids, MI17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Visited on a cool/rainy day in December. Most of this place is open-air so it's a nice option with COVID. They require buying tickets ahead of time to control numbers, but then every hour they allow a large number of people to rush in together in a big group. The room you enter is very small/crowded so I would recommend going beyond this area to the open air space and then come back to this room after it clears out. There are great sharks, manta rays, turtles, manatees, and otters. Dress in layers.
Written December 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

icemodeled
Florida495 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
First time visit, 4 adults and one child. Masks were required and social distancing was practiced. We went during half price weekends for residents. It was a great deal, as we had been wanting to come here(regular pricing is quite expensive). The exhibits were nice, there were plenty of them. They had multiple touch areas for kids. For the size, they do pack in a lot to see. Loved all the fish, sharks, jellyfish, otters. You can learn a lot if you take your time. We were there for about 2-3 hours and this was going through fairly quickly. Did not eat there so cannot comment on their cafe. Everything was clean. Outside area was nice for a break(from the masks) and to relax a bit as we had to feed our son. To see their other section you have to drive or walk over. Not a big deal but was pouring at the time and parking in the other area was limited. Our biggest complaint and disappointment was the staff. Though most were nice and informative, one lady we encountered was quite rude to us and it certainly put a negativity to the day. Other then that, we did have a good time. Displays were well done, clean, animals seemed well taken care of. Lot to learn and to see. We would return again but still try to catch a deal as normal pricing is costly for a family.
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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