Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

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
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About
Located at the Mote Marine Laboratory, this is home to a 135,000 gallon outdoor shark tank and many other marine species.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
4,347 reviews
Excellent
2,799
Very good
1,149
Average
314
Poor
59
Terrible
26

Oliver T
Atlanta, GA851 contributions
Apr 2022
Our family really enjoyed our time here. Though the place is not very large, there's a lot of interesting things here that are not commonly seen elsewhere.

We bought our tickets online and there's a code to save $1 per ticket for up to $4.

The location is comprised of two main buildings which is separated by a short walk. There are a lot of volunteers at the exhibits and all are quite friendly and knowledgeable.

Getting a selfie with the manatee was a highlight for me. I've also never seen a giant squid before.

Also, be sure to checkout the free bird exhibit during the walk between the buildings.

One of the best restaurants in the area, New Pass Grill, is also close by.
Written April 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cort F
Punta Gorda, FL15 contributions
May 2022
My wife and I and a young student visiting us from the Netherlands recently visited Mote and began our day with Morning Rounds at the Mammal and Sea Turtle center. What a good decision this was. You begin a private guided tour at 8:30 am, well before the facility opens to the general public. Our guide Shannon was simply fantastic: she was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and a world of fun. Our young friend was able to participate in feedings and observe training sessions as well. Morning Rounds lets you experience the inner workings of this wonderful facility in a unique and exciting way. Highly recommended, and if you can get Shannon as your guide do so!
Written May 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LKK
Grand Rapids, MI17 contributions
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.

FurCannon
31 contributions
Aug 2022
I've been going to this aquarium since I was in 4th grade and it's always been an awesome experience! I've gotten to see how the place has changed and advance with the care of it's animals and guests, and it's always an improvement. The aquarium is a little small compared to others I've seen, but they have a lot of variety, unique attractions, and information to give. We also went to the Save Our Seabirds section, which is between the two buildings, but admission is free even if they aren't a part of Mote Marine (I think).

I specifically went with my husband during our honeymoon and we both had a great time learning about local and ocean wildlife. The staff were very informative and willing to answer any questions we had. It was about $52 for the both of us, which is a bit expensive, but they have two buildings to maintain and are in the process of completing their new facility where everything will go to, so I find it justifiable. Since they're also a laboratory, funds go into their coral and jellyfish nurseries, which you can see workers maintaining live. It's mostly a great place to learn about the ocean and local wildlife!
Written September 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JeanDunc05
Easton, MD9 contributions
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.

streaks09
Ohio87 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
We loved our day at the Mote! It exceeded all my expectations! The staff/volunteers were knowledgeable and around if you had any questions. You could touch sting Ray's and a couple small sharks. So many different kinds of fish laid out spaciously. We loved seeing the sharks, as well as the manatees and sea turtles. There's also so many educational blurbs at each station, so you aren't just seeing the fish, you actually learn about them as well. An added bonus was the Save our Seabirds, which is free and keeps injured birds (owls, hawks, pelicans, and sooo many more) that would not be able to survive in the wilderness. It is well worth the price of admission to spend 1/2 day at the Mote! You won't regret it!
Written April 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lenora G
11 contributions
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.

G0ingn0w
Washington DC, DC232 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
Spent Easter morning with our 10 year old grandson at the aquarium and had a great time. He really wanted to see manatees and the jellyfish. We were not disappointed.

Bought the tickets online and then they email your confirmation and tickets. The email went straight to my Junk folder so check your spam/junk folder if you don’t see it right away.

If you have young ones in your group that collect those smashed pennies, be sure to bring change. They had a couple of machines but you have to have your own change.

They required masks and everyone complied so there was no Instagram worthy drama...at least not today. They space out the guests so we were never in a situation where we couldn’t socially distance.

Staff was friendly, helpful and happy to share information. If you have a membership at another aquarium, park, gallery or botanical gardens, check online for reciprocity before you buy your tickets.

Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicole B
Seabrook, TX267 contributions
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.

P G
Saint Louis, MO24 contributions
Aug 2021
We have been to many, many aquariums and this one had some unique features. I have to say that the Atlanta aquarium is the most expansive one I have ever visited and you could spend an entire day there easily. This one is more compact and good for 90 min-2 hours w older kids/teens. But this aquarium was unique because it featured how it helps rescue injured sea animals and birds and how it has an active laboratory studying how to help make things better and stronger for the future. My teens and I enjoyed watching the staff work w baby sea turtles. Each were color coded w paint on their shells for where they were found/lost (hot tubs, swimming pools, etc). The staff were measuring and caring for them. The large turtles in captivity were injured by boat propellers and cant live in the wild but given a nice environment to live. In addition to helping provide a refuge for injured animals, I also noticed how their labs are proactively working towards saving the reefs/living coral. They are growing coral that is more resistant to temp changes etc to help save the underwater marine life's habitat. They are also studying how to combat red tide, which we appreciate since we visited during a red tide. Overall, it was a well-done aquarium w unique aspects in that it is also a fully functioning marine laboratory, which I found unique & interesting.
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium (Sarasota) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium tours on Tripadvisor