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“Entertainment and Education”

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Ranked #5 of 144 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located at the Mote Marine Laboratory, this is home to a 135,000 gallon outdoor shark tank and many other marine species.
Reviewed August 20, 2014

Mote Marine Laboratory is primarily a research facility that provides education and entertainment as a byproduct. The facility is quite extensive, consisting of three main areas open to visitors. The main building consists of aquarium tanks and a large pool billed as the "Shark Zone" where, if you're there on the appropriate day and time, you can watch the shark feeding. There's also a "Touch Tank" and a "ray touch pool" where you can feel the rays as they swim by. This area also contains a small restaurant for those with hunger pains. A short walk away is the Ann & Alfred Goldstein facility where you can see sea turtles and a dolphin among other exhibits. This presented our only downside to the facility. They have two very large Sea Turtles in what, to our mind, were fairly small tanks. Then, the lone dolphin was in a large pool, but he seemed lonely and it continually snapped its mouth as if neurotic. The third building contained an interactive theater where you could participate on computers at your seat - a very unique concept. Keeping in mind that this is primarily a research facility, we feel it was a worthwhile stop despite our perceived shortcomings.

Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (3,276)
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2,014 - 2,018 of 3,276 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2014

A bit pricey and disappointing, I expected a Florida aquarium to be more impressive. If the ticket price were less it might be less of a disappointment. There are two separate buildings so if you want to see the dolphins and the turtles you have to leave one building and go to another. We did book a kayak trip that was very nice, staff was very friendly and informative. A perk is its close to The Salty Dog restaurant which has a great view of the ocean and great food.

1  Thank Kat48128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2014

I went on a Kayak trip with the kids. We had a fun time. The views of Siesta Key are beautiful and the tunnels we rowed in were interesting.

4  Thank Nancy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2014

One of the better aquariums we have visited. Very friendly and helpful staff. We especially liked the turtle section. Fish, turtles, manatee, and dolphin make this a very nice experience for all.

The aquarium offers reciprical discounts with other zoos and aquariums so check your other memberships.

3  Thank TwinCs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2014 via mobile

What a great way to experience salt water fish and see the survivors rescued by the aquarium. A little pricey but coupons are available.

2  Thank 5js94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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