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“Great place with a family”

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Ranked #14 of 150 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 December 1, 2009

Was just at the Mote on November 25th with my wife and 1 year old and had a great time. Very helpful staff, affordable admission and lots to see. There is also a bird rescue you can walk through for free (don't be a cheapskate, throw a donation in the bucket!). Check out the dolphins at feeding time for a pretty neat show.

Great rainy day activity especially, but well worth the visit any time you're in the area.

Thank CRJeepin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sea turtles"
in 314 reviews
"shark tank"
in 110 reviews
"touch tank"
in 65 reviews
"giant squid"
in 52 reviews
"otter exhibit"
in 49 reviews
"sea lion show"
in 40 reviews
"research facility"
in 68 reviews
"sea world"
in 41 reviews
"all ages"
in 210 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 43 reviews
"second building"
in 35 reviews
"main building"
in 57 reviews
"answer questions"
in 59 reviews
"boat trip"
in 66 reviews
"bird sanctuary"
in 44 reviews
"rainy day"
in 86 reviews
"great for kids"
in 55 reviews

3,316 - 3,320 of 3,490 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2009

We just visited Mote yesterday - got in for free with our local zoo membership. There are 3 main areas - an aquarium with fish, sharks, seahorses, jelly fish, etc., a dolphin & manatee area, and a rescued sea bird area. There is also a cool movie (included) & there are also boat tours available for an additional fee. It isn't as large and flashy as some commercialized aquariums, but it is one of the nicest research aquariums that we've been to - certainly the best one we visited in the Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater area. There are lots of things to see, very nice workers & volunteers who share all sorts of info. with you, a touch tank, a ray touch tank, an area that kids can sift through sand for sharks' teeth, a fantastic shark tank w/ above and below viewing, interesting information, and wonderful marine mammal areas. There is also a restaurant on site, which we didn't try, but the menu had many options. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Sarasota or Tampa/St. Pete area.

Thank blazenstella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2009

This was such a wonderful experience for our family. We saw Manatees up close and personal. It is a hands on aquarium the staff are so friendly and knowledgeable. It is not commercialized at all, small scale aquarium but completely worth it. I would definitely recommend this Aquarium.

1  Thank Gr8te_karma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2009

Mote Aquarium is a lot of fun, very clean, and the people working there (mostly volunteers) were very knowledgeable and friendly. The animals all had nice, well-kept enclosures. It only takes a few hours to view the whole place, and if you are looking for a Disney-type attraction, this is not it. The chance to see manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish and other sea life up close was well worth the trip. And, there is a very nice touch tank and a sting ray petting area that thrilled my young daughter. There are lots of signs that explain the important research being done. I would highly recommend Mote Aquarium and think it would be enjoyable for all ages.

Thank Alison_Naples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2009

Is it a little pricey to get in - yes, but Mote is a not-for-profit organization so we didn't even blink about paying. The aquarium is three different buildings. The first we visited had larger sea animals like dolphins, manatees and several types of sea turtles. At each display staff members approached us with the history of the animals, stories about them and information about the species. We were lucky enough to see the dolphin feeding and training session.

The second building is the formal aquarium that has a medium sized amount of indoor exhibits and a larger outdoor space with sharks, touch tanks, a sting ray petting tank and even a dead giant squid on display. Again staff were always friendly and engaging. A cool touch is they have an area where for a few dollars kids can pan through sand to find shark teeth. My daughter had so much fun doing that she spent her own money to do it three times.

The third area is an aquatic bird rescue area that is run by another organization but is free to tour. All the birds on display are in some level of rehabilitation. They had owls, cranes, pelicans, parrots and so on. The sadded were the larger herons all with one leg missing. We asked the keeper and he said they had all been hit by golf balls that broken their leg so it had to be amputated.

All in all a fun day for our family and we would definitely go back.

3  Thank TexasTraveller56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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