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Florida Aquarium

Embark on a colorful exploration of Florida’s ecosystems and aquatic habitats at this popular aquarium.

Florida Aquarium is a showcase of the region’s colorful wildlife, with more than 20,000 aquatic animals and plants. Wander through wetlands, swim with fishes and get close to sharks.

Start your journey in the Wetlands Gallery under the giant three-story glass dome. Encounter alligators, otters, turtles and more than 30 species of birds flying freely overhead. Move onto Bay and Beaches to observe aquatic animals native to Florida. These include the aquarium’s largest fish, the goliath grouper, which weighs in at more than 300 pounds (135 kilograms).

The Coral Reef Gallery is a replica of the coral formations of the Dry Tortugas off the Florida Keys. It’s housed in a 500,000-gallon (2 million-liter) tank and contains more than 2,000 animals from 100 species. Look through the gallery’s huge panoramic window to see the exotic grotto that includes sand tiger sharks, moray eels and green sea turtles. There are also viewing windows at different depths of the tank that look out onto a different micro-habitat.

Get amongst the sea life with the Swim with the Fishes program. This is for people who are six years or older. Put on a small scuba tank, regulator and flotation device, and spy fish from the surface of a tank. Certified divers aged 15 years or over can get close to some massive predators of the deep with the Dive with the Sharks program. Both of these close-encounter experiences are ticketed. For prices, schedules and restrictions, check the aquarium’s website.

Take a Wild Dolphin Cruise. This 90-minute boat trip through Tampa Bay seeks out some of the 500 bottlenose dolphins that live there. Cruises cost extra and depart daily from the aquarium.

Take children to Explore a Shore, the aquarium’s water park. It has slides, pools and water jets, and a replica of a pirate ship. Entry to the park is included in the aquarium admission price.

Florida Aquarium is located in Channelside in downtown Tampa. It’s open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pay parking is available on site.


Guide to Exploring Florida Aquarium


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The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk £98
The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

111 W Fortune St, Tampa, FL
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Tampa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tampa Museum of Art and Tampa Theater. University of Tampa and Tampa Convention Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tampa Union Station is 19 minutes by foot.

    Hilton Tampa Downtown £137
    Hilton Tampa Downtown

    Hilton Tampa Downtown

    211 N Tampa Street, Tampa, FL
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Tampa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Glazer Children's Museum and Tampa Convention Center. Tampa Museum of Art and Amalie Arena are also within 15 minutes. Tampa Union Station is 15 minutes by foot.

      Tampa Marriott Water Street £161
      Tampa Marriott Water Street

      Tampa Marriott Water Street

      700 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Tampa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena and Port of Tampa. Florida Aquarium and Tampa Museum of Art are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tampa Union Station is 21 minutes by foot.

        Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown £117
        Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown

        Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown

        513 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Tampa, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Tampa Convention Center and Amalie Arena. Port of Tampa and Florida Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Tampa Union Station is 20 minutes by foot.

          Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District £99
          Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District

          Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District

          1155 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Tampa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tampa Riverwalk, Florida Aquarium and Port of Tampa. Tampa Bay History Center and Amalie Arena are also within 15 minutes. Tampa Union Station is 6 minutes by foot.

            The Westin Tampa Waterside £135
            The Westin Tampa Waterside

            The Westin Tampa Waterside

            725 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Harbour Island, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa Convention Center and Tampa Bay History Center. Amalie Arena and Port of Tampa are also within 15 minutes. Tampa Union Station is 25 minutes by foot.

              Hampton Inn and Suites Tampa - Ybor City Downtown £89
              Hampton Inn and Suites Tampa - Ybor City Downtown

              Hampton Inn and Suites Tampa - Ybor City Downtown

              1301 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Ybor City, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ritz Ybor and Ybor City Museum State Park. Florida Aquarium and University of Tampa are also within 3 mi (5 km). Tampa Union Station is 15 minutes by foot.

                Home2 Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Channel District £95
                Home2 Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Channel District

                Home2 Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Channel District

                1155 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Tampa, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tampa Riverwalk, Florida Aquarium and Port of Tampa. Tampa Bay History Center and Amalie Arena are also within 15 minutes. Tampa Union Station is 6 minutes by foot.