More than 500,000 people visit the Miami Seaquarium to meet the animals that inhabit the colorful undersea world. The local tropical climate enables guests to enjoy entertaining and educational animal shows and exhibits year round. Children and adults alike can see marine animals up close, learn about ocean ecology, and observe rescued sea turtles and other endangered species as they are readied for release back into the wild. Located on the Rickenbacker Causeway between Miami and Key Biscayne, the site offers spectacular views of the city as well as the bay. The 38-acre facility, established in 1955, is the oldest and largest oceanarium in the country. In addition to a variety of marine mammals, such as manatees, sea lions and dolphins, the Miami Seaquarium is home to sharks as well as a wide assortment of fish, birds and reptiles. Four separate daily animal shows introduce guests to the amazing animal and supporting cast of experienced trainers.
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One of the most famous attractions at the Seaquarium is Lolita, a killer whale that performs alongside Pacific white-sided dolphins. The Flipper Dolphin Show, named in honor of the 1960s television show that filmed several episodes at the facility, enables guests to experience the grace and intelligence of these beloved marine mammals as they flip, tail walk, spin and jump. The Golden Dome is home to the sea lion show where these boisterous animals display their athletic ability and comedic talent. The Top Deck Dolphin Show provides a view of the animals from above and beneath the water. Brave guests can sit in the “splash zone” as bottlenose dolphins amaze the audience with their acrobatic stunts.
In addition to the spectacular shows, the Miami Seaquarium is home to amazing exhibits. Shark Channel, one of the oceanarium’s original exhibits, continues to mesmerize audiences. Visitors can watch as specialists feed and care for the fearsome predators. The popular Discovery Bay features a re-creation of a natural mangrove wetland that is home to alligators, Nile crocodiles, white-tailed deer and a host of native birds, including egrets, herons and ibis as well as several endangered sea turtles. The Manatee Exhibit has poolside and underwater viewing areas that enable guests to get an up-close look at Florida’s state marine mammal. The 750,000-gallon Marine Reef Exhibit is teeming with a colorful menagerie of tropical fish, eels and loggerhead turtles. A ring of “jewel” pools, surrounding the Top Deck dolphin arena, displays sea anemones, coral and other aquatic creatures where guests can gently touch these animals.
Other popular attractions include the interactive rope course adventure of Sharky’s Sky Trail and the wet/dry play equipment in Salty’s Pirate Playground. The aquatic theme park also sponsors educational programs, sleepovers for school and scouting groups. Premium level activities include underwater walks inside the reef exhibit with special diving equipment and swims with dolphins and seals.
The Miami Seaquarium is open all year round and can easily keep visitors amused for the better part of a day. The shows are all different and attendance is included in the price of general admission. Throughout the park there are places to sit, relax, and have a snack.