The Miami Seaquarium is the place to go for interactive dolphin and sea lion shows, and reef encounters. You’ll see endangered Florida manatees and a group of rare Pacific white-sided dolphins. Watch Lolita the orca perform, or put on your swimming costume and play with the friendly dolphins.
Adventurous types can try their hand at training sea lions for a day. Or, go under water with Sea Trek Reef Encounter. You’ll wear a special diving helmet for this 20-minute walking tour through a recreated tropical reef.
Visit Discovery Bay to learn more about marine conservation. This mangrove habitat exhibit has various Nile crocodiles, endangered sea turtles, native birds, deer and indigenous fish.
The seaquarium wouldn’t be a Miami tourist attraction without some celebrities. Bebe, a bottlenose dolphin born at the seaquarium in 1956, starred as Flipper in the long-running TV show of the same name. Her offspring still reside in the park today. Another in-house actor, Salty the Sea Lion, made his big screen debut in a 1967 film.
The Miami Seaquarium was the largest marine park of its day when it opened in 1955. One of the main attractions was a dolphin show on a scale never seen before. The other highlight was the Shark Channel, where you could admire many of these awe-inspiring creatures up close. Today, those two attractions are as popular as they were over 50 years ago. The aquatic wonderland now attracts over half a million visitors each year.
The Miami Seaquarium is on the island Virginia Key, a short drive from downtown Miami. Public transportation is available from many hotels in the metropolitan region. For families, the park is well equipped with three cafés, a snack bar and several shops filled with reference books and souvenirs. Allow for a full morning or afternoon to cover all the attractions and enjoy the shows. The seaquarium is is open 365 days a year.