See hungry sharks and delicate seahorses at this research aquarium that specializes in the sea life that flourishes on Florida’s central west coastline.
Mote Marine Laboratory is a marine research organization, aquarium and education center. Meet native Florida marine life at the Mote Marine touch pools and learn about marine animals at interactive exhibits, laboratories and the Immersion Cinema film and games. See sharks, manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, seahorses, invertebrates and over 100 other species of sea life.
Feed a shark at the Mote Shark Encounter and learn about how they get their vitamins. Go on a several hour eco-boat tour of Sarasota Bay and see dolphins, osprey, manatees and eagles in their natural habitats. Visit the Seahorse Conservation Laboratory and watch baby seahorses playing in their nursery. Children will love the Ray Touch Pool, a marine habitat for stingrays. The rays’ nasty stinging barbs have been removed from their tails so you can feel their velvety skin as they swim beneath your hand.
Visit the sea turtle aquarium to meet several rescued turtles. Learn about their biology and what the laboratory is doing to conserve these sea animals.
Non-snorkelers can have great views of the colorful tropical fish that inhabit the Floridian coast as you see them swimming around brightly colored coral and learn about their conservation needs. A scientific daytrip with catch-and-release fishing is also available for charter.
Small groups can arrange a visit to the site in the morning before the doors open. Enjoy a continental breakfast and watch and photograph feedings of the sea creatures. Check the Mote Marine Laboratory public program calendar to find out what special events, lectures, workshops and learning experiences are scheduled during your trip to Sarasota.
Mote Marine Laboratory is located on City Island, just north of Lido Key and approximately 10 minutes by car from downtown Sarasota. Admission to the Mote Marine Laboratory includes access to the Mote Aquarium, the Ann and Alfred E. Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center and the Immersion Cinema. Eco-boat tours, shark feeding, the research fishing charter and breakfast at Mote are available for extra fees. Parking is available on site for free. The facility is open daily and has reduced admission for children and seniors.