The Miami Seaquarium is small marine life park, not far from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a fun place to enjoy with the family, catch a couple of lively shows, and check out the animals. The show-stealer and main highlight of the Seaquarium is no doubt, Lolita, the beloved Killer Whale, which has been a resident of the park for over 40 years.
The Miami Seaquarium is not in the same scale of the larger marine life parks like Sea World or high-caliber aquariums like Atlanta's.
Don't come expecting a troupe of orcas, whale sharks and penguins, this is a small park where you could manage all the highlights in half a day. That said, you could easily spend a full day taking in the shows, feeding the sea lions, checking out the manatees, playing with the stingrays...
Its compact size makes it very easy to navigate and visit with small children. But there is also enough to keep you busy the entire day.
In addition to the shows and numerous exhibits, the Seaquarium offers a host of one-of-a-kind experiences like dolphin encounters and seal swims that give you fantastic opportunities for learning and interacting with these wonderful creatures.
One thing we love about this park is the cozier atmosphere than at the bigger parks, and how close you are able to get to the animals.
The Miami Seaquarium is also very active in rescue and rehabilitation of distressed marine mammals. It is not uncommon to see them treating manatees and turtles that have been injured and are recovering at the park for further release.
First thing we do upon arriving at the park is check out the day's schedule for show times and feeding times and plan the day accordingly.
Luckily, they make it easy on you by scheduling all the shows in a comfortable sequence so that once one ends, the next show will be starting within a convenient interval so that you can leisurely head over there.
There are four main shows: two dolphin shows, the sea lion show and the main feature, the killer whale show where you can see all these beautiful mammals spinning, clapping, leaping, and just plain having fun with their trainers.
The Top Deck Dolphin Show: in the circular aquarium is where you see dolphins rock-and-rolling and doing their acrobatics. You can watch the performances in the "top deck"...
And if you miss the performance, dolphins can be seen here at all times. You can check them out through the big windows in the lower levels of the aquarium. You can watch them play and interact with each other. The area is full of smaller exhibits as well with little marine critters.
The Flipper Dolphin Show takes place in a more open area with a tropical touch to it. This is a fun show based on our classical character that has been entertaining the masses for decades.
The Sea Lion Show takes place in the Golden Dome and features Salty and a handful of seals and sea lions doing their funny antics. This one is witty and full of hilarious moments.
Not far from the Golden Dome is the Sea Lion pool where you can feed the sea lions. Check for times which coincidentally happen to be right after the show most of the time and buy a bucket of fish for about $4. The Sea Lions will love you and it's a great chance to get some fun pictures.
And last but not least is the Killer Whale show. Lolita is just a beautiful animal, this is the show you DO NOT want to miss!
On all the shows, with all the jumping, turning and swiveling, there will be lots of splashing action going on which in the hot months of summer will be quite welcomed.
The "splash lines" will be clearly marked in the seating areas. If you don't want to get wet or have expensive camera equipment or devices, do not seat too close!
There are some great marine life exhibits at the park as well which you can catch in-between shows or at the end.
One of the most popular ones is the Tropical Reef Aquarium which is a huge salt-water aquarium teeming with life... thousands of tropical fish, stingrays, moray eels, big fish, little fish, eagle rays...
And don't miss the divers hand-feeding the fish!
There is also the smaller exhibits throughout, you find some around the Top Deck Dolphin area, with all the little critters: seahorses, anemaone fish, cleaner shrimp, little eels, etc.
Another one of our favorite exhibits is the Manatee Exhibit. If you have never seen one of these gentle giants, this is a great chance. You can see them top-side at the pools...
And you can go down below for underwater viewing and really good close ups!
There is also the Sea Turtle exhibits, in a beautiful mangrove setting where you can learn all about the different kinds and endangered status of these animals.
And another one of the kids' favorites, the Sting Ray touch pools, a very hands-on exhibit where you can see them gliding in their 10,000 gallon pool and also have a chance to feed them!
Beyond marine life, there are many other wildlife exhibits, the Tropical Wings, is a colorful space full of macaws, flamingos, free roaming peacocks... and the Crocodile Flats where you find all sorts of reptiles...
Also, as mentioned before, the Miami Seaquarium is a great place for a Dolphin Encounter or a Sea Lion Swim, there are a number of different options and booking ahead is a definitely a must:
Entrance to the park which includes all shows and exhibits is $40.99 plus tax for adults, Children (3-9) $31.99 plus tax.
You can get discounts from regular admission in several ways:
Where?: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149. The Rickenbacker Causeway is a toll bridge (follow signs to Key Biscayne). It will cost you $1.50 to cross. Once over the bridge the Seaqurium will be on your right. Directions and more info. Or call (305) 361-5705.
Parking: Plentiful but costs $10 per vehicle
Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
How Much?: Adult $40.99 plus tax, Children (3-9) $31.99 plus tax.
Need transportation from your hotel? Miami Seaquarium ticket including transportation from your downtown or Miami Beach hotel option.
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