Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys

A visit to this small, interactive aquarium starts with a free 20-minute guided tour of some fascinating marine ecosystems. There are also more immersive experiences, where you snorkel in the coral reef aquarium or the tropical fish–filled lagoon. More controversial are the 'animal encounters' and 'touch tanks' where you can handle shallow water marine species and touch stingrays (the barbs have been removed). The stress of human interaction can be detrimental to the well-being of aquatic creatures.

Some of the ecosystems you will encounter include a mangrove-lined basin full of tarpon, a tidal pool tank with queen conch and horseshoe crabs, and a 200,000-gallon coral reef tank with moray eels, grouper and several different shark species.

You can also observe mesmerizing lionfish, a pig-nosed turtle, juvenile alligators and various fish species from the Everglades, plus snowy egrets and little blue herons that come by for a visit.

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