Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is a fun activity for families. Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island, Mote Marine is located in North Sarasota at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway. This Aquarium and Laboratory are an amazing organization and facility. Mote provide the public with a close look at Florida marine life, and also serves as a research and wildlife rehabilitation facility.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Exhibits
The Aquarium has many exhibits where patrons can learn interesting facts about marine life and ecosystems. There are two buildings filled with things to see. In the first building you will find many Aquariums. These exhibits show fresh and salt water fish. The large covered outdoor area off the first building houses a huge shark tank! In this same area learn about tidal zones and sea shells. There is also a touch tank with two types of sting rays. Touching a ray is a slimy and unique experience. Additionally the first building houses a cafe if you get hungry mid trip.
Exit through the gift shop, and make your way across the street to the second building. Here you will find Sea Turtle tanks, Manatees and an Otter exhibit. All these marine animals are an amazing sight to see! If you visit during turtle nesting season you may even see rescued baby turtles in the lab. The Otters are absolutely adorable, and are really fun to watch. Touch cat sharks in the shark touch tank in this building as well.
Tickets and Parking at Mote Marine
Tickets are reasonably priced for this wonderful organization. Children under 3 are free. Senior rates are $18.75. Adults are $19.75, and children tickets are $14.75. Mote Marine members get in free! The Aquarium is open everyday of the year, including holidays, from 10am-5pm.
Parking is free at Mote, however, do expect to find yourself in a dirt lot. The parking lot separates the two buildings. Wear comfortable shoes because you will do a lot of walking.
Attractions near Mote Marine
Nearby you’ll also find Save our Seabirds, and the the Old Salty Dog Restaurant. Save our Seabirds is a separate organization from Mote, and they specialize in housing and rehabilitating birds. You can see all the permanent residence at Save our Seabirds. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $6 for children, however, you will receive half off admission if you present your Mote Marine tickets.
To visit both the Aquarium and Save our Seabirds on the same day is very doable. Combined you will probably spend about two or three hours.
After visiting with all the wildlife head over to the Old Salty Dog Restaurant for lunch with a view of Sarasota Bay.