A trip to Miami can focus on any number of things. Thanks to Miami’s tropical location, international denizens and abundance of cultural venues, there are plenty of things to do in Miami. If you’re planning an outdoor adventure or two, check out the Miami Seaquarium. This aquarium on Biscayne Bay will show you marine life that calls South Florida home, such as manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, orcas, sea lions and seals.
Shows and aquatic animals galore
The 38-acre tropical paradise, open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the year, plays host to tons of different shows and educational programs. There is even an endangered mangrove habitat that houses wild birds, such as the regal herons, ibises and egrets, Nile Crocodiles, sea rays and white tailed deer. The various pools, sanctuaries and indoor aquariums take about four hours to walk through, so wear some comfortable clothes and shoes. And if you’re going to make a day of it, you should catch one (or more) of the shows that are put on daily.
To start, the Top Deck Dolphin Show is all about acrobatics. Bottlenose dolphins leap and spin through the air as guests cheer from high rises or the braver “splash zone.” This performance is ballet-like, as the dolphins are eager to please and more agile than we humans could ever be.
If you want to go for something with a bit more of a bite, the Shark Channel presentation allows you to watch animal care specialists feed 200-pound sharks. From the safety of the other side of the aquarium glass, you can watch these giants spin around and circle each other and the trainers in efforts to get the bait. The trainers will discuss the various species in the tank and worldwide, giving you an idea of what these animals are like in the wild.
If you want to see a mix of strength and beauty, head toward the Killer Whale and Dolphin Show. Lolita, the 20-foot, 7,000-pound centerpiece orca of the show, will impress you with her grace, strength and intelligence as she interacts with the trainers and crowd members. She performs with Pacific white-sided dolphins, a sleek looking species known for their extremely active nature.
If you want to catch a laugh while you’re there, try the Golden Dome Sea Lion Show. These playful pups frolic around, doing tricks for treats and barking at each other.
While all these performances will blow you away, Miami Seaquarium has programs that will leave the most lasting of impressions. Something typically reserved for Caribbean vacations and trips to SeaWorld, visitors to Miami Seaquarium can sign up to interact with dolphins. Such programs allow you to get into the water and up close and personal with these amazing beings. The courses begin with an educational classroom presentation about the animals, and how to interact with them, followed by a session in the water, touhing, feeding and interacting with a dolphin. The animals are friendly, but the experience can be intimidating, so make sure you’re ready to meet these animals before you jump in. There are three programs to chose from: The Dolphin Odyssey, Dolphin Encounter and Trainer for a Day. Each program varies in terms of animal interaction and activity time, so pick which one you’d rather do and go have a blast, or splash.
Whichever program you decide to participate in, or whichever show you decide to watch or exhibit you decide to see, you will definitely have a great time. This place is not only a haven for animals from around the world, it is a classroom for people to come and learn about the importance of preserving these species. It makes for a great day trip during your Miami vacation, for both friends and family. With 600,000 annual visitors, it tops the list of popular Miami vacation experiences.