It’s no doubt that the Florida Aquarium is a must-see when you visit Tampa. Historically, the Florida Aquarium focused on the integration of science and wildlife, but today it is a world-renowned attraction where entertainment is the main goal. Thanks to its modern facilities, its educated staff, and its exotic wildlife exhibits, the Florida Aquarium is the best place to learn about marine life.

Moreover, the Aquarium offers several unique tours and adventures. You have a variety of opportunities to interact with the animals and get a behind-the-scenes experience. To make the most of your visit, check out these activities.

The Wild Dolphin Tour

Have you ever wanted to discover dolphins in their natural habitat? Then get tickets to the wild dolphin cruise. Climb aboard for a 75-minute tour of the great Tampa Bay. Not only will you see wild dolphins swimming, playing, and fishing but you will also enjoy an entertaining cruise. Sit comfortably inside in the air-conditioned area or on the top deck to get an incredible view.

This family-friendly cruise departs from the Florida Aquarium twice daily.

Tip: Make sure you purchase your ticket on site or online at least 30 minutes before the departure time.

Penguins Backstage Pass

Want to learn more about African penguins? Get the Penguins Backstage Pass. This is your chance to have a unique interaction with the animals. For 30 minutes you can get close enough to touch them. An experienced biologist will describe their specialized care and how they are fed. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Tip: The event occurs three times a day, and you can buy your ticket at the aquarium.

Swim and Dive

Image via Flickr by WalterPro

Aquarium visitors usually look at the fish from behind a glass window, but imagine if you could swim with them. The Swim and Dive experience gives you the incredible opportunity to swim with rays, barracudas, sea turtles, and sharks. Yes, even sharks. No scuba certification, no problem — an instructor will guide you.

Tip: This activity is accessible to children 6 years old and up, and most of the packages don’t require SCUBA certification.

Go Backstage

With the “close-up critters” tour, you will get access to areas that are usually off-limits to visitors. It is a chance to discover interactive learning spaces and meet animal ambassadors.

Tip: This tour is ideal for small children.

A Place to Stay

If you are looking for hotels in Tampa, you will be pleased to know that some of the best places to stay are only a few minutes walk from the Florida Aquarium. Book your hotel nearby to enjoy a stroll before or after your visit to the aquarium.

The Florida Aquarium promises an interactive learning experience and a fun time with family or friends. To enjoy one of the adventures mentioned above, purchase a combo ticket that includes your entry and one or more desired activities.

Tip: Get your ticket online to skip the line and get the best available price.