Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota

4.5
#1 of 6 in Zoos & Aquariums in Southwest Gulf Coast
At the marine-research organization Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium you can explore marine life through a number of exhibits, including the 511 l (135,000 gal) shark tank. The aquarium has always been dedicated to educating the public on the science of the sea, with research on sharks and dolphins specifically. The laboratory itself opened in 1955, and the Mote Aquarium was later added in 1980. The aquarium is home to over 100 species of mostly local marine life, which you can experience in a number of ways. Take a peek into the working laboratory, watch manatees and dolphins play, or plan your own animal encounter. Learn about conservation and much more at this combination lab and aquarium. By using our Sarasota trip planning app , you can arrange your visit to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and other attractions in Sarasota.
Create an itinerary including Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
map
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
3,417 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Small but has great exhibits. The MOTE is spread between several buildings within an easy walk. The wife says the chili is pretty good in the snack bar. We bought a family pass so we can bring the gra...  more »
  • We used to love this aquarium. Now, with the death of the dolphin, no cuttlefish and a shy octopus who hid invisibly in a corner, we were a bit disappointed. Still worth a visit, but be sure and go at...  more »
  • Our family including my 14 month old grand daughter visited Mote. The exhibits were well done and the manatee and otters were quite fun to watch. They have beautiful tanks with all types of salt and f...  more »
Google
  • This is a special place! Marine biology and science is the main objective of this organization. The environmental focus on our waterways and the Gulf of Mexico speaks volumes to the work underway at this laboratory. This laboratory offers a fantastic learning experience for children as they can see and even touch some of the sea creatures in the display pool. I believe places like Mote Marine need to be patronized and supported for our and future generations. It's a Florida treasure.
  • Good collection of fish and sharks. Very cool to be able to see manatees and otters. There are two buildings, admission gets you into both. We felt great about spending $22 on tickets because the aquarium is so clearly connected with the marine lab and conservation efforts. Volunteers were able to explain the histories of the rescued turtles and were helpful at other exhibits as well.
  • I've been going here since I was a child but haven't been back in several years, wow they've really expanded it. My kids loved the outdoor exhibits most, especially the shark tank. It's worth the trip across the street to the other building to see the turtles, manatees and otters. There were plenty of volunteers around to answer questions. There is a small cafe on site, but I recommend skipping it and eating at the nearby Old Salty Dog or New Pass Grill instead for outdoor casual food with a water view. My only criticism is that they wouldn't give me the military discount because my spouse (the service member) wasn't with us.
  • A great place to see and learn about the marine life in Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. There are well informed volunteers to provide information on all the life that you see. Mote also has a boat that takes you out into the bay where you can view manatees and dolphins. They also use a special net to bring up living material from the bay. You have the opportunity to interact with many of these creatures but all is returned to the water. Great for kids and adults.
  • Really fun! They should have more shrimp and snails though! The otters were sleeping when I visited but it was still super fun! Totally recommend going. You don't have to have kids to go, I went with a co-worker and her husband and it was great! They should have a singles night for people who enjoy fish :p

Plan your trip to Sarasota

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Sarasota

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Sarasota by other users

9 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 50 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Southwest Gulf Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Florida BY A USER FROM INDIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 37 days in Florida BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 37 days in Florida BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Southwest Gulf Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Sarasota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: May, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND March, kids, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans