Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Visit to the Miami Seaquarium

Another day…another experience!  During our trip to southeast Florida, Laurie and I wanted to see as many key attractions as possible… Dawn Marie worked hard to ensure that we visited most of the locations that I had on my list of tourist hotspots in the area.  This was yet one more attraction she hadn’t visited since she moved to Miami…

The Miami Seaquarium is built on 38 acres along the Rickenbacker Causeway, the bridge and roadway leading from Miami to Key Biscayne.  It is the oldest oceanarium in the USA…having been opened in 1955.  When it opened in 1955, it was the largest marine-life attraction in the world.  The Seaquarium attracts over 600,000 visitors every year!  This operation employs 225 full and part-time workers.

One of the shows that we attended at the Seaquarium was the Golden Dome Sea Lion Show.  In the photo above, Salty, one of the stars of the show, jumped up on the wall next to the audience… We think that he’s very handsome!  Salty has even appeared in a movie of the same name…

This will give you a little better idea of the stage setting inside the Golden Dome.  We didn’t get a photo of the ‘thief’, but a big blue heron had learned about the buckets of fish used by the trainers as a motivator for the Sea Lions and every time no one was looking, he’d grab a fish out of one of the buckets.  He stole at least part of the show with his antics!  A Harbor Seal was also part of this show…

This was Laurie’s favorite at the Seaquarium.  This is Lolita.  She is a 46 year old, 20’, 7,000 lb. Killer Whale.  Laurie has a way with animals and Lolita seemed to be very interested in her.  When Laurie started reaching her arm out and giving signals to Lolita…one of the attendants chased her back from the wall next to the pool.  Lolita got even closer to Laurie than this photo shows…so close that I didn’t use the photo because Lolita took up most of the frame.

When Lolita and her 3.5 tons made this move…if you were anywhere in the first 10 rows at the center of the amphitheatre…you got wet!  She is a big girl!

There are a total of 8 different marine animal shows and presentations offered at the Seaquarium.  In addition to the two shows shown in previous photos, we also watched the fish feeding in the Shark Channel, petted the stingrays in the Tropical Wings and Stingray Pool, and we listened to the keeper talk about saving Manatees over at the Manatee Exhibit.
These 3 other ‘events’ failed to produce any clear and useful photos.  Laurie was basically shooting photos of animals in the water.  The manatee’s photos really just show some big gray lumps in the water.  The Seaquarium is one of 3 licensed care centers in the USA for the care and rehabilitation of injured manatees.  The facility has rescued and rehabilitated 24 manatees as well as 136 sea turtles. 

Laurie sure got the timing right on this photo!  The trainer has to experience a rush every time she performs this act with Lolita.  Dawn was a little nervous as she kept thinking about the recent death of a trainer when her mammilian ward attacked her.

For the kids, there is Salty’s Pirate Playground, plus some remote controlled boats and cars for playtime.  In addition, one new attraction is Sharky’s Sky Trail…a trail of rope bridges and climbing challenges… Entry to this attraction/activity is $5.00.

Here’s one more photo of Lolita…looking up at her trainer and hoping for more fish…while 3 Pacific White Sided Dolphins perform for the crowd.

We missed the Top Deck Dolphin Show and the Flipper Dolphin Show.  Those shows are performed by the Seaquarium’s Bottlenose Dolphins.  About 80% of all the Bottlenose Dolphins at the park were born here.  One of them, Bebe, starred in the Flipper TV series and in 2 related movies. We also missed the Tropical Reef Presentation…where a diver hand feeds the fish, although we have viewed that type of activity before.

This handsome group of Pelicans were poised along the Shark Channel during the presentation…all of them hoping for a chance for some fish.  They were so persistent that one of them actually got right next to the keeper and grabbed a fish out of the bucket that was in his hands!

There was another area called Crocodile Flats… Not too far from the Crocodiles, there was a display of Alligators, there was a pool with islands for sea turtles and a couple of white tail deer. 

Laurie managed to capture this close-up shot of a Pink Flamingo.  They are an elegant though primitive looking bird.  While I didn’t expect birds in a Seaquarium, at least flamingos live in and around water.

The Seaquarium educates about 85,000 students as they tour the facility each year.  Another 20,000 kids have participated in an annual camping program that has been in place since 1987.

I didn’t quite understand the white tail deer in the sea turtle habitat or the parrots over by the Sting Ray Pool…but I’m sure that some tourists like seeing them even if they seem a bit out of context.  He or she as shown above is indeed a pretty bird!

The Miami Seaquarium is open 7 days a week.  Admission is $39.95 for adults; $37.95 for Seniors, and; $29.95 for children.  Parking is $8.00.  There are a number of special experiences or encounters available.  These include Dolphin Odyssey ($199.00); Dolphin Encounter ($139.00); Trainer for a Day ($495.00), and; Sea Trek Reef Encounter ($99.00). 
The Seaquarium is a little dated in appearance but the experiences are educational and interesting.  The staff is  knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. All in all, it was a positive tourist adventure!  For more information, go to
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by to share another experience with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. What a beautiful place! It reminds me a bit of the Bronx Zoo, I used to go there often when we lived in America. This is much bigger though, lovely pictures David! Happy Easter!

  2. Dear Dave, Laurie sure was quick to get the picture of the trainer on the whale! Perfect.
    It looks like a wonderful place to visit and see these animals so close.
    Have a wonderful Easter to you and your family. Blessings, Catherine

  3. Hi, Specially I appreciate your site the way you present it & it's really amazing. Miami Seaquarium is located on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay. It is also highly regarded for its Water and Dolphin Exploration Program, which allows visitors to touch and swim with dolphins in the Flipper Lagoon for up to two hours with a one-on-one trainer. Thanks a lot…

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  4. Hello, Simply, admirable what you have done here. Here the images are looking very nice and beautiful. Miami Seaquarium offers visitors an entertaining and educational experience found in very few locations in the United States. It’s Miami’s premier attraction! It’s the place where dolphins fly, where fearsome moray eels lurk in coral reef caverns. Thanks…

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