Miami Seaquarium: One of the Oldest Oceanariums

Discover South Florida’s popular aquarium on the beautiful Virginia Key Island in Biscayne Bay. Miami Seaquarium is a massive 38-acre oceanarium. It has become a must-visit tourist attraction with spectacular skyline views.

This world-class marine park welcomes you with a variety of heart-throbbing presentations. You will also find endangered marine species here, such as manatees and sea turtles. If you plan to visit this stunning place, here is a complete tourist guide to Miami Seaquarium.

This article covers everything from history, visiting hours, and tickets to other essential information about the aquarium.

What is the Key Information About Miami Seaquarium?

Best Time to VisitJune to September
Suggested Visit Duration2-3 hours
Visiting Hours10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (daily)
Ticket PricesStarting from $33.99
SpecialtyAnimal encounters, live shows, event hosting venues, and exploring the park’s 300,000-gallon reef aquarium.
Address4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, USA (View on Maps)
Contact Number(s)+1 305-361-5705

What is the History of Miami Seaquarium?

Miami Seaquarium was opened in 1955 on Virginia Key. Fred D. Coppock and Captain W.B. Gray are the founders of this marine park. It is the first marine life park in the United States, situated on a 38-acre property leased from Dade County.

The park was once renowned as the world’s biggest marine life destination, boasting diverse aquatic creatures. Its initial orca, named after solo sailor Hugo Vihlen, was Hugo, who gained fame as the park’s first killer whale.

This large oceanarium is accredited by the AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks & Aquarium). Also, it holds its approval and accreditation from Humane Certified – a Program of Humane Certified and IMATA – International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association.

Interesting Facts

  • It has a 750,000-gallon aquarium tank filled with sea turtles, reef fishes, eels, and other marine species.
  • The aquarium has 26 smaller aquarium tanks for other marine life creatures.
  • The aquarium is a world-class rescue center for rehabilitating animals like sea turtles and manatees.
  • It is famous for its shows featuring interactive dolphins, killer whales, and sea lions.
  • The aquarium has a Conservation and Care unit for educating the next generation’s animal lovers.

Can Visitors Get Free Admission in Miami Seaquarium?

Visitors can get free admission only under specific conditions.

  • The one-year unlimited visits membership is only for children under 3 to 5 years. This membership is known as a free Pre-K Annual Pass Membership. The visitors must carry a digital photo and a hard copy of their children’s birth certificates.

The Pre-K pass can be used for various activities, including exhibits and special events such as Flipper’s Fall Festival and Christmas light events.

  • Children of 1 to 2 years get free admission with the Pre-K pass throughout the year.
  • There is no free pass for adults, but discounts and affordable tickets are available.

What is the Prices of Tickets for Miami Seaquarium?

Miami Seaquarium offers special group sales deals on tickets. The visitors can book the tickets both online and offline. With advance online booking, you can save $6. In addition, the aquarium hosts fun-filled and thriller marine shows with special ticket deals.

Online Ticket Booking Prices:

  • General Admission (10 years. & over): $43.99
  • Online General Admission (3-9 years.): 33.99
  • Children 2 and below: Free

Offline/ At Gate Ticket Booking Prices:

  • General Admission (10 years. & over): $49.99 (At gate)
  • General Admission (3-9 years.): $39.99 (At gate)
  • Children 2 and below: Free

Note: Animal encounter tickets may vary.

Does Miami Seaquarium offer Discount on Tickets?

The Miami Seaquarium offers great discounts for its visitors. In every season, they offer exciting special deals on tickets. Tourists can enjoy discounts on marine shows, exhibitions, and presentations.

  • Spring Discounts: Visit during the spring months to get this discount. Original Price: $49.9, SALE Price: $37.49.
  • Online General Admission Discounts: Save 35% with four or more tickets online. Use promo code SAVE25 to get this offer.
  • US Military Offer: US veterans get a 50% discount ($24.99) on General Admission. It is available at the gate. Proof of service is a must to carry.
  • Travel Agents Offer: Being a travel agent, enjoy a discount of 20%. Carry your identity to get this offer.

Are Gift Cards Available for Miami Seaquarium?

No gift cards are available at the aquarium site. But Giftly provides the option to gift up to $1,000 for spending at the aquarium. The cards can be delivered with customization through email or printout.

You can also check other platforms like Groupon to get vouchers to visit the aquarium.

What are the Animal Encounters at Miami Seaquarium?

If you are a marine lover, it will be a golden opportunity to witness the thrilling encounters here. The aquarium offers visitors to swim with dolphins. Non-swimmers can enjoy themselves with dolphins in shallow pools.

Here’s a list of animal exhibits available.

1. Dolphin Encounter

Two dolphins jumping out of water
Dolphins at the show © Miami Seaquarium

Dolphin Encounter is the most popular encounter at this world-class aquarium. This encounter is a way to communicate with the adorable dolphins. This activity is fun and safe for adults and kids.

The Dolphin Encounter is a 30-minute experience of swimming with dolphins as they swim around you. This activity offers two-time slots, one at noon and another at 2:30 p.m.

  • Participants above 10 years: $235
  • Child Participants age 5 to 9 years: $128

Note: You can book the Dolphin Encounter at the aquarium in advance.

2. Sea Trek Reef Encounter

Sea Trek Reef Encounter is a delightful experience at the aquarium. It’s an underwater journey leading to a 300,000-gallon tropical reef, where you can encounter heavenly sea creatures, including Stingrays.

The Reef Encounter lasts for 20 minutes. The entire experience takes one and a half hours, including preparation time. You can choose from three-time slots- 10.45 a.m., 12 noon, and 2 p.m. A Sea Trek Reef Encounter ticket costs $100 for 10+ years above participants.

3. Dolphin Odyssey

Dolphin Odyssey encounter is an exhilarating deep-water experience with dolphins. This activity lasts up to 30 minutes. You can also enjoy feeding the enigmatic dolphins. There are specific requirements for this activity.

Minimum height requirement of the participant – 4 feet 4 inches. The ticket for Dolphin Odyssey costs $220 for adults and $60 for children of 10 to 17 years old.

4. Seal Swim Encounter

Seal Swim encounter is the most loveable encounter at Miami Seaquarium. Children love this fun activity of interacting with friendly seals. You can swim with the seals in shallow and deep water.

You have to grab a life jacket and enjoy the educational activity. It is a twenty-minute activity guided by the seal trainers. The trainers will teach all the safety rules before getting to the water with seals.

Ticket costs $180 for 10+ years participants.

5. Penguin Encounter

Visiting the penguin harbor is a popular and fun activity where visitors can interact with the African penguins. It is a highly on-demand children-friendly activity. It is a fun-filled thirty-minute program to have a memorable experience with the penguins.

Advance online booking is also available. The activity includes touching and playing with an African penguin. The aquarium has a new penguin habitat of an 800-square-foot area and a 9,000-gallon pool.

The ticket costs for the penguin encounter- are $120 per adult.

What are the Exhibits at Miami Seaquarium?

Sea lions enclosure
Sea Lions Enclusure © Miami Seaquarium

Here is the list of exhibitions you cannot miss.

1. Caribbean Flamingos

At the aquarium’s entrance, visitors are greeted by a charming display of 30 captivating Caribbean flamingos surrounded by lush tropical scenery. These flamingos roam freely, enjoying the warm weather and creating picturesque settings for visitors.

The exhibit is designed to mimic their natural habitat, complete with shallow ponds, sandy beaches, and lush vegetation. In addition to being a visual delight, the exhibit provides an educational opportunity for visitors to learn about these unique birds.

Visitors of all ages can appreciate the beauty of the Caribbean flamingos at the aquarium, making it a popular attraction for families and animal lovers. Tickets cost for the exhibit per adult: $38.95 and for children ages 3-9 years old: $28.95.

2. Penguin Isle

This exhibition is a great way to meet adorable penguins. You can greet the intelligent African Penguins. The Penguin Isle exhibition educates people about the struggles of the penguins and their wildlife.

The visitors can view the penguins all over the area through large acrylic windows. It’s a large acrylic underwater swimming tunnel. The whole surrounding has a colorful graphical presentation with educational displays.

3. Seal and Sea Lion Feeder Pool

This most loved exhibit features Seals and Sea Lions. This feeder pool is beside the Golden Dome, designed by architect Buckminster Fuller. You can explore it throughout the day. The visitors are guided to participate in the feeding sessions.

You can have a good time learning interesting facts about these sea mammals. The Seal Swim exhibit costs approximately $180 for every 10-years+ participant.

4. Tortuga Flats

Tortuga Flats is an awareness exhibition on Sea Turtles. You will learn about the endangered species and the reasons for their survival struggle story. The aquarium hosts a rehabilitation program for Sea Turtles.

It rescues this endangered species and provides them with a habitat to survive. This exhibition focuses on the protection and conservation of gentle creatures. The exhibition educates the visitors on the importance of turtles in the marine ecosystem.

5. Tropical Reef & Wings and Stingrays

The Tropical Reef exhibition is a colorful visual presentation of reef fishes. The large aquarium has a 750,000-gallon reef aquarium with tropical features for this exhibition. Here, you will see divers feeding the tropical fish.

This exhibition is a dedication program to respect beautiful tropical birds. The presentation includes Macaws, Flamingos, etc. The keepers will let you learn more about these birds.

The Stingray exhibit is inside the Tropical Wings Exhibition. Visitors will get a hands-on experience interacting with the beautiful creature.

What are the Live Cams at Miami Seaquarium?

The Seaquarium features a live webcam show in their web series. There are a total of 45 episodes available to watch and enjoy. Their very own web series – ‘See the Sea Saturdays.’ You will watch the behind-the-scenes of marine species.

Some recent live episodes were Manatee Release: Falcon, Happy Birthday Mia, Releasing JarJar Branch, and Plantains Update.

What are the Learning Opportunities at Miami Seaquarium?

Lolita, the killer whale
Lolita, The Killer Whale © Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium provides educational programs for children and parents. These programs teach young minds about marine species and their lifestyle.

1. General Admission for Educational Programs

The aquarium offers live educational experiences with marine animals. It costs $47 per adult. It includes learning during presentations and exhibitions. It is a daily live learning session that starts at 10:00 a.m.

Here the visitors will learn about the conservation of marine species and their ecosystems.

2. Reef Rangers

The Reef Rangers educational program makes visitors aware of environmental protection. It also includes science and conservation sessions on reefs. You can join this protection program and take the pledge.

3. Boy and Girl Scout Programs

It is a fun-filled education program on the ocean. The experts will teach you valuable life skills with experiments. The program includes animal interactions and live shows. The children can participate in educational games in this program.

4. Mommy and Me Program

The “Mommy and Me” program teaches parents and young children to interact with the marine world. The program is about forming interactive bonding. It also includes animal presentations and arts and crafts.

Can You Host Events at Miami Seaquarium?

Yes, Miami Seaquarium offers to host events in its natural and beautiful venues. The venues are perfect for weddings, corporate events, official dinners, formal events, and musical concerts.

The venues have a spectacular view of Biscayne Bay.

It features a private entrance and boat dock. Guests witness the beauty of French-style side walls and tropical gardens.


  • Sunset Cove: It offers spectacular Biscayne and Skyline Views with a private entrance. It is the best venue for the ceremony and reception. It is suitable for daytime and evening weddings.
  • Dolphin Lobby: The venue features Dolphin underwater view with on and off-site catering service.

Wedding Events

Sunset Cove is one of the most spectacular wedding venues in South Florida.

It has a waterfront lawn with a large reception. You will witness the spectacular view of the Miami Skyline.

The venue can accommodate 40′ by 80′ tents. It includes a private catering entrance inside the reception.

Corporate Events

Corporate events are commonly held at the Dolphin Lobby and Sunset Cove. The venue has a large open space to accommodate guests. It is the ideal place for corporate events and private concerts in Miami.

You will witness the breathtaking view of the Skyline.

What are the Dining Options at the Miami Seaquarium?

Manatee Bay Cafe

The Manatee Bay Café serves fresh and quick service meals. You will get options for your all-time favorite snacks here. Its menu has chicken fingers, burgers, salads, and bacon cheese fries. It also offers a premium beverage section on its menu. It includes cold beer, coffee, sodas, and teas.

Dolphin Lobby Snack Bar

This is the most visited snack café at the Miami Seaquarium. It serves customized pizzas with a personal choice of toppings. You can have a good time here after visiting the exhibits and shows. It is a kids-friendly snack café. The menu also offers nachos, hot-dog, soft pretzels, Icee and many more.

Whale Spout Pizza

Are you looking for a quick-service restaurant at the aquarium? Whale Spout Pizza is a quick-service restaurant. It is a great place to have pizza. It serves hot and cheesy large pizza. The restaurant is the best choice for family dining before the show.

Scuba Scoops

Try different flavors of yummy ice creams in Scuba Scoops. It is a place to vibe in for every age group. It offers a wide range of premium ice creams. You can also choose your cone, flavor, and toppings. Your kids will love to spend time at the ice cream shop.

Parrot – Ice Cove

This place is all about having refreshing drinks. It serves famous tropical Miami-style drinks. The best drinks on its menu are Strawberry daiquiri, Pina Colada and Frozen Lemonade. This café is seasonally open during the summer months.

Dippin’ Dots

Cream snack here. Kids will explore unlimited ice cream flavors here.

Which Gift Shops are there at Miami Seaquarium?

1. Main Gift Shop

You can shop for t-shirts, postcards, and other essentials at this gift shop. When you have free time after the shows, shopping is the right time. It has varieties of hats, sunglasses, and cuddly soft toys.

2. Dolphin Lobby Shop

It is another biggest shopping centers in the Miami Seaquarium. It holds the largest collection of dolphin memorabilia. Right to the Top Deck Dolphin’s Stage, you will see the bottlenose dolphins. So you can enjoy the view and shop at the same time.

Are there Rescue & Conservation Operations at Miami Seaquarium?

The aquarium serves for conservation and animal care. The conservation team plays a major role in rescue, rehabilitation, awareness, and outreach to form a better marine world. Below are the activities involved in rescue and conservation:

  • Beach clean-ups activities to save the marine ecosystem and outer environment.
  • Educating the next generation of animal lovers about the key principles of Conservation and Care.
  • The aquarium has a rescue home for manatees and other creatures. It has rescued thousands of animals until today.

Aquarium Map

It is a large aquarium with multiple levels. It is built on a 38-acre tropical paradise. The levels are divided into event venues at the west, islands, and many more sections. The visitors must be aware of the location of the exhibition.

Parents with kids must understand the complete layout. It will help to plan and allocate time to visit almost every section. An accurate map of the Miami Seaquarium with the right routes will be helpful.

You can easily find the services such as restaurants, restrooms, gift shops, etc.

For complete map details, visit: Aquarium Map.

How to Reach Miami Seaquarium?

What are the Directions for Miami Seaquarium?

Miami Seaquarium is located on the Rickenbacker Causeway. It lies between Key Biscayne and Downtown Miami. The approximate distance from Miami Airport (MIA) is 8 miles.

The road distance to the aquarium is 11.5 miles. The place offers a beautiful view of Miami and Biscayne Bay.

How to reach Miami Seaquarium by bus?

Public transport is best to reach the Miami Seaquarium. First, you need to get to the west side of Miami – Brickell station. Then, take the Route B Bus. 102 to reach Key Biscayne via Crandon. It is the shortest way to reach the aquarium.

The bus will reach the destination after 12 to 14 minutes covering 13 stops. Then, it just takes a minute’s walk to reach the aquarium’s entrance from the bus stop.

How to reach Miami Seaquarium by walking?

It takes around seven minutes to reach the aquarium from Hobie Island Beach Park, Rickenbacker Causeway.

How to reach Miami Seaquarium by a car?

When driving, use the car GPS to locate the aquarium’s address. The best route is from Miami Beach. The aquarium is 10.4 miles away from the beach.

What is the Parking Fee for Miami Seaquarium?

The visitors will find it impressive. You have to pay $10 per day per vehicle. It costs the same for every vehicle type.

Is EV Charging available at Miami Seaquarium?

The Tesla Supercharger at 701 S Miami Ave is 4.5 miles from Miami Seaquarium. It is the nearest charging station. It will cost between $0.20 per kWh or $8 and $40 per charge.

What are the Hotels Near Miami Seaquarium?

Here is the list of luxury and budget-friendly hotels near the Miami Seaquarium.

Hotel AKA Brickell (Best Luxury Stay)

Distance: 2.4 mi

The hotel is 2.4 miles from the aquarium. It is a premium hotel with luxury staying options. It serves the guests with world-class amenities. It has a large rooftop pool and a nature-infused spa. It has advanced and modern furnished guest rooms.

Fortune House Hotel (Best Family Stay)

Distance: 2.3 mi

The Fortune House is just 2.3 miles from the Seaquarium. It is a four-star hotel with suites. It is an ideal option for families with kids. You can book it for both short- and long-term stays. It doesn’t charge any cost for reservation.

Hampton Inn & Suites Miami/Brickell-Downtown (Top Class Amenities)

Distance: 2.6 mi

The hotel premium stays with special offers and discounts. It takes 2.6 miles to reach the aquarium from Hampton Inn & Suites. The hotel offers the best amenities, such as a fitness center and rooftop pool. A hot breakfast is a regular service at the hotel.

SLS Brickell (World-Class Décor)

Distance: 2.5 mi

It is one of the famous luxurious stays in Downtown Miami. It features an incredible pool deck, unforgettable dining, and premium standard guest service. It is a perfect stay with a combination of creativity and community.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami (Best Accommodation)

Distance: 2.5 mi

It is an urban resort on the island of Brickell Key. It offers open spaces and light sea breezes. It offers world-class accommodations, spas, and fine dining experiences in Miami. You can explore nightlife experiences in Miami staying here.

What are the Restaurants Near Miami Seaquarium?

KEBO Restaurant (Best Spanish Restaurant)

Distance: 2.5 mi

Kebo is a Spanish restaurant that serves the finest Mediterranean cuisine. It won the best Spanish Restaurant in Miami in 2017. It offers a delicious menu for dinner and lunch with fresh seafood and meat. It is open from Monday to Friday, 12.00–4:00 p.m.

Atlantica Seafood Restaurant & Market (Best Seafood)

Distance: 0.8 mi

It is a famous and most visited seafood restaurant in Key Biscayne, Florida. It serves an amazing seafood menu with finger-licking fried fish, lobster, crabs, and shrimp. Seafood fans must visit this place. It is open from Monday to Sunday (11.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.).

Baires Grill (Best Argentinean Steakhouse)

Distance: 2.7 mi

Baires Grill is a beautiful Argentinean place in Brickell. Steak lovers must visit the place before visiting the aquarium. It is certified to serve Black Angus Beef at the best prices.

Edge Steak & Bar (Best Local Food and Cocktail)

Distance: 2.4 mi

It is another famous steakhouse restaurant. The restaurant is famous for its high-quality cuts of meat and local seafood. It also offers a premium drink service of the best wines and beers. You will love to explore the customized cocktail list.

PM Fish & Steakhouse (Authentic Argentine Restaurant)

Distance: 2.5 mi

The PM Fish & Steakhouse is a well-known Argentine restaurant in Miami. It is famous for its charcoal-broiled prime-quality cuts. It serves authentic imported seafood – Branzino, Salmon, Grilled Octopus, and Skirt Steak 10oz. The menu also includes exclusive wine options.

What are the Attractions Near Miami Seaquarium?

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Distance: 0.7 mi

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is situated at Rickenbacker Causeway. It is a few minutes from Miami’s financial centers. It features African American culture and contributions. The oceanfront destination is for entertainment with family-friendly activities.

Bayside Marketplace

Distance: 3.3 mi

This famous marketplace is at the heart of Downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay. It is a beautiful and busy place to experience local shopping, entertainment, and dining. It is home to around 70 shops and 30 restaurants. The marketplace is an embarkation point for boat tours.

Lock & Load Museum

Distance: 5 mi

It is a must-visit museum in Wynwood. The menu promotes the history and showcases safe firearms and machine guns. It is open to the public and doesn’t charge any cost. It exhibits wartime weaponry with expert guidance.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Distance: 2.9 mi

It is a National Historic Landmark with 10 acres of formal gardens. It is a lavish villa tributing to the Italian Renaissance. You will explore original furnishings and beautiful artwork here. It is a treat to watch the historic gardens and decorated rooms.

Bayfront Park

Distance: 3.1 mi

It is a largely built 32-acre urban park in Downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay. The place is known for hosting major events. For example, it hosts Christmas celebrations, New Year’s ball drops, and music concerts. It also offers boat tours surrounding Biscayne Bay.

How can you work at Miami Seaquarium?

The Miami Seaquarium offers working opportunities for candidates interested in working for the marine world. You can apply for various jobs at the aquarium and search for available positions. The candidates can directly apply online on the website.

What are the Job Opportunities at Miami Seaquarium?

Job vacancies are available for the aquarist, mammal trainer, educational instructor, guest service assistant, etc.

What are the Internships & Volunteering opportunities at Miami Seaquarium?

The aquarium authorities also offer internships for different positions. You can take part in volunteering activities under the conservation and rescue projects.

Note: The aquarium has opened job opportunities for various positions.

Can you Donate at Miami Seaquarium?

Donate to Miami Seaquarium for Manatee Rehabilitation and Rescue program. Your donation will provide them with basic nutrition and healthcare facilities.

You can donate in Manatee Bricks and Manatee Bench. For donation info, visit Miami Seaquarium Donation page.

What are the Reviews of Miami Seaquarium?

The Miami Seaquarium is a fun and adventurous place to explore the marine world. The visitors get a chance to watch the marine shows and exhibitions. You can enjoy it here with your family and friends, capturing beautiful memories.

It is a place to learn more about marine life. People here enjoy animal encounters, thrilling shows, and spending time in restaurants.

Visitors love the great experience, animal encounters and aquarium services. You can read their reviews at TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Miami Seaquarium?

The Miami Seaquarium is located on Virginia Key Island in Biscayne Bay. It is near Miami-Dade County in Florida, located near downtown. The exact address of the aquarium is 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, USA.

Is Miami Seaquarium free?

No, entry is not free in Miami Seaquarium. However, with a Pre-K pass, children get free access for a year.

How much are the tickets for Miami Seaquarium?

It charges $49.99 for general admissions for ten years old and above. For 3 to 9 years, it charges $39.99.

How big is Miami Seaquarium?

The Miami Seaquarium is a large paradise covering 38 acres or 15 ha. It covers the major portion of the island of Virginia Key.

How long to spend at the Miami Seaquarium?

It can take more than 4 hours to explore every animal encounter show. However, the show time can vary. Spending a whole day exploring all the marine activities and programs is better.

Where to park at Miami Seaquarium?

The Miami Seaquarium offers numerous parking lots for visitors inside the marine park. You can also prefer to park outside the aquarium at nearby public parking areas.

Is the Miami Seaquarium worth it?

Yes, it is worth visiting the famous aquarium in Miami. It is a place where you can interact with penguins, seals, sea lions, and dolphins. It offers numerous animal encounters and educational programs. It has great restaurants and cafes to spend time in. It is the best plan to enjoy with family, kids, and friends.

Other Nearby Aquariums

A word from FishInAquarium

If you plan to spend a weekend with family or friends, the Miami Seaquarium must be on your bucket list. It is the perfect holiday destination. The world-famous aquarium has unlimited fun and thrilling activities to offer.

Hope this guide offers all you’d want to know about the aquarium before visiting.

For queries, reach us at our contact details section on our site.

Minnie B Miller - Professional aquarist and owner of FishInAquarium

About Minnie B Miller

Minnie B. Miller, a professional aquarist and owner of FishInAquarium, has over 8 years of expertise in fish breeding and care, gained through her roles at AquaticTX and Sea Lion Landing. Having honed her skills with various aquatic species, she is dedicated to empowering fellow enthusiasts by sharing her knowledge and experience.