Gawk at a 750,000 gallon saltwater tank and watch big fish, small fish, stingrays and moray eels dart, eat and swim. Learn about species of sharks at the Shark Channel. Say hello to a Macaw parrot and it might just say hello back. See a crocodile that weighs a ton –literally – at home at Discovery Bay’s Upper Island. Kiss a dolphin or give it a handshake, and laugh at the very funny Salty the Sea Lion and his Reef Rangers. “Wait till you see what there is to see at Miami Seaquarium”, goes the classic Miami Seaquarium jingle – we second that!
The Miami Seaquarium is a must-stop on a family trip. That list of things to see was just the tip of the iceberg. We didn’t even mention that the Seaquarium was the set for the original Flipper television show and you can still see flipper do his flips, tricks, jumps and spins today, or that there’s a really killer Killer Whale show.
The Miami Seaquarium is an amusement park, museum, educational program and rescue center located right off the Rickenbacker Causeway en route to Key Biscayne.
The Miami Seaquarium, built in 1955, is the longest running oceanarium in the United States. It took 14 years of planning to build the 38 acre Marine Park, but finally in 1955 the opening day ceremony was attended by thousands. A special ceremony was performed by a County Commission Chairman who poured water from each of the seven seas into the dolphin tank. Since then, guests from all continents have visited the Miami Seaquarium.
From the Seaquarium’s beginnings, the dolphin show, a spectacle of trained Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, has been a highlight and many dolphins have been born in the park and entertained guests with their silly antics. The first dolphin to be born in the Seaquarium’s facilities was Bebe, just a year after the park opened. Bebe went on to have a 40-year career as a star at the Seaquarium and she gave birth to more dolphins that continue to perform today.
The 1960’s were the age of Flipper at the Seaquarium. Eighty-eight television episodes and two movies starring the eponymous dolphin and Ranger Porter Rick and his two sons, Sandy and Bud, were filmed at the park. See the Flipper Lagoon and the dolphin show everyday at the Seaquarium and you can swim with them too!
Other historic moments include the first birth of a manatee under the care of man in 1975. Salty the Sea Lion’s arrival at the park facilitated the addition of the endangered mangrove habitat. It also started the rescue efforts by the Miami Seaquarium’s qualified staff, of many animals.
This marine-life attraction has grown since it first opened and currently attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year.
Shows & Exhibits
Everyday at the Seaquarium there is a show to be seen and you won’t want to miss it. At the Rock n’ Roll Cruise you’ll see dolphins jump synchronized into the air and splash the first few rows of spectators. Watch Sea Lions show off their comedic timing and athletic skills in the Golden Dome. The iconic structure of the Seaquarium is visible from parts of Biscayne Bay and off the Rickenbacker Causeway. Flipper’s Beach Bash is still going strong. See the TV sensation perform with his friends in the place that made him famous. Dolphins and whales may not seem like they’d be the best of pals, but at Seaquarium they play in the same tank and put on quite a show while they’re at it. Pacific white-sided dolphins and Lolita the Killer Whale pal around with the help of their trainer.
Over the years, the Miami Seaquarium has become more than a place for family-friendly fun and dolphins performing 26 foot jumps. It’s a world-class rescue center devoted to rehabilitating animals in need. It is also an Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks member and a preeminent sea turtle and manatee rescue center. Sea turtles and manatees are just two of the native South Florida animals who need professional care and rehabilitation. The Alliance ensures that facilities provide care in the best of environments for marine mammal care, husbandry, conservation and education.
The Seaquarium has a proud history of marine-mammal care, such as rescuing and then releasing the smallest manatee to have ever been rescued, rehabbing manatees from deadly conditions, treating diseased sea turtles and more.
If visiting the Seaquarium inspires you to get involved with the welfare of marine animals, you can contribute to the Miami Seaquarium’s various programs like the Sponsor a Sirenian program, Manatee Brick Program and Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest.
Swim With The Dolphins
End your trip with a one-on-one experience by swimming with the dolphins. You can get up close and personal in either shallow or deep water. Shake hands, give training signals and even land a big ol’ kiss from the dolphin for the ultimate photo op.
Stay in Touch: Sign up for the Miami Insider enews to receive news, events and special offers.
Share the Love: We'd love to see your photos! Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and don’t forget to use the hashtag: #SoMiami.