Top 5 Features of the Mote Marine Aquarium

When you visit Siesta Key, Florida, you might visit St. Armand’s Circle and do some shopping, eat at a local restaurant, or you may want to try to see some wildlife.

The Mote Marine Aquarium near Siesta Key is one of the defining aquariums in southwest Florida. It manages to capture the essential magic and wonder of Florida marine life. The creatures which soar through the waters, bounce in the waves, and populate our seas are endearing and majestic. The Mote Marine Aquarium houses some of the most spectacular species of the water, giving you a first-rate view into their lives.

We cover the top five features of the Mote Marine Aquarium, covering the best things to do at an aquarium and why aquariums make an awesome family activity at the beach.


little girl touching aquarium

Everything and anything can be manipulated, experimented with, and toyed with to your heart is content. The place to really let loose is in the exploration gallery. This is a pure interactive museum, giving your kids a chance to engage your mind and learn a thing or two about the animals they love.

Mote Marine Aquarium designers wanted every visitor, whether 5 or 85, to feel the attractive pull of the marine life. There are a lot of fun things to do at an aquarium gallery, such as creating panoramas or explore the insides of a whale.

It is more than just seeing the creatures from afar. You can learn about what makes them tick, what they love, and how. It’s a mesmerizing experience, and the interactive panels, games, and activities really help bring that allure to life.

The Otter Exhibit

Get an otter’s eye view of the wild and wonderful world of the otter. Otters are highly threatened. These elusive creatures create mesmerizing watersheds by the river banks, collecting branches as they build their homes. We can all relate to this need to have shelter. The otters collaborate to create these stunning shelters, but they still find time to play- usually on their backs, following the flow of the river.


Huck, Pippi, and Jane have recently been welcomed to the Mote. You can watch them close-up through the otter cam, or see them during narrated training sessions daily at 1:30 p.m.

Sea Turtles: The Ancient Survivors

When it comes right down to it, the sea turtles are some of our oldest and most captivating animal friends. The features that have allowed the sea turtles to thrive in the past are quickly eroding. The Ancient Survivors exhibit explores sea turtle conservation. Daily presentations are at 3 p.m. Leaders will treat sick turtles and cover the various (and numerous) threats against these astonishing creatures.

sea turtle


The majestic manatee is a treat not often seen in the wild due to their endangered status. Hugh and Buffet, the two resident manatee, eat upwards of 84 heads of lettuce every day. Get up-close-and-personal with the “elephants of the sea” (or gulf) and see what it takes to secure the manatee population in the region. You can see the manatee right up against the glass, where instructional videos will cover more details about their survival, interests, and more.

manatee close up

The Shark Tank

The shark could be the most misunderstood creature of the water. Considered by many as a monster, the shark could actually be one of the most important resources for discovering a cure for cancer. Sharks rarely get the illness, causing many specialists to research and explore these species to discover a possible pattern in their biology. The scientists respectfully explore the habits of these sharks to understand more about their behavior. Could the shark, the most feared animal on Earth, be the secret to fighting our most-feared illness?

The 135,000-gallon shark tank features the epic Goliath grouper and a variety of shark species. You can unearth the secrets of the shark and expand your opinion of these underappreciated and often exploited creatures.

Plan Your Next Visit

The Mote is one of the must-see aquariums to visit when you go to Florida. Visit the official website to purchase tickets and book your next vacation rental with us!

The aquarium is open year-round, inviting guests big and small, younger and older, to the magic of marine life. Realize new possibilities as you see dolphins prance through the water. Educate yourself in the life of s shark so they become less scary and imposing and more wondrous and fascinating. The Mote is a place that welcomes unbridled enthusiasm. Kids run through the halls in the search for their next eye-opening experience. So bring your children or grandchildren to experience a vacation like no other.

Our Location

Crystal Sands Condominiums
6300 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Toll-Free: 888-419-1446
Local: 941-349-7007

Fax: 941-346-1963

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