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Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, located in Sarasota, Florida features more than 100 species of marine life and various exhibits such as touch pools for stingrays & a giant 135,000-gallon shark habitat!

Some resident species you can find in Mote Aquarium include manatees, sea turtles, river otters, and more.

Mote Aquarium also features a sea turtle rehabilitation hospital that takes in sick and injured sea turtles. Mote is a world-renowned research and conservation facility, as their science and research spans internationally.

Shark Zone is Mote Aquarium’s 135,000-gallon shark habitat and is also home to the world’s largest grouper species (the goliath grouper) and other popular Florida game fish.

You also can visit the exhibit Otters and Their Waters, which is home to three charismatic North American River Otters: Huck, Jane, and Pippi.

Mote offers several other interactive experiences, such as educational programs for ocean lovers of all ages, internship and volunteer opportunities that allow you to expand your passion for marine conservation, temporary exhibits, and holiday-themed family fun events.

Read our blog article about our visit to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

Educational Programs & Fun Learning Opportunities

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium offers private programs for single-household groups who want to visit Mote and have their own adventure.

During Mote’s Choose Your Adventure program, you and your household can enjoy some enrichment time with Mote’s educational animal ambassadors, attend a Bay Walk & Talk to explore beautiful local estuary’s, or spend a morning exploring Mote Aquarium while learning about animal prep!

To see a list of the private programs Mote has to offer visit

Join Mote staff for an evening paddle as you explore Florida’s coastal waters at dusk by kayak. Discover the animals that bring Sarasota Bay to life at night while taking a relaxing paddle on the moonlit water.

This experience is available for adults 18 + and the time varies depending on sunset. Check out this immersive experience that gets you up close and personal with all of the beauty coastal Sarasota has to offer!

To learn more about kayak opportunities, please visit

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium also offers SEA Trek virtual field trips, which are live, two-way, interactive experiences between your school or organization and Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida!

Mote connects your audience to STEM subject matter experts and engages their curiosity with science demonstrations and lively animal encounters. Mote experts can see and hear your learners and vice versa via private, safe, interactive videoconferencing connections.

For all virtual program offerings, visit

Fossil Creek

Sharks have inhabited our oceans for hundreds of millions of years, and a single shark can replace tens of thousands of teeth over its lifetime. Today, fossilized shark teeth help scientists understand these ancient fishes, including the extinct megalodon, the largest shark known to science!

At Fossil Creek, located near the stingray touch pool in Mote Aquarium’s courtyard, guests can play marine paleontologist by purchasing a container of sand and sifting out real, fossilized shark teeth estimated to be millions or tens of millions of years old.

Teeth may come from tiger, hammerhead, great white, mako and other shark species still alive today — and with luck, maybe even the coveted megalodon!

Guests may also find stingray barbs smoothed with time, bony plates from pufferfish mouths and more.

All fossils are real and are yours to keep. You can purchase this add on experience while in Mote Aquarium.

Deep Sea Diner Restaurant

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s casual, 50’s-style diner offers visitors an opportunity to get a snack or lunch.

The Deep Sea Diner restaurant features an old-fashioned soda fountain where you can get hand-dipped ice-cream, shakes, and ice-cream sundaes. The affordable menu offers soups, salads, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and french fries.

Inside and outside dining is available.

Enjoy a safe visit.

  • Many aspects of operations have been redesigned to limit contact.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the Aquarium
  • One-way flow traffic is encouraged.
  • Face coverings are required.

Remain at least 6 feet apart (except from those who are in your party) and avoid gathering in groups larger than 10.

  • Mote staff and Aquarium guests will be expected to practice responsible social distancing measures as described within CDC guidelines and recommendations. To support social distancing, they are operating at “low tide”—reducing ticket sales per hour so that Mote Aquarium will operate below current statewide capacity requirements.
  • Mote has also restructured the Aquarium entryway and posted social-distancing and directional signs.
  • Note: The animal narrations and special experiences are closed to avoid convening groups.
  • Mote personnel are social distancing too: staying 6 feet apart and reducing their movement around the facilities to those necessary for our operations, only.

Responsible dining and shopping.

  • Mote Aquarium’s Deep Sea Diner will allow guests to purchase meals at a window and use limited outdoor seating, spaced to accommodate social distancing.
  • The gift shop and diner will be required to comply with all health-safety measures described for Mote staff above.

More About Mote: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)3 research institution founded in 1955. Mote began and flourished through the passion of a single researcher, Dr. Eugenie Clark, her partnership with the community and philanthropic support, first of the Vanderbilt family and later of the William R. Mote family.

From their humble beginnings in a tiny, one-room laboratory in a small Florida town, Mote’s efforts have grown to include more than 20 diverse marine research programs.

Originally focused on sharks, their research has expanded to include coral reef research & restoration, the effects of natural toxic substances on the environment, the health of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to help us better understand the health of the environment.

Today, Mote is a top attraction based in Sarasota, Florida. Mote’s world-class research programs study oceans locally to internationally, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education.

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