The Best Fort Lauderdale Aquariums

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The best Fort Lauderdale Aquarium is at the Museum of Discovery and Science. It is the largest aquarium in Fort Lauderdale and features a wide range of marine life, from the Florida Everglades to the Carribean Sea.

Fort Lauderdale is a city in Florida that is known for its delicious breakfast spots, beaches, cruise ships, and its many canals. But Fort Lauderdale is also home to a few aquariums, which offer visitors a chance to see a variety of marine life from all over the world. In this blog post, we will take a look at the top Fort Lauderdale aquarium and provide some tips for visiting this amazing attraction.

The Best Fort Lauderdale Aquarium to Visit

When it comes to exploring the vibrant marine world, Fort Lauderdale offers two excellent aquariums that are sure to captivate both young and old alike. In this section, we will dive into these top aquariums in the area, starting with the renowned Museum of Discovery and Science.

1.      Museum of Discovery and Science

Address: 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33132, United States

Phone number: +1 954-467-6637

Opening Hours: 10 am-5 pm (Monday – Saturday), 12 pm-5 pm (Sundays)

Amenities: Rentals, Virtual Tours, Private IMAX® Theater Screening

Located in Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Discovery and Science is a true gem for marine enthusiasts. This aquarium boasts an impressive size, housing a diverse array of marine life exhibits that will leave you in awe. From colorful tropical fish to majestic sharks, the aquarium showcases the wonders of the ocean in all their glory.

What sets the Museum of Discovery and Science apart is its commitment to interactive learning. Visitors have the unique opportunity to engage with the exhibits, making it an educational and immersive experience. Imagine touching a stingray or observing a sea turtle up close. These interactive components allow visitors to forge a deeper connection with the marine world.

Beyond the captivating displays, the museum also places a strong emphasis on environmental education. Through various exhibits and programs, visitors can learn about the importance of marine conservation and the impact of human activities on our oceans. It’s a fantastic opportunity for both children and adults to gain a better understanding of our responsibility towards the environment.

The Museum of Discovery and Science is particularly renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere. With its engaging exhibits and hands-on activities, it has become a favorite destination for kids museums in Miami. The museum’s dedication to providing an enriching experience for families has earned it well-deserved popularity among locals and tourists alike.

2.      Anne Kolb Nature Center

Address: : 751 Sheridan St, Hollywood, FL 33019, United States

Phone number: +1 954-357-5161

Opening Hours: 8 am-7:30 pm

Amenities: Amphitheater, Biking/Jogging/Walking Path, Exhibit Hall, Fishing, Meeting Room Rental, Nature Trail, Observation Tower, Picnic Area, Public Art & Design, Wedding Rental

Anne Kolb Nature Center is not your regular Fort Lauderdale Aquarium. It is a research facility dedicated to the study and preservation of the magnificent mangrove forests on our coastline.

When you step into the center, you will be captivated by the vibrant exhibits that showcase the diverse marine life found in these mangrove forests. But the Anne Kolb Nature Center offers more than just aquatic wonders. It is also a gateway to the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Embark on a guided water excursion and witness the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic herons, elegant egrets, and a myriad of other bird species that inhabit this sanctuary.

As you explore the Exhibit Hall, prepare to be immersed in an interactive experience like no other. Engage with the hands-on displays that bring the wonders of the mangrove forests to life. Feel the texture of the mangrove roots, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, and learn about the intricate web of life that exists within this fragile ecosystem. The Exhibit Hall offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

The Top Aquariums Near Fort Lauderdale

Looking to explore beyond a Fort Lauderdale Aquarium? Here are some of the top aquariums near Fort Lauderdale.

3. Miami Seaquarium (32 miles away from Fort Lauderdale)

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, United States

Phone number: +1 305-361-5705

Opening Hours: 10 am-4 pm (Tuesday – Friday), 10 am-5 pm (Saturday & Sunday), Closed (Mondays)

Exhibits: Jurassic VR Experience, Dolphin Interactions, Underwater Interactive Experience, Conservation & Care, Touch Pools, Caribbean Flamingos, Seal Swim, Penguin Encounter, SeaTREK® Reef Encounter, VIP Tour, Sharky’s Playground Island.

Consider visiting the Miami Seaquarium, a captivating aquarium near Fort Lauderdale. As the oldest and largest aquarium in Florida, Miami Seaquarium is home to a wide range of marine mammals, including dolphins, sea lions, and whales. With over 500 marine animals, a water park, and a captivating dolphin show, the aquarium offers an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in the world of marine creatures at Miami Seaquarium, where dolphins walk on water and killer whales soar through the air. Witness delightful performances, encounter dolphins up close, and enjoy endless fun!

4. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (27 miles away from Fort Lauderdale)

Phone Number:  +1 305-434-9600

Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, FL 33132, United States

Opening Hours: 10 am–6 pm

Exhibits: Aquarium- Levels 2,3,4, Planetarium, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, Power of Science, Mammoths: Ice Age Giants

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is only a 30 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale and is located in the Maurice A. Ferre Park and near the PAMM. Here, you can explore three levels of aquatic wonders. On the top Vista level, you’ll find vibrant habitats like the Gulf Stream and Mangrove Forests, with the highlight being the awe-inspiring Gulf Stream Aquarium. Descend to the lower Dive level for a closer look at marine animals and mangrove forests. Finally, on the Deep level, you’ll learn about the mysteries of the Gulf Stream and its global impact. With 9 exhibits in total, the Frost Science Aquarium offers an unforgettable experience for all ages.

5. Ocean Discovery Visitors Center (ODVC) (115 miles away from Fort Lauderdale)

Address: 5600 US 1 North, Fort Pierce, FL 34946, United States

Phone number: +1-772-242-2400

Opening Hours:

Amenities: Public Boat Tours, Campus Tours, Specialty Experiences, Virtual Resources, Gift Shop

Another aquarium near Fort Lauderdale is the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida. At the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center, you can explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants. With research-themed exhibitions, live displays of marine environments, and demonstrations of sustainable aquaculture systems, the Center provides an educational and engaging experience. Discover the significance of marine research and wildlife conservation, and be inspired to preserve our blue planet. Best of all, admission is free!

6. The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (218 miles away from Fort Lauderdale)

Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States

Phone number: +1 941-388-4441

Exhibits: Florida Watershed, Otters & Their Waters, Florida Manatee, Shark Zone, Creatures from the Coastal Oceans, Florida’s Bay Habitats, Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors, From the Rivers to the Seas, Life Cycles of the Seas, Exploration Gallery, Virtual Reality Experience, Megalodon Jaw & Fossil Creek

If you’re up for a longer drive, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida is a great choice of aquarium near Fort Lauderdale. Here, they allow visitors to witness real scientific research in action. Encounter hundreds of marine animal species, from sharks to manatees and sea turtles. Explore vibrant coral reefs, diverse fishes, and graceful sea jellies. Additionally, you can observe river otters, roseate spoonbills, and even an alligator. The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Things to Do at a Fort Lauderdale Aquarium

When visiting a Fort Lauderdale Aquarium, there are several exciting activities to engage in. Whether you’re a curious child or an information-loving adult, these aquariums offer a range of educational classes and hands-on experiences that will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for marine life and conservation.

Take Educational Classes

One of the highlights of visiting a Fort Lauderdale Aquarium is the availability of educational classes suitable for both children and adults. These classes provide a unique opportunity to dive into the exciting world of marine life.

These educational classes cover a wide range of topics, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. From understanding the delicate balance of marine ecosystems to exploring the importance of conservation efforts, you’ll gain valuable insights into the wonders of the underwater world. Knowledgeable instructors guide you through these classes, making the learning experience both informative and enjoyable.

Participate in Hands-On Activities

At any Fort Lauderdale Aquarium, the experience goes beyond passive observation. Prepare to explore a world of interactive wonders that cater to visitors of all ages. Engaging in hands-on activities allows you to truly connect with the marine environment and create lasting memories.

Imagine the thrill of reaching out and touching the smooth scales of a gentle stingray gliding through the water. Feel the excitement as you witness the vibrant colors of tropical fish darting around you. These sensory experiences awaken your senses and deepen your appreciation for the beauty and diversity of marine life.

In addition to touching, there are numerous opportunities to see and hear marine life up close. From mesmerizing dolphin shows to captivating underwater exhibits, you’ll be captivated by the sights and sounds that surround you. The aquariums provide a platform for you to engage with marine life in a way that fosters understanding and respect.

Tips for an Enjoyable Visit to a Fort Lauderdale Aquarium

  1. Plan your visit: When it comes to visiting a Fort Lauderdale aquarium, a little planning can go a long way toward ensuring a memorable experience. We highly recommend that you plan ahead and choose less crowded days to make the most of your visit. By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the exhibits at your own pace and fully immerse yourself in the wonders of the underwater world.
  2. Arrive early: Want to beat the crowds and have more time to soak in the beauty of marine life? Arriving early is the key! By getting to the aquarium before the rush, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Take advantage of this quiet time to observe the fascinating creatures up close, without any distractions. Trust us, the early bird truly catches the fish!
  3. Take your time: Aquariums are like underwater treasure troves, filled with an incredible variety of marine animals and ecosystems. To truly appreciate the beauty and diversity on display, we encourage you to take your time and explore each exhibit thoroughly. Read the informative plaques, watch the mesmerizing movements of the sea creatures, and let yourself be captivated by the wonders of the ocean. Remember, it’s not a race; it’s an opportunity to learn and be amazed.
  4. Ask questions: One of the best ways to enhance your aquarium experience is by engaging with the knowledgeable staff. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the marine life you encounter. The passionate experts are there to share their wealth of knowledge and provide you with fascinating insights. Whether you’re curious about a specific species or want to learn more about conservation efforts, their expertise will enrich your visit and leave you with a deeper understanding of the underwater world.
  5. Bring your camera: Aquariums offer a plethora of photo opportunities that are simply too good to miss. From vibrant coral reefs to graceful sea turtles, there’s no shortage of stunning subjects to capture. So, don’t forget to bring your camera along! Take snapshots of the mesmerizing displays, the colorful fish, and the magical moments you witness. These photographs will not only serve as cherished memories but also allow you to share your experience with friends and family.
  6. Have fun: Last but certainly not least, remember to have fun! Aquariums are not just educational institutions; they are also places of joy and wonder. Let your inner child come out to play as you marvel at the incredible marine life, giggle at the antics of playful dolphins, and feel a sense of awe as you witness the grace of majestic sharks. Embrace the unique blend of entertainment and education that aquariums offer, and allow yourself to be swept away by the magic of the underwater world. After all, the joy and learning you experience here will stay with you long after you leave.


Fort Lauderdale is home to two excellent aquariums that offer visitors a chance to see a variety of marine life from all over the world. The Museum of Discovery and Science is the largest Fort Lauderdale aquarium and features a wide range of marine life from the Florida Everglades to the Caribbean Sea. The Anne Kolb Nature Center is a smaller aquarium that focuses on the marine life found in the mangrove forests of South Florida.

Both aquariums offer educational classes and hands-on activities that make them a great place to learn about marine life and conservation. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of other activities at the aquariums, such as dolphin shows, feedings, and guided tours.

If you’re looking for an educational and fun experience that will allow you to learn about marine life, then be sure to visit any Fort Lauderdale aquarium. You won’t be disappointed!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some Of your questions that were not answered in the post
Yes, there are two aquariums in Fort Lauderdale: The Museum of Discovery and Science and The Anne Kolb Nature Center.
The best Fort Lauderdale aquarium depends on your interests. If you are interested in seeing a variety of marine life from Florida and the Caribbean, then the Museum of Discovery and Science is a good choice. If you are interested in seeing animals in their natural habitat, then the Anne Kolb Nature Center is a better option.
Yes, the aquariums in Fort Lauderdale often have special events and exhibits. The Museum of Discovery and Science often has temporary exhibits on topics such as dinosaurs or the human body. The Anne Kolb Nature Center often has educational programs and events about the environment.
There are many other things to do in Fort Lauderdale besides visiting the aquariums. Some popular activities include going to the beach, shopping at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, taking a boat tour of the Intracoastal Waterway, and hiking or biking at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

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