"A Diamond in the rough oozing with potential! As a marine conservation researcher and true ocean lover, I am generally not a fan of aquariums. That is, the typical cash-grabbing business that leaves you with nothing but some pictures and "ohh look at the pretty fish" moments. However, in the infancy of this establishment, I can see what appears to be the foundation for an aquarium that will give you those same "wow" moments, while teaching you along the way. Marine conservation is a tough sell to most people, likely because many people do not connect with the sea (and the animals in it) in the same way they do with the land. Places like this can change that. I cannot wait to see the additions that will be popping up over the next couple years. Take advantage of the wonderful staff, they loved to chat and share everything they themselves had learned. In my visit, Sherry was quite lovely and knowledgeable about their encounters. Though I did not do it during my visit, I would definitely recommend diving in the artificial reef system. For those who are not as comfortable in the sea, this is the next best thing. Additionally, this is the only way I would feel okay about people feeding sharks (which you evidently get to do, as the shark tank is adjoining to the fish reef tank, separated by a thick clear panel. A true chance to swim near some of the greatest (and most misunderstood) predators in the sea. Bottom line, check this place out… give it a chance. It will only improve, but is already a great experience. "
"Have been traveling to the Florida Keys for over 30 years, this is a beautiful new addition. Fun to watch the feeding frenzy of fish when you throw the pellets in the lagoon, and for .25 cents it is good entertainment! You can touch sting rays, and all sorts of other creatures. Very fun time, and you can help feed animals, more hands on than other attractions."
“I visited Aquarium Encounters with my wife and two young sons and initially anticipated an hour’s visit. Almost five hours later, I had to drag them away as closing time approached. My boys have grown up around public aquariums and have been privileged enough to have insider access to this world their whole lives. But the experiences they had at Aquarium Encounters got them deeper and closer to marine life in this context than they’d ever been before. There’s nothing quite like seeing your family’s beaming smiles as they hand feed groupers, sharks and massive stingrays. Highly recommended!”
-Paul Clarkson, Curator of Husbandry Operations, Monterey Bay Aquarium
“We were blown away by all the coolness you guys have. What a facility!! What a great staff!!! I can’t gush enough here about the time we had and how neat it was to snorkel and feed. Sounds crazy but I really enjoyed myself and made me get inspired even more!”
-George Parsons – Senior Director of Fishes, Shedd Aquarium
"Kids loved it! Although not large in size it was large in fun. We had 4 grandkids with us ages 4 to 10 and they had a blast. Being able to touch some fish and being able to see the sharks so close was a thrill. Gift shops next door were a bonus."
"This place is new. The staff and owner are amazing. You can feed sting rays and go scuba diving (even if not certified). The staff is more than amazing. Great service and very polite. Perfect for kids aged 4-12. Very clean and worth every penny. Would love to do again."
"We participated in the Stingray and Coral Reef Snorkel Encounters. The staff was super nice and helpful. We learned a lot and had a great time!"
"We drove down and back from the Hollywood area on the same day. It was a fabulous experience with many hands on opportunities. My son and I fed the fish in the reef tank and he fed the sharks and an eel in the predator tank. It was a lifetime experience for us as we are not divers. The staff is extremely helpful and courteous. A wonderful trip and I would highly recommend the tank experience."
"Wonderful Experience! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here. The exhibits/encounters were very educational and entertaining. Kids will love it. The touch tanks and my feeding of the rays was most delightful for me. The staff was very knowledgeable (some were marine biologists) and friendly willing to answer any/all questions. This facility was extremely well maintained. If you want to see many marine species of fish, including sharks-this your place. There is also onsite concessions for your food/drink needs. Highly recommended."
"We had a great time learning about all of the different animals and fish they had on exhibit. They worked hard to get Big George out of hiding for us to see. The staff spent plenty of time and patience answering lots of kids questions. We added the snorkel in the lagoon encounter and was well worth the visit!"
"We had a lot of fun, tons of fish to see, and touch. Beautiful property, friendly staff, wonderful atmosphere. You can even interact with the exhibits."
"A super experience! Went on a rainy, cool day. Everything under HUGE Cabana buildings. We stayed totally dry. It a beautiful place, with a super friendly staff. Our son did the REEF ENCOUNTER and loved it. Got to feed sharks in a totally safe environment. Was in the reef tank for over 30 min ... So they don't shortcut. Instructor was super. Petting tank for little kids was wonderful. If in Marathon .. Don't miss this!"
"What a great place! We were able to touch and feed the sting rays and so many other creatures. They have 2 tanks with fish and sharks. We fed turtles and touched horseshoe crabs and starfish The place is new and very clean. Def worth a trip with the kids."
"Everything about our visit to the aquarium was a success for adults as well as young children! The staff was most informative and the exhibits INCREDIBLE! We'll be back ASAP!"