Looking for a penguin encounter in Florida? There are actually a handful of marine parks in the state that let you interact with, feed and sometimes even swim with adorable penguins.
The following is a list of penguin encounters in Florida:
Gulf World Marine Park:
Address: 15412 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Established in 1970, Gulf World Marine Park is a dolphinarium in Panama City Beach that features dolphins, penguins, sea lions, harbor seals and more.
Gulf World offers two types of penguin encounters: a Penguin Encounter and a Penguin Meet N Greet.
During the Penguin Encounter, visitors can swim with, touch and interact with African penguins in their saltwater habitat. The encounter includes 20 individual digital photos of the encounter and all-day admission to the marine park.
During the Penguin Meet N Greet, visitors can touch and interact with an African penguin while they learn more about these endangered animals.
In addition to the Penguin Encounter, the facility also offers other types of encounters, such as a Sea Lion Encounter, Harbor Seal Encounter, Stingray Interactive Program, various types of Dolphin Encounters and dolphin shows.
The Gulf World Marine Park is owned by Ron Hardy.
Address: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL
Established in 1973, SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park in Orlando that features amusement park rides and animal experiences.
The park offers two types of penguin encounters: a Penguin Encounter and a Penguin Up-Close tour.
During the Penguin Encounter, visitors can meet and interact with a penguin. During the Penguin Up-Close tour, visitors can meet and interact with a penguin and enjoy a 45-minute walking tour during which they learn how the facility cares for the penguins.
In addition to the penguin encounters, the park also offers other types of animal encounters such as a Shark Encounter, a Walrus Encounter, a Dolphin Encounter, a Beluga Encounter, a Sea Lion Encounter and a Killer Whale Up-Close tour and dolphin shows.
Seaworld is accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL
Established in 1955, the Miami Seaquarium is a 38-acre oceanarium in Key Biscayne that is home to sea turtles, dolphins, sea lions, penguins and stingrays.
The Miami Seaquarium offers a Penguin Encounter during which visitors can meet and interact with an African penguin one-on-one.
In addition to the Penguin Encounter, the seaquarium also offers other types of animal experiences such as a Dolphin Encounter, a Seal Encounter, a Stingray Encounter and dolphin shows.
Miami Seaquarium is accredited by Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, IMATA’s Animal Trainer Development Program and by American Humane.
Miami Seaquarium is owned by the Dolphin Company.
If you want to visit the Miami Seaquarium but are looking to save money on tickets, check out this article on Miami Seaquarium discount tickets.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre animal theme park that features a safari park, an amusement park and various animal exhibits.
The park is home to animals such as gorillas, zebras, giraffes, hippos, kangaroos, exotic cats and flamingos.
Busch Gardens offers a Penguin Insider Tour during which visitors can meet African penguins while they learn what it’s like to care for these endangered animals.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Neil Thurman is the president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park:
Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Established in 1955, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a marine park at Fort Walton Beach that is home to dolphin, sharks and stingrays.
The park offers a Discover Penguins experience which is a 10-minute experience during which visitors can feed and touch an African penguin while they learn more about these animals.
The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park was incorporated in 1954 by 15 scientists at the University of Miami and fifty local residents.
“Penguin Encounter.” Gulf World Marine Park, gulfworldmarinepark.com/penguin-encounter
“About Us.” Gulf World Marine Park, gulfworldmarinepark.com/about-us/
“Tours.” Seaworld Orlando, seaworld.com/orlando/tours
“Tours and Encounters.” Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, buschgardens.com/tampa/tours/
“Animal Encounters.” Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, gulfarium.com/animal_encounters
“Animal Encounters.” Miami Seaquarium, miamiseaquarium.com/plan-a-visit/tickets-and-programs
“AZA Accredited and Certified Members.” Associations of Zoos and Aquariums, aza.org/inst-status