Looking for a shark encounter in Florida? You’re in luck because there are a number of aquariums, resorts and marine parks that offer the opportunity to swim with, touch or feed various types of sharks.
The following is a list of shark encounters in Florida:
Clearwater Marine Aquarium:
Address: 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL
Established in 1972, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is an aquarium and marine life rescue center in Clearwater.
The aquarium features a shark care experience during which visitors assist the animal specialists in guiding and feeding the aquarium’s shark.
The aquarium also offers other types of animal experiences, such as a sea turtle feeding experience, a stingray feeding experience and several types of dolphin encounters.
Joe Handy is the CEO of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL
Established in 2000, Discovery Cove is a family resort and theme park in Orlando that features tropical lagoons, white sand beaches and fun animal experiences.
The resort offers a Swim with Sharks experience during which visitors can swim with up to 20 blacktip reef, nurse, zebra, bonnethead sharks.
The resort also offers other types of animal encounters, such as an otter encounter, a flamingo encounter and a dolphin encounter.
In 2022, U.S. News Travel named Discovery Cove one of the 33 best water parks in the U.S.
Discovery Cove is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is owned and operated by Seaworld Parks & Entertainment.
Florida Keys Aquarium:
Address: 11710 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL
Established in 2014, the Florida Keys Aquariums Encounters is a marine life facility in Marathon that features diving, snorkeling, feeding activities and a touch tank.
The facility offers a Shark Bay Encounter during which visitors can pet, interact with and feed several adult nurse sharks.
In addition, the facility also offers other types of animal encounters, such as a stingray encounter, coral reef encounter, lagoon snorkel encounter and a nursery encounter with juvenile stingrays.
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is owned by Ben Daughtry.
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 a Sharks Up-Close Tour during which visitors can touch and feed a small shark while they learn more about these animals.
The park also offers other types of animal experiences, such as a penguin Encounter, sea lion encounter, Walrus Encounter, Killer Whale Up-Close tour and Beluga Encounter.
Seaworld is accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
Theater of the Sea:
Address: 84721 Overseas Hwy (Mile Marker 84.5) Islamorada, FL
Established in 1946, Theater of the Sea is a marine mammal park in Islmadora that is home to dolphins, sharks, alligators, stingrays and sea turtles.
The park offers a Swim with the Sharks Encounter during which visitors can snorkel and swim in shallow water where they can feed and touch sharks and tropical fish.
The park also offers other types of animal encounters, such as various dolphin encounters, a sea lion encounter, stingray encounter, a sea turtle encounter and an alligator encounter.
Theater of the Sea is owned by P.F. McKenney, Jr.
“About Us.” Theater of the Sea, theaterofthesea.com/about-us
“Shark Encounter.” Seaworld Orlando, seaworld.com/orlando/animal-experiences/shark-encounter/
“About Aquarium Encounters.” Florida Keys Aquarium, floridakeysaquariumencounters.com/company/about-us
“AZA Accredited and Certified Members.” AZA.org, aza.org/inst-status?locale=en
“Shark Care Experience.” Clearwater Marine Aquarium, cmaquarium.org/experiences/shark-experience