Imagine yourself swimming in a beautiful coral reef without ever having to get into a boat. Well, grab your fins because now you can! At Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, you can see some of the most incredible underwater wild-life on the planet and get up close and personal with so many native Keys’ species that you’re sure to lose count.

Get right in the water and take a guided tour (no experience required) through the ginormous Coral Reef Tank where you can dive or snorkel with colorful schools of local reef fish and go face-to-face with sharks, Goliath Grouper, Moray Eels, and other denizens inhabiting the adjoining Predator Reef Tank. Separated by a 6” clear plexiglass window, the Predator Reef Tank includes a small underwater portal where you can get a real “hands-on” experience feeding the sharks.

If that sounds a little too close for comfort, try leisurely snorkeling through a natural marine habitat in the enclosed outdoor saltwater lagoon.

Want to stay dry? No worries! Aquarium Encounters’ main viewing room gives landlubbers a ringside seat to all of the underwater action. There are also some beautiful open-water canals where you can feed giant tarpon with your flip flops firmly planted on the ground.

This is a wonderfully unique attraction. You really must go and see it for yourself because it truly is one of the Keys’ “not-to-be-missed” destinations!

Find it at 11710 Overseas Highway (MM 53 Gulfside) in Marathon. More info at or call 305-407-3262.