Ok, ok, so maybe going nose-to-nose with a 600 lb. shark is not your idea of a great day at the beach. Especially when it flashes those pearly whites at you. But fear not. At Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, you can dive or snorkel in a ginormous Coral Reef Tank among colorful schools of reef fish and face off with giant 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 is equipped with a small underwater portal where you can actually hand-feed 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 really a wonderfully unique attraction and one of the Keys’ “not-to-be-missed” destinations!
Find it at 11710 Overseas Hwy, MM 53 Gulfside in Marathon. Open 365 days from 9am – 5pm. Info: 305-407-3262; floridakeysaquariumencounters.com. For more great things to see and do in the Keys, go to DestinationFloridaKeys.com.
Have you ever feed a shark?