If you’ve been to Orlando’s SeaWorld, you’ll find Miami’s version something of a letdown—it’s a lot smaller (35 acres) and less well maintained. Still, if you go you’ll want to get here early, and allow at least 3 hours to tour grounds and take in all four of the daily shows (you can cut it to 2 hours if you limit yourself to the better, albeit corny, “Flipper” and “Killer Whale and Dolphin” shows). The Dolphin Encounter allows visitors to touch and swim with dolphins in the Flipper Lagoon. Offered daily at 12 and 2:30pm, this costs $139 per adult, $99 for ages 5 to 9, $45 per adult observer, and $36 per observer ages 3 to 9. Reservations are necessary for this program (call [tel] 305/365-2501). A sea lion show and a stingray touch pool have also recently been added. Like SeaWorld, the Seaquarium has been engendering controversy, especially recently, because of the campaign to return its killer whale Lolita to Puget Sound where she was originally captured. At press time it was possible the Seaquarium’s new owners would take a new stance on the matter.
- David Paul Appell